Coal usage

Coal usage

PostBy: RS7 On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:42 am

Looking for some coal knowledge and thought this was a good place to ask. I am wondering how coal I should go through in a winter since I think I am going through a lot of coal. A little bit about my house. I live in a 1950 cape cod in south-east Pennsylvania, 1800 sq ft, stucco exterior over block, uninsullated. Last year I went through 7.5 tons (from end of September to april). My wife likes it a comfortable 76 degrees (minimum, like they say happy wife happy life). This year I have gone through 3 ton (approx 70 lbs per day), started stove early to mid October. I have an Alaska model 140 dual feed stoker, but only running one feed because it would cook us out of the house with both feeds running. I've tried it and it was 82 in my house, haha.

Does this seem like a reasonable amount of coal? From talking to others with coal stoves it seems that this is a lot. If this is a lot please give some recommendations on what I can try. I have already checked my gaskets and they are in good condition, and cleaned out the combustion chamber and grates. I also thought it could be my coal and just so happens that I will need coal by next week so I am going to try a different supplier this time to see if it helps.

Thanks
RS7
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska model 140
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Oil backup

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:51 am

Might be a little high but you're keeping the house pretty warm. What coal are you using now? What did you heat with before the coal? If it was oil, how much oil did you use per season before adding coal stove?
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: McGiever On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:54 am

1800sq.ft. uninsulated block @ 76 degrees...sounds okay...70#'s a day...it's been colder earlier than most seasons.
Carefull trying new coals w/o trying some sample bucket first. :)

:!: When running a stove w/ ability of second stoker it may turn out the draft calibration could be improved...something to check out. :!:

Not sure I understand why you say using the second burner makes house too hot...does not the thermostat shut them off just the same if one or even two are used?
Last edited by McGiever on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek


Re: Coal usage

PostBy: Dennis On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:05 am

I have a 1700 sqft house in SEPA also,I have a handfeed boiler in the basement and I use 3-1/2 to 4 ton a year (70 degrees inside),depending on weather.Your coal compsution seems high,but at 76 degrees inside might be on the right track,tell us more house info,,how much insulation,drafty,kids keeping doors open,ect. Where are you getting your current coal at,it might be less quality,and we can help you with other suppliers in the area.
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: Lightning On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:29 pm

Personally, I think that's way high.. Just for comparison, I use 5 tons for 2400 square foot, domestic hot water and keep an outside hot tub warm with a handicapped hand fed furnace and a marginally insulated house in western NY.. Coolest part of the house is 70 (upstairs) , most is 76 degrees.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: RS7 On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:55 pm

Dennis wrote:I have a 1700 sqft house in SEPA also,I have a handfeed boiler in the basement and I use 3-1/2 to 4 ton a year (70 degrees inside),depending on weather.Your coal compsution seems high,but at 76 degrees inside might be on the right track,tell us more house info,,how much insulation,drafty,kids keeping doors open,ect. Where are you getting your current coal at,it might be less quality,and we can help you with other suppliers in the area.


My exterior walls are uninsulated, attic however is insulated, no kids, stove is in basement.

I am using rice coal (as per Alaska's recommendation and plan to continue burning rice) purchased my coal from Walter Hendricks (Hilltown, PA) where they deliver and place in my coal bin. Before burning coal, I burnt oil (forced hot air furnace). I will have to look at my receipts to determine the quantity of oil I went through but I do know I was spending about $1800-$1900 a year for oil in 2010-2011.

One last thing...Currently my stove is not attached to a thermostat because I read and told that "its a waste of time" to do so and not worth the month for the thermostat. Do you guys have anything to say about this? Do you agree or disagree? So currently, I manually adjust my blower thermostat and combustion feed rate to reach the temp I want.

I will follow up about the quantity of oil I used, once I find the receipts.
RS7
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska model 140
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Oil backup

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:04 pm

Looks like you're spending about the same on coal. Did you keep the house 76 degrees with oil? If the upstairs is 76, what's the temperature in the basement???
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: RS7 On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:17 pm

No I didn't keep the house 76 with oil. I have hardwoods throughout my house and they use to be cold with oil but not so much with coal. I sanded my combustion grates which looked soiled and it seems that the coal is flowing better and burning better too. I also got more coal on Monday and between the two my stove seems to be burning better.

Thanks
RS7
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska model 140
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Oil backup

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:47 pm

For grins I'm going to guess that you used about 640 gallons of heating oil per year, and you kept your T-Stats at 68 degrees back then.

If it requires about 2.5% more energy per degree to keep your home one degree warmer, and you are now at 76 degrees, that is 8 degrees warmer x 2.5% per degree, or 20% more energy demand.

1.20 x 640 = 768 gallons of heating oil to annually keep the home at 76 degrees vs. 640 gallons to keep it at 68 degrees.

Add another 10% simply because this winter is colder than the past couple years, and you are at 768 x 1.1 = 845 gallons of heating oil estimated to keep your home at 76 degrees this winter.

Most believe that about 160 gallons of #2 heating oil is the equivalent of 1 ton of anthracite, but I believe that in the real world it is closer to 140 gallons.

Putting it all together:

845/140 = 6 tons of coal for this winter season

If you feel that you are on target to consume 7.5 tons, that indeed seems high. My reasoning is that 6 tons would be more appropriate.

But if you were consuming 800 gallons of oil annually back then, then 7.5 tons of coal is spot on for this year and for 76 degrees vs. 68 degrees.
Last edited by lsayre on Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:00 pm

Insulation....Period.....Try This,as they have both inside and outside applications. Modular with furring built in and insulated over......


http://www.insofast.com/
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: kstills On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:02 pm

7.5 tons for a stove does sound like a lot.

However......

Without some way to compare it to your old consumption, it could very well be what it is. Poor insulation is going to cost a lot more to heat than good insulation, so you might want to start to consider doing some of the things needed to increase the overall R value of your home.
kstills
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: WL 110
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:14 pm

He's got no insulated walls,concrete block with some possible cold air coming in through cracked or broken mortar joints(50's Constructed) and chances are good that windows and doors are adding to huge heat-loss. The housecap insulation is probably fair at best,and could display with icicle formation and a clear roof-not holding snow. Toss in the 76* interior heating call and I figure he's not out of the Ballpark. Also factor in air movement of the heated product. Someone asked him how hot the basement is. He's got some decisions to make,especially at 76*. Thank God The Mrs. is Happy ! I wouldn't want to have been him on Oil ! :doh:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:37 pm

Lightning wrote:Personally, I think that's way high.. Just for comparison, I use 5 tons for 2400 square foot, domestic hot water and keep an outside hot tub warm with a handicapped hand fed furnace and a marginally insulated house in western NY.. Coolest part of the house is 70 (upstairs) , most is 76 degrees.



+1 way way high 7 tonnes for a little house? I go through 5.5 tonnes for 2400 sq ft house fireplace insert
davidmcbeth3
 
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:38 am

So now you have warm floors...does that mean you are heating the drafty/uninsulated basement as well?

People will compare your house to others all day long, but it really isn't a meaningful comparison unless it is an identical structure under identical conditions. You know the house bleeds heat, a LOT of heat. If the Alaska is running properly, and the coal is good...the house is simply eating whatever btus you are producing.

Edit: By the way, no thermostat means your stove runs continuously? That sure isn't helping your coal consumption.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Coal usage

PostBy: Short Bus On: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:26 pm

I think the thermostat issue needs more study.

With a Stoker I think a thermostat is an important component, how old is this unit.
Short Bus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only