My wife and are in the middle of buying a nice old farm house in southern PA and I have some questions.
The house is a foreclosure so I can't really ask the previous owner how well the system worked. I do know the oil has to go. I'm not made of money.
It is currently heated with a Burnham oil boiler in the basement. The house has copper fin baseboards through out, 3 zones, mostly good windows and the bad ones will be replaced shortly. Little to no insulation but I plan on getting it blown in.
There is a Garage about 75 feet from the house and my plan is to put a boiler of some kind in there and pipe it into the house. The idea being the garage will stay warm in the winter to work in and it will also keep the dirt out of the house. Also the chimney looks suspect to me so I would like to stay away from it.
I know you can't answer sizing questions with so little info. I have a local guy that will be looking at it as soon as we close. I'm more trying to decide which type of boiler I should lean towards. I would like to get some type of stoker but which kind. Hard or soft coal?
I have a Royall coal / wood add on boiler in the basement of our current house and my wife loves the heat but hates the dirt. I'm not a big fan of the hand firing and the soft coal does make smoke. Hand firing might not be as bad if I didn't have to carry the coal down in 5 gal buckets but I'm leaning towards a stoker.
I like the cost of soft coal in our area (about half of the price of hard coal per ton) but I realize a hard coal unit will use much less coal and be easier to locate.
My mother in law has a EFM 520 in her house and it seems to do a great job. I also have seen a few Keystoker boilers for sale in my area. My Pap had a few older soft coal stokers that I helped with growing up but I don't remember much about them except they were messy.
So what say the experts? what should I be looking for? Have I made my intentions clear as mud?