Coal Stove for a Tiny House

Rob R.
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Post By: Rob R. » Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 8:19 am

NoSmoke wrote:
Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 7:51 am
BUT our feet are freezing. I think we are going to insulate the first floor from underneath with insulation, and of course, banking the house with hay.
That will yield disappointing results. Did the same thing in my parents house, and ended up ripping the insulation back out and heating the basement. Focus on insulating the sill/rim joist, and sealing up drafts - then put some heat in the cellar.

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KingCoal
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Post By: KingCoal » Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 9:08 am

x's 2 on Rob's last comment.

you have mentioned that the basement was showing 50+ degrees of air temp i think ? if you block that from the bottom of the floors they will only seem colder.

you would be better off with area rugs if you can't get heat in the basement

steve

rberq
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Post By: rberq » Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 9:41 am

NoSmoke wrote:
Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 7:51 am
I think we are going to insulate the first floor from underneath with insulation, and of course, banking the house with hay.
I insulated my floors many years ago with fiberglass insulation, and it turned out to be horrible. It did make the floors warmer, but over the years the insulation tended to pull away from the floors (gravity never rests!) so it became much less effective, the rodents loved the warm space to nest and deposit their hazardous pee and poop, and I couldn't easily get to wiring and pipes. It became a thousand square feet of filth, and finally I hired an asbestos-removal crew to take it out -- no one else would touch it. Of course it didn't require the legal documentation and testing of asbestos removal, but they used all the same protective suits, masks, and air-handlers as for asbestos jobs.

So I would advise some insulation method other than fiberglass. And don't staple anything like poly plastic to the bottoms of the floor joists, or the plastic may soon be supporting a lake of condensation. It's scary how easy it is, with the best of intentions, to mess up a house. :?

Hoytman
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Post By: Hoytman » Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 10:46 am

What about using something like this under the floor... https://www.reflectixinc.com/ .

I have no experience with this, but doing some research a while back I found a similar product that had hard foam attached to it that could be ordered in different thicknesses with the reflective barrier on one or both sides depending on how you ordered it and based on your needs.

I'm wanting to do a bit more research on it myself to use both in my attic and under our crawl space.

Anyone have any experience with these types of products? Speak up. I'd like to read your comments.

rberq
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Post By: rberq » Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 12:30 pm

Hoytman wrote:
Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 10:46 am
I'm wanting to do a bit more research on it myself to use both in my attic and under our crawl space.
Anyone have any experience with these types of products? Speak up. I'd like to read your comments.
You can also get something that is essentially foil-faced bubble wrap (small bubbles). I use it as a heat shield behind my stove, and it seems to reflect 99 percent of the radiant heat. The sheetrock wall used to get so hot I couldn't hold my hand on it, even though I had more than enough clearance per the stove specifications. Now, the insulation and the wall behind it stay cool.

I don't know much about insulation, but be wary of trapping moisture. Read everything you can find -- sometimes it is counter-intuitive. I heard some horror stories from the guy who did my house with blown cellulose, about water soaking ceilings and walls after foam insulation. He said the foam itself is great, but the installer has to know where and where not to put it.

Hoytman
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Post By: Hoytman » Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 4:08 pm

The link I posted has the foil in many configurations, as well as the bubbles in-between. Just have to search for the right material for a particular application.

I'm not saying it's good or not. Never used it. Just posting it for informational purposes. That isn't the only company that makes it either. The product in the link is a fairly thin film. If you search around there are "other" companies that sell much thicker materials, as well as stronger, and will send you free samples. The link is only one supplier of such product, so buyer beware and do the research.

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KLook
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Post By: KLook » Mon. Oct. 15, 2018 5:54 pm

I insulated my floors many years ago with fiberglass insulation, and it turned out to be horrible. It did make the floors warmer, but over the years the insulation tended to pull away from the floors (gravity never rests!) so it became much less effective, the rodents loved the warm space to nest and deposit their hazardous pee and poop, and I couldn't easily get to wiring and pipes. It became a thousand square feet of filth, and finally I hired an asbestos-removal crew to take it out -- no one else would touch it. Of course it didn't require the legal documentation and testing of asbestos removal, but they used all the same protective suits, masks, and air-handlers as for asbestos jobs.

So I would advise some insulation method other than fiberglass. And don't staple anything like poly plastic to the bottoms of the floor joists, or the plastic may soon be supporting a lake of condensation. It's scary how easy it is, with the best of intentions, to mess up a house. :?
Simple answers for simple minds.
Top

This is sage advice. I have been telling people for years about the stupidity of fiberglas in the floor and stapling up that plastic. I cannot tell you how many times people say their floors are cold so they have to be insulated......NOT. I just did this a year ago when I rebuilt a bathroom from the dirt up, and put styrofoam in between the floor joists. The floors are ALWAYS cold no matter what you do unless it is radiant that is cranked up. Your body temp is high in your feet and you just got out of a hot shower or bath.....floors are 85 degrees....and feel cold! Women are the hardest to convince. Put down a damn rug to step on and deal with it. I have torn out way to much fibergals like the above post. And down here, it ain't cold!!!! The floors don't need a mouse house built in. Complete waste of money.

Kevin

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Post By: NoSmoke » Wed. Oct. 17, 2018 6:07 am

I will take everyone's advice then and not insulate.

I do plan to bank the house with hay however. Of course being a sheep farmer this means sheep manure/hay. You guys may scoff but sheep compost has incredible heat. Last year I delayed in turning on my radiant floors until Christmas, the problem of using a pot bellied stove burning coal instead of having a boiler installed, and thus froze up my radiant loops on the outside edge of my slab.

What to do?

I placed sheep manure compost against the slab and within 3 hours the water was flowing.

Having a concrete slab though also means the water line running out to the sheep barns exits the house at ground level. Every fall we put a foot of sheep manure over the elbow where it exists the house and goes down into the ground and it has never frozen. That included last year with 3 weeks of winter that never got above 0 degrees (f) even during the dy. Once it got down to -25 below...still the water flowed because sheep manure retains its heat.

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NoSmoke
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Post By: NoSmoke » Wed. Oct. 17, 2018 6:19 am

We have too much to do this year, but next Spring we want to hoe-out the 100 years of junk that are in this basement, then put vertical walls in around the perimeter of the house and insulate it. In the spring of the year the basement floods, so we hope to install a good drain to daylight, then put crushed rock down for a "floor".

We hope to white wash everything as well so that the cellar is just plain brighter overall and has a better look to it.

We have fantasized a few times about cleaning up, digging down deeper, and making the basement a livable space because our Tiny Home is just that...Tiny. The kids did not want to move here at first, so Katie and I enticed them with each one of our four daughters having their own bedroom. In this four bedroom Tiny House that does not work so good...Katie and I do not have a bedroom; we sleep on the couch (me) and the recliner (her). At this rate we will never ever have a 5th daughter! :-)

We might add on, but honestly we love the small footprint of this house. The thought of using space we already have really has its appeal. But that would be a huge undertaking; less cost, but a lot more physical work.

rberq
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Post By: rberq » Wed. Oct. 17, 2018 11:41 am

NoSmoke wrote:
Wed. Oct. 17, 2018 6:07 am
Of course being a sheep farmer this means sheep manure/hay. You guys may scoff but sheep compost has incredible heat.
True or not, I have read that the best place for a farmer to park his Ford Model T, for ease of starting in the winter, was atop the manure pile. Not sure why it didn't sink in ....

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Sunny Boy
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Post By: Sunny Boy » Wed. Oct. 17, 2018 12:16 pm

NoSmoke wrote:
Wed. Oct. 17, 2018 6:07 am
I will take everyone's advice then and not insulate.

I do plan to bank the house with hay however. Of course being a sheep farmer this means sheep manure/hay. You guys may scoff but sheep compost has incredible heat. Last year I delayed in turning on my radiant floors until Christmas, the problem of using a pot bellied stove burning coal instead of having a boiler installed, and thus froze up my radiant loops on the outside edge of my slab.

What to do?

I placed sheep manure compost against the slab and within 3 hours the water was flowing.

Having a concrete slab though also means the water line running out to the sheep barns exits the house at ground level. Every fall we put a foot of sheep manure over the elbow where it exists the house and goes down into the ground and it has never frozen. That included last year with 3 weeks of winter that never got above 0 degrees (f) even during the dy. Once it got down to -25 below...still the water flowed because sheep manure retains its heat.
The back half of the 100+ year old carriage house, that I rebuilt into my shop, was two horse stalls, a tack area, grain bins, and a 2 foot deep 8 x 10 manure pit. The underground water line from the house came up in the middle of that pit. I'm sure it kept it from freezing, but not much fun to walk to turn on the water. :o

Paul

NoSmoke
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Post By: NoSmoke » Wed. Oct. 17, 2018 6:47 pm

Somewhere I have a picture of a sheep manure compost fire I had...in the middle of winter!

In fact I did a lot of research and found out it is possible, and many people are heating their homes using compost heat. Jean Pain was a forester in France who pioneered the concept, using wood chips and hay to get the ideal hot mixture that would last all winter in big 10 ton heaps.

With my other homes hydronic heat I was ideally set up for it, BUT I had one issue, while it was possible to do, it did not really make sense too. In less times then it would take me to make a pile, carefully putting down copper tubing in lifts, watering, and then removing the compost after it was made...I could just cut a few cords of firewood with my chainsaw and skidder and in two days produce all the firewood I would need in a year.

Not nearly as cool or "green" I admit, but I value my time too. And so in that respect, for just a bit more money, I could buy coal...

Again...heating a home is possible with compost heat, I just am not sure time wise it is worth it to me.

reckebecca
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Post By: reckebecca » Fri. Oct. 19, 2018 8:49 am

I have been heating my 1100 sq ft house with a Saey 92 for the last 10 years and have been very happy with it. It's a pretty, gravity fed hopper, cast iron radiant heat stove. It was my 1st experience with coal and I've been very happy with the heat it's produced for me. It's been the sole heat source for the house.

I hope this is not speaking out of turn but, I happen to have made the decision to remove the Saey 92 (which is in very good shape) to go in a different direction. So, it is available if you have any interest (I am a distance from you).

Hoytman
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Post By: Hoytman » Fri. Oct. 19, 2018 10:56 am

Just fyi...

...the foil products I mentioned...some of them...if you search around...have thousands of tiny "micro" sized holes punched through the material so that the "breathing" can still take place, yet still be reflective. I'm not saying it actually works that way, but it's advertised to.

I did receive a sample like I described above, from a company whose name eludes me at the moment, and that material was much thicker than I expected and was tear resistant. I had to put some force behind it to tear it. So, with all those tiny "micro" sized holes, supposedly allowing the home to breathe yet still reflect warmth back into the spaces needed...it might just be the ticket for you.

Hoping this helps you in some way...

charlesosborne2002
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Post By: charlesosborne2002 » Fri. Oct. 19, 2018 2:02 pm

Stoves are all rated for maximum output, but one of the few that boast how low they can go is the Energy Master 1, Hitzer 608, which can go right by the wall (2"). It also can exhaust right through the wall with no chimney, like some pellet stoves--or use 6" chimney pipe. It runs from 7,000 to 90,000 BTUs, hopper holds 2 bags of rice coal. It is rated for up to 3000 sq feet--but burns very low. The low end is about like a small electric space heater set on low. It is hopper fed using rice coal, but it does use electricity--for the power exhaust vent if used, the convection air circulation, and the coal feed from the hopper. It has a safety shut off if the power fails, or you could rig an emergency electricity supply. It runs around $4000 as I recall, and I was tempted--but found a beautiful Vermont Castings cast iron Vigilant II for $1495 on eBay (new) with free shipping--they still have 4 or 5 left. That might be good for you too--nut or pea coal, no electricity, up to 50K BTUs (much lower on slow burn and pea may burn slower).
NoSmoke wrote:
Sat. Oct. 13, 2018 5:38 am
I can't do it, I just cannot do it...I have used coal to heat my home for 26 years, but now have a pellet stove in our Tiny House due to circumstances beyond our control. I would like to go with a coal stove, but its Tiny Size is daunting. It is well insulated, and small being an 1100 sq ft, 2 story Foursquare home.

YEARSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS ago I had an old Surdiac stove that worked well, but that is long gone, but its physical size, and low BTU's would be perfect, but I do not think they make them anymore. Does any one know? Or at least, is something available now that is similar?

After a week of running the [email protected]#$%^&* pallet stove, it seems a 38,000 btu appliance would be about right. Maybe up to 50,000 btu, but gosh, nothing higher.

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