Well heck, I don't know. I found these. I might be able to get away with one of them without her throwing a fit.
So I have to add a blower?
How did they originally work?
Is it messy to fill the hopper?
How often do you have to fill the hopper?
How many BTU'S are these?
Would one of these be big enough to heat a well insulated house with good windows @ 2,500 sq ft?
When they calculated the sq ft capacity back then, was it for an old drafty house common at the time?
Anybody got a brochure?http://eastky.craigslist.org/sno/4115854712.htmlhttp://lexington.craigslist.org/for/4135162289.html
Originally they were intended as a free-standing "stove" where there is a small fan on the back that blows heating into the living space. They really don't work well in that original format because -they produce a lot of heat, they are large, and heavy.
-yes, you should add a big squirrel-cage blower (furnace style blower) to the back and ditch the tiny one that came with it. You should treat it like an add-on furace and plumb it into your current duct work.
-no, it's not messy at all to fill the hopper.
-In mild weather every other day, in cold weather, every day it takes about 1-5gallon pail of coal (for my home). it will run for probably three or four days on one hopper, but, since the ash needs to be taken out of it every other day(mild weather), every day(cold weather) I tend to fill the hopper every day as it performs better.
-80 - 120,000btu/hour output depending on feed setting (it's adjustable - you want to use the lowest feed possible)
-definitely big enough to heat your house, mine ~2000sqft with very little insulation in buffalo, NY
I highly recommend them. I have a bunch of them in my collection and have used one for years, as an add-on furnace to heat my house.