# Stoker Cost of Operation

### Stoker Cost of Operation

I am a newbie here and am having trouble understanding the cost of using a stoker. I have seen that the EFM stoker can go as low as 2.5 pounds per hour which means 60 pounds per day or about one ton per month! At \$300 per ton in Maine this comes to \$3600 per year at the lowest feed rate. This just does not compute for me. How is this a savings? Presently I burn about 400 gallons of oil a year for heat and hot water supplemented with a wood stove burning 4 cords of wood at about \$100 per cord. Even at \$4 per gallon for oil my yearly cost would be \$2000 total. And I am sure during the dead of winter the coal stove would be eating coal at much more than 2.5 pounds per hour. I seem to still be ahead even at \$200 a ton coal. Is 60 pounds per day the smallest amount of coal that will keep a stoker going? it seems that for me converting to coal does not make much sense.
rivermede

Stove/Furnace Make: National

### Re: Stoker Cost of Operation

rivermede wrote:I am a newbie here and am having trouble understanding the cost of using a stoker. I have seen that the EFM stoker can go as low as 2.5 pounds per hour which means 60 pounds per day or about one ton per month! At \$300 per ton in Maine this comes to \$3600 per year at the lowest feed rate. This just does not compute for me. How is this a savings? Presently I burn about 400 gallons of oil a year for heat and hot water supplemented with a wood stove burning 4 cords of wood at about \$100 per cord. Even at \$4 per gallon for oil my yearly cost would be \$2000 total. And I am sure during the dead of winter the coal stove would be eating coal at much more than 2.5 pounds per hour. I seem to still be ahead even at \$200 a ton coal. Is 60 pounds per day the smallest amount of coal that will keep a stoker going? it seems that for me converting to coal does not make much sense.

That is running all the time. Does your oil boiler run all the time? The EFM will only run when there is a call for heat. So your thermostat says its cold in your house and then the EFM starts the fan/auger. You have it set to how much coal it will take to satisfiy the load. The same way your oil boiler works. The Thermostat says your house is cold so your oil boiler comes on. The only difference in the two is the coal boiler can not shut down and start back up (put the fire out) like your oil boiler. So it has an outfire timer. The outfire timer runs the boiler for a set time every so often (run 2 minutes every 30 minutes) to keep the fire lit.
cArNaGe

### Re: Stoker Cost of Operation

Where are you finding wood for \$100? A friend of mine here in Maine just bought 6 cord of green tree length and paid \$160.

Not from experience, but from reading, most coal boilers seem to use about 8 to 10 pounds a day to maintain the fire and keep domestic hot water (DHW) hot. So a ton would last 6 months or so.
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

### Re: Stoker Cost of Operation

Our Van Wert is about the same as the EFM's and it uses about a 1 ton for 3 months in the summer which is used for hot water. 10 tons a year for nearly 4000 sq. foot home.

To put the oil in perspective 1 ton of coal is equal to about 180 gallons of oil, as far as the wood its about 1.4 cords if I rememebr correctly but don't quote me on that. Rough guess is you would need about 5 tons to meet your current heating needs but that will include domestic hot water if you get the coil. Maybe 6 especially if burn year round. Is the coil even optional on the EFM's? I don't know....

See here for fuel coast calcualtor to get better idea: Fuel Comparison Calculator for Home Heating

If you're getting wood for \$100 a cord that will be far cheaper than anything you get, is that cut and split though? A coal boiler isn't going to require more than few minutes each day to operate it during the coldest days of the year. When you get temps like this probably once a week.
Richard S.

Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

### Re: Stoker Cost of Operation

Like I said I am learning, I did not know the stoker could shut down to a keep it lit level. Thank you. The \$100 is in tree length but working it up is instead of going to the gym. I have an old boiler which is presently set up for oil but could be a stoker so I am trying to decide if I should make the switch.
rivermede

Stove/Furnace Make: National

### Re: Stoker Cost of Operation

Just a plug for hand fired stoves.....In the right house, a hand fired is a good choice because: It will cost nothing to run, work in power failures, makes no noise & uses less coal than stokers. I heat my 2200SF split entry ranch, in Massachusetts, on two tons of nut coal for the whole winter. (House was roughly 68* uniformly, all last winter)
Devil505

Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

### Re: Stoker Cost of Operation

I'd be interested to know where I can get tree length wood for \$100 a cord. I have friends that could use some at that price.

For sure, read, read, read, you'll figure out if coal makes sense for you. This will be my first year using it. I burned wood for years and years, but my back will no longer allow me to cut & split, so coal is my solution to \$5 a gallon oil. It may be for you too!
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

### Re: Stoker Cost of Operation

Freddy wrote:I'd be interested to know where I can get tree length wood for \$100 a cord. I have friends that could use some at that price.

For sure, read, read, read, you'll figure out if coal makes sense for you. This will be my first year using it. I burned wood for years and years, but my back will no longer allow me to cut & split, so coal is my solution to \$5 a gallon oil. It may be for you too!

I bought my last triaxle (tree length wood) load of wood about five weeks ago. I paid \$600 for it. Most loggers will tell you you get between 6-8 full cord out of the truck load. I have never cut split and stacked it. I usually get lazy and just throw it in a pile. But you still have to cut and spit it. Thats the MAIN reason I'm switching to coal. I don't expect it to be cheaper. But I also don't plan on going outside 4 times a day to fill my stoker when its 0 outside either.
cArNaGe