After a search that lasted almost an entire year we found a place in High Bridge, NJ (Hunterdon County) which is just shy of two hours from Pottsville and the coal region in general. My original plan was to find a home with an aging boiler that we could replace with a coal boiler, but this house happens to have a practically brand new oil furnace. I can't in good conscience replace it since it's so new, so now I'm looking for a good hand fired stove. I guess I should start with a profile on the house:
-1 floor ranch
-Compact layout (1100 SF)
-Attached garage (currently unheated)
-Built in 1968 (reasonably well insulated, but probably not "airtight")
-Current heat is forced air oil with electronic multifunction thermostat
I see that there is a good discussion going on the Harman TLC 2000 but I didn't want to hijack it. Is this the only stove that can reliably burn coal and wood? I guess it's not a "must," but I like the idea of having the flexibility. I'm also planning on taking down two large trees in the backyard which which will supply me with a fair amount of fuel once seasoned. Anyway, all that being said, I like the Harman, but if it's not a good match to the house, I'm open to suggestions. My initial thought was to place the stove in the living room on the shared wall with our bedroom. The second bedroom is across the hall from ours so that room should receive plenty of heat as well.
My next question deals with acquiring the coal. I am in the process of converting my Ford Powerstroke to run on straight vegetable oil in light of the absolutely obscene diesel prices that have now become the norm. Once the kit is installed (Vegistroke-by Dino Fuel Alternatives) I will running on 100% free vegetable oil obtained from local restaurants. I mention this because it means that the only cost to me for picking up coal at the breaker is time and some wear and tear on the truck. With a trailer I could easily pick up 3 tons at a time. Considering the fact that I will also be burning wood (when I can find it free/cheap) and that the oil furnace will serve as backup for extended times away from home/emergencies, could 3 tons get me through one heating season? If so, I certainly wouldn't mind taking one Saturday a year out to head out to coal country. Even if we had to go more than once a year we enjoy roadtrips and since we don't have to worry about diesel costs we'll make a day of it. So should I put in an order for a Harman before the fall or not?