Boiler Question From Newbie

Boiler Question From Newbie

PostBy: valentine92 On: Fri. Jun. 06, 2008 7:36 pm


We live in a house that was bulit in the early 60's. Ranch with a partially finished basement. Total finished living space approx 1700 square feet.

We currently heat our home with oil hotwater baseboard. Our boiler is ancient (from 1979) and if we kept oil we would have to replace the tank also since it is the orginial one in the house. We also use oil for our hotwater.

We were considering getting a stove but after reading many posts here I am starting to think that replacing our outdated oil boiler with a coal boiler might be the way to go.

We live in the Lehigh Valley in PA so we arent too far from the coal region.

I do have a few questions.

Which boiler would be a wise choice for my style and size of home?

What is the going price for a recommended boiler and how much to have it installed?

Approximately how many tons of coal does someone with my size home go through in a year if you use it for hotwater as well? If there a certain type of coal that needs to be used for certain types of boilers?

Can anyone recommend a dealer in my area?

What type of maintenance is involved with a boiler? How often to feed it and to clean the ashes?

Do any dealers offer any specials where they throw in a service contract for a certain amount of years?
If not does it pay to get a service contract? How often do they break down and need to be serviced?

I know I am asking a lot of questions. I want to make the right decision the first time around.

Thank you all soo much for your help.

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Re: Boiler Question From Newbie

PostBy: billw On: Fri. Jun. 06, 2008 8:26 pm

The only question you have that I can answer is how much coal. Each ton of coal is roughly equivalent to 180 gallons of oil. Just take how much oil you use in a year and divide it by 180. That will give you an approximate equivalent amount of coal. My house is about 2300 sq ft. I'm installing an EFM 520 in series with my oil unit. I want to keep the old oil unit as a backup in case we go away during the winter. The 520 uses rice coal. I believe some other brands may use pea but I'm really not sure.

I hope this helps. I'm sure someone else will be able to help you out better with some of your other questions. I'm relatively new to this also. Good luck.
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: Boiler Question From Newbie

PostBy: vtec350 On: Fri. Jun. 06, 2008 8:48 pm

Hi Valentine92,

I'm a newbie too but have learned a lot from this forum and everyone here in the past few months. For your size home the Keystoker KAA-2 would be a perfect boiler. The price is around $3800.00, ask your local dealer if he has any installers he can recomend to you and they should be able to give you an install price. Also bill is correct, 180 gals of oil is = to 1 ton of coal, you will probably need 3-4 tons depending on the amount of oil you normally use along with insulation and windows factored in too. If you call Keystoker they can direct you to a local dealer,, the KAA-2 has a 100lb hopper but I think you can get a larger one for it. If you're going to order one I would do it soon as they are already swamped with orders and will be hard to get i'm sure by fall.

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

Re: Boiler Question From Newbie

PostBy: stoker-man On: Fri. Jun. 06, 2008 8:51 pm

Check your PM
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

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