The cold snap hit my coal hard.

Re: The cold snap hit my coal hard.

PostBy: mmcoal On: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:03 pm

With temps in the single digits to negatives I am at 80 lbs per day. Can't say the house stayed too warm though. I need to start finding where my biggest heat loss is.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: nut

Re: The cold snap hit my coal hard.

PostBy: SWPaDon On: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:16 pm

lsayre wrote:The funniest (or most idiotic, or most stupid, ... depending on my mood) thing happened to me during the cold snap. My house shrank. :shock: I've thought it was 1,680 Sq-Ft since we moved into it nearly 13 years ago. I finally got around to carefully measuring things (every room, plus my linear feet of hot water baseboards per room and per zone) and lo and behold the house is only 1,480 Sq-Ft per floor.

If our title actually says 1,680 Sq-Ft and we've been paying property taxes based on that, do you think a cumulative 13 year property tax rebate is in store for us? Got to dig it out and have a look.

Aside from that, we did experience a few "frost quakes" when it was dropping toward -12 degrees. Anyone else have them? Never heard of them knocking 200 Sq-Ft off of a house...

I had a bunch of frost quakes here. Several of them were quite loud . Mounds of dirt everywhere popping up through the melting snow.

I neglected to measure the house today to see if I lost any, sorry. :)
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1600M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous
Other Heating: Oil furnace

Re: The cold snap hit my coal hard.

PostBy: KLook On: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:08 pm

Good luck on a tax abatement. In Maine, you can only go back 3 years. If you measured the interior, you may have to check again. You are taxed on your footprint(outside dimensions) and generally of the foundation. That is why people designed the houses that overhang the foundation. May not work in all states.

Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: The cold snap hit my coal hard.

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:44 am

I heat about 4000sq ft of house and 2400 sqft of shop concrete floor. The normal weather use is around 100-120# per day, with the -15-20F weather with 20-40mph winds, I'm sure some days my use more than doubled.. but, the house was at 72*, and the shop floor was 55*.

The clayton stoves are not really very efficient. if you measure you chimney flue temperatures when you are burning hard, you will see that a LOT of heat is just going up the chimney.

Now, I have a LOT of experience with trying to heat old drafty houses.. one very effective thing to do is to use a piece of duct, like a dryer vent duct, or 4" pvc if it will work better or is less money. Run a duct from the outside of the house to the inlet of your blower fan or combustion air valve/flapper on your clayton. even just getting the duct within a few inches of the combustion air inlet of the Clayton will help.

Right now, with your stove roaring away, all the air that is going up the chimney is coming through your walls, around the windows and past the door seals and a lot comes through the gaps around the sills of the house sitting on the foundation.
By installing an outside air source, you will reduce or eliminate most of the huge amount of cold air infiltrating into your house from the thousands of small leaks. It really works.
My first home, a lousy-built place had aluminum sliding windows, with poor seals and no caulking, and I couldn't get to the gaps to caulk them... So I did what Smitty does.. I put clear plastic shrink film over the entire window, including the sills, out to the corner where the wall begins.. so I had a 4" air space..
I immediately notice that whenever the gas boiler fired, the plastic windows would puff up, like pillows !! The vacuum on the house created by the draw from the chimney was huge..
I used a 4" dryer duct, that flexible aluminum tubing, very easy to use, but also very easy to crush if misused.
I put a dryer vent to the outside of the house, removed the one way flapper and replaced it with a piece of 1/4" wire mesh. I ran the other end of the duct to the base of the gas boiler, where the air was pulled in to the fire.
The difference was immediately noticed, the plastic windows did not puff up hardly any. and the rooms felt warmer too. I had had cold air being pulled through the wall outlets, and that was mostly gone. .

That is a quick help for your situation.
But what will really do the job, is to remove whatever inside wall coverings you have, plaster over lath i'd guess for the age and construction of your house.. Buy the spray foam 'kits' available on the internet.. Foam-it Green in Chicago, and I think 'Tiger-Foam' somewhere in Pennsylvania. But just goggle closed cell foam..

The wonderful thing about using this foam is that it SEALS the outside wall, just spray a 1" layer of the foam over the lap-siding, it will adhere to the old dry wood, and seal all the gaps and joints.. and add an R-7 insulation factor.. the BIG thing is the infiltration. you can add unfaced fiberglass in the remaining stud-space in the walls, the drywall , and you will have an amazingly easy house to heat.
This is a lot more mess than adding a new wall, but a new inside wall will not seal out the infiltration. And adding all the extra studs is not cheap either.

Around that staircase on the outside wall?? rip down the plaster, spray foam and drywall, done. no loss of stair tread width, or other problems

Right now you can buy a case of 'great stuff' expanding foam and seal the gap between the foundation and the sills of the house.. In my current house, I had a gale being pulled through the gaps between the fieldstone foundation and the 8x8 beams that are the sills. once filled with expanding foam, the floors were much warmer, and the cobwebs didn't flap around like flags hanging from the floor logs/beams.

Seal it up, insulate where and when you can, and provide an outside air source for your coal heater.. it will make a big difference.

Greg L
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: The cold snap hit my coal hard.

PostBy: SWPaDon On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:36 am

Thanks for the tips, Greg.
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1600M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous
Other Heating: Oil furnace

Re: The cold snap hit my coal hard.

PostBy: JimD On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:34 pm

JimD wrote:I figure around 550 lbs since Jan 1st. yeah we had those -15 temps and days in the single digits too... but here in Ma. its going to warm up for a week ... hopefully we can slow down on the usage...

1200 in 4 days ? WOW :cry: :sick:

Edit. After calculating better I now am at 583 for 12 days since the 1st. Not too shabby
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rare Crane Coal Cooker # 88. And pot bellied coal stove
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut coal

Re: The cold snap hit my coal hard.

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:56 pm

I just topped off, and I'm now at 846 lbs. burned so far this month (with roughly 54 lbs. of that going towards DHW, and the rest to home heat). 533 HDD's. Blaschak pea.

Last year for the first 12 days of January I burned 633 lbs of Harmony (for 444 HDD's), and the year before that 627 lbs. of Blaschak and (presumably) Stockton blend (for 366 HDD's).

Burning 34% more coal this January (so far). Wow!!!
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)