Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:24 pm

I've managed to keep the stove burning for several weeks, even with this clinker-forming strip coal. Today when I left there was a nice full fire burning. I arrived home at 7:30, wife was out, the stove ash door was open and there was an ember about the size of a quarter glowing in the stove.
So I emptied it, lots of clinkers fused together down by the grate. I forgot to buy charcoal so I covered the baro with foil, got a wood fire going and it's back up and running. 60 degrees downstairs, about 63 up here.
I will be able to maintain a long-burning fire now, since I emptied the stove completely. It's the price I pay for strip-mined coal that contains other ingredients.
On another note (frosting on the cake) I received an AARP membership application in the mail today. No way am I anywhere near old enough for that! It must have been a mistake of some sort (BTW AARP is a glorified insurance company, most of the benefits members "enjoy" are insurance-related, insurance purchased from them). :(
The good news is that the trailer hitch arrived today. :)
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: Charlie Z On: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:16 pm

...on the bright side, you didn't fire up an oil or gas burner today...
Charlie Z
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:23 pm

Charlie Z wrote:...on the bright side, you didn't fire up an oil or gas burner today...


I'm too stubborn. Plus the oil tank is low and I'm heating domestic hot water with oil. I don't care for 50 degree showers!
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

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Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: Charlie Z On: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:28 pm

..calculated the burn for my home and every day we burn coal, we save $30 at these temps... and we're warmer.
Charlie Z
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: ken On: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:38 am

well shes up and running :D i got AARP stuff on my 50 th BD. you have to wonder how they make sure it comes on your BD . made me feel old.
ken
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker - Rice Coal
Stove/Furnace Model: 75K - Bay Window - Direct Vent

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:03 am

Wood'nCoal wrote:I've managed to keep the stove burning for several weeks, even with this clinker-forming strip coal.


And I will emphasize again just because its stripped or deep mined doesn''t mean anything... Some of the finest coal I ever delivered was stripped coal coming out of Hazleton.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:13 am

Richard S. wrote:
Wood'nCoal wrote:I've managed to keep the stove burning for several weeks, even with this clinker-forming strip coal.


And I will emphasize again just because its stripped or deep mined doesn''t mean anything... Some of the finest coal I ever delivered was stripped coal coming out of Hazleton.


I agree with you, Richard, the coal I have now isn't that bad, I've had much worse. I just want to get the best coal possible for my money, if I wasn't working toward the trip to coal country I'd stick with this dealer. The only undesirable coal I got from them was nut size.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: castiron On: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:51 pm

Charlie Z wrote:..calculated the burn for my home and every day we burn coal, we save $30 at these temps... and we're warmer.


Just curious: If you save $30 each day, that's $900/month "savings" which implies that your normal heating bill is probably in the $1,500 range. What size is your home or what do you heat such that your "savings" can be almost $1,000 per month and where your normal (non-coal heated home) has a monthly bill well over this amount?
castiron
 

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:08 pm

Hi castiron. Take a look at this thread: Estimated yearly savings by using coal

It is several pages long and shows some of the savings people are getting burning coal... For example, I recalculated my propane bill at today's propane price... from Thanksgiving to Christmas would have cost me ~$1800 in propane with the house at 60-62*... Instead I burned about 2 tons of coal at a little less than $200/ton... so lets just say $400... That's a HUGE savings.. AND, the house is 64-72*, depending on where you look, and the shop is 10* warmer too.

If you look at my avatar, you can see an aerial photo of my home and buildings... if it is painted white... I heat it... even the 40x60' shop.. my house is around 4000sqft., the shop 2400sqft..


Look at the above thread, lots of coal burning success stories.

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

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: Charlie Z On: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:41 pm

We have a somewhat airy 1200-1300' 1915 frame home.

The number was based on last year's actual consumption - which cost $2100 total, as I recall, @ $2.40 a gal. Oil is now $3.39 here (some are $3.50!) and we smoked thru 100 gals in 10 days before we got the stove going at the beginning of this month. Last year this time we smoked 275 gal in 27 days, so it jives with our 'max pain' period each winter. It means our .75/gal/hr oil burners (CH & DHW) were averaging 33 minutes of burn per hour.

10.1 gals/day X $3.39 = $33.90/day. I bought the nut we're burning now last year for $4.50/50lbs in NEPA last year and we're burning a sack a day, so I should have more accurately said we're saving $29.74/day during the really cold period.

We also use oil for water heat year round, which I break out. I estimate that DHW is 40% (high) of our annual oil bill, simply because we don't run the CH boiler between Late April and Nov 1. Gotta fix that, too...

I estimate we burn 101 therms (M/BTU) per year for CH and DHW.'

Edit: I came home and pulled up my home heating estimates:

62 therms were estimated for annual central heat.
Wood at $175/cord and coal at $180 ton ($4.50/50lbs) are at $10 and $9 per therm.
Oil for us is $3.39 or $31.27 per therm, which gives coal a $1380 annual savings over oil for just my central heating my little house.

Basically, coal costs less than 1/3 the price of oil to heat my home.
Last edited by Charlie Z on Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Charlie Z
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:11 pm

I cannot calculate what my heating costs are with oil, as I have never used oil alone to heat the house in the 18 years I've owned it. I can say that when I was heating with 2 wood stoves I generally burned 6 to 8 cords per winter, with the current ridiculous cost of $175 per cord delivered that would be $1050 to $1400. In addition to that we would burn up almost 1 tank of oil using the furnace when the stoves had burned down and we reloaded them. Figure 250 gallons of oil per winter, at $3.30 per gallon, that's $825. Propane for the kitchen furnace ran $270 for 2006/2007 heating season, it's higher now, but I'll use that figure.

So an approx. cost is $2145-low/$2495-high
I can't figure my costs for last heating season, I installed the coal stove in October and with the problems I had with bad coal early on we used a lot more oil then expected.

Note: I may have been conservative on the oil usage, I may have used a lot more.
Plus the additional work involved handling the wood, making sure we had enough in the house when a storm was forecast (huge stacks by each stove).

Costs so far this year:

4760 lbs. of coal (2.38 ton) Bagged=$585.00
2 cords firewood=$350.00
Total=$935.00 including coal in bin. I do not expect to burn the entire 2 cords, estimate 1 to 1.5 cords.
Cost of coal if I picked it up loose at the dealer in Stroudsburg @ $165/ton would be $392.70, a savings of $192.30.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: castiron On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:31 am

LsFarm wrote:Hi castiron. Take a look at this thread: Estimated yearly savings by using coal

It is several pages long and shows some of the savings people are getting burning coal... For example, I recalculated my propane bill at today's propane price... from Thanksgiving to Christmas would have cost me ~$1800 in propane with the house at 60-62*... Instead I burned about 2 tons of coal at a little less than $200/ton... so lets just say $400... That's a HUGE savings.. AND, the house is 64-72*, depending on where you look, and the shop is 10* warmer too.

If you look at my avatar, you can see an aerial photo of my home and buildings... if it is painted white... I heat it... even the 40x60' shop.. my house is around 4000sqft., the shop 2400sqft..


Look at the above thread, lots of coal burning success stories.

Greg L


With that size home and if I recall from threads last year (little insulation and about what....100 doors you said...LOL) I believe you! Thanks.
castiron
 

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:58 am

Yes almost.. :lol: :lol: 41 exterior windows, only about half are thermopane, the rest have mylar film second layers. it has 5 exterior doors, three are caulked shut. the other two are OK, but nothing special.

The big problem is that the house is a hodge-podge of additions, modifications and retrofits. The ceiling over the laundry/kitchen/dining room has an added floor over the original ceiling joists, to create an 'attic' space above. The added floor has 1x8" tongue and groove pine flooring, covered with 3/8" 3ply plywood, all 30-40 years old, all nailed down with sprial ring-shank nails every 6-8".. Sombody was obsessed or possessed !! I tried to pull up a section to take a look under, ended up cutting out the section, I was destroying the wood... Found It had 2" of loose pour in 'vermiculite' insulation... the little cubes of mica [I think]
So there is no way to get into this ceiling area to insulate,,, even blow-in is not an option. I just keep the temp down in this area to the mid 60's I heat the better insulated areas to a comfortable 70-ish when they are occupied. This is when burning coal of course.

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

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:22 pm

I've run into vermiculite in this place. When I gutted the dining room I had it pouring out from above one of the cross beams.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Hand Fired Coal Burnin' Blues

PostBy: bksaun On: Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:51 pm

Is vermiculite the same thing as mineral wool?

BK
bksaun
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid, Gentleman Janitor GJ-6RSU/ EFM 700
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Coal Size/Type: Pea Stoker/Bit, Pea or Nut Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer/ EFM-Gentleman Janitor
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert/ 700/GJ-62

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