My name is Anne. My husband and I own a small farm in Northern Schuylkill County, PA, where we raise meat and fiber goats and some chickens.
The farm came with a behemoth of an old house - 4200 SQ. FT, with single pane windows and not a stitch of insulation. Oh, and it had an oil burner!
I found receipts in the attic where one year the prior owners burned over 5,000 - yes, THOUSAND - gallons of heating oil. They apparently had a mass of money that we could only dream about. Sadly, they did not spend any of it on insulation.
We rescued an old EFM stoker and, I suppose, for all intents and purposes it still is an EFM stoker, just...modified a bit. (My husband has a propensity to tinker.) We burn anthracite coal, of course. A lot of it.
My husband is planning to build a wood gasifier (see the above note on tinkering) because about half of our property is wooded, much of it with black locust. This is a project that has been "in the works" for several years as he scavanges parts from hither and yon. Unfortunately, each year when he thinks he will get to work on the project, another piece of the house decides to fall apart. And so it goes.
I've perused this site before and finally decided to join as due to being off work for a short period, I have now been left in the lurch of baby sitting our aging stoker. Although, I'm not a complete novice - I know how to get it up and running after the cotter pin shears, and I know what type and size of nail to substitue when we're out of them.
Trial by fire - or lack thereof as the case usually is.
Thanks for a great site and I look forward to picking your brains!