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Thread: alternate heating source

  1. #1

    Default alternate heating source

    The heating season is done and all I bought was 16 gallons of propane!
    I recently installed an indoor coal and wood boiler. What a treat!
    I cut about 10 cords of wood and didn't get to burn any of it (too wet)
    So I bought 3 tons of coal and burned that. Took a long time to get used to it but after a couple of weeks I only had to feed it every 12 hours.
    It is looped into my existing propane boiler and if the fire goes out the propane kicks in. It's a little extra work that will save me thousands! If you have the time I suggest doing it! It will pay itself of in 2 years.
    Harman SF 260 130,000 btu's
    It also heats my domestic water.
    this year I will be buring wood. more tending but much cheaper!

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Well, I am happy for you but perhaps you need to see Al Gore about some carbon offsets.

    Seriously, switching to wood or coal in light of environmental issues is really questionable. Industrial plants can use scrubbers for coal burners, but I assume a home plant has none of that.

  3. #3
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    I believe pellet stoves (with varieties of fuels, including corn) are more acceptable as alternative heat sources, but I do not know their actual environmental impacts.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Some of the heating appliances have catalytic converters available for the flues. Not sure how useful or effective they are. Those on pellet stoves seem to be pretty good. Wonder how much, if any, maintenance they require.

    After awhile, wood smoke is very annoying, and can give some people real health problems. They can really mess with local air quality.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5

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    As for global warming, after having a physics class, I find it hard to believe we are the cause
    "Warmest temps in 30 years"
    30 years is less then a blink of an eye in the timeline of the world.
    The world has seen it all.
    Besides that. I doubt my shovel or two of coal is something you can compare to the tons and tons of coal a power plant burns in a day.
    My "carbon footprint" is minimal.
    My fuel source (wood) is renewable.

    sorry if I touched a nerve.

    I thought this might start a conversation on how wonderful it is not to be dependent on an oil source.

    mike

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Not trying to pick on you. My only point is that your neighbors get to smell and breath whatever is coming out of your chimney.

    I grew up in a small town, and have great memories of the smell of burning leaves in the air....all during the fall months. Everyone had a pile out on the curb and it smoldered continuously. We now know that those burn piles are what made the air so smoggy and gray, and folks are not allowed to burn leaves anymore.

    Sure, a few lucky folks can move out to the north forty and live like they please. But there is not room in the north forty for the other million people who happen to live nearby. It's a new world, Charlie Brown!

  7. #7
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKE123
    My "carbon footprint" is minimal.
    My fuel source (wood) is renewable.

    sorry if I touched a nerve.
    No offense taken here, yet surely you can see Jimbo's point.

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKE123
    I thought this might start a conversation on how wonderful it is not to be dependent on an oil source.
    Point taken, and, we agree! However, my wife's asthma precludes my own house from anything (or any neighborhood) but the most breathing-friendly kind we can find.

  8. #8
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    OK, glad to see we are keeping this on a friendly level. No one is trying to gore anyone's ox. Thank you!

    MY humble opinion is that like it or not, we ARE dependent on oil for now. There is no amount of coal or wood which could replace the oil we use, and especially not cleanly on a small scale operation. MY firm belief is we need to go back nuclear. ( WHOA,. that should stir up some debate!)

    The issues of spent fuel disposal must be dealt with, but are no more dangerous or challenging than the smog and supply issues involving oil. Since hydrogen fuel cells appear promising for cars, we have to remember how much electricity we will need to make the hydrogen!

    Just my humble opionion on this issue.

  9. #9
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    MY firm belief is we need to go back nuclear ...
    Or, we could all move to tropical islands and eat fruit while sitting in the shade under a few solar panels used to power electronics.

    Personally, I live on the edge of a city with its own hydro-electric generation system, and I believe we should employ solor, wind, water and human power (walking and pedaling) just as much as we possibly can.

  10. #10
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho
    ... and I believe we should employ solor, wind, water and human power (walking and pedaling) just as much as we possibly can.
    Can't argue with that!

  11. #11
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    In the immortal words of the ex president of the USA, it was the first time I had ever heard it pronounced that way, I am in agreement with jimbo.

    Nuclar

    Whos old enough to know who I am talking about?

  12. #12
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    One type of heat that is fairly new and seems promising is concentrated solar heat.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member Tracker83's Avatar
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    I'm with Mike123 on this one. I installed an outdoor wood boiler prior to last heating season. The boiler heats the house, garage, and domestic hot water. I used 80 gallons of propane from Oct. 1 through May 1, but my propane is still used for the oven/range and clothes dryer. Without the wood boiler I would have used 1,000+ gallons of propane during that same time frame. By the way, Al Gore should like wood burning. Burning wood is carbon neutral. The amount of carbon emissions is the same as if the wood were to decompose. That being said burning wood isn't for everybody, and I am in favor of almost ALL alternative energy sources.

  14. #14
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass
    In the immortal words of the ex president of the USA ...

    Nuclar

    Whos old enough to know who I am talking about?
    Eisenhower sent me a get-well card when I was about seven or eight, but I actually do not recall ever hearing any president say that word *correctly*.

  15. #15
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracker83
    Burning wood is carbon neutral. The amount of carbon emissions is the same as if the wood were to decompose.
    I had never before heard that, but that is believable since wood is so readily available to just about anyone just about anywhere.

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