Do you suggest I get a chimney expert to make sure the chimney can handle coal? I have heard that it burns hot and any cracks could cause a fire... but ive been reading temps on here in the 300F range which I imagine would be borderline for a chimney fire.
What is the best possible coal I can buy? I dont want to skim on this part
How often do I have to fill the stove?
As a first time user of a wood/coal stove, am I getting into too much I can handle here? Should I trade to sell or trade this for an automatic fed one?
Does everyone reccomend a heat reclaimer?
Is it easier to manage a coal stove using a automatic damper? If it is then I would spend the $ on it. It sounds like a lot of people on here spend a lot of effort messing with the damper.
craig2000 wrote:Im guessing I will need at least 2 tons of the stuff to get through the winter?...The existing heating system is one huge oil/steam boiler with radiators heating the whole house. After filling the oil tank 3 times last winter I want absolutely nothing to do with this situation (not to mention removing the damn steam pipes makes the basement usable).
CapeCoaler wrote:The 2 family is a up/down rather than side by side?
Are the zones split to each separate unit?
Then if the zones are split to each unit and you get 2 heating units you can make each tenant pay for their own heat without destroying the house to split the system.
Is the electric split also? it is funny how the electric and heat consumption changes when the tenant pays for it!
markviii wrote: How large is your oil tank? A general rule is that 1 ton of coal provides the same amount of heat as 180 gallons of fuel oil. Assuming it is a standard 275 gallon tank, you would need roughly 5 tons of coal to replace the 825 gallons of fuel oil.
CapeCoaler wrote:Nstar will give you a 'deal' but they usually just replace what you have. They may only do 1 boiler.
Here is the plan if it were my place:
Split the heat with 2 Nat gas boilers. Tenants pay heat and good for resale. They will be high efficiency units that vent out the sidewall. you now have a free flue.
Use the free stove to heat this year. You added some insulation but get 5 ton of coal it will not go bad and it is better not to be short.
The big question is the re-piping. If you have access and it is not cost prohibitive you can run pex to the separate zones and reuse the radiators. If not use the old pipes and run it as hot water.
If you want to keep the property you could invest in a coal boiler and include heat in the rent as a value added option. You would have to be around more often as the coal will need some maintenance every few days but that is not such a bad thing either.
You mentioned landlord on the electric, is it a three family or is the landlord electric just for the public/common spaces or did you just mean the unit you are currently using?