Will a coal stove heat my home?

Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: farok On: Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:43 pm

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,
Chris
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farok
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon/Eagle

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: ScottD On: Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:53 pm

From what I see, you would have no problem at all heating that space with a stove.
First, you have a blower on the stove that will take care of the L.R/D.R./Kit. and you might have to put a small fan in the hall for the bedrooms. You have to leave the bedroom doors open to get heat there. You will see members on here that heat more space on multiple levels with a stove. Devil505 heats a split level with the stove in the basement on 2 tons of coal :mad:
Scott
ScottD
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth Stoker

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: ScottD On: Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:57 pm

Forgot to mention, are you around to keep it going? If not you might look at stokers.
Scott
ScottD
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth Stoker

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Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:34 pm

If you're handy, I would install some insulated ductwork in the attic with an insulated hood in the ceiling over the stove. Have a fan deliver the heated air to the far rooms via these ducts.
(I'll bet you could do the whole system in 1/2 day for a few hundred bucks!)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: farok On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:11 am

Thanks for the replies! As expected, everyone here has great info to contribute! Looks like I should seriously consider the stove sometime in the next year or two. I hadn't really considered a stoker in the past, but after reading more of the forums, this may be the way to go, especially if the stove is in the living room and I want to keep the mess down. Not to mention it'll be easier than what I do today. This leads me to a couple questions, though, as I've only dealt with hand-fired wood and coal stoves in the past. The biggest question I have is roughly how much should I budget for a 90-100K BTU stoker stove? I've seen a lot of info here and online, but almost no prices. Does $2000-$3000 sound right for a new stove? The other question I have is regarding maintenance. There are obviously some moving parts on a stoker system. What is the likelihood of parts failure, or life expectancy before parts should be replaced as a precaution? What sort of maintenance should I expect on a yearly or monthly basis?

Thanks again,
Chris

PS - Maybe this should move to the stoker forum? I don't think I can move it, though...
farok
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon/Eagle

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:16 am

90-100k btu should be more then enough in your single level 1500sf home. 2-3K for a budget sounds about right unless you look at going with some type of coal insert like a Hitzer which seem to be less money.
Adamiscold
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Sr. Old School

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:19 am

Hi Chris, I would look on the manufacturer's sites for info. As far as I know only Leisure Line publishes prices.. so you may just have to call around for that info.
I think the least expensive stoker stove is about $2200, the most in the mid $3K range.. Depends on the make and model. Right now all stove production is sold out till around December or later..
Stokers are actually quite simple, with very little to go wrong.. just simple clean-up in the spring to reduce rust formation, and a drop of oil in the motor's bearings, and that is about it. Not much more than summerizing a hand feed stove.

You can start a new topic in the stoker forum, I'll leave this one here for now, unless it continues to migrate to stoker only info.

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: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:25 am

and a drop of oil in the motor's bearings



I didn't see that recommended on my Pioneer, is it something that needs and should be done?
Adamiscold
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Sr. Old School

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:34 am

Adamiscold.. I'd post that question on the LeisureLine forum for Jerry to answer.. in general, most motors need a little, and I mean very little lubrication each year... too much oil will cause more problems than too little.. the oil collects dust which clogs cooling openings and the motor overheats..

See what Jerry says.. maybe his motors don't need lube for several years..

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: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:00 pm

Thanks Greg, I will do that. I would think if they needed it that he would have mentioned it in his dvd like he talked so much about the power vent needing it.
Adamiscold
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Sr. Old School

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: farok On: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:00 pm

Thanks again for the great info! You've got me considering a stoker now. One question I have is how much more does it cost in electricity to run a stoker as opposed to a hand-fired unit? I assume it can't be as much as running the furnace I have now with the 6 amp blower motor, so that shouldn't be a factor.

I love the idea of the ductwork through the ceiling, but that raises a couple other questions. First, would a 300-400CFM duct fan be enough to get air into 3 or 4 rooms to keep them somewhat warm (maybe 5-10 degrees below living space temps)? I guess anything is better than nothing, but I'm curious how much it'll help. Actually, if the hood is right above the stove, and the ductwork is insulated, would convection alone move the air through the ducts, down through the ceiling vents, and eventually return along the floor?

Another option I thought of was to use the existing hot-air ducts in the floor, but "backwards". Do you see any reason I couldn't tie the blower input, not the combustion air input, (assuming I go with a stoker) into the air plenum on the furnace and use the existing ducts as return ducts instead (since my system today doesn't have any return ducts to make use of? I would just close the registers in the rooms where the temp stays warm so I'm only pulling air from the far/cold rooms in the house. I assume I would need some way to close off the air return at the furnace so I don't pull from there, as well as a way to disconnect it if I plan on using the furnace as a furnace again. Just trying to be creative and make use of what's already here!

Chris
farok
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon/Eagle

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:34 am

farok wrote:Another option I thought of was to use the existing hot-air ducts in the floor, but "backwards".


I must have missed the part about you already having hot air ductwork in your house. That would be a much easier solution providing you can wire the fan to run without the heat being on & that you can gain easy access to the duct work from your stove, while having it pass the critical "Wife Approval" test! :lol:
(if you can get stove warmed air into a convenient cold air return, that would work best, but even just running your furnace fan alone, without changing anything ,would mix the warm air around & be an improvement)
Does your current ductwork run in our attic? If so , is it well insulated?
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:43 am

If your looking for a larger fan for your duct work try here; http://www.airboosterfans.com/duct-fan.html
Adamiscold
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Sr. Old School

Re: Will a coal stove heat my home?

PostBy: BIG BEAM On: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:22 pm

With the location that you are talking about I think I would install a stoker stove and see if you need ductwork after the install.I mean the heat only has to go 30' in either direction.As for electric use,Your oil furnace has a fan(6A) and an oil burner(2.5A) so the stoker will use a little less .The oil furnace comes on and off while the stoker will run 24/7.
DON
BIG BEAM
 
Stove/Furnace Make: USS Hot blast
Stove/Furnace Model: 1557M

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