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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traderfjp
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Posts: 1800
Joined: Wed. Apr. 19, 2006 10:32 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3
Location: New York

Post Sun. Apr. 08, 2012 9:42 am

NWBuilder wrote:This is my second year burning coal and my first year with a boiler. I would have spent $3600.00 on oil to keep my house at a booming 62* instead I spent $1600.00 oncoal to keep my home at 68* with water so hot you could make tea!!! Yea I'm lovin it! Boiler and install will be paid off in about 3 years, the rest is gravy. The fact that I am keeping my fellow Americans working is another wonderful aspect of coal heat. I tell everyone who will listen,so far one convert!
Did u have a stoker the first year? If so what was your coal costs that first year?
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in any coal or plumbing related field. I only post my own experiences, research and common sense. If you choose to use any of the information in this post or any other post you do so at your own risk.


Tull
Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu. Oct. 30, 2008 12:31 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS-S130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite
Other Heating: Oil for standby
Location: South Central PA

Post Mon. Apr. 09, 2012 12:30 pm

No regrets here. I save an average of $1500/yr compared to oil. In 2 more years my boiler/system will be completely paid off, and then it's money in the bank every year. Also, I like having the capability to run coal or oil, just in case.
Wayne L

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vermontday
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Posts: 328
Joined: Wed. Oct. 22, 2008 8:27 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Location: Bennington, VT

Post Mon. Apr. 09, 2012 9:24 pm

Used to burn 2,200 gal of oil per year to uncomfortably heat our 4,200 sq ft house. We now do not burn a drop of oil all winter. We keep the house 72 F and are saving enough money to pay for our kids college money.

It is the second best decision we ever made (the first was adopting our 3 daughters, two blondes from Russia and a red head from Kazakhstan).
US dependence on foreign oil has created the greatest transfer of wealth in history.

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DennisH
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Posts: 334
Joined: Mon. Feb. 21, 2011 8:35 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon-Eagle Klondike IV
Other Heating: Propane
Location: Escanaba, MI

Post Thu. Apr. 12, 2012 9:10 pm

This was my first full heating season using coal and wood. I saved over $1500 this year over last year using propane exclusively. I have to do a minimum 500 gal buy of propane per yer to get a locked in price, but this winter we only used 250 gal of propane on those days where it was chilly in the morning, but too warm during the day to use coal or wood. So, this Homey is happy!! :D :D

hcarlow
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Posts: 210
Joined: Wed. Mar. 21, 2012 7:44 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL 110
Location: Northern Maine (Houlton area)

Post Fri. May. 04, 2012 6:49 am

oliver power wrote: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.
Thanks for the PM , how large of an area are you heating with your kaa2 ? I am going to look at a new ka6 today but really think it is to large for my home . I started out wanting just a hand fed stove then a stoker stove and now a boiler, way to many choices.The even heat with a boiler makes so much more sense seeing what ever I get will be in the basement and I already have central hot water heat, just a lot more expense going with the boiler option.

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11340
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. May. 04, 2012 6:57 am

hcarlow, if you start a new thread and tell us more about your home I'm sure you will get a lot of advice. If you have hot water heat already, a boiler makes a lot of sense.

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steamup
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Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri. Oct. 03, 2008 12:13 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice
Location: Napoli, NY

Post Fri. May. 04, 2012 8:19 am

This was my first year using 100% coal. Couldn't have gone better. Did a lot of research and searching before making the plunge. There are a lot more options and opinions than you think out there.
Steamup

"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself."
Sam Levenson
"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."
Albert Einstein

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vermontday
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Posts: 328
Joined: Wed. Oct. 22, 2008 8:27 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Location: Bennington, VT

Post Sat. May. 05, 2012 7:44 am

I also did alot of research. I was considering wood, but I noticed how many were switching from wood to coal. You never read about anyone switching from coal to wood.

You add up coals advantages, safety, no smoking your neighbors out, how clean it is to use and the operating convenience, it can't be beat.

The final straw was reading about some poor guy that just spent $9K putting in a fancy wood boiler. It could not keep up with the house heat load even when he would get up in the middle of the night to feed it. He said his wife was not happy.

Coal easily does the job. There is a good reason everyone went to it before cheap oil.
US dependence on foreign oil has created the greatest transfer of wealth in history.


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dh1200s
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Posts: 67
Joined: Sat. Jul. 18, 2009 1:12 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL-110
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS-Tarm 202
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC 2000
Location: Honey Brook, Pa.

Post Sat. May. 05, 2012 11:16 am

I did most of my research while standing in line in the 70's to gas up the vehicles. I built the house in 79 and installed my HS Tarm-202 in 82 when property cleared wood ran out for my cast iron wood burner.

How much have I $aved in heating cost over the years.....I haven't kept track but lot$.

I’m adding my third coal appliance a WL110K to reduce my coal appliance tending time a bit during the heating season.

Did I make the right decision? …………$till thinking that one over………. ;)

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Short Bus
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Posts: 510
Joined: Sun. Jan. 10, 2010 12:22 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only
Location: Cantwell Alaska

Post Sat. May. 05, 2012 2:56 pm

Heated with coal cook stove first two winters here, should have found a coal heat stove, with propane wall furnace to protect the pipes.
Heated with coal boiler in garage last three years, including hot water, still have propane for vacations and such.
Still cool here, twenties at night, still heating, I'd be scared to find out how much oil would cost at about 5$ per gallon.
I don'd even own an oil burner,my neighbors that burn wood gathered it in the winter by snow mobile or delivered by log truck load, no thanks.
I still burn 150 gallons of propane, cook stove pilot lights and vacation heat.
Very glad I burn coal, considering spending some money on a different burner under my boiler, then I could find somone to tend the burner while on vacation, then just cooking propane :) .
If it was as easy as burning oil, everybody would be burning coal.
Forum reality, If you ask wheres a good steak house? You will be informed that what you really want is pork chops.
Enjoy it for what it is worth.

TAMNOZ
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Posts: 74
Joined: Wed. Sep. 22, 2010 12:14 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: KEYSTOKER soon
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker
Location: Reading,Pa

Post Thu. May. 10, 2012 9:35 am

This was my second full season with coal. I was heating a 2800 sq ft log home with a heat pump and paying as much $400 a month in electric,not to mention I went thru 4 heat pumps in 20 years. This past winter I used 4 ton at $165 per ton and my home is a true 72 degrees.I wish I knew 20 years ago what I know now,I'd probably be 20-30 grand ahead of the game.

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Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11340
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. Oct. 05, 2012 6:26 pm

Time to revive an old thread. Today I got a letter from my local fuel oil company, their "lock-in" price for this winter is $3.90 per gallon for No. 2 heating oil, $4.20 for Kerosene. With those prices, I am on track to save about $4000 this heating season. It only took 1.5 years for my EFM to pay for itself. Not only did I make the right decision by switching to coal, with the added costs of having a little boy running around we'd be pretty stretched trying to pay the fuel man. Having a warm & cozy house with unlimited hot water is a nice bonus.
Whiteash wrote:PLUS the one big thing is your keeping your money in the USA not to some sheik or prince who thinks I'm unclean. I buy my coal from Sherman Coal and they buy from independent miners and the money they make they buy Yengling Lager beer and I have a customer that works at the brewery who buys my maple syrup,hay and goat milk so you can say in comes in a complete circle. Buy Pa coal and drink Yungling beer. God Bless the USA.
Gary Owen :clap: :drunk: :dancing: :punk:
I really like that post.

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SMITTY
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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. Oct. 05, 2012 10:04 pm

HEAR HEAR! 8-)

Yeah when we moved here in '03, it didn't take long to figure out we couldn't afford to stay warm in here burning oil. That first winter we went through 4 tanks of oil - about 900 gallons - to freeze at 58° during the day, and 56° at night and when we were at work. Oil was $1.90 a gallon then!! :shock:

So I saved my pennies and by fall of '05 I was able to buy a brand new Mark I. Made a HUGE difference in heating comfort & cost. We were warm, AND saving money. But after burning it for 3 years I realized this unit was far too small for the heat load this building was putting on it. So, during the summer of '08, just a mere months ahead of the big panic, I decided to upgrade. I chose the SF250, since it was the biggest, baddest hand fired in the Harman lineup. However by September, I called to ask of the status on when it would be arriving, my heart sank BIG TIME when they told me .... FEBRUARY! :fear: :eek2: So I told them in no uncertain terms that was not going to work for me - I had a seasons worth of coal, and no unit to burn it in, as I had just sold the Mark I for $100 less than I paid for it new! It was full panic mode in MA - people were lined up out into the parking lot to order stoves - wood, pellet, coal - didn't matter. People were freaking out at possible $5 gallon heating oil that winter. Even made front page news in our local paper!

Anyway, the dealer says ... well I've got a Mark III on the floor right now, brand new on the pallet still shrink-wrapped if you're interested ... before she could even finish I said I'LL TAKE IT!! And the rest is history.

We've been warmer than ever, but the coal consumption went up quite a bit over the Mark I. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I should've made a better decision and bought a stoker boiler to run the whole house.

So now thanks to a good friend & forum member, I now have that stoker boiler! :dancing: But, circumstances caught me off guard and I was unprepared. No money to switch from nut to rice, nor to buy plumbing supplies. Then add in a leaky barn roof and a car I had to overhaul to make a profit off of, and my time & money to do anything with the stoker was finished. Next year.

The saga continues ......
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neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ...Such laws make things worse
for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to
encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with
greater confidence than an armed man."

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Crimes and Punishment."

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2001Sierra
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Posts: 1844
Joined: Wed. May. 20, 2009 8:09 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90 Chimney vent
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Buderus Oil Boiler 3115-34
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 90 Chimney Vent
Location: Wynantskill NY, 10 miles from Albany

Post Fri. Oct. 05, 2012 10:30 pm

But, circumstances caught me off guard and I was unprepared. No money to switch from nut to rice, nor to buy plumbing supplies. Then add in a leaky barn roof and a car I had to overhaul to make a profit off of, and my time & money to do anything with the stoker was finished. Next year.

Sleep at nite knowing you are half way there. :)

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Flyer5
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Posts: 10382
Joined: Sun. Oct. 21, 2007 4:23 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer
Location: Montrose PA
Contact:

Post Fri. Oct. 05, 2012 10:59 pm

I hear it all the time about people keeping there homes a cozy 50 degrees because of the costs of oil. Then I hear from them a month or two later about the house gets too warm when they first light the stove. The irony :D
http://www.leisurelinestove.com


You know when people say it was "better back in my day"?

They were right.


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