Like alot of you I'm sure, I'd been exploring the site here for a short while before I got around to registering.
I grew up in Ireland & the house was heated by two coal fires. My girlfriends last house had a chubby stove where she burned wood & coal so we had some exposure.
Together, we recently bought a small farmhouse on 12 acres in New Hampshire. Great little place & we love it here. Close enough & far enough from towns & cities.
The house came with a ThermoPride Oil/Wood/Coal combination furnace in the basement. The wood/coal hadn't been used in years. Given the cost of oil I convinced her that we should get the wood/coal side kickin'.
The refractory bricks were beaten up & needed to be replaced. Some of the steel retainers around the shaker grates were bent. God knows how they got that way. The clean out ports were cooked & useless.
Turns out ThermoPride stopped making wood/coal furnaces in 1992, but they do still sell the bricks. The bricks came really quickly through UPS. Running it for the first time I wanted the original bricks. They come with grooves along the sides so they can sit on metal retainers & interlock loosely with each other.
The bent steel I straightened with lots of lumber bracing inside the furnace, a bottle jack & lots of small patient turns. The clean out ports I got from the local oil company.
The oil company said they wouldn't touch the wood/coal part, but the installation of ducting etc. did look good. The local sweep looked at the chimney & gave it a thumbs up. Based on the ThermoPride manual available online, it looked like everything was good to go as far as setup.
I spent half a day inside the furnace with a brush, shopvac & headlamp. I came out looking like a miner but I had a clean, well inspected furnace.
We bought 7 bags of Kimmel coal from Agway. $7 per 50lb bag. We were ready to go.
Our first fire went out.
Our second got as white as the sun & had the house up to 92F with the front door & windows open. It was 1am & 19F outside.
Third times a charm. Before we ran out of coal we had gotten a steady burn going. The oil was turned down to 60F & the coal kept the house at a comfy 74F with a few of the windows open just a crack.
The house is drafty, & we have a dog so we can't turn the heat down too much while we're not home. Two weeks ago we got an oil bill for $749 for a refill only 3 weeks since our last refill!!! Hopefully coal will put an end to this.
That's my ramble. I have a bunch of questions that I'll trot out over the next while. I've used the search feature & gotten some help.
Best wishes to all,
Colm & Nicole.