Converting a house to coal NEPA and other questions

 
Spaceman
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Post by Spaceman » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 12:21 am

Hello, I've tried searching for information on this and never really find much besides very specific articles or posts, or old news articles that don't help me learn much.

The short of it is, we are in NEPA looking for a home eventually. Houses on the market seem largely oil heated. She grew up with coal heating. I did not. a few questions,

What nowadays are the go to brands for whole home coal stoves or boilers? I've seen key stoker and heatmasterss. And van wert

Is it possible or advised to convert a home that is oil or natural gas heated to be coal heated? Has anyone here done this and made a thread about it?


What's your experience if you're in NEPA of finding professionals versed in coal heating?


 
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Post by waytomany?s » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 10:47 am

Everyone here is going to have a different answer. If you have street gas,, keep it, probably be cheaper for a few years yet. You can always add a stove and supplement or keep warm in a power outage. My .02.

 
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Post by k-2 » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 11:04 am

Spaceman wrote:
Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 12:21 am
Is it possible or advised to convert a home that is oil or natural gas heated to be coal heated? Has anyone here done this and made a thread about it?
I am doing the opposite.I have coal heat and im changing to Nat gas .Coal is not getting any cheaper after its huge price increase in the last 2 years . And its getting harder to find possibly due to the Govts war on coal. That said would probably keep it anyway if my only other choice was oil. I also have a wood stove backup that i seldom use. First choice in home right now is Nat gas IMO. Newer well insulated homes use a variety of types of electric heat. The price for 1MBTus of Nat gas is way lower than coal right now. at least half or less.

 
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Jeff Van Wickle
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Post by Jeff Van Wickle » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 3:17 pm

Coal prices came down this month.

 
waytomany?s
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Post by waytomany?s » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 3:29 pm

Jeff Van Wickle wrote:
Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 3:17 pm
Coal prices came down this month.
Where and how much?

 
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nepacoal
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Post by nepacoal » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 3:43 pm

You'd be crazy to ever by coal from Lehigh again! First and most blatant price gouger. My new supplier's coal burns so much better than Lehigh in my flat bed stoker so I guess they did me a favor by price gouging... I'll never burn Lehigh again.

 
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Post by k-2 » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 4:47 pm

Jeff Van Wickle wrote:
Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 3:17 pm
Coal prices came down this month.
You mean they have backed off some from the all time highs? I like coal and i like coal heat ,but i just dont see a long term future in it anymore. Mining anything is expensive and when diesel goes up again coal will follow. I do plan to store my stoker boiler for few years just in case circumstances change.


 
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Post by Rob R. » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 5:44 pm

What nowadays are the go to brands for whole home coal stoves or boilers? I've seen key stoker and heatmasterss. And van wert

Is it possible or advised to convert a home that is oil or natural gas heated to be coal heated? Has anyone here done this and made a thread about it?
Keystoker is common, they make stoves, hot air furnaces, and boilers. EFM makes a boiler is also fairly common. Axeman Anderson and Alternate Heating Systems also make coal boilers but they tend to be less common. Van Wert made boilers and furnaces also, but parts are not as readily available as some of the others.

These days it is much more common that people switch from oil or coal to NG, but if there is no NG service at your house you will have to decide if the manual labor required for coal justifies the savings vs oil, propane, etc.

There are quite a few threads on here documenting the installation of coal units.

 
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Post by snuffy » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 6:22 pm

If you are buying a home in Schuylkill County, by all means I'd add a coal stove and possibly consider a dual fuel system. In Schuylkill you can buy coal at $200/ton and a fair delivery fee. The further away you are the economics go down. Personally I keep five years of anthracite (nut) on hand. The radiant warmth from my basement Harman SF250 is unbeatable. Plus my copper water pipes provide enough hot water for showering. I'm thinking I might add an additional 200' loop of 3/4" copper for soaking purposes. The water averages about 95 degrees at the basement ceiling.

 
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Post by Spaceman » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 6:22 pm

k-2 wrote:
Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 11:04 am
I am doing the opposite.I have coal heat and im changing to Nat gas .Coal is not getting any cheaper after its huge price increase in the last 2 years . And its getting harder to find possibly due to the Govts war on coal. That said would probably keep it anyway if my only other choice was oil. I also have a wood stove backup that i seldom use. First choice in home right now is Nat gas IMO. Newer well insulated homes use a variety of types of electric heat. The price for 1MBTus of Nat gas is way lower than coal right now. at least half or less.
Natural gas isn't too common around here for a rural home unfortunately

Rob R. wrote:
Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 5:44 pm
There are quite a few threads on here documenting the installation of coal units.
Would you happen to have any notable threads on hand relating to conversion from a source to coal? The search function is a bit weak for me. I'll keep trying in the meantime


snuffy wrote:
Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 6:22 pm
If you are buying a home in Schuylkill County
we would be in Luzerne.

 
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Post by Retro_Origin » Tue. Apr. 16, 2024 6:39 pm

"Converting" as you say is nearly as simple as swapping out the unit that heats the water to heat your home. If you have an existing boiler than switching to a coal fired boiler might be a very easy swap, the piping stays the same. The device which heats the water is the only change. If you have an extra chimney a stove can be a very reasonable and affordable solution. Going to a stoker boiler is going all the way and might not scratch the itch that you're hoping for since the boiler is in the basement and the stove would be in a living space and give you more of a feel of being warmed by coal

 
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Post by xackley1 » Wed. Apr. 17, 2024 12:24 am

You didn't say the size of house you are thinking about.
But
I installed a single zone 24k mini split and have successfully heated my small home this winter. Never fired up my coal stove or oil furnace.
Coal here is $400 and I average about 4 ton. my total bill for electric so far is $1100 for the season. My normal electric bill in the winter was about $90 a month. So I do believe I will have saved lots of money, and did not have to lift buckets in and out.
If you can drill and own 2 adjustable wrenches a mini split is an easy install, and the feds will give you a 30% tax credit on the total install cost.

My coal stove is in my basement. I built a jacket to circulate from the existing cold air return to the oil fired furnace convection fan. I do notice that my floors are not as warm.
Don

 
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Post by Spaceman » Wed. Apr. 17, 2024 4:15 am

xackley1 wrote:
Wed. Apr. 17, 2024 12:24 am
You didn't say the size of house you are thinking about.
But
I installed a single zone 24k mini split and have successfully heated my small home this winter. Never fired up my coal stove or oil furnace.
Coal here is $400 and I average about 4 ton. my total bill for electric so far is $1100 for the season. My normal electric bill in the winter was about $90 a month. So I do believe I will have saved lots of money, and did not have to lift buckets in and out.
If you can drill and own 2 adjustable wrenches a mini split is an easy install, and the feds will give you a 30% tax credit on the total install cost.

My coal stove is in my basement. I built a jacket to circulate from the existing cold air return to the oil fired furnace convection fan. I do notice that my floors are not as warm.
Don
I appreciate it. It's hard to say for sure. We've seen 1600 square feet all the way to 6400 square feet. It's more about the property and certain house features than space itself but some are too large. I'd say average a minimum of 2500 square feet.

 
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Post by Retro_Origin » Fri. Apr. 19, 2024 1:28 pm

Are you saying your house is between 1600sq feet and 6400sq feet?

 
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Post by waytomany?s » Fri. Apr. 19, 2024 1:58 pm

Retro_Origin wrote:
Fri. Apr. 19, 2024 1:28 pm
Are you saying your house is between 1600sq feet and 6400sq feet?
As I read it, he is looking for a new place.


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