I am so glad that I stumbled upon this site. We need to replace our oil furnace that supplies baseboard heat and DHW. We are a family of 3 (including a very mechanical teen aged boy) in central PA. Our home is a bi-level. I am considering the multi fuel unit (coal, oil and wood) from alt. energy systems.Does anyone have experience with this type of unit? What do you do for DHW in the summer? Could we get hot water using oil or should we consider a tankless electric unit?
I also see mentioned that coal is delivered on pallets. Does that mean that you have to unload the pallets to get them into your basement? If so, how heavy are the bags? Or could we build a bin in the basement and have loose coal delivered?
We do have a flue that I believe is tile lined. We have one chimney with four flues- 2 fireplaces, one furnace, and one "extra" in our dining room. We also have another chimney on the bedroom side of the house to which is connected a wood burner that we haven't used. There is no water supply there.
In addition to being near to coal suppliers, we have access to biodiesel, used cooking oil, and wood. That' s why I was considering a multi-fuel unit.
Any help to these questions would be greatly appreciated!