LsFarm wrote:Hello KTMDude, welcome.. Does your furnace have a combustion blower that forces air through the fire?? If not, does it have an air control that opens and closes the air supply to the fire?? If you have a combustion fan, a coal fire will respond very quickly to a call for heat. If your furnace only has a draft control, then any call for addtional heat will take awhile for the coal fire to respond..
The draft of your chimney is critical, and since you have been burning wet wood, your chimney, flue pipes and passageways in the furnace will be full of creosote. Before burning coal, you must clean your chimney and your flues completely. Once you are burning coal, you won't have creosote anymore, coal only creates fly ash and heat.
You have a pretty heavy layer of creosote on the inside of the furnace firebox, this layer is insulating the walls of the firbox from the heat of the fire... ONce you get it cleaned and burning coal, you should see an increase in heat output from the furnace.
As for purchasing coal.. I would recommend going directly to a known good source of good quality coal.. buying from a coal broker is not a way to get known good coal. Buying 22 tons of 'Mystery Coal' is not something any of us recommend.. I personally truck coal all the way to Michigan, so I make sure I'm buying the best I can buy when I commit to 22-25 tons. I recommend reading the 'quality coal sources' threads, and take the advice of 'coal berner'. I've bought from Superior, UAE, Summit, Calvin Lennigs. Currently I'm buying from Superior.
Hope this helps.. Greg L
The boiler (like all the OWB I've looked into) has a blower motor in the door of the furnace. There is also a small solenoid that has a small plate attached to it that covers the air port. When the aquastat senses the water is too cold, it activates both the solenoid and the blower motor at the same time. As far as I can tell the two can not operate independent of each other so there is no "draft" control other than the blower motor itself.
The chimney itself doesn't really exist on an OWB. There is a short section (maybe 16" long) of 10" steel pipe going out the top of the unit. The only thing you do is put a rain cap on it, otherwise there is nothing really to consider as a chimney, which is one of the selling points of OWB's (no more chimney fires!). While there is a bunch of creosote in the stove it tends to gather around the door, ash pan area, and on the chimney cap (where the temps are coolest). It also has a lot to do with the time of year. Right now with wood, the blower may only turn on 5 or 6 times a day for only a few minutes each time to maintain temps. With the wood sitting and simmering all day the creosote tends to get thicker cause there is no time when you have a really nice hot fire going. Believe it or not the actuall walls of the firebox where the water jacket is don't really have a lot of creosote on them. The first season after I shut it down (after 8 months of continuous burning) I tried cleaning the layer of creosote out, but it was back with a few days after I started burning this last season. I honestly don't think that creosote layer is effecting the efficiency of the furnace a whole lot (at least with wood). When I shut down on wood I will clean out the chimney cap and remove any really heavy layers from around the door and ashpan. Once the furnace cools off it's dang near impossible to chisel the creosote off!
It seems like if I can get Superior coal I will, hopefully they will return my calls!
Once again, thanks for all the help!