Starting New, From Oil to Pellets or Coal???

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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nancy
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman PB105 pellet Boiler
Stove/Furnace Model: HarmanVF3000Verti-Flow stocker

Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 9:15 am

Living On Long Island N.Y. Oil prices at a all time high. I need a new burner anyway, How are the Hamans? I'm looking at the PB105 Pellet Boiler or the VF3000 verti-flow stocker. Who has what and what do you pay for a ton of coal ect....

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Lumberjack
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Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 9:40 am

well we are a bit biased towards coal here... ;)

250 bagged
160 bulk

nancy
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman PB105 pellet Boiler
Stove/Furnace Model: HarmanVF3000Verti-Flow stocker

Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 9:57 am

why? and how do you think a person should heat a home now a days??? and where is here???

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CoalHeat
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Joined: Sat. Feb. 10, 2007 9:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Baseburners & Antiques: Sears Signal Oak 15 & Andes Kitchen Range
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert
Location: Stillwater, New Jersey

Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 10:52 am

Hi Nancy and welcome to the forum.

Yes, we are all biased somewhat towards Anthracite coal here on this forum. Most of us have used oil, gas, propane and wood for heating at one time or another, and have all found our way to coal and are happy we did.

I've never had a pellet stove so I will leave the comments on them to those who have.

If you are considering a switch from oil to any type of solid fuel as a cost savings remember that there is a reasonable amount of labor involved in which ever solid fuel you go with. I personally heated with fire wood for many years and have found coal to be a much easier and more reliable fuel. I have never relied on oil for the primary heat source here. With fire wood my oil furnace still had to run from time to time, with coal I used no oil for heating this past winter.

I think if you do some more research here on the forum regarding pellets vs. coal you will decide on coal. One reason is the amount of BTU's produced per pound, coal produces much more. That means less storage space needed for coal. Coal can be stored anywhere, water doesn't affect it, but pellets have to be stored someplace dry. I understand from other posts that pellet appliances can be more work to maintain and clean then coal burners.

Harman products are top notch, I recommend them.

Good luck in your search.
Heating a circa 1832 farmhouse with a Harman Magnafire Mark I & a 1959 EFM 350 (heating DHW).
100% Oil Free!
"It's what we learn after we think we know it all that counts."


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cArNaGe
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Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 11:00 am

nancy wrote:Living On Long Island N.Y. Oil prices at a all time high. I need a new burner anyway, How are the Hamans? I'm looking at the PB105 Pellet Boiler or the VF3000 verti-flow stocker. Who has what and what do you pay for a ton of coal ect....
The first question is do you have access to coal. Do you have access to pellets? Whats the cost of each? Coal is usually around 13,000 btu/lb. Wood pellets are around 6000 btu/lb. There is some variability in both of them. Pellets take up more room than coal, so you could put more coal in the same location. Pellets as far as I know are only sold in the bags. Coal can be bought in the bags or in bulk, which is what Lumberjack was talking about. In his area you can buy a ton of coal for $250 bagged. Thats 40 or 50 pound bags. Or if you have a truck or trailer you can drive down the the breaker/mine and buy it for $160/ton bulk. I would say most in NEPA get it bulk them selfs or Bulk delivered. Most outside the area, like yourself would get it bagged. As far as which stove/boiler to get. The easiest way is to find out how many BTU's your current heat source puts out. And then get a new stove/boiler that puts out at least that much.

nancy
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Joined: Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 9:02 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman PB105 pellet Boiler
Stove/Furnace Model: HarmanVF3000Verti-Flow stocker

Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 11:16 am

thanks guys, I have only one coal place out my way. They service and I can buy by the ton. I just needed to know what to do. I'm going to take out my oil tank and wall off that spot for coal. I'm redoing the front part of the house it is my above ground basement, the door is shot and they can put a shoot in. (and I get my new door anyway) do they still shoot it in. I'm going to Rella coal inc. next week??

nancy
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Joined: Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 9:02 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman PB105 pellet Boiler
Stove/Furnace Model: HarmanVF3000Verti-Flow stocker

Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 11:55 am

does coal back puff?? and how easy is it to clean up at the bottom pan????

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Devil505
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Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 7:38 pm

nancy wrote:does coal back puff?? and how easy is it to clean up at the bottom pan????
Not if you load it right & you have to expect a little dust from any solid fuel burning appliance. Go for coal & not pellets. Pellet stoves cost more , are more complex & need repairs allot, don't put out as much heat, cost more to run, require more work & pellet fuel is much more volatile in price than coal.. Just keep reading some threads here....There are many people who tried pellet & now are sticking with coal.
War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
Winston Churchill
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rberq
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Posts: 5012
Joined: Mon. Apr. 16, 2007 9:34 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300 with hopper
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators (fuel oil); propane
Location: Central Maine

Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 7:39 pm

Check with your coal dealer as to whether he can deliver with a chute.

Search this forum for "pellets" to find threads where people have expressed their view. General reading of other posts will show you the variety of options for coal -- it sounds like you want a central system to replace your oil burner, which should be feasible.

I have burned wood and coal but never pellets. I live in Maine, where at the moment the fuel costs for pellets vs. coal are about even (not per ton, but per BTU). So when you price coal and check for availability, do the same with pellets. I would be nervous if there were only a single coal supplier in my area, as you say is true for you.
Simple answers for simple minds.

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coal-cooker
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Stove/Furnace Make: Crane/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Coal Cooker/Mark II
Location: Coopers Mills, ME

Post Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 7:55 pm

Welcome to the forum Nancy. Don't just look for coal dealers, check your local lumber yards and feed supplies. I buy most of my coal from a farm supply company here in Maine. Many Agways carry bagged coal as well. I have never burned pellets, but I always wonder why so many used pellet stoves are for sale.
Justin S.

Burning anthracite nut & pea coal in an old Crane Coal-Cooker since 1985.

There is nothing like a bin full of coal to give you that warm fuzzy feeling. OH, I forgot to mention the fridge full of beer.

nancy
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun. Jun. 01, 2008 9:02 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman PB105 pellet Boiler
Stove/Furnace Model: HarmanVF3000Verti-Flow stocker

Post Mon. Jun. 02, 2008 2:30 pm

so far I like the Harman VF3000 verti-flow stocker boiler. It sounds like it will take care of everything for me. do's & don't's

do = add coal when needed
don't = Do not add wet coal
do = have your boiler cleaned once a year and your stack
dont = run out of coal :dancing:

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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Mon. Jun. 02, 2008 2:45 pm

nancy wrote: don't = Do not add wet coal
Unless Harman has a specific reason for that you can burn wet coal. It may cause more corrosion than normal in something like a hopper but otherwise its not a problem. Ihave placard for my old van wert and they recommend that it be damp. What you don't want to do is run dripping wet coal.
do = have your boiler cleaned once a year and your stack
This varies by model, generally the large stoker boilers can go a year... You should check wherever it needs to be cleaned every few months during the first year to make sure the tolerances are enough to keep it from getting clogged.

BTW... DO GET A CO Detector. ;) You will most likely not need it but it just may save your life some day.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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