While I have a multi-fuel forced-hot-air furnace today that does the job with coal, it is quite old and I've often considered replacing it. I know multi-fuel furnaces aren't all that efficient, and since space is limited, I've often considered putting in a coal stove in the living room, and some time down the road replace the furnace with a regular oil furnace. I would guess it would help with the resale value of the house as well to have a newer, more efficient furnace. I grew up with a wood stove in my parent's place and have always enjoyed a stove in the living room, as well. I'm not looking to do this before winter, and may not be able to get to it even next year, given all the other projects that seem to be taking priority lately, but I want to at least consider options so I can save up if it seems worth-while.
Since each house is different, I thought I'd start a thread specific to my home to see what others think. I live in central Jersey and have two dealers of anthracite relatively close by (one which will deliver, 2-ton minimum). The house itself is a smaller ranch on a slab, so no basement to work with. It is under 1500 square feet, and that includes closets, bathrooms, etc. -- roughly 24x61 feet. It is insulated fairly well, too. There is a stainless chimney for the furnace, but from what I've heard, it's a bad idea to run two appliances into the same chimney, so I'm assuming I'll need a new chimney as well should I go ahead with this. My dad has the expertise to do the install, so cost of install isn't an issue, just materials.
I attached a diagram of my house. The living space is wide open, and I assume a stove set just inside the "lip" between the dining room and living room would have no problem heating the living room, dining room, and kitchen. That little "lip", by the way, can be removed to help a bit more with heat propagation. The den is no concern, though I wonder if I will get any heat in the bathrooms, laundry room, and bedrooms? I don't mind if the bedrooms don't heat up much (50-55 is fine -- makes for good sleeping!) but they need to get some heat. Maybe some type of ducting in the ceiling with a duct fan would help. One other idea I had for the laundry room specifically is to power-vent the oil furnace and then run the flue for the coal stove back through the wall into the hall leading to the existing furnace and run it horizontal to the existing chimney (top-right of furnace "room" on diagram) to let the flue act as a radiant heat source for that space.
For reference, I go through about 500 gallons of fuel if I heat with oil alone, and that's keeping the thermostat between 60 and 65 when I'm home, 55 when I'm not. With coal last year, I was a nice 70-75 all winter, and last year with the prices then, I saved about $600. I'm guessing I will save at least 50% more this winter given the price of oil now! I'm definitely hooked on coal, and am just looking at all the options now since I'm still new to burning it.
Thanks in advance,
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