Hotblast Year 9

 
larryfoster
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Posts: 1359
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Location: Armstrong County, Pa.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 617-B
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous nut (me and the coal)
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene

Post by larryfoster » Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 6:09 pm

Hello, all.
It's that time, again.

Good to see you all again.

Hope all is well with the community

Trials and tribulations of my coal burning in my Hotblast.

I started the season by breaking the stub off my front shaker grate.
Something else happened before that.

No shame since the furnace is going on 10 years.

I had a fair amount of coal left over from last year so I only got 3 tons to fill me up.

Problem is getting it shoveled into the coal bin in my basement.
I can't shovel that much any more.

My son was shoveling it for me but he passed a year ago.

Last year my neighbor built me a chute and used the bucket on his tractor.
However, he had open heart surgery and can't ride the tractor.

I ran an ad on Facebook and got some interest but only one person seems to have a semi-serious interest in shoveling 3 tons of coal.

The coal I have left over that I'm burning burns fairly well but doesn't seem to make much heat.
Since coal isn't mined here in Armstrong County anymore (at least strip mined), my supplier has coal hauled in from W VA.
He still has a few loads a day going into one of the power plants that is still operating some.

That started me thinking over the last couple days about the future.

At least my future burning coal.

I'm 73 and not old but can see old from where I'm standing.
My furnace (and chimney liner) are 10 years old.
Furnace seems in good shape.
Not sure about the liner.

Probably need to check that out this spring.

Other things I thought of.
Availability of coal.
If I can get it, my problem getting it in and accessible to the furnace.

Not sure how many more years I'm going to shovel coal.

I can get wood delivered by the tri-axle for about the same price as a winter's coal.

That becomes a different issue.
My liner will, most assuredly, need replaced and the creosote issue.

Will I need to replace my furnace?

My gas furnace is 30 years old, too.

I don't save any money burning coal unless propane goes nuts.

5 tons of nut coal delivered costs me $725-$750.


 
waytomany?s
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Posts: 4556
Joined: Fri. Aug. 16, 2019 3:02 pm
Location: Oneida, N.Y.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harmon Mark II
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Looking
Baseburners & Antiques: Looking
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: newmac wood/coal combo furnace

Post by waytomany?s » Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 7:35 pm

Does bit dry out and not burn well?

 
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carlherrnstein
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Joined: Tue. Feb. 07, 2012 8:49 am
Location: Clarksburg, ohio
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Post by carlherrnstein » Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 7:45 pm

Have you got any Mennonite or Amish neighbors? Generally they are work for a reasonable so long as you don't go out of your way to annoy them.

As far as what to do about the furnace an chimney. It's going to be up to you as what it is that you want to do. If you plan on selling your house it will be worth more if everything is up to code and ready to roll. Some people would want the ability to burn solid fuel others don't care or wouldn't want it.

 
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carlherrnstein
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Location: Clarksburg, ohio
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Post by carlherrnstein » Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 7:46 pm

waytomany?s wrote:
Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 7:35 pm
Does bit dry out and not burn well?
No but, it can weather an turn to dust.

 
waytomany?s
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Posts: 4556
Joined: Fri. Aug. 16, 2019 3:02 pm
Location: Oneida, N.Y.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harmon Mark II
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Looking
Baseburners & Antiques: Looking
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: newmac wood/coal combo furnace

Post by waytomany?s » Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 8:00 pm

carlherrnstein wrote:
Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 7:46 pm
No but, it can weather an turn to dust.
OP said he had some leftover and it didn't burn well. I thought there was something to that?

 
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warminmn
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Joined: Tue. Feb. 08, 2011 5:59 pm
Location: Land of 11,842 lakes
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Riteway 37
Coal Size/Type: nut and stove anthracite, lignite
Other Heating: Wood and wear a wool shirt

Post by warminmn » Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 8:06 pm

Sounds like you had a very poor year, Im sorry.

Cost wise, we are all pretty much screwed anymore no matter how we heat. Pick your poison but you might as well start converting to something easier the way it sounds. Good luck again this year with the coal.

 
larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1359
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Location: Armstrong County, Pa.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 617-B
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous nut (me and the coal)
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene

Post by larryfoster » Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 9:35 pm

Thanks, all, for your thoughts.

It's only been a few days that I've started thinking about life after coal.

There's Amish 35-40 miles away.
It's a thought but not sure it's workable.

I'm looking at the possibility of replacing two furnaces; gas and coal.
Be rough on the budget.

My daughter would never forgive me if I sold her house.
The land has been in the family for 200+ years.
She likes having animals.


 
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BigBarney
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Post by BigBarney » Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 9:56 pm

Good luck in the future... I miss the coal boiler ... But the time had come...

At 76 can't do what I could years ago...

I had to go to electric to eliminate any burning... And next year a heatpump ....

Still miss my hot babe in the basement...

BigBarney

 
larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1359
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Location: Armstrong County, Pa.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 617-B
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous nut (me and the coal)
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene

Post by larryfoster » Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 10:48 pm

BigBarney, I'm sorry that your boiler is gone.

Wish I had natural gas instead of propane.
Gas company abandoned the line a dozen years ago.
If they hadn't, I might not have ever gotten a coal furnace.

I was thinking about a heat pump when I go to replacing things.

 
larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1359
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Location: Armstrong County, Pa.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 617-B
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous nut (me and the coal)
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene

Post by larryfoster » Thu. Mar. 21, 2024 4:06 pm

As winter winds down, it was a rather interesting one.
My coal problems may not have been all the coal.

My chimney was completely plugged with soot.
I was sure that I cleaned it last spring but maybe I'm getting senile.
I got a whole kitchen garbage bag of soot!
Prior to cleaning I was setting off my smoke detector nightly.

At this point, I'm starting to look for bids to replace my 30 YO propane furnace.

One local guy made an intriguing suggestion .
He said put in a heat pump that would be used to +20, keep my current 80%
forced air furnace for when temps reach 20 and leave my Hotblast for a backup.

I still have a few tons of coal so that would help me get rid of that.
I'm still able to cut some wood.

My daughter who lives with us and I like the idea of having AC but my wife hates air conditioning.

The first guy that was here just suggested switching my 90K BTU 80% efficiency furnace to a 65,000BTU 95% efficiency forced air furnace.
I'm leery of that because my gas furnace doesn't keep me that warm now.

If those of you who are more knowledgeable on these things have thoughts or suggestions, I'd appreciate them.

 
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warminmn
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Joined: Tue. Feb. 08, 2011 5:59 pm
Location: Land of 11,842 lakes
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Riteway 37
Coal Size/Type: nut and stove anthracite, lignite
Other Heating: Wood and wear a wool shirt

Post by warminmn » Thu. Mar. 21, 2024 7:00 pm

The wife not liking A/C can be a tough one. Perhaps using a dehumidifier instead? Its not the same but 2nd best, maybe. Would cost about the same to run.

Kinda sounds like the suggestion for a heat pump was an honest suggestion. The lower BTU furnace does not look like a great solution.

Im not a modern heat type of person but a gas space heater, vented of course, might be figured into the situation somehow, to keep a room or two warmer to take some pressure off of the furnace. They make box types, wall types, ugly ones and good looking ones with logs.

 
larryfoster
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Posts: 1359
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Location: Armstrong County, Pa.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 617-B
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous nut (me and the coal)
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene

Post by larryfoster » Thu. Mar. 21, 2024 8:33 pm

good points, warminmn.

I figure she can damper off where she spends time to reduce the AC effect.

 
rberq
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Location: Central Maine
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300 with hopper
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators (fuel oil); propane

Post by rberq » Sun. Mar. 24, 2024 7:51 pm

larryfoster wrote:
Mon. Dec. 11, 2023 6:09 pm
That started me thinking over the last couple days about the future.
At least my future burning coal.
I'm 73 and not old but can see old from where I'm standing.
:lol: I like that -- "not old but can see old from where I'm standing." :lol: I am in much the same boat as you -- past the age where it is comfortable to handle coal and ashes daily, and my metalbestos chimney is on its last legs. The only reason to keep coal at this point is if the world goes to hell and I can't get fuel oil and propane.

Of your options suggested, heat pumps with propane supplement for cold days sounds good. If your propane furnace is still in reasonable condition, then that could be your supplement. Incidentally, I think the newer heat pumps are good at temperatures well below the +20 that your guy mentioned.

Or dump your old furnace and use stand-alone propane heaters, as warminmn suggested. Vented may be preferable, but for the last 25 years we have heated 400 square feet of kitchen/dining space with a 10,000 BTU unvented propane heater. No problems. It runs much below capacity most of the time, so less than using one burner on the cookstove (but more hours, of course). Available from about 5,000 to 30,000 BTU. Advantages are 99+ percent efficiency, cheap to buy if you get the simple wall-mounted units, simple and cheap to install because there is no chimney or hole through the wall for venting. If you choose standing-pilot-ignition units that don't need electricity, then they are emergency backup when the power lines go down and take the heat pumps with them. And if you intend to use them only when the heat pumps are insufficient or dead, then the purported problems of unvented-ness are not significant. (Not significant anyway, IMHO.)

 
larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1359
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Location: Armstrong County, Pa.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 617-B
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous nut (me and the coal)
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene

Post by larryfoster » Sun. Mar. 24, 2024 9:31 pm

Some good info that I didn't know, rberg.
Plumbing gas lines to the heaters

I'm leaning away from the heat pump even though it's pretty attractive due to cost.
It's almost double the cost of a new 95% propane furnace.

 
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BigBarney
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Post by BigBarney » Tue. Mar. 26, 2024 12:37 am

Remember that these fossil fuel heating appliances can only get~99% efficient...

Modern electric heat pumps can get above 500% ....

And they will get even better in the future...

Fossil fuel will stay expensive as less is produced...

They operate on volume and as it goes down the costs go up...

https://www.in2013dollars.com/Electricity/price-inflation

And these prices of only the ENERGY will go down as more and

more fossil power plants leave the grid as not economically

viable and are replaced by renewables...The second part of your bill...

The cost of DELIVERY could go up but that is a result of inflation...

And will affect all energy ...Look at the price over 100 years ago...

https://www.fortnightly.com/fortnightly/2015/12-0 ... 0s-wichita

Or the $4.58 per Kwhr in Texas in 1913....

http://phorum.dallashistory.org/read.php?2,81343

BigBarney


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