I really appreciate the input from the last 3 posters. The more I see comments like this the more I am impressed with the older stoves and their ability to burn multiple fuels if it becomes necessary. Options are better than limitations. The more I learn about base heaters...well let's just say I didn't realize these stoves could be cranked up or idled down and kept there for extended periods. I do have a question in that regard.
Are any of you worried about cracking those old stoves? That would be a concern for me, and for certain makes of stoves I'm sure it is a concern where with others it may not be.
My understanding, based solely on reading here for a few weeks...which isn't necessarily credible...is that Glenwoods and Crawfords are some of the tougher stoves. Perhaps there are others and I'll keep researching and reading to determine that with y'alls help. Again, being new to all of this, you don't know what you don't know.
Now to determine which size stove would fit my needs. Our house is one story, over half of it is open and about 1300sq.ft. maybe a tad more, with new windows and good insulation in the attic. Pap blew in extra insulation before he got sick and passed. The oil furnace doesn't seem to run much until the 20's or teens. Of course I'll know more about that after we move in. Right now I'm going in and out a lot during the day while working inside so I'm know the furnace is running more than it should on those colder days. A day like today it only kicked on a couple of times since it was above 40 out.
We tend to keep the house between 68-70...like it better at 68...but I'm sure that will change in the years to come as we get older...another reason why I was thinking about burning coal instead of wood. I don't mind cutting and handling wood now, and my son is young, but I'm feeling older and my body is telling me that. So, I'm trying to consider the future. For now, considering the temperatures we like to keep the house, on the cool side and about 65ish in the bedrooms, I had been wondering if something like Williams Glenwood No. 9 would suffice. Isn't that stove smaller than the No. 6 or No. 8? Isn't the No. 8 bigger than the No.6? Maybe I am way off.
I certainly don't want a stove too small because I just don't want to over work a stove. There are winters where it'll drop to 0*F or even as low as -5*F to -10*F for a week at a time. It's not often but it does happen. We even seen some temps with wind chills of -25*F to -30*F...wind chills now...but only for a day or so. Generally we can have temps from 20's to 30* for a couple weeks at a time In January/February...this year's been real mild so far.
I'm just not sure how big a stove I need, or how small, or how far I can idle a big stove down. Of course for now I can always use the base heater for the coldest temps and use the fuel oil for the shoulder months.
The other reservation I have is keeping the stove burning while we're gone. I just don't know how comfortable that'll make me feel. In that case, it could be that a wood stove might still serve me best since it can be fired up so quickly as well as shut down quickly. If I could, and the boss wouldn't throw a fit, I'd put in a "Y" pipe and keep a wood and a coal stove on the hearth.
That way the boss can watch the flames on the wood stove. Of course some here have said that wood can be burned in the base heaters...while others say they would not burn wood in them. I don't worry about the wood though, I'll keep a supply on hand and a stove and swap them out rather quickly if need be.
There sure does seem to be a lot of 3AM's on those papers.
I'm not to the point I have to make those AM bathroom trips yet, though I am close.