New Home Owner Looking for My First Coal Heating Solution

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
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michaelanthony
Member
Posts: 3988
Joined: Sat. Nov. 22, 2008 10:42 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box stove, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Baseburners & Antiques: Home Sparkle 12
Coal Size/Type: Coal Contractor's stove, a little Kimmels 'nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace
Location: millinocket,me.
Contact:

Post Mon. Feb. 27, 2012 10:35 pm

CoalWrangler wrote: My situation may be similar to yours, except with oil, in that I have an oil-fired forced air furnace and an oil-fired hot water heater. Rather that spending a large amount money on a new coal fired heat and hot water system, I opted for coal heat and oil-fired hot water. The cost of the oil to heat my hot water is negligible as compared to the cost of an entirely new sytem. Since I bought my stove used and did my own small refurbishing job it paid for itself in oil savings in less than two months. Just my thoughts - it's all about staying warm and saving money.
This statement rings true. I'm up in maine and that is exactly my situation. I burn little oil for hot water, hope to change that next year, and I've burned aprox. 25 gal. for forced air. I bought a used hand fired and stuck it in front of my fireplace and shazzam, anyone remember that word, saving money on a daily basis. My stove and coal has paid for itself in 4 months....by the way CW where in western ma. yah from, I'll be visiting my sisters camp in charlemont this summer, beautiful part of the world on rt. 2 along the Mohawk trail. Grew up outside of boston, grandparents always took us apple pickin' out west love the berkshires.
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Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11356
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Tue. Feb. 28, 2012 1:39 pm

Considering the size of your home, I have a hard time believing it can easily be heated with a single stove. It would have to be a very open floor plan and even then it would need some fans and such to move the heat around. I understand that it works for some people on this board, but it sure didn't work for me. I tried heating a big farm house with a Hitzer stove, and I ended up COOKING everyone near the stove just to keep the bedrooms above 60.

It is understood that the budget usually dictates what gets installed, but if you want to heat the house evenly...a furnace or a boiler with a water to air heat exchanger is the way to go. I like boilers and tall chimneys, but since you have neither...a stoker furnace tied into your existing system might be a good option to consider. Leisure Line makes an awesome furnace called the "Anthraking" that can be powervented. One of our members "coalnewbie" has one of these units and can probably give you more details.

Edit: You might get more responses if this gets moved to one of the heating sections. A lot of guys don't read the subforums of the different states.

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CoalWrangler
Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed. Oct. 26, 2011 12:20 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 983
Location: Western Mass

Post Tue. Feb. 28, 2012 4:23 pm

Rob - Sound advice regarding the even heat provided by a central furnace. 3500 sqft is a large area to heat with a single non-ducted stove. I'm heating about 2400 with my 983 just above an idle most of the time with no problem. Seems that once the house is sufficiently heated by the stove the heat to the individual rooms is controlled by opening or closing the doors to the rooms - that is - if you want heat in your room, open your door or close your door and stay cool. My floor plan is a traditional, but large, center stair cape with a full upstairs. Not sure what Dell's situation is. Clearly a central furnace would be optimal, but could also prove to be too costly which appears to be one of Dell's concerns- thus my assertion that a large insert like the 983 might answer the mail.

michaelanthony - I'm not out so far west to be in the Berkshires - actually in a town closer to the Springfield area. You're right though, its a beautiful area. Take care CW

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tikigeorge
Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Wed. Jun. 11, 2008 12:07 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6
Location: Phillipsburg NJ

Post Tue. Feb. 28, 2012 10:02 pm

Look at a Keystoker, simple operation and the controls are available at a supply house should you need them. The gear box comes from Keystoker. My fourth year and I have no regrets on my purchase.
I just added a auger to feed coal from my coal bin to the hopper. No more buckets from the coal bin to the hopper. I only have to remove the ashes, for now.

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tikigeorge
Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Wed. Jun. 11, 2008 12:07 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6
Location: Phillipsburg NJ

Post Tue. Feb. 28, 2012 10:02 pm

Look at a Keystoker, simple operation and the controls are available at a supply house should you need them. The gear box comes from Keystoker. My fourth year and I have no regrets on my purchase.
I just added a auger to feed coal from my coal bin to the hopper. No more buckets from the coal bin to the hopper. I only have to remove the ashes, for now.
How did that happen?

DellPoconoPA
New Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri. Oct. 21, 2011 8:41 am

Post Wed. Feb. 29, 2012 9:18 pm

Thank for All the info again all, this is great. My floor plan is pretty open high ceilings 3500 square. Am thinking the insert woudl be a good option with the existing fireplace, however am concern about up keep meaning how often would I need to feed the stove 2x a day or more??? whats your take, with a Coal Boiler I like the domestic hotwater bonus and up keep . Any advice very much welcome if anyone hears of a good deal i'd appreciate the feed back. Maybe i'll move the post as suggested.

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CoalWrangler
Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed. Oct. 26, 2011 12:20 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 983
Location: Western Mass

Post Thu. Mar. 01, 2012 12:57 pm

Dell - My 983 insert is pretty low maintenance. I generally tend once in the morning and once in the evening. Usually takes about 10 minutes. Lately the weather has been warm enough that I'm just tending once a day in the morning :D. These stoves hold a large amount of coal and produce consistent heat for a good long time. That said, for a typical winter (not like this winter) plan on tending twice a day. Take care, CW

User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11356
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Fri. Mar. 02, 2012 11:23 am

What kind of budget do you have in mind for this project?

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DellPoconoPA
New Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri. Oct. 21, 2011 8:41 am

Post Fri. Mar. 02, 2012 5:07 pm

My ideal setup would be a slightly used coal boiler, with heated hot water option coil. Hopper Fed / or possible manual feed. Not looking for High Maintenance but maximum efficiency. 2000 to 2500. I know thats reaching but i'd like to make a clean efficient and cost effective choice. Again all the information I've received here has been amazing so thanks everyone. This porpane is burning a whole thru my pocket.

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009to090
Member
Posts: 5104
Joined: Fri. Jan. 30, 2009 10:02 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice
Location: Warrenton, NC

Post Fri. Mar. 02, 2012 5:48 pm

Rob R. wrote: I tried heating a big farm house with a Hitzer stove, and I ended up COOKING everyone near the stove just to keep the bedrooms above 60.
Thats our experience too. Until I get the EFM hooked up, we are just using the DVC500. It gives this old farm house a couple HOT rooms, a couple COLD rooms, and a couple warm rooms...
The Highboy will put an end to that.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

DellPoconoPA
New Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri. Oct. 21, 2011 8:41 am

Post Fri. Mar. 02, 2012 8:26 pm

what do you all think opinions:

http://alternateheatingsystems.com/CoalBurners.aspx

has anyone had experience with these's units.

User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11356
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Sun. Mar. 04, 2012 7:00 am

There is a sub forum on this site for those boilers: Alternate Heating Systems & Legacy Stoves

The bad news is that you can forget finding a Coalgun for $2500.

DellPoconoPA
New Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri. Oct. 21, 2011 8:41 am

Post Fri. Mar. 09, 2012 8:42 am

dam, guess i'll keep looking. thanks for the feedback.

User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11356
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Fri. Mar. 09, 2012 8:56 am

DellPoconoPA wrote:dam, guess i'll keep looking. thanks for the feedback.
Please check your private messages. (flashing envelope at top of page).

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SMITTY
Member
Posts: 11915
Joined: Sun. Dec. 11, 2005 12:43 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler
Location: West-Central Mass

Post Fri. Mar. 09, 2012 4:18 pm

whistlenut wrote:I just noticed the list price of a VF 3000....6700 and that is with no options. Someone is getting a FAT paycheck on that rig. A Keystoker K-8 is less that that and 6 times the machine. WTF!!!! Harmon must issue several tubes of 'install lubricant' right at the dealership, because that is more than fair for such a gouging!!!!! Common sense is not prevailing in their marketing plan. :idea: :shock:
As resident of MA, I was born with "install lubricant" - you need it for every facet of life here ..... :lol:
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