Furnace add-on quality

Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Solar+coal On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:24 pm

Hello. First post here.

I am looking at a few different models of wood & coal burning furnaces to add onto my current duct work. Does anyone have a user's rating on the following manufacturers:

Fire Chief http://www.woodheatpro.com/
Us Stove http://www.usstove.com/products.php?cat=4
Voglzang
http://www.vogelzang.com/Norseman2500.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

Any others???????

I'm looking for a quality product. I think the Fire Chief is the only company that has a lifetime warranty on grates and casting. Us Stove has a conditional warranty. Vogelzang's Norseman 2500 is an unknown

I'm looking to heat a 3,000 sq ft cabin home in Colorado. I'm between two mountains at 9,000 above sea level in a steppe environment (windy, sunny, almost no trees on my property). I have access to soft wood nearby and have to purchase hard wood.... coal is from the Hiawatha (sp?) vein in Utah (bituminous?). I don't know how much coal I would burn, but I'm guessing 50% to be cautious. Oh.... any thoughts on the quality of the coal from that vein, etc?

I'm off the grid; so, electrical loads are a consideration but not a true driving force in this equation.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?

Thanks in advance!
Newbie
Solar+coal
 

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: WNY On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:26 pm

Access to coal has to be established. Anthracite (hard) or Bituminous (Soft)and the pricing in your area could determine which type of stove works best.
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Solar+coal On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:42 pm

Thanks for such a quick reply.

Access to coal has to be established. Anthracite (hard) or Bituminous (Soft)and the pricing in your area could determine which type of stove works best.


Access to coal has to be established. ......
That's been established. Found a place on the RR tracks that sells it. I pass by there all the time.

Anthracite (hard) or Bituminous (Soft)and the pricing in your area could determine which type of stove works best.
I have only found what i believe you guys and gals call "soft coal". He sells it for $180 a ton... more if you hand pick. In Denver, it's around $220 a ton.... more if you hand pick. The place by the tracks said it was from the Hiawatha vein in Utah and i believe that kind of coal is bituminous coal.

I'm still researching options for purchasing. I'm closer to Colorado Springs than I am to Denver, but I drive to Denver about twice a month.

So........ if my only real option is Bituminous coal....
Which of those buggers are better built for coal...?
Better built period?
Any others i should be looking at?

Newbie
Solar+coal
 

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Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:59 pm

I've not heard anything good about Volgelzang.

Anthracite is "hard coal". It's much cleaner than bituminous. Anthracite is clean and burns clean. about the only people that burn Bituminous are those that can not get Anthracite.

Have you looked at Keystoker, Harmon, Alaska, or Leisure Line? I think they are all better than what you've looked at so far.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Pete69 On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:26 pm

I hope I'm not mistaking but I don't think Alaska, leisure line, or keystoker make a wood and coal furnace.
Harmon sounds like a good choice or maybe Energy king, although I couldn't comment on how well they would burn Bitt. coal . Being off the grid maybe they would be better off getting a wood/coal radiant stove.
I don't know if you can get them in the state's or not but I hear good things about those Dunsley stoves. They are supposed to be able to burn wood, anthracite or bituminous coal.
Last edited by Pete69 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Solar+coal On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:30 pm

Hello.

Other than Leisure, I have not really looked into those stoves yet. I have all but given up on Anthracite after talking to a buddy of mine in PA. He says that he was paying $350 a ton for it. I can only imagine the price in Colorado after shipping it out. My guess is that I would have to procure an entire freight car to get a good deal. I haven't found it yet out here, but I have not really looked that hard either.

I guess I am looking at the worst case scenario that Anthracite becomes too expensive because of shipping. That Bituminous is more readily accessible.

I'll dig into your suggested manufactures just in case Anthracite is readily accessible and affordable. Any word on the other two add-on furnaces?


Thanks,
Newbie
Solar+coal
 

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Solar+coal On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:44 pm

Pete69 wrote:I hope I'm not mistaking but I don't think Alaska, leisure line, or keystoker make a wood and coal furnace.
Harmon sounds like a good choice or maybe Energy king, although I couldn't comment on how well they would burn Bitt. coal . Being off the grid maybe they would be better off getting a wood/coal radiant stove.



Ya. I was looking at pure coal stove options when I got into this and looked at Leisure.

I have a nice wood stove upstairs, but my basement stove took a dump so I quickly lined up a propane furnace. I hope to build in a radiant heating system in the next few years. I'm hoping to use solar to mainly heat the place, but am reluctant to have only one heat source in a remote area. I was interested in the water heating coils of the add-on furnaces since it could be tied into the hot water system without using a boiler (GF issues of ease of use). The solar would only use hot water tank(s)... no bolier... no GF problems. ;> The coal and wood options really give me a warm fuzzy (pun intended).

Again, I want to have a separate system just in case since my place is remote. I liked the idea of those add-ons since I could just plug into my duct work. Solar is my next project after installing something more tried.... wood and coal are known quantities.

FWIW, I had a Harmon corn/bio burning stove and really liked it when I was in Iowa, but I was surrounded by corn. Out here I really have a lot of sun. Wood and coal are my next natural resources that I can tap into...... so.... here I am. Setting up today while looking into the future.

Thanks again,
newbie
Solar+coal
 

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: franco b On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:55 pm

All three are primitive junk. Guaranteed smudge pots with undersized ash pans and ineffective grates. They will work after a fashion but you will not be happy. Lifetime guarantees are not much help if the company only lasts a few years.

If I were in your position I would much rather have several stoves, for better heat distribution, that did not rely on electricity. It could be a real disaster if your generator fails.

The stoves that have the potential to burn the cleanest and most efficient are the stoker designs, whether for pellets or coal. A small fire box fired at a high rate. They need the least tending and have large ash pans. I don't know if any are meant for soft coal, and of course they need electricity. It's a shame that with the exception of the stoker designs have regressed from what was available in the 1920s and 30s.

Richard
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Pete69 On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:26 pm

Ya I just got my second stove, and hoping for a third soon.
As far as water heating capabilities I don't know if they work or not, but I see, being sold on E bay a small bucket a day coal stove just for heating water. Sounds interesting anyway
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Solar+coal On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:27 pm

franco b wrote:All three are primitive junk. Guaranteed smudge pots with undersized ash pans and ineffective grates. They will work after a fashion but you will not be happy. Lifetime guarantees are not much help if the company only lasts a few years.

If I were in your position I would much rather have several stoves, for better heat distribution, that did not rely on electricity. It could be a real disaster if your generator fails.

The stoves that have the potential to burn the cleanest and most efficient are the stoker designs, whether for pellets or coal. A small fire box fired at a high rate. They need the least tending and have large ash pans. I don't know if any are meant for soft coal, and of course they need electricity. It's a shame that with the exception of the stoker designs have regressed from what was available in the 1920s and 30s.

Richard



Thanks Richard.

Wow.... haven't heard anything like that..... but then again know almost nothing about coal stoves/furnaces. Do you know of anyone that has any of these stoves? I would love to chat about any of these furnaces and their experiences.

As for multiple stoves.... yep. Had/have two. Due to high altitude, stove pipe and STRONG winds, did I mention strong winds, my stove in the basement became unreliable. My upstairs stove limped along (Phoenix) and it was suggested I add some Vacu Stacks .... and add an outside air kit to the Phoenix. I had to wait a couple weeks before I would get any of the parts, so I had to take "drastic" measures to keep things unfrozen and installed a propane furnace. Luckily my solar system can handle it without having to run the generator...... but I haven't gone without sun for more than a day. Anything more than that and the generator will probably have to run for a few hours to get my batteries fully charged.

Again, if you have anyone that I can chat with I would be grateful. I was leaning towards the Fire Chief out of the three.

Cheers,
Newbie
Solar+coal
 

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Pete69 On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:36 pm

Like I said Harmon and Energy King have wood/coal furnaces that will be better than any of your original 3 options.
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Solar+coal On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:43 pm

Pete69 wrote:Like I said Harmon and Energy King have wood/coal furnaces that will be better than any of your original 3 options.


Thanks.... going there now. Looks like the Fire Chief may be Anthracite only... Dunno.

Thanks again,
Newboe
Solar+coal
 

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: gitrdonecoal On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:53 pm

solar and coal, feel free to pm me about any questions you might have with the USSC. got a hotblast
gitrdonecoal
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90
Stove/Furnace Make: USSC
Stove/Furnace Model: Hotblast 1557

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: Pete69 On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:53 pm

Try posting on the using bituminous coal section of the form and ask what Bit. coal burners are using.
Didn't mean to o fend anyone using a USSC. stove I never used one. I only hear they burn wood well and need some mod's or special techniques to burn coal well.
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

Re: Furnace add-on quality

PostBy: DOUG On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:20 pm

In my opinion the best bang for the buck is the Clayton 1600 from U.S.Stove. There are a few members on this forum that own them and can really pump out some long burning serious heat from their Clayton's. Check out the pictures in the post (Slow Blue Dancing with Red Dressed Ladies). It shows how to and what a anthracite coal fire does in a Clayton 1600. You'll definitely will be impressed! :idea: :) DOUG
DOUG
 
Stove/Furnace Make: CHUBBY, D.S.MACHINE BOILER
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

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