Exp w/Coal Furnace for Backup Heat vs LP

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by 4sarge, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. 4sarge

    4sarge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    200
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    Sweet Owen County - Indiana
    New residence

    Bought this cabin of "our dreams" and was told by previous owners that the propane budget was 85.00 per month. All utility info was verbal, new residence (3 years old) and all seems top notch, top of the line building.

    Well, guess what, When all was said and done, propane company wanted 306.00 per month and said previous owners only had one 85.00 bill - the one that they showed me. Keep in mind that I'm also starting in the middle of the budget cycle, October instead of April - March.

    In lieu of the "budget plan", I purchased the 780 gallons (1280.00) that was in the tank and working to make this last and want to actually see what my LP gas usage is for the first year.

    We love this place, but will need to make some sort of changes to rectify this and not freeze in the process. Cabin is log - 8" thick, e glass in windows, no storm windows or doors (airtight ?), 90% efficient LP furnace, REMC for electric. Open concept, loft, only 2 areas that can be compartmentalized, bathroom and bedroom. Shutting off these 2 rooms during the night seems to keep these rooms warm but the front room, kitchen and dining area are cool to say the least. We are doing the sweater, hat thing until the morning sun helps warm these large areas. Do not feel any drafts or cold air infiltration but it's like standing in a large warehouse with little or no heat. I've tried to be conservative and keep the heat on 65* but cranking it up to 70 when the wife demands. I hate to be cold but need to conserve.

    Should I panic or too early? No fireplace, plenty of wood available but wood needs to cut, split etc and keep fireplace going. We are only there currently on the weekends and I have the temp set on 55* while we are gone.

    Coal? I live near Coal City, where Coal was King. Thinking of buying a supplemental wood/coal furnace addition to piggy back onto the existing flu/ductwork and use this to supplement the LP. Anyone familiar with these and their cost effectiveness. I will also need to build a coal shed and pay for delivery. The free standing outside furnaces look great but I might need to place mine in the walk in basement for installation ease.

    Thoughts, Experience with these and loft type living.

    Thanks :nerd:
     
  2. upnylou

    upnylou Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    up here in northern ny, we *almost* purchased an old coal 'stoaker'. it was truly the neatest design, with a screw-type worm gear for extracting [pea] coal into its funnel-shaped burner. very simple to operate AND maintain. we changed our minds and got a much more expensive outdoor wood furnace instead, because we have so much wood on our land.

    where is 'coal city' located? are u handy? if you're interested in getting something like this, email or pm me and i'll give u more info on the company that sells them.
     

  3. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    Maybe can look at something like this, forced hot air furnaces are much cheaper than forced hot water.

    http://www.meyermfg.com/woodchuck.html

    You can find a number of forced hot air furnaces by Google searching. I had a HS Tarm MB55 wood / coal forced hot water furnace in my last house and it was the cat's meow but they can be pretty expensive.

    What type of coal is available in your area and what does it cost? I am also thinking of adding additional supplemental fuels to my house heating. Would like to go back to burning a good grade of coal.
     
  4. 4sarge

    4sarge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    200
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    Sweet Owen County - Indiana
    Thanks, Coal City is in Western Indiana, South of Brazil and SE of Terre Haute, IN. I'm looking at a couple of different add ons but am always interested in seeing other designs and products. I have lots of wood on the property but did not want to depend upon my cutting, splitting and curing my fuel supply. :walk:

    This Coal is strip pit mined and probably not the best quality but has been used for years by many for heat and powering funaces. I'll do some research on the actual cost but I'm sure it is low and transportation would be the actual highest charge. I'm close and would not need to pay high transportation charges.


    Norseman2500

    Brunco