keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: pspinella On: Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:49 pm

Hi everyone!

My wife and I are getting ready to switch from oil to coal and were wondering if there is a big difference between a Harman Furnace and a Keystoker Furnace. Do you recommend one brand over the other? Our dealer here on Long Island gave us brochures for both.

Also, we are looking at going with a coal/oil multifuel furnace as our current furnace is not big enough for our house. (A large addition was put on this house about 4 years ago and they never upgraded the furnace.) Our house is about 3000Square Feet. We like the idea of oil as a backup in case we are away and can't shovel coal.

Thanks for your input!!!
pspinella
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Wood/Coal Furnace SF-3500A

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: Lumberjack On: Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:25 pm

Keep the oil furnace as a back up.
A coal only furnace will burn better.

Keystokers seem to be a favorite here, Havent heard a word about the harman furnace. Harman is a good brand though so I dont think quality will be an issue. Either brand should give good service for you.

If you ask about specific models I am sure there are ones here who will be happy to help you select the correct features.
Lumberjack
 

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: thoule On: Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:15 pm

I think keystoker is slightly favored, but overall, you can't go wrong either way.
I'm torn between KA-6 and Harmon VF3000

Todd
thoule
 
Stove/Furnace Make: nothing...
Stove/Furnace Model: How Sad!

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Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: samhill On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:35 am

I`m totally satisfied with my Koker but I think either would do well. I`d go with the best price & the nearest dealer.
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:05 am

I would go with a boiler if you can, its slightly higher cost to purchase and install has significant advantages.

1. It will last longer.
2. Your home will be much more comfortable.
3. You can get your DHW off of it (yes, you can with a furnace but you won't want to year round).
4. It will be more economical in fuel consumption.
5. It can be operated much deeper into warmer weather without turning the cellar into an oven.
6. When a furnace heat exchanger leaks, you die. When a boiler heat exchanger leaks, something gets wet.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: beatle78 On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:48 am

coaledsweat wrote:6. When a furnace heat exchanger leaks, you die. When a boiler heat exchanger leaks, something gets wet.


well when you put it like that! :shock:
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: Hollyfeld On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:27 am

Be sure to check the availability of the Harmon. There was a thread on here last week stating they were back ordered till January. I was looking at the Harmon too, but went with the Keystoker. The Keystoker's also have a bit of wait on them too. I ordered last week and was informed it would be ready for pickup in 12 weeks.
Hollyfeld
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: watkinsdr On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:24 pm

Specifying the exact Harmon and Keystoker furnace models would be helpful; and, allow an apples to apples comparison. All the Harmon FHA furnaces are hand fired with exception of the Magnum, which is a rice stoker. All the Keystoker FHA furnaces are stokers.
watkinsdr
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S260 Boiler

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: Lumberjack On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:54 pm

The heat exchanger remark is BS... unless your using a single walled exchanger with antifreeze which is very illegal. The normal domestic loop carries no such risk. If you really want to promote boiler systems, stick to actual facts.
Lumberjack
 

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: coalkirk On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:01 pm

I'm afraid you are wrong my friend. A furnace heat exchanger (not a boiler) can corrode through and flue gases that should go up the chimney can come through the duct work. That's the same whether it's a gas, oil or coal furnace. Heat exchangers are single wall and do not have liquid in them. Not sure what you mean about putting anti-freeze in them. I think you must be referring to something besides a forced air heat exchanger.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:52 pm

Lumberjack wrote:If you really want to promote boiler systems, stick to actual facts.


I'm not promoting anything, I offered up a better option as described by the 6 facts (yes, they are facts) I posted. I grew up in a FHA home, it is a lousy way to heat a home. There are enough threads here on this subject and members who have done so to prove my point.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: Lumberjack On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:23 pm

Boilers are just as capable of producing carbon monoxide and leaking it to the house as any furnace. Neither one has any real advantage over the other in terms of safety. However, on the slight chance I am wrong feel free to enlighten me....

I will certainly agree hot water is a better system then forced air however not everyone has that choice and boilers are somewhat more expensive.



Never the less forgive my confusion from before. It appears I had a separate thread mixed in my answer....
Lumberjack
 

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:05 pm

Actually it is much more likely for a furnace's heat exhanger to rust through, or get overheated and split than water filed boiler's water jacket.. With a furnace, there is only a single layer of steel between the flame and the heated air that is being forced around the house. Even with a strong draft in the chimney it is probable that carbon monoxide would escape into the forced air system in the house. if or when a crack or rusted through spot occured.

With a boiler, the heated surfaces are cooled by the water, and therefore much more stable and less prone to heat stresses.. and the boiler vessel is made from heavier steel, because it is designed to be under pressure.. just look at the weight a boiler vs a furnace. this difference is the strength of the steel water vessel.

Boilers last for many, many decades.. furnaces often develop cracks in the heat exchangers within a decade... this is with all fuels.. gas, oil and coal..

Just facts.. furnaces by design don't last as long as boilers, and are more prone to cracking and leaking...just look at the way they work..

And as coaledsweat stated above,, if a furnace leaks, you [could] die, if a boiler leaks,, something gets wet... valid and to the point..

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:08 pm

Another good reminder to have CO detectors.

Are all coal boilers wet bottom? That is, water all around the flame? Some oil boilers have a "dry bottom". I imagine it might be possible for the dry part to develop a leak. Also, even wet bottom boilers, at some point the exhaust leaves the water jacket and could leak. Of course at that point the temperatue is much lower and it's not much of an issue. Points well taken.... hot air is more prone to leak as they come to the end of their life, but any device with a flame can leak CO is things go wrong.
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: keystoker furnace vs. Harman furnace?

PostBy: Matthaus On: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:13 pm

Freddy wrote:Another good reminder to have CO detectors. Are all coal boilers wet bottom? That is, water all around the flame? ..snip


All coal boilers will be a dry bottom since the ash is collected at the bottom and the base is open on one or both sides to remove the ash bin.

Lumberjack wrote:Boilers are just as capable of producing carbon monoxide and leaking it to the house as any furnace. Neither one has any real advantage over the other in terms of safety. However, on the slight chance I am wrong feel free to enlighten me....snip


As has already been explained the hot air that is distributed passes over a plenum that has the firebox on the other side (obviously a leak there will pass CO into the air being sent through the ducts). A boiler doesn't have any single wall non wet point of contact to air that is distributed throughout the house. Even if a leak is present on a boiler the water is contained in he system so no CO will move into the residence through this means.

It is true that CO leaking from an improper draft or other factor can enter the air space for stove, boiler and furnace alike with the same risk. :)
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

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