I Want to Move to Furnace From Stoker Stoves

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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heatwithcoal
Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed. Sep. 12, 2007 9:48 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: AK-110
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: AK-110
Location: Western Massachusetts

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2013 8:41 pm

It has been a few years since my last post and first of all I would like to thank everyone on this forum that offered all their advice to help me get my existing stoker stoves running and keeping me very warm. Now I am looking to move to a furnace and am asking for more advice.
Below are house details:
I have a raised ranch with electric baseboard (never really used) 1650 sq ft on main floor and 1350 in semi-insulated basement. Cinder block chimney. I am currently heating the entire house with 2 stoves. A Magnum Stoker in the basement, letting heat rise through the stairway along with duct running from the Mag to the stairs. This duct has inline fan. I also have an LL Econo on opposite end of house upstairs in the kitchen. House is generally 72 degrees burning 4-5 ton per year. I have been very satisfied with both stoves, however, this year I had central AC/heat pump installed with ductwork in the attic. This got me thinking about taking advantage of this ductwork by installing coal (or pellet) furnace in the basement (in place of the Magnum), running a duct up to the attic (through closet) and tapping into this new ductwork for heat distribution. After talking with a few people they suggested that my house was small enough that I could install a furnace, run simple ductwork to a few holes in the floor and not use the attic ductwork Now a couple of questions:

What do you think about using attic ductwork for heat? How much heat will I lose doing this? (Heat into cold attic)
I like the LL's and have looked online at the Hyfire II. Based on information provided above, would this be a good fit? It sounds like I would need a jacket for it to duct it?

Any other advice on a particular furnace or setup would be greatly appreciated.

Mark
Sent from my Corded Rotary Dial Phone.

Mark


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2001Sierra
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Posts: 1845
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 Mon. Jan. 21, 2013 10:10 pm

The thought of heat in the attic duct in the winter is really no difference than air conditioned air in the summer in a hot attic :?

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mdrelyea
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Posts: 115
Joined: Thu. Mar. 08, 2012 12:36 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska 140 Auger
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Russo #2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice/Nut
Location: Victor, NY

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2013 10:32 pm

I've been heating with the Alaska 140 auger model for a few years now. It's a forced air coal furnace just like you're looking for. I absolutely love it! I only have to tend it about once a week depending on how cold it is out. My house is slightly smaller than yours at about 1500 sqft, and also have a ranch. I've got a friend who has the same model and he also loves his. My father has the 140 dual burner and has been heating his 2500 sq ft house with it for probably 4 years now.

Here's a few of my favorite things about it
-Large hopper capacity. I don't have to fill the hopper daily, or empty the ash pan daily.
-Underfed burner design on the auger model. It burns the coal completely. Plus if I should ever want to burn *cough* wood pellets *cough* I can do that. That might seem like heresy to some people here! :shock: I look at it as another fuel choice option. I can choose whichever one is the cheapest.
-The new control box is digital.
-Easy to maintain

Pacowy
Member
Posts: 2753
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. Jan. 22, 2013 12:20 am

Are you trying to heat the basement as living space, or are you heating it incidentally with the Mag in order to heat the upstairs?

Also, does your Mag have the 6" knockout on top? If so, you might want to "test drive" your central heat idea by starting with a 6" duct from the Mag. You could run it all the way to the central air, or just run it to some point on the first floor and let the fan from the central air circulate it. In either case it probably would work best with a cold air return to the distribution blower.

Mike

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dcrane
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 3115
Joined: Sun. Apr. 22, 2012 9:28 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
Location: Duxbury, MA./Hanson MA./Brockton, MA

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 4:42 am

"Are you trying to heat the basement as living space, or are you heating it incidentally with the Mag in order to heat the upstairs?"

GREAT question above that I would like to know also? RR is a fantastic house, is the issue that you do not want to tend the stove everyday? If the basement is unfinished then I would not bother going to the attic at all. If the basement is finished and you want to loose the kitchen unit and you know your going to be keeping this house for some time to come then I guess your on the right track with a furnace. (leave your elec. baseboard in place either way).

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heatwithcoal
Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed. Sep. 12, 2007 9:48 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: AK-110
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: AK-110
Location: Western Massachusetts

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 6:31 am

I am heating the basement also. Family spends time down there, laundry, exercise, billiards, darts etc. The duct that runs across basement ceiling to the stairway is coming from 6" take off from the magnum. I performed a heating experiment the last two days using the magnum with duct/duct fan with less-that acceptable results. The family was walking around with fleece on because it was a chilly 67 in the middle of the house. They were glad when saw me re-starting the Econo last night. I am afraid the fan from the magnum will not be strong enough to push the air through the ac ductwork.
Yes, I would look to minimize the tending of stoves along with the fan noise coming from the econo.
I didn't think to look at AK's but have owned them in the past and they are a quality stove so I will look at those as well.
Before burning coal I was using pellets but pellets just are not as efficient as coal. Also I cant explain it except to say that coal seems to have a nice even heat that pellets do not.
How many ton are you burning per year with the AK140 single and your father with the double burner?

Thanks for any input, keep it coming.
Sent from my Corded Rotary Dial Phone.

Mark

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mdrelyea
Member
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu. Mar. 08, 2012 12:36 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska 140 Auger
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Russo #2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice/Nut
Location: Victor, NY

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 7:53 am

heatwithcoal wrote:Before burning coal I was using pellets but pellets just are not as efficient as coal. Also I cant explain it except to say that coal seems to have a nice even heat that pellets do not.
Couldn't agree with you more. I'm burning coal now and don't have any plans to switch. The cost is what dictates fuel choice for me and I suspect for most people. If the price of coal skyrockets (heaven forbid!) then I have another option and don't have to switch to a different heating appliance.
heatwithcoal wrote:How many ton are you burning per year with the AK140 single and your father with the double burner?
I burn 3-4 ton per year. I've burned both blakshak and reading. My dad burns about 8 ton a year of blakshak. He's got a much bigger house than me and he's on a hill.

Pacowy
Member
Posts: 2753
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. Jan. 22, 2013 8:37 am

heatwithcoal wrote:I am heating the basement also. Family spends time down there, laundry, exercise, billiards, darts etc. The duct that runs across basement ceiling to the stairway is coming from 6" take off from the magnum. I performed a heating experiment the last two days using the magnum with duct/duct fan with less-that acceptable results. The family was walking around with fleece on because it was a chilly 67 in the middle of the house. They were glad when saw me re-starting the Econo last night. I am afraid the fan from the magnum will not be strong enough to push the air through the ac ductwork.
Yes, I would look to minimize the tending of stoves along with the fan noise coming from the econo.
A few more questions:

Have you tried running the duct from the Mag to an air register "far" from the basement stairs, with the basement stairs serving as a cold air return? Or, instead of the basement stairs, connecting a duct from a suitable register to the intake of the distribution blower to act as a cold air return?

When using the duct from the Mag, have you blocked the rectangular air outlet?

Where was the duct fan in your heating experiment?

Does the AC unit have a "fan-only" mode so it will circulate air without cooling? Does the AC unit have registers in all of the rooms you are trying to heat?

It seems like there are two different issues here. The first is whether the Mag alone generates enough output for the house. The second is whether the distribution system for heated air is sufficient to heat the house with reasonable uniformity and comfort. If you don't have good distribution, it seems like you won't really know what the Mag can do, and the results from adding a furnace may not meet expectations.

Mike


User avatar
heatwithcoal
Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed. Sep. 12, 2007 9:48 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: AK-110
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: AK-110
Location: Western Massachusetts

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 12:29 pm

Mike,

Thanks for your attention to detail. I will try to answer all your questions.
HOME2.jpg
Fan mode only-yes
registers in each room-yes
I occasionally close off the duct going to the stairs and open the ducting into my bedroom directly above the stove. basically reversing the flow through the house. But I do have he econo awlays running in the kitchen.As seen in crude drawing. I am at work. :D
I do have the rectangular air outlet blocked.

Keep the questions coming.

Mark
Sent from my Corded Rotary Dial Phone.

Mark

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McGiever
Member
Posts: 6009
Joined: Sun. May. 02, 2010 11:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 1:20 pm

heatwithcoal wrote:It has been a few years since my last post and first of all I would like to thank everyone on this forum that offered all their advice to help me get my existing stoker stoves running and keeping me very warm. Now I am looking to move to a furnace and am asking for more advice.
Below are house details:
I have a raised ranch with electric baseboard (never really used) 1650 sq ft on main floor and 1350 in semi-insulated basement. Cinder block chimney. I am currently heating the entire house with 2 stoves. A Magnum Stoker in the basement, letting heat rise through the stairway along with duct running from the Mag to the stairs. This duct has inline fan. I also have an LL Econo on opposite end of house upstairs in the kitchen. House is generally 72 degrees burning 4-5 ton per year. I have been very satisfied with both stoves, however, this year I had central AC/heat pump installed with ductwork in the attic. This got me thinking about taking advantage of this ductwork by installing coal (or pellet) furnace in the basement (in place of the Magnum), running a duct up to the attic (through closet) and tapping into this new ductwork for heat distribution. After talking with a few people they suggested that my house was small enough that I could install a furnace, run simple ductwork to a few holes in the floor and not use the attic ductwork Now a couple of questions:

What do you think about using attic ductwork for heat? How much heat will I lose doing this? (Heat into cold attic)
I like the LL's and have looked online at the Hyfire II. Based on information provided above, would this be a good fit? It sounds like I would need a jacket for it to duct it?

Any other advice on a particular furnace or setup would be greatly appreciated.

Mark
My .02 cents...use the closet for a chase way for a new chimney and add a centrally located coal furnace in basement and simple ductwork as recommended. ;)
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

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dcrane
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 3115
Joined: Sun. Apr. 22, 2012 9:28 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
Location: Duxbury, MA./Hanson MA./Brockton, MA

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 5:03 pm

I call Dibs on the Harmon! :dancing:

User avatar
heatwithcoal
Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed. Sep. 12, 2007 9:48 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: AK-110
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: AK-110
Location: Western Massachusetts

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 5:45 pm

I am leaning towards LL Hyfire II with twin fans and just running my own ductwork in the basement to maybe, tree maybe fo floor registers. I will be needing to sell my Magnum and econo to offset the cost.

Please continue to chime in with comments.

Mike,

If you are still selling wagons of coal, I may just end up buying one off you yet!! :D

A new chimney is out of the question. My daughter needs her closet space ;)

Mark
Sent from my Corded Rotary Dial Phone.

Mark

waldo lemieux
Member
Posts: 2261
Joined: Sun. Sep. 30, 2012 8:20 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: efm
Stove/Furnace Model: s-20
Location: Ithaca,NY

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 5:54 pm

mark,

Get a boiler and run lines to a Heating coil in your existing ductwork . Its a very common thing to do. All you have to do is run two pipes to the attic.

Waldo
When faced with a seemingly impossible task, my grandfather always said "can't never can, untill try comes along"

Pacowy
Member
Posts: 2753
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. Jan. 22, 2013 7:13 pm

heatwithcoal wrote: If you are still selling wagons of coal, I may just end up buying one off you yet!! :D
At the new house we can fit a TL inside pretty easily, so we no longer have the fleet of gravity wagons. You've got a good memory, though. :D

Mike

User avatar
heatwithcoal
Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed. Sep. 12, 2007 9:48 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: AK-110
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: AK-110
Location: Western Massachusetts

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 9:10 pm

So after a few beers and staring at the basement ceiling from my comfy easy chair I have decided to run 6" duct up through the closet into the existing a/c ductwork (pressurized side) and run the magnum to see results. I can knock this out on a Saturday. Most importantly, I spoke with my wifey and she had no problem with me cutting holes through my daughters closet. Yay!

Also, I did check the rectangular air outlet on the magnum and it is only partially blocked with a gasket, allowing air to flow up the 6" duct and out either side of rectangular outlet in to the basement. Once I run the duct I will block the rectangular duct totally allowing heat only up the 6" duct.

Mark
Sent from my Corded Rotary Dial Phone.

Mark


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