Did You Make the Right Decision?

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
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Posts: 926
Joined: Sun. Nov. 27, 2011 8:45 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker Ka 6
Coal Size/Type: Casey Junk Coal :(
Location: Tannersville Pa

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 9:52 am

So you decided to burn coal as your main source of heat. As the days,years have gone by are you still happy with switching over to coal?
If you have time to make a post looking for free advice, then show some appreciation and say thank you.

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11343
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 Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 10:05 am

$1600 spent this season instead of $5000...warm top to bottom...loving every minute of it.

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Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 10:22 am

The last time I heated my farm with propane, the cost of propane was around $1.10/gallon, today it's $2.20. and it's been as high as $2.90.
The last heating season using propane, the prebuy in October was $5500, [5000 gallons] and I had to buy another 1000 gallons to get through
the middle of May.
so that season cost $6600, today the same amount of propane would be $13200.00..

Each of the last three years, I've burnt roughly $2400 worth of coal each year.. this last season was probably around $1800...

So I couldn't be happier.. I do have to empty the ashpan every day or two in the winter, and fill the coal hopper each week or two,
but that labor is paying me around $500/hour for toting the ashpan and coal buckets.. I'm getting paid like a Lawyer to haul buckets !! :mad: :lol:

So yes definitely I made the right decision,
and I've got several years worth of coal stored,, to hedge the transportation costs [diesel fuel price increases] and coal price increases.

Greg L
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

Posts: 135
Joined: Wed. Jan. 25, 2006 4:05 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Kodiak Stokerstove 1
Location: NE PA

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 10:28 am

One of the best decisions I ever made. Less than $700 spent on coal including delivery. Heats my domestic HW and a baseboard unit also. Average $100/mo. elec. bills in an all elec. house. I shudder to think what the cost would be w/o the coal. Back when I started w/ coal, comparable all elec. houses to mine were averaging $300/mo. during the heating season. Thankfully I never had one heating season in this house (built new in 1988) w/o wood or coal heat. The elec heat is turned off everywhere but the bathrooms where the wife likes it warmer.

I'll gladly put up with a little extra maint. for that kind of savings.

Stove is still running as its producing all my HW and takes the chill off on cool mornings....really hate when I have to shut the stove down and turn that damn elec. WH back on.

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freetown fred
Posts: 21408
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 12:05 pm

Never heated with anything but wood or coal & I gotta say, my back is real grateful for the change to coal.
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

Posts: 127
Joined: Fri. Mar. 04, 2011 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: Highboy
Location: Quakertown PA

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 4:48 pm

We had a very mild winter in my parts. I burn a tank of oil in Dec, and another tank in Jan. The EFM went online in the beginning of Feb, and I burned a little over a ton that month. The next ton has gotten me through March, and will probably last through April. I paid 325/ton delivered, which is quite high, vs $600+ for a tank of oil. Won't take too many winters to pay off the heating system install at that rate, especially when I find a more reasonable price for coal :D

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Posts: 1198
Joined: Sun. Jun. 15, 2008 11:53 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KAA-2
Location: Morgantown ,Penna

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 4:57 pm

I can now keep the entire house at a comfortable temperature.The boiler has paid for itself in 3 1/2 years. Tending to the needs of the boiler has taken on the aspects of a hobby. I fetch my own coal,so that means I get to beautiful upstate Penna.for several one day excursions each heating season.Last but not least ,is the fact that I get to deny my greenbacks a visa to go to some location where they seem to hate Americans. Mike

Posts: 6196
Joined: Sat. May. 24, 2008 4:26 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Invader 2
Baseburners & Antiques: Wings Best, Glenwood #8(x2) Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice,
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22
Location: Chester, NY

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 5:28 pm

Love that coal! Three buildings on the farm and over 4000galls of HO per year pre coal. This year about 50 galls - hey, I gotta check that old oil thingmebobber (whatever it was called) still works in case of an emergency. Things that would qualify as a genuine emergency are .... hmm... say, the end of the world. NEVER goin' back.
Posted by an unreasonable adult.

Posts: 111
Joined: Tue. Nov. 06, 2007 3:39 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty
Location: Lehigh Valley Pa.

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 5:40 pm

I bought about 41/2 ton this year based on last year and have about 1 ton+ left. At an average of 245 a ton to keep the house in the 70s vs. mid 60s on oil at 700 gallons a year I made the right decision. Now if I can only talk the wife into a boiler with heat exchanger. I have save enough in heating costs to cover the project but I spent it elsewhere :lol:

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Posts: 12191
Joined: Wed. Nov. 23, 2005 9:17 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 5:55 pm

Given that my only alternatives are wood, oil , propane, or electricity, I'm very happy to be burning coal. In my younger days I heated a house with wood, but I'm too old for that now.

Now if I had the choice of natural gas where I live I would have to consider it, and if it ever comes our way I would probably tie in a NG boiler as a back-up unit (mainly so I can replace my electric range/oven with a NG unit).

Democracy rests upon the principle that collective wisdom arises from a pool of individual ignorance. A Republic rests squarely upon objective law, and fundamentally upon those laws which restrict the scope and actions of government.

Posts: 6196
Joined: Sat. May. 24, 2008 4:26 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Invader 2
Baseburners & Antiques: Wings Best, Glenwood #8(x2) Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice,
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22
Location: Chester, NY

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 5:59 pm

BTW, according to the town regs I must have a primary source of heat other than my AnthraKing etc. (all electric powered) and I need to comply as I am very keen on following the regs. So I bought a beat up old Hitzer 50-93 in case of a power emergency that I will install this summer. I mean we old folk need to be prepared. We do need new regulators.
Posted by an unreasonable adult.

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oliver power
Posts: 2266
Joined: Sun. Apr. 16, 2006 9:28 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II), D.S. 1600 Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Location: Near Dansville, NY

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 6:02 pm

I'm very happy with the coal. Now that I have a coal fired boiler/central hot water heat, my house is the exact same temperature from one end, to the other. Thermostat set at 72 or 73 degrees. Tend it every 24 hours.

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Posts: 4678
Joined: Wed. May. 17, 2006 8:12 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal
Location: Forest Hill MD

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 7:55 pm

It's a no brainer. Saves me about $2,500.-$3,000. per heating season over oil. Wrapping up the 9th season the savings just keep piling up. And it is most satisfying to know when I walk in the home from outside and its nice and toasty that it is all due to a very tiny coal fire in my basement. I don't want to jinx myself but that 9 seasons of heat has been trouble free as far as the equipment is concerned. I'm still using the original grates, blowers and feed motor. Even my vent pipes are original.
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. Winston Churchill

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." —General George S. Patton

Burning rice coal in a 1981 EFM DF520, nut coal in a hand fired Jotul 507.

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I'm On Fire
Posts: 3920
Joined: Thu. Jun. 10, 2010 9:34 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator
Location: Vernon, New Jersey

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 8:04 pm

Well, I've got a hand fed but yes, I'm happier and made a great choice. The last time I filled my oil tank was I think the 2010-2011 heating season and it was close to $2k for the season. Last season was my first season burning coal and I spent around $1000 (5 ton) in coal. This season I spent around $900 on 3 ton of nut. I have 20 bags of coal left and have been buying a few bags of pea a week since the end of March until the season ends. I'm a pretty dumb guy, but switching to coal was one of my more intelligent decisions.

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Posts: 1066
Joined: Sun. Oct. 30, 2011 5:44 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size
Location: Pottstown,Pa

Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2012 8:12 pm

Saving 50% to 60% over fuel oil.
My second season and my boiler will be half payed for.
Very little effort and mess to save $2500.00 a season.
Not only the right decision, but the BEST DECISION

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