Boiler Vs. Furnace

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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Ronw
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Posts: 6
Joined: Tue. Jun. 17, 2008 6:01 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Post Tue. Jun. 17, 2008 7:23 pm

Hello everyone. Just joined the forum today but have been sucking up all your knowledge for a couple weeks now. I ordered a KA-6 boiler yesterday (16 week delivery) and am still pondering my options. Partially due to the lead time. First, a little information on my situation. We have a 2,600 sf two story house with full basement in NW PA fairly well insulated. Two, full time residents with a daughter that comes home from school to wash cloths. I currently have a 10 year old 103,000 BTU oil furnace and propane HWT. One chimney, lined and in good condition. Easy access to the basement for bulk delivery. If I stick with the KA-6 I will probably be putting it in my garage installing approximately 100 feet (one way)of feed and return line to get to the air exchanger I would put in the plenum of my existing furnace. By doing this I would have ease of access, residual heat in my garage from the boiler surface and ease of venting as I have a stainless 8” vent for my current Resnor in the garage and no worries of ash or coal mess. I would also have enough hot water for any of my needs. The other option is to put a stoker A150 with a water coil in the basement. This would provide radiant heat to the floor of the first story (I like that) provide some hot water (one of my other questions) arrive in about half the time and cost about $2000 less with pumps pipe etc. I should also mention that my wife and I are 45 years old and don’t plan to move for at least the next 20yr. I was hoping some of you could give me some other pros and cons on this scenario. Thanks to all of you for a great forum.

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Freddy
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Posts: 6606
Joined: Fri. Apr. 11, 2008 2:54 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Tue. Jun. 17, 2008 9:44 pm

Either option should work. If you put it in the house, I'd still do a boiler. You can put a heat exchanger in the hot air system and use the existing ductwork. Then you'll have all the hot water you want for laundry & teenagers.
Orrington, Maine
Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

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Lumberjack
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Joined: Sat. Apr. 12, 2008 7:12 pm

Post Tue. Jun. 17, 2008 10:30 pm

You may want to look into installing radiant floor heating....

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LsFarm
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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 Wed. Jun. 18, 2008 2:00 am

I'd go with the boiler,, use a water to air exchanger for the FA Plenum like you describe, and either use an indirect hot water heater/tank,, or use a water to water plate type heat exchanger in the cold water supply to the DHW tank.. this will provide you unlimited hot water..

The Forced air furnace can be equiped with a DHW loop, but this is a low BTU coil that takes time to preheat a tank of water, with this, you can run out of hot water.. with the boiler system described above, you won't run out..

A furnace isn't as long life as a boiler,, 20 years is easy with a boiler,, many are going strong after 50years.. a furnace is more prone to corrosion issues and cracks.. I recommend the boiler system..

And as Lumberjack suggested,, install hydronic floor heat in a few areas,, like the kitchen and bathrooms,, from under the floor if you have basement access to these floor areas.. you will really like the warm floors..

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?


Ronw
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Posts: 6
Joined: Tue. Jun. 17, 2008 6:01 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Post Wed. Jun. 18, 2008 6:53 am

Thanks for the input. I have full access to the floor from the basement installing radiant would be fairly easy. One concern. Have you heard of any problems with existing ¾ hardwood buckling due to the added heat and expansion and contraction?

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Yanche
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Posts: 3032
Joined: Fri. Dec. 23, 2005 12:45 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Location: Sykesville, Maryland

Post Wed. Jun. 18, 2008 8:33 am

I'd go with the boiler and install it in the garage as you suggested. The choice of how you distribute the heat in your house, furnace coil or hot water emitters will be a work/cost issue. Radiant heat will give you the most comfort, but is also the most difficult in a retrofit install. There are quite a few different ways to install retrofit radiant heat and what's best depends on your particular situation. Properly installed radiant floor heating will not harm hardwood floors. The circulated water in the floor emitters is lower than the boiler water supply temperature. Usually achieved by mixing some of the colder return water with the boiler supply. It works well because you can control the water temperature based on outdoor temperature. Water circulates almost constantly and gets hotter when the demand is greater. You will need to do this mixing in your home not in the garage, because you will need full temperature water in your home for producing domestic hot water. I you are contracting for the install the furnace A coil method will likely be much cheaper. If you go the radiant approach I can recommend a couple of design books.
Yanche
Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Stoker Boiler burning Anthracite Pea Coal

Ronw
New Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue. Jun. 17, 2008 6:01 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Post Wed. Jun. 18, 2008 1:44 pm

Thanks Yanche. I think Ill install the coil this year and look at zoned radiant in the future.

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