Bought House. Switch to Coal Over Fuel Oil?

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Pacowy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
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Location: Dalton, MA

Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 1:34 pm

Davian wrote:A boiler is a 20-30 year investment minimum...if he's not planning on staying there forever, its something to consider. A lot of people don't stay in their home that long or even half that long.
I'm not sure where those numbers come from, and I don't think I agree with them. If a good used boiler costs $3500 plus installation and produces significant savings in heating and DHW costs, it's hard to see where the long payback would come from. Worst case, even if the house were sold after a period of a few years, the coal boiler would still have value, and could be removed and resold. Obviously you wouldn't go through the effort to install a boiler for a very short period of use, but I don't think it normally takes anywhere near 20 years to justify the investment.

Mike


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Rob R.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
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Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 1:36 pm

Davian wrote:A boiler is a 20-30 year investment minimum...if he's not planning on staying there forever, its something to consider. A lot of people don't stay in their home that long or even half that long.
If someone is unsure how long they will stay in a home, or think it will only be for a few years, it is important to look at the return on investment and see if it makes sense. That goes for a lot more than just a boiler install....you could remodel the kitchen and in 5 years only get 40-50% of your investment back. Using that example, you could give the coal boiler away and it would still come out ahead of most remodel projects.

In my case the boiler paid for itself in less than 2 years, and has saved me thousands. If I had to move next month I would either bring the boiler with me or sell it.

One of the benefits of installing good/used equipment is that it holds its value very well. I think sourcing a used boiler and installing it yourself is a good way to minimize the impact of an unplanned move.

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windyhill4.2
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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
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Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both
Location: Jonestown,Pa.17038

Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 1:51 pm

A coal boiler is a lifetime "investment", but should pay off in roughly 5 yrs at current oil prices plus we know prices never go down to previous levels to stay.Remember a boiler is going to heat the domestic hot water all year & heat the house warmly at low cost all winter long without needing to be tended every day. Lots of the old houses had a coal heating system,no back up system,lots of those coal heating systems installed in the 50's are still faithfully doing the job they were designed to do. It will not take 20-30 years for a coal boiler to pay back in this situation. Just so I was thinking of the original posters wants & desires,i reread his original post ,1800 sq.ft. on each level,i'm guessing at least some of the lower level will be heated along with the upper level,easy for the boiler to do at comfortable level,not so easy to set a stove somewhere and arrive at the same comfort level throughout .Not too difficult a decision for my simple mind. :) Remember,oil is going up !! coal will go up ,but is way behind oil... oil at $4/gal = coal at $1000+/ton.
David **** John14:6 Jesus saith unto him,"I am the way.the truth,and the life;no man cometh unto the father,but by me." Wise men sought for Jesus when he was born,wise men still seek Jesus today. Seek & you shall find.

Davian
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 1:54 pm

Pacowy wrote:
I'm not sure where those numbers come from, and I don't think I agree with them. If a good used boiler costs $3500 plus installation and produces significant savings in heating and DHW costs, it's hard to see where the long payback would come from. Worst case, even if the house were sold after a period of a few years, the coal boiler would still have value, and could be removed and resold. Obviously you wouldn't go through the effort to install a boiler for a very short period of use, but I don't think it normally takes anywhere near 20 years to justify the investment.
I simply meant that the average boiler lasts 20-30 years...well, the average oil boiler at least. I didn't mean the ROI would take that long. The original comment was merely that installing a coal boiler will likely limit your possible resale market to those willing to buy a house with one. That's all. It definitely wouldn't take 20-30 years to reap any financial benefit. I offered the coal stove alternative when I saw the $12-15K cost someone threw out there (a bit of which I'm guessing is the masonry chimney and other associated construction costs). That seemed like a pretty large investment is all.

Pacowy
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Posts: 2736
Joined: Tue. Sep. 04, 2007 10:14 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite
Location: Dalton, MA

Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 2:09 pm

Got it. A lot of coal boilers last quite a bit longer than that. AFAIK basically all of the EFM tube boilers date from the 1950's, I have 2 Smith/Mills boilers in nice shape that are at least that old, and I'm sure others have similar war stories.

We installed a used EFM 900 in our old house, and resold it when we moved out a couple of years later. The savings still exceeded by a substantial margin the installation/removal/depreciation/etc. costs we incurred.

Mike

Davian
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 2:16 pm

Pacowy wrote:Got it. A lot of coal boilers last quite a bit longer than that. AFAIK basically all of the EFM tube boilers date from the 1950's, I have 2 Smith/Mills boilers in nice shape that are at least that old, and I'm sure others have similar war stories.

We installed a used EFM 900 in our old house, and resold it when we moved out a couple of years later. The savings still exceeded by a substantial margin the installation/removal/depreciation/etc. costs we incurred.

Mike
That's pretty impressive...perhaps a boiler is the way to go.

Pacowy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite
Location: Dalton, MA

Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 2:26 pm

In our case a lot depended on it being used equipment (which didn't lose much value) and having heavy heating and DHW loads to carry. A small family putting a brand new coal boiler in a small, well-insulated house might not achieve such a speedy payback.

Mike

kstills
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 3:07 pm

Davian wrote:
Pacowy wrote:
I'm not sure where those numbers come from, and I don't think I agree with them. If a good used boiler costs $3500 plus installation and produces significant savings in heating and DHW costs, it's hard to see where the long payback would come from. Worst case, even if the house were sold after a period of a few years, the coal boiler would still have value, and could be removed and resold. Obviously you wouldn't go through the effort to install a boiler for a very short period of use, but I don't think it normally takes anywhere near 20 years to justify the investment.
I simply meant that the average boiler lasts 20-30 years...well, the average oil boiler at least. I didn't mean the ROI would take that long. The original comment was merely that installing a coal boiler will likely limit your possible resale market to those willing to buy a house with one. That's all. It definitely wouldn't take 20-30 years to reap any financial benefit. I offered the coal stove alternative when I saw the $12-15K cost someone threw out there (a bit of which I'm guessing is the masonry chimney and other associated construction costs). That seemed like a pretty large investment is all.
Has to be.

Upper quote I received for my 4500 boiler was 4000k install. Lower bid was 2000. No chimney involved.


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windyhill4.2
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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
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Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both
Location: Jonestown,Pa.17038

Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 4:02 pm

:oops: Unfortunately I put the $12-15k figure out as a question as that is a number I saw on a different thread recently for new,but since this application has a current boiler,the coal boiler could tie -into existing system & possibly utilize the circulators & some of the other things that control the entire heat system without having to basically replumb the entire system for the new boiler.Still when you consider a boiler & acc.,chimney,coal bin & misc. -$10k-12k+ is a good possibility.
David **** John14:6 Jesus saith unto him,"I am the way.the truth,and the life;no man cometh unto the father,but by me." Wise men sought for Jesus when he was born,wise men still seek Jesus today. Seek & you shall find.

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Rob R.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
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Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 4:46 pm

The cost is different for each person, and each install. Some of us don't mind "re-purposing" used pipe or controls, others want all new. Some people need a chimney, others don't, etc.

I installed a refurbished EFM in my neighbors house this fall. I made good use of some used pipe, valves from ebay, used timer, and a free 55 gallon drum for a coal bin. He is looking at a complete payback after two winters...and that is not putting any $ figure on the fact that his basement went from a meat locker to a cozy work area, and his wife loves the warm kitchen and bathroom floors.

Pacowy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
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Location: Dalton, MA

Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 6:27 pm

OK, but now that everything in the house is warm, what do they do for a meat locker? :roll2:

Mike

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ShawnTRD
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6 (New in April 2014)
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Location: Spencer, NY

Post Wed. Feb. 05, 2014 9:48 pm

Does the Keystoker KA6 have the option for a auger feeding system? And does anyone recommend a different setup with keeping my current furnace?

Thanks

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Carbon12
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Post Wed. Feb. 05, 2014 10:18 pm

Keystoker does not make an auger feed system. However, one can easily be made using a grain moving screw auger or flexible auger. Many have done that and it can be off the shelf stuff. Depending on the distance you need to move the coal, you can buy a new auger for $700-$1000 on up.
No matter where you go,......there you are.

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Carbon12
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Post Wed. Feb. 05, 2014 10:20 pm

If you can. Keep the oil boiler and simply tie in the coal boiler. Best of both worlds
No matter where you go,......there you are.

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ShawnTRD
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6 (New in April 2014)
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Location: Spencer, NY

Post Wed. Feb. 05, 2014 10:27 pm

Carbon12 wrote:If you can. Keep the oil boiler and simply tie in the coal boiler. Best of both worlds
That's the plan. Any setup you recommend I look into?


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