Coal Usage

Coal Usage

PostBy: JEG On: Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:36 pm

I have an Alaska Channing III that I just installed 3 weeks ago. I have a ranch home that was built in 1989. There was a wood stove in the bastment vented to a chimney on an outside wall. I removed the wood wood stove and vented the coal stove into this chimne. The wood stove was only used from 1989 to 1995. I bought the house in 1995 and never used the wood stove. I have the coal stove set at #3 on the auto heat selector. I'm using abut 100 lbs of coal in a 24 hour period. It seems like a lot to me. I was wondering if this has anything to do with my damper setting. Alaska calls for a .04 setting. The deal told me .05. The Damper is always open around 1/4 to 1/2 when viewing the stove. It's a top vented system by the way. Iv'e had some people tell me that if there is too much draft the coal will burn faster and therfore I will use more. Any suggestions?

Coal Usage

PostBy: madrmc On: Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:02 pm

I have a Channing three installed in Oct of 2005 as well. I spoke directly to Alaska about the damper as I didn't understand "why" it was needed. On days when there is stronger draft typically either when its very cold outside or windy outside, the damper is likely to open more often and pull 80 degree air from you basement as opposed to 600 degree air from you stoker.

My alalysis is you'll get more heat out of the stove, and less up the chimney the more the damper is open. I didn't know how to set my damper up so I maxed it out so it would pretty much always stay open some. My theory, correct or not, is that the more the damper is open the more 80 degree air it will put vs. 600 degree air out of the stove, the former is preferable to the later for efficiency purpose. The only drawback from having the damper open too much, as I see it would be it might not draft as well as you'll coolling down the air going out the chimney. However, I haven't had draft issues, so my damper stays open. Do you know my ideas to be wrong? I guess my thoughts are an open damper should give you more heat and use less coal.

I haven't run mine on 3 for 24 hours straight, but I would guess that would use about 100lb, maybe just a little less.

My guess is that higher drafts would force more air through the coal and it might burn faster, however the amount it burns would seem to be dictated by the setting and not the amount of air (draft). The amount of air (draft) might take more heat out, or burn you coal more completely, but I'm guessing it wouldn't burn more in a given time.

You seem to have access to some knowledgable people. Everyone says stokers are less efficient at higher settings. I imagine part of this is that more heat goes up the chimney. To that degree I've been told not to use a heat reclaimer on them, presumably becuase coal is a low draft fire. However, here's a link to a website that sells one. If the "locals" say yeah of neah about it I'd appreciate you letting me know what their thoughts were. ... owers.html

Other than that I've likely going to install some floor vents upstairs. The basement is in the upper 70's and the upstairs is in the low to mid 60's. Hopefully I can get them closer in temperature.
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

PostBy: Guest On: Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:55 pm

I also have an Alaska Channing. The damper you guys are talking about, is it the barometric dampner? Or the dampner inside the stove (fire brick). I have my stove set on 4 3/4 (almost 5) and I go through 1 and 3/4 of a bucket of coal in a twenty four hour period. (spackle bucket). I have the dampner on the inside of the stove closed completly and the barometric dampner (on the stove pipe) set to it's heaviest setting. (meaning I have the weight all the way to the left) if this is right I don't know. My basement is almost 1600 square feet it is 13 courses of block 8' high and it keeps it almost 70 down there (stove is in basement). It is not insulated, just block wall. The upstairs in my home is the same square footage, and it keeps it around 69 degrees. I have an open stairwell in the corner of my basement, and I have one register cut in the floor in the hallway (center of home). I live in NE Pa. and the temp hasn't been cosistently cold, but the couple days it was cold it held pretty well. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get more heat upstairs let me know. Good luck with you stoves.

PostBy: madrmc On: Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:02 am

Yeah, I'm talking about the barometric damper. I have the weight set so it opens the most, like you describe. My basement is 1200 square feet and insulated well and the upstairs the same. It doesn't feel like 1200 square feet because I have closed doors that keeps those unused rooms cooler. The suspended ceiling with insualtion was keeping the upstairs cooler, but I bought an egg grate from Lowes that allows heat to flow into the ceiling to floor spance and is heating the upstairs better. The insulated and somewhat air tight ceiling tile didn't allow for this. I haven't turned on the nat gas boiler and I don't intend to. For what its worth Thanksgiving through that Saturday had lows in in the mid-low teens and 3 kept everything pretty warm. However, I turned it down to 2 when I left to keep the pipes from freezing, and up to 4 to heat back up when I returned about 12 hours later. I'm waiting for some colder weather to really try this out. I've been using thermometers to find cold spots upstairs and put the egg grates in the ceiling below those spots. I don't have an open stairwell, but I took the door off the hinges to the upstairs and that helped. I would think putting an open floor register about three feet in front of the stove, where you feel the warm air rising, would get more heat upstairs. You would get the hot air moving upstairs from that and cold air going to the basement to get warmed; you'd improve the circulation.
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

PostBy: Guest On: Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:31 pm

I really appreciate all the input regarding my original post on coal usage. The damper that I have is barometric. The theory of an open damper pulling the 80 degree air rather than the 600 degree stove air makes sense to me. It also appears that my usage seems to be in line with the other users who posted replies. I think he said he goes through 1 3/4 5 gal buckets in 24 hrs at a heat setting of 4 1/2. I put a large pedistal fan in the stairwell of my basement leading to the upstairs. This brought my temp up to 70 plus when it was around 10 degrees outside. I live in the southern tier NY N.E. PA area. I guess I'm going to need more than 3 tons of coal this year! Thanks again for the replies. This is a very useful site.

PostBy: WNY On: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:05 am

Our Keystoker depending on the weather outside can use 10-40lbs a day. I have to top off the hopper every 2-3 days with a 50# bag. when it was 9-15 degrees out, it probably went thru 35-50# in a 24hr period.
We are also in Southern Tier in Olean, New York.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

PostBy: Rich On: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:21 pm

Just purchased and installed the Alaska Model 140 Furnace. Piped it into the existing duct work in the house and put it right next to our oil furnace which we hope not to use. A setting of 3 will burn around 75 to 85 lbs a day. I am currently heating a 2600 sq ft house on a setting of 2 to 3.5 depending on the weather outside and it stays around 74 degrees inside near Ithaca NY. This stove also has 2 burners, currently only 1 is lit. Has anyone noticed whether there is a noticeable difference in the qualities of rice coal?

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:25 pm

Rich wrote: Has anyone noticed whether there is a noticeable difference in the qualities of rice coal?

Yes there can be a difference. It has to meet a certain specification but the difference between what is just at spec and is far above it can make quite a difference.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: Guest On: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:10 pm

It seems like everyone is doing about the same with the Alaska Channing. Does anyone have any type of hood built above the stove to duct the air into the rooms of their home? I have all the duct work from my propane hot air furnace, and I would like to some how build a hood above or around my stove and run a duct to my supply run on my hot air furnace, and somehow install a blower and a temperature switch to run this blower. If anyone has any suggestions or pictures I would really like to hear them. Thanks.

PostBy: Cap On: Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:28 pm

I use a Harmon Mark III. I removed the barometic dampner completely from my exhaust pipe.. I was told the purpose of the dampner was to prevent down draft into your stove when there are high winds. ( Is this true? ) Since my flue is 32', I do not believe I would see a down draft all the way into the stove. I live on top of a hill where I regularly see winds as high as 40+ with no apparent effects of down draft. I discovered by removing the dampner, I maintain a better more consistent draft allowing the coal fire to stay consistent. My outlet pipe temperature is 110F. The top of the stove is 400F. I recently installed a 6" SS liner inserted into a 8" square flue. This addition really improved my ability to burn slower and cooler for the warmer days. Initially before the two modifications, I had trouble maintaing a coal fire for more than 6 hours. I often had to add wood to build a new base in which to build a coal fire.

Lehigh Twp, PA