Newbie!

Newbie!

PostBy: bscritch On: Wed May 14, 2008 4:19 pm

Just wanted to introduce myself, and thank everyone for helping me already with the wealth of info that I have already picked up on this site. Name is Brian and live in Granville, OH...just east of Columbus. Have had a pellet burning stoves/furnaces in the past, but really like the BTU output of hard coal. The last pellet appliance I had was a Harman PF100 hot air furnace....worked very nice, but was destroyed by a house fire (not caused by the furnace). Built a new home not thinking of putting in anything but LP forced air....my March bill was $376.00....and the house was still cold!!! Got to be a better way!!

So it brings me to this wonderful site. I am in a quandry as to what to purchase. I have no chimney that I can utilize, so the stove most likely would need to be "direct/power vented". The house is very open on the first floor and I am sure if I had a LL or Keystoker, the heat would move quite nicely....not sure how the rooms upstairs would be, but would think that heat would eventually find it's way up there. Also considering a Keystoker furnace "powervented" in the basement and attach it to the existing cold air and supply trunk (I did that with my Harman). I have not been able to find any good pics of the Keystoker direct vent furnace to see how a cold air return could be hooked up. The house is around 3300 sq ft......really struggling at nailing down a few options on what to do. I did not see any LL dealers in OH (I am originally from the Bedford PA area, and could head back to PA to purchase, but would like to have support in the event I needed it a bit closer).

Coal is a bit expensive in this area, but I haven't really shopped to see who all carries rice coal...the local stove dealer wants $299/ton for bagged rice coal....company is Blak*** (can't remember the spelling) but have seen good comments about them on this board.

So where do I start? Could I put up a chimney....sure, not really planning on the added cost. I would like the benefit of a heated basement, would be nice to have warm floors. The location on the first floor is definitely limited to one place in our Great Room .....all exterior walls are accounted for with other things (TV, gas fireplaces...etc)...sigh. I just want to find something that the heat would be distributed appropriately. Also not sure how loud a powervent is, considering that the Great Room is somewhere we are at the majority of the time would I get annoyed?

Wow, sorry for the rambling.....just wanted to drop by, lay out my issues, and continue to read and learn so much from everyone here!!

thanks for the therapy session!
Brian S.

I
bscritch
 

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed May 14, 2008 6:14 pm

Hello Brian, welcome to the forum..

Personally I would recommend a boiler over the forced air furnace.. A boiler will store heat from the coal fire, and a boiler will heat your domestic hot water as well.. A boiler can be hooked up with a water-to-air heat exchanger that is installed in your hot air duct just above the existing furnace.. And you can use either a water/water heat exchanger [plate exchanger] to heat the cold water entering your hot water heater, or use an indirect hot water heater with the boiler. A really big plus [if it were my home] is that with a boiler, you can add under floor radiant heat piping on the main floor from the basement side, and have hydronicly heated floors on the first floor.. this is the very best heat system there is.. warm feet=warm body, without 'roasted air' being blown around the house.

As for a coal burning stove: With a 3300 sqft house [does that include the basement? ] you need a pretty substantial stove if you want to keep the existing heat from running.. Stoves are supplemental heaters,, they usually do a very good job of supplementing your heat,, but won't support the whole house when the temps are real cold or if your home's layout is not good for heat distribution. You could put in a LL Hyfire II, and use the ductwork options to distribute the heat, or like you mentioned a large stove in the living room/great room.

For the chimney, I highly recommend a masonry chimney,, If you can incorporate one into your home's floorplan, that is the way to go.. Powervents work fine, but they do make some noise, but most importantly, they need periodic maintenance and cleaning.. a masonry chimney is forever, or just about forever, [your great grandkids may want to have it cleaned, coal doesn't leave anything but a little ash, and only on horizontal surfaces]..

$300/ton for bagged Blaschak coal is not too bad,, about right with transportation costs... if you can bring in bulk coal, and store it in a coal bin, then with transportation costs,, good bulk coal can be had in your area for around ~200-220/ton.

Email Leisureline about a dealer in Ohio, they may have one near you. For a boiler,,I'd consider a refurbished EFM, look in the items for sale forum, 'scraper 23' is an EFM rebuilder,, he had an EFM 350 for sale,, PM him to get on his waiting list or to ask questions. EFM's use a remote coal hopper, some folks use a plastic 55 gallon barrel, this holds about 3-400# of rice coal.

Hope this helps.. 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: Newbie!

PostBy: Freddy On: Wed May 14, 2008 6:37 pm

I agree with getting a boiler, but this is time for thoughts, discussion and looking at all avenues. What about the chimney the fireplace goes into? Doesn't someone make a coal insert? I don't think it would heat the whole house, but it would knock the beans out of your oil bill.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: bscritch On: Wed May 14, 2008 8:42 pm

LsFarm wrote:Hello Brian, welcome to the forum..

Personally I would recommend a boiler over the forced air furnace.. A boiler will store heat from the coal fire, and a boiler will heat your domestic hot water as well.. A boiler can be hooked up with a water-to-air heat exchanger that is installed in your hot air duct just above the existing furnace.. And you can use either a water/water heat exchanger [plate exchanger] to heat the cold water entering your hot water heater, or use an indirect hot water heater with the boiler. A really big plus [if it were my home] is that with a boiler, you can add under floor radiant heat piping on the main floor from the basement side, and have hydronicly heated floors on the first floor.. this is the very best heat system there is.. warm feet=warm body, without 'roasted air' being blown around the house.

As for a coal burning stove: With a 3300 sqft house [does that include the basement? ] you need a pretty substantial stove if you want to keep the existing heat from running.. Stoves are supplemental heaters,, they usually do a very good job of supplementing your heat,, but won't support the whole house when the temps are real cold or if your home's layout is not good for heat distribution. You could put in a LL Hyfire II, and use the ductwork options to distribute the heat, or like you mentioned a large stove in the living room/great room.

For the chimney, I highly recommend a masonry chimney,, If you can incorporate one into your home's floorplan, that is the way to go.. Powervents work fine, but they do make some noise, but most importantly, they need periodic maintenance and cleaning.. a masonry chimney is forever, or just about forever, [your great grandkids may want to have it cleaned, coal doesn't leave anything but a little ash, and only on horizontal surfaces]..

$300/ton for bagged Blaschak coal is not too bad,, about right with transportation costs... if you can bring in bulk coal, and store it in a coal bin, then with transportation costs,, good bulk coal can be had in your area for around ~200-220/ton.

Email Leisureline about a dealer in Ohio, they may have one near you. For a boiler,,I'd consider a refurbished EFM, look in the items for sale forum, 'scraper 23' is an EFM rebuilder,, he had an EFM 350 for sale,, PM him to get on his waiting list or to ask questions. EFM's use a remote coal hopper, some folks use a plastic 55 gallon barrel, this holds about 3-400# of rice coal.

Hope this helps.. Greg L

.


Greg,

Thanks for the info.....the house itself is 3300 sq ft with the first floor containing 2210 sq/ft and the 2nd floor contains 1090 sq/ft....I have a full basement, so that is another 2200 sq/ft. I guess the goal here is to supplement. So using a HYFIRE II could be a possibility. Venting hot air into the cold air return I assume is ok? I have read some posts where they use limit controls to kick on the fans on the HYFIRE.....would the hot air going through the air handler and the coil for the A/C be an issue? Do I need to somehow need to connect into the cold air as well to create a closed loop? I emailed LL to see if there is a dealer close by.....I am hoping to find a good dealer who can give me an option or two to ponder. I really would like to get things rolling.....even though it is only May, I would like to be ready to roll with everything before the "heating season" fires up (pardon the pun). Has anyone had luck using a freestanding unit and just running the fan on their main heating system to circulate the air through the house....I would guess that the air would be cooled so the value of doing that would be negligible....

Lots of things to consider.....I will keep you in the loop as to what I find out from LL and others on my options....

thanks again for your advice and insight!

Brian
bscritch
 

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: bscritch On: Wed May 14, 2008 8:50 pm

Freddy wrote:I agree with getting a boiler, but this is time for thoughts, discussion and looking at all avenues. What about the chimney the fireplace goes into? Doesn't someone make a coal insert? I don't think it would heat the whole house, but it would knock the beans out of your oil bill.


I have been pondering this for a few months, and I really haven't made headway on a decision (driving myself nuts).....the gas fireplace really doesn't have a chimney.....essentially a direct vent version. Plus I have stone work around the insert, and the wife is not hip to the idea of removing it....she likes to burn it 3 times a year....don't get me started on that one!!! I have seen some companies with coal inserts, but I believe the fireplace will have to stay! I am leaning towards "knocking off the cold edge" and hopefully supplement the LP forced air a bit. The only part of that is that I know that LP is going up like every other way to heat. I bought 2 years of LP for $1.92/gallon....I am on my last year at that price. Can't even imagine what the current price is!! Maybe I should just bite the bullet, and put up a masonary chimney and do it right!

Confused yes, but love the process!!

thanks!
Brian
bscritch
 

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: coal-cooker On: Wed May 14, 2008 8:57 pm

I use gas for cooking and this past January it was $4.099 gal. I'm still having sticker shock. Told her to cook on the coal stove, we could save a bundle.
coal-cooker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Crane/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Coal Cooker/Mark II

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: bscritch On: Wed May 14, 2008 9:10 pm

coal-cooker wrote:I use gas for cooking and this past January it was $4.099 gal. I'm still having sticker shock. Told her to cook on the coal stove, we could save a bundle.


Ouch!! Looks like coal is the deal of the day....What coal stove do you have?
bscritch
 

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: coal-cooker On: Wed May 14, 2008 9:29 pm

I've been using an old Crane Coal Cooker for the last 23 years. I just bought a used Harman Mark II to replace it. The Crane was getting pretty tired and really was a little too small for our house after adding on an addition. I think the Harman will do just fine.
coal-cooker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Crane/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Coal Cooker/Mark II

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Wed May 14, 2008 9:42 pm

Brian, I'd also go with a boiler. They make too much sense when your talking 3000 feet. In the basement or in an outbuilding, there are too many good reasons not to use a boiler. :) Scott
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 700. Van Wert 1200.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: bscritch On: Wed May 14, 2008 9:51 pm

stokerscot wrote:Brian, I'd also go with a boiler. They make too much sense when your talking 3000 feet. In the basement or in an outbuilding, there are too many good reasons not to use a boiler. :) Scott


Just talked to the wife and said that if we do this...let's do it right....I could run a chimney in my garage the easiest.....put the boiler in the garage (which is insulated) heat the garage a bit and the house....now I have to figure out what boiler to start looking at.....so, the question now is what boiler...and what am I looking at for installation as far as costs??? Definitely an open ended question, but curious as to what others have paid to have a boiler installed! I am handy with wood and such....I am not a plumber!

This is all good stuff!! Keep it coming!
bscritch
 

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Wed May 14, 2008 10:07 pm

I can highly recommend the EMF as I have one :) Another good choice in your garage would be an Axeman Anderson. They only require a 15 foot stack. The can be found used also. :) Scott
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 700. Van Wert 1200.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: gambler On: Wed May 14, 2008 10:36 pm

Before you embarq on this adventure I would find out what your insurance company has to say about a solid fuel appliance in your garage. They may frown upon this or make you build a separate room in your garage for a boiler.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed May 14, 2008 11:15 pm

Putting a remote boiler in the garage is a very good idea, and congratulations on having your wife behind you on the project.!

I use an Axeman Anderson 260 boiler in a remote building and pipe hot water underground into my home and to my shop. My chimney is minimal height, it is a masonry chimney and I laid it up myself.

Suggested boilers: in no particular order or preference.
EFM
Axeman Anderson
AHS
Keystoker
Harman

Spend plenty of time here on the forum reading about the various boiler installations. There is a lot to read and learn.

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: Newbie!

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu May 15, 2008 12:14 am

Boiler install is going to be in the $6 K range. Not sure is this was also mentioned but they have water jackets for domestic hot water, you can kiss that bill goodbye too. :)

You'll probably be able to heat your whole house including the basement for less than 15 tons. That is probably a high estimate. I'd consider having tri-axles delivered right from the breaker if you have the room.

Will take few years to pay off investment but its all gravy after that.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Newbie!

PostBy: Freddy On: Thu May 15, 2008 6:41 am

Great idea! I just ordered an Axeman Anderson 130. I was going to put it in the garage, but the wife decided it's better to put it in the house than to dig up 18 inches of her flower garden. :) If I had done more research I might have ordered an EFM. I think either one is the Caddy-Lack of boilers, although I like the idea that the design of the AA is twenty some years newer than the EFM. *smile* I think the EFM was designed in 1922ish and the Axeman 1944. A lot can happen with twenty years of progress!

No matter how much you invest in a system, at over $4 a gallon for oil, it won't be long before the coal pays you back.
Just how handy are you? It would be a project, but maybe a decent machanic could be walked through a boiler instalation.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Visit Lehigh Anthracite