converting coal boiler
Permit me to understand this a little more. I'm going to list off what I think you're saying, and you can clear this up.
-you have a coal furnace
-you want to keep the coal furnace, but convert the firebox to gas or oil
-you presently have steam radiators, but want to switch to hot water baseboard
That's a lot of changes at once. And you're thinking of doing this as a DIY? Holy moly. That's not exactly a DIY project. If it was me, I'd put the gas or oil burner on the coal furnace, or change the whole furnace out to a new gas or oil burner, and leave the rest of the system alone for now. You can always change out the radiators to hot water baseboard down the road.
It might be helpful for you to know that a steam boiler can be changed around into a hot water system pretty easily later on.
I would impress upon you all very highly that this is not a DIY project. Seemingly insignificant engineering details can make the difference between a successful upgrade and a disasterous waste of cash. Best if you get a few local contractors to stop by and look the place over.
With regard to pricing, whether you go with gas or oil, your install costs will be pretty much the same. You'll have to consult your crystal ball as to which fuel will be cheaper to heat with in the future. Right now, they're pretty close, with natural gas having the advantage at the moment. You have yearly PM that MUST be done on an oil burner. A gas system can go many more years between scheduled PM's.
Last edited by mdshunk; 10-24-2006 at 06:02 AM.