TriciaR wrote:LsFarm wrote:Hello TriciaR,, Welcome to the forum. I would recommend the following: Keep your existing oil furnace, use it as a backup heater for when you go away for a vacation, or a long weekend. When I say we need to replace the oil furnace it's not just because oil is too expensive, the furnace is corroding and is becoming unsafe - it has an awful lot of aluminum tape on the firebox because of rusting. We were going to replace it with another oil burner but that seems like a real waste of money with the price of oil heading higher all the time. So not sure keeping it in is going to be feasible - will the corrosion stop if we aren't using it? We never leave the house unattended - even when on vacation my dad comes up 2X a day to feed the animals so filling the hopper won't be an issue. I do wonder if having only a coal furnace would affect resale value though?
Install a boiler, use a water to air heat exchanger that installs in the furnaces' ductwork. This transfers the boiler's heat into the ductwork,, this way the house thermostats stil control the heat in the house,, You can stay very simple with the thermostatic controls, or get really 'exotic'.. but you can still control the heat with a thermostat, and use the ductwork to distribute the heat..
Then hook the boiler into you DHW, domestic hot water,, your hot water is roughly 25-30% of your yearly heating bill,, so why not use the virtually free heat from the coal boiler, since it's hot anyway?? Save your electric hot water for the summer. Just curious how much water does a boiler pull from a well? Is it mostly a reservoir and how much water is lost due to evaporation as steam? I have a well that produces approx 2 gallons per minute for about 2 hours before the reservoir is emptied. I try to conserve water and have never pumped the well dry yet but I worry.
Hot air is the poorest conductor of heat,, water is nearly the best.. A boiler will save and store the heat overruns when the thermostat is satisfied, and the ductwork fan shuts off, but the coal fire is still burning strong,, it takes several minutes for the fire to die down,, and this excess heat cannot be stored in forced air furnace.. this is where the boiler is great,, it can store the heat in the water,, letting it get hotter, and then giving the heat off into the house instead of up the chimney between heat demands. Add this feature to the abilty to give virtually free DHW all winter long., and I think that a boiler is the only way to go, even with forced-hot-air ductwork for heat distribution. This type system sounds perfect actually - will have hubby ask about these systems specifically when he goes out looking for info on Saturday (I'm out of town or I'd go with him).
The above system is very common, and works very well, there are quite a few forum members with just such a system.. Hopefully they will show some photos and have a vew comments on their systems.
OK, I didn't understand that the existing oil furnace was corroding away. The corrosion will not stop when the oil burner is no longer used.. But there is no danger of combustion fumes getting in the house through the corroded areas,, the heat exchanger is just circulating hot water..
A boiler does not use any fresh water,, it recirculates the water in the boiler continously,, there is no fresh water added to the system unless there is a leak. it is a sealed system, there is no loss to steam. The systems usually operate at 160-180* well below boiling so there is no steam generated.
The DHW system can be hooked up to heat the electric hot water tank, or most boilers can be equiped with an internal hot water coil for direct heating of domestic hot water.