about to start!

about to start!

PostBy: thoule On: Sat May 24, 2008 7:57 am

Hi All -
With the price of oil, I think I've finally convinced my wife to move to coal. Hopefully someone here can answer some questions for me. I'm in central connecticut.

We've a 3000 sq ft house on two floors. The first floor is pretty open so we're thinking of a direct vent keystoker in the central part. I was thinking of the basement (somewhat finished), but she's concerned the heat won't make it to the top floor (bedrooms). How well does heat transfer around a house on its own? Would the 90k btu be enough or do you think the 105 btu is important for this size house - it's a little larger than other houses. How much space does a seasons worth of coal take up? I can make a space to keep it, need to know how much area.

thanks
Todd
thoule
 
Stove/Furnace Make: nothing...
Stove/Furnace Model: How Sad!

Re: about to start!

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat May 24, 2008 8:10 am

90k is probably too small especially if you're putting it in the basement but if you're using it for "supplementary" heat it will take care of most of your heating needs. I'd suggest looking at a bigger model because after the first year you'll be wishing you got a larger unit... heard it many times. There's a lot of choices .... full boiler system... :yes:

For a house that size like that you're looking at least 5 tons and up to 7 or 8, insulation, windows, teenagers ( :lol: ) are all factors. It's approx 40 cubic feet per ton but that varies and you might need more than that. If you know what the quantity of fuel you are using now you can get a rough estimate, 180 gallons of oil is about 1 ton.

You can get the heat to move around if you put it int the basement but you'll have to do some work, personally that is the only place I'd ever put a coal stove. Warm floors cannot be beat.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: about to start!

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat May 24, 2008 9:58 am

thoule wrote:Hi All - I think I've finally convinced my wife to move to coal.


The "I think" part scares me. We want her to be happy. :)
I think you want to look at a boiler to make that happen. Tell us about your home. How is it heated now, hot water or forced air? Do you have a chimney and if so, how many flues?
Where are you? I'm in Guilford.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: about to start!

PostBy: thoule On: Sat May 24, 2008 5:02 pm

Hi! I'm in Durham, CT - my wife is a teacher in Guilford! I've oil, hot water/baseboard now. The price of oil is getting way too high. I thought of a new coal furnace, but fear it will hurt the resale of the house - future home buyers won't want to maintain a coal furnace (or is it called a coal boiler?).

The house is 1500 sq ft now on each of two floors, plus a full size basement. We don't want to cut holes in the floor to circulate heat so I'm thinking the basement is not such a great place for a stand-alone stove. We're thinking in the kitchen area, which is central to the house and near the stairs to the 2nd floor.

I do not have a chimney, other than the one tube for the oil furnace in the basement. I haven't gotten a quote yet on a chimney, but figured it would be easier to get direct vent keystoker.

Do you have a recommendation on a dealer in the area? I'm leaning towards keystoker based on the recommendation of my brother-in-law from a coal mining family in PA.
thanks
Todd
thoule
 
Stove/Furnace Make: nothing...
Stove/Furnace Model: How Sad!

Re: about to start!

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat May 24, 2008 5:20 pm

Hi Todd, since you already have a great heat distribution system: Hot water baseboard, I would highly recommend a coal boiler,, Keystoker makes two common sizes,, the Kaa2 and a Ka6... I'm thinking that with your square footage, the Ka6 is probably the right size..

BUT this depends on your house.. How much oil do you use per seaon, or per month?? With this number using a fuel calculator, we can figure out how many BTUs your house is using.. Take the number of gallons and divide by 180, this will give you tons of coal for equivalent heat.

The beauty of a coal boiler, is you will use the same thermostats, same baseboards etc,, just the source for heating the water will be a coal boiler.. You can leave the existing oil boiler in place as a backup so when you go away for a long weekend or a few weeks, you can let the oil keep the house at a minimum temp..

Read through this forum,, there are dozens of members installing coal boilers with their oil boilers in place as backup units..

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: about to start!

PostBy: Hollyfeld On: Sat May 24, 2008 6:43 pm

I just read thru this post and did a rough calculation on how many tons of coal I would need for a year based on the 180 gallons = 1 ton.

All I can say is... :woot: If I were to switch to coal right now and not counting the cost of coal boiler, I would save myself roughly $3000 this year in heating cost. Toss in a rough estimate of the cost of a coal boiler from what I've read on here, and the unit would pay for itself in about 2 years. :gee:

And to think I was going to install a wood burning stove in my existing fireplace at a cost of $3500 to help offset the cost of oil.
Last edited by Hollyfeld on Sat May 24, 2008 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hollyfeld
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: about to start!

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat May 24, 2008 6:54 pm

thoule wrote:The price of oil is getting way too high. I thought of a new coal furnace, but fear it will hurt the resale of the house - future home buyers won't want to maintain a coal furnace (or is it called a coal boiler?).

We don't want to cut holes in the floor to circulate heat so I'm thinking the basement is not such a great place for a stand-alone stove. We're thinking in the kitchen area, which is central to the house and near the stairs to the 2nd floor.


With oil at $4 and probably $5 this winter, I doubt that a coal boiler is going to be scaring to many people. You can always take it with you when you move, that is what I would do.

You really want a boiler, no chopping up the house, no fans and ducts. You already have hydronic heat, use it to your advantage. A boiler will warm your cellar and the floors upstairs evenly, it changes the character of the home. Believe me, the wife will be happier that way.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: about to start!

PostBy: vtec350 On: Sat May 24, 2008 7:12 pm

I do not have a chimney, other than the one tube for the oil furnace in the basement. I haven't gotten a quote yet on a chimney, but figured it would be easier to get direct vent keystoker.

Todd,
Why don't you use your existing chimney for the coal boiler and just power vent the oil boiler. You can probably get a power vent for 500-600 and you will be using the coal as your main sorce of heat anyways. I have the opposite problem of you, my oil boiler is power vented now and i'm installing a single flue chimney for the coal boiler. I started digging the hole today for the footing, only a few more feet to go. I wish I didn't have such a nice lawn or I would've had my neighbor dig it with his backhoe in about 1/2 hr. :x

Dave
vtec350
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: about to start!

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat May 24, 2008 8:28 pm

thoule wrote: I thought of a new coal furnace, but fear it will hurt the resale of the house - future home buyers won't want to maintain a coal furnace (or is it called a coal boiler?).


Actually its selling point IMO. Firstly you'll be able to give them the amount you are paying which will probably make their jaw drop.

Secondly and I guess this depends on how much space you have but what many people here are doing is just leaving the oil boiler installed. They power vent the oil boiler and use the chimney for the coal. You'll have two furnaces, you use the oil for backup. You don't have to power vent it. Just leave it so you can easily disconnect the coal furnace and hook it up to the chimney in case of emergencies or you want go away in the winter for a week Others have also hooker them up in tandem and set them up so the oil furnace would only come on in case of the coal boiler failing.

A few companies actually have this setup for the coal boilers but they are apprently not very efficient with the oil, best used just a backup or when you need it.

Also remeber with a boiler you'll have a water coil for hot water use, the larger furnaces are meant to be run year round. It's about equal or even cheaper providing hot water in the summer so that is not an issue. Burning year round will also greatly extend the life of the furnace..

-------edit------

As far as the Keystoker 90 if you're going to put it a living space that is probably the size you'll want unless you can get the heat to circulate, anything else is going to roast you out of that room. the 90 could probably do that by itself. If you put it in the basement you could probably get enough heat to circulate upstairs with some minor modifications (e.g open the basement door and maybe one floor vent somewhere). There's a few topics in the venting/plumbing section on how to circulate it.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: about to start!

PostBy: thoule On: Sun May 25, 2008 9:18 am

vtec350 wrote:
Todd,
Why don't you use your existing chimney for the coal boiler and just power vent the oil boiler. You can probably get a power vent for 500-600 and you will be using the coal as your main sorce of heat anyways.

Dave


How do I get more information about a 'power vent'? Does that need to be higher than the roof-line? What is it? I tried to google it, but wasn't' getting a good definition. Sounds like this might be the way to go for me.
thoule
 
Stove/Furnace Make: nothing...
Stove/Furnace Model: How Sad!

Re: about to start!

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sun May 25, 2008 9:27 am

Hollyfeld wrote:I just read thru this post and did a rough calculation on how many tons of coal I would need for a year based on the 180 gallons = 1 ton.

All I can say is... :woot: If I were to switch to coal right now and not counting the cost of coal boiler, I would save myself roughly $3000 this year in heating cost. Toss in a rough estimate of the cost of a coal boiler from what I've read on here, and the unit would pay for itself in about 2 years. :gee:

And to think I was going to install a wood burning stove in my existing fireplace at a cost of $3500 to help offset the cost of oil.


Hi Hollyfeld,

I'm in Stillwater, I've done the wood burning thing (for a long time). The coal boiler is the way to go. Burning coal in the 2 stoves can heat the entire house without using 1 drop of oil, no so when I burned wood.
Last edited by Wood'nCoal on Sun May 25, 2008 9:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: about to start!

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Sun May 25, 2008 9:31 am

Richard S. wrote: 180 gallons of oil is about 1 ton.


Just did I fast calculation based on this info, I almost fainted when I saw how much oil would have cost me this past winter.
Since I have never heated this place solely with oil I actually have no idea how much oil I would use in an average winter.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: about to start!

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun May 25, 2008 9:59 am

thoule wrote:How do I get more information about a 'power vent'? Does that need to be higher than the roof-line? What is it? I tried to google it, but wasn't' getting a good definition. Sounds like this might be the way to go for me.


A power vent can be vented right out the side of a house as far I know. There are some building codes like it has to be X amount of feet away from a window or door. Leisure Line sells them right with their stoves if you want one included, see the bottom of the page for more info: http://www.leisurelinestoves.com/

Boilers are a different story though, you'd have to check with manufacturer about power venting it. I'd also add if you are going to do this power vent the oil if you intend on keeping it.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: about to start!

PostBy: stokin-railroad On: Sun May 25, 2008 11:59 am

hi todd,i talked my wife into coal last season-it is great!! like others here i installed in basement,it is dusty but manageable there. it is not any worse than wood, just a little mess.boiler recommended sounds like way to go.powervent fuel oil/chimmney for the add-on boiler.KA-6 cant be powervented i dont think.i bought from kestoker,koker with powervent which was in a box shipped from alaska stoveco.vent is made by agw, model 500 i beleive.power vent works but if you have neighbor close by they will notice your sulfer smell it lingers around abit.i think i would go with power vent for oil .your floors will be warm and water will be hhhottt!! save yourself regrets get the boiler @$4500.!! dont stop now.GOOD LUCK!!!
stokin-railroad
 
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160k

Re: about to start!

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun May 25, 2008 12:03 pm

Richard S. wrote:I'd also add if you are going to do this power vent the oil if you intend on keeping it.


It will be a lot cheaper this way too. A power vent for oil can be steel, one for coal is an very expensive upgrade to stainless. In addition, the power vent would only run with the oil burner fired. Not so with coal, it must run continuously to provide a draft for a solid fuel appliance. That is a ton of money for the juice. :)

http://www.fieldcontrols.com/venting.php
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Visit Lehigh Anthracite