I would like to reduce my dependance on LP heating.

I would like to reduce my dependance on LP heating.

PostBy: Gilmore On: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:48 am

I would like to reduce my dependance on LP heating.

Could you provide the name of some reliable makers of stokers. I would like to place a unit in my basement to distribute heat through my first floor duct system.

Could I also get my domestic hot water from such a unit. Is it worth it given the fact that I would have to feed coal more often.

if I unable to find a coal distributor that would come to me do you think that I could rent some type of truck and get it myself from a source such as ,

Are there any coal bins that could be purchased to store a couple of tons of coal at a time?

Thank you for any help that you may provide.
    Gilmore
     

    Re: I would like to reduce my dependance on LP heating.

    PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:46 am

    Gilmore wrote:I would like to reduce my dependance on LP heating.


    As do most of the people here. 8)

    Could you provide the name of some reliable makers of stokers. I would like to place a unit in my basement to distribute heat through my first floor duct system.


    I'm, not going to provide any specific manufacturer's but you'll find that 99% of the people who purchase a coal furnace/stove are happy with it regardless of manufacturer.

    Could I also get my domestic hot water from such a unit. Is it worth it given the fact that I would have to feed coal more often.


    Yes you can, the way many set it up is so that it circulates through the hot water heater. Essentially the hot water heater becomes a holding tank. This also allows for tempering any cold water coming into the system. Cost is minimal if anything, the thing to keep in mind is that a coal furnace is always on. That residual heat is what heats the water. This also has another benefit, a nearly endless supply of hot water.


    Are there any coal bins that could be purchased to store a couple of tons of coal at a time?


    Most just build a 4x8x8 box for outside, that will fit about 3 tons. If it's inside a window and walls is all that is required.
    Richard S.
     
    Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
    Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

    PostBy: kirk On: Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:45 am

    There are stoker forced air systems and there are stoker boilers. Since you would like to also produce domestic hot water, I would recommend a boiler. (boilers are more efficient anyway) To use your duct work, you would need to have a water to air coil installed in your duct work. Thats the system I use. Works great. I happen to have a Harmon VF3000 boiler that I am very pleased with. As the System administrator said, most are happy with the choice they made regardless of the brand. I went from using 800-900 gallons of oil per season to just 49 this year. This was my third winter with the coal boiler. As you look for alternatives to LP, I can't stress enough the advantages of coal. The only draw back, and its minor, is there is alot of ash to deal with. Otherwise, coal is really the way to go, particularly for boilers. Good luck in your search. Now is the time to being searching because boilers were backordered for most of last season from what others on this forum stated.
    kirk
     


    PostBy: Gilmore On: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:15 pm

    :P Thank you for your helpful and kind reply. I want to confess that until recently the concept of using coal had not even entered my mind. I thought coal my only used by electric generating plants, e.g. JCP&L.
    As I looked for alternative methods to heat my home- and reduce the exorbitant cost of LP heating- I only looked for appliances that would make use of all the free wood available to me. The ZC wood fireplace that my builder, in his infinite wisdom, installed in my familyroom is a dud. Fortunately, Bob Brugger, with Stoves ‘n Stuff, mentioned that a Koker was probably what I needed.

    I have to place a unit in my basement to distribute heat upstairs. The more I researched the more I realized there were no easy choices with wood. As I learn about stokers and boilers it appears that coal is the best avenue to pursue. There must be a lot of folks out there that are as blind as I was.
    Kirk, I agree with your advice totally. I cannot thank you all enough.
    Gilmore
     

    PostBy: Complete Heat On: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:42 pm

    Gilmore,

    I installed a Alaska, Model 140 auger feed with a domestic hot water coil. It is vented into my duct system, and the heat is ditributed throughout the house. I have excess hot water as well. The cost to get it tied into my duct system was $600. The unit kicks butt, and gone are the days of paying $600 a month for propane.

    The Koker is also an outstanding unit.

    Mike
    Complete Heat
     
    Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
    Stove/Furnace Model: AA-130/FHA

    PostBy: FedFire47 On: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:49 pm

    When I first purchased my home it was total electric. In January and February I was getting about 6 to 700 dollar electric bills. Coal it is. I bought a boiler furnace from Keystoker in Pottsville. They will deliver up to 50 miles away for free or you can just go pick it up like I did. There website is http://www.keystoker.com/. I am highly satisfied with my purchase especially since my electric bills went down to about 80 bucks a month. The unit produces 200 gallons of domestic hot water every hour which means you will never run out.
    FedFire47
     

    PostBy: Gilmore On: Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:46 pm

    To Complete Heat,
    Thanks for the feedback. It’s very reassuring to hear that a unit works as intended. I wonder if you turn on your system’s fan for added circulation. I had someone come over and take some measurements and he will get back to me with a cost estimate. I have a flue running to my basement but I’m opting for a direct vent. I’m guessing that I won’t have to pay to have it clean every year??
    Thanks,
    Gilmore
    Gilmore
     

    PostBy: Gilmore On: Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:14 pm

    FedFire47,
    I hear you loud and clear. I can’t wait to report similar savings. From Dec 04 to 05 I used 2300 gallons of LP. Not pretty. I plan to get a Koker and a direct vent real soon. I need to figure how to build a large storage bin or bunker to put outside. A guy who sells Alaska’s is emphatic against installing a hot water coil because of the expense and something else. I don’t get it. I will check the distance to Pottsville and see if I can get free delivery. Thanks for the feedback,

    Listen, anybody reading this, I appreciate all of your input.
    Gilmore
     

    PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:41 am

    Gilmore wrote:. A guy who sells Alaska’s is emphatic against installing a hot water coil because of the expense and something else.


    If you ask anyone here if installing the hot water coil was worth it I suspect you'll get an emphtic yes.

    I will check the distance to Pottsville and see if I can get free delivery.


    He purchased his a few years ago, due to the demand I doubt you'll be able to get one from the factory but instead have to purchase it from a dealer. No harm trying though...
    Richard S.
     
    Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
    Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

    PostBy: Complete Heat On: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:20 am

    Gilmore,

    If you have a flue that is available for use, I would recommend, as well as the manufacturers, that you use it. The direct vents require weekly cleanings, it is not hard or time consuming, but it is one more thing that needs to be done.

    As for the hot water, I spent about $300 on all the parts (cirulator pump, unions, elbows, tees, shut-off valves and pipe) and then took about 2 hours to install it all. It works great. Be sure you come off the hot water coil with a bronze to copper sweat fitting union, otherwise you will get leaks from around the threads ( ask me how I know). Also, the union will allow to disconnect the stove from the piping for servicing, should it become necessary. I put on another unioun where the pipe comes away from the wall so that I can remove the pipe away from the stove to make it easier to connect the duct work.

    The Koker is a great unit and comes with a 1529 cfm fan. That fan is controlled by a fan limit switch( it won't turn on unless the stove is hot enough, so you are not blowing cold air in the house), and when the unit has just a stand-by fire going there will still be heat coming out of the ducts.


    Mike
    Complete Heat
     
    Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
    Stove/Furnace Model: AA-130/FHA

    Hot water coil and flue wil be.

    PostBy: Gilmore On: Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:57 pm

    Mike,
    Thanks for the details. I will make a hardcoppy of it and let my Hi-vac guy follow it and this way I also will know what's he's doing...
    I much rather use my existing flue and keep my plans for the hot water coil and save the $$.

    Thanks again!

    Gilmore
    Gilmore