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Old 06-02-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


I decided to crack open the old coal furnace...it was converted to oil at some point, but died this winter. Label on the front says Sunbeam. Oil burner says Standard Oil. Thing burned so hot you couldn't touch the vents.

I'm trenching and hooking into gas pretty soon, so the body burner, as the neighbor calls it, needs to go.

After opening the side panel, I goto say I'm pretty impressed. It looks like it came off a ship or something. Now the question is, what the heck do I do with it? I was thinking that if I could get it outside, maybe use it as an outdoor chimney?










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Old 06-03-2010, 05:45 AM   #2
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


good for scrap iron costs, but I doubt little else. Definitly not energy efficient.

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Old 06-03-2010, 05:53 AM   #3
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


I made a nice sign for a restaurant out of the bottom plate once.----Mike----

That old thing may be the source of the 'rat pee' in your other post!--M--
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:59 AM   #4
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


So am I better off just scraping it and getting a HE gas furnace...or possibly try to salvage it somehow? Reuse as a coal furnace again?
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:38 AM   #5
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


scrap metal

where would you get coal to use in it?? and why??????
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:04 PM   #6
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scrap metal

where would you get coal to use in it?? and why??????

Just trying to think outside the box
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:49 AM   #7
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


Coal is a dirty fuel. Not just the emissions from burning it. But the coal dust and ash you can get in your house.

Better off just scraping it. And getting a high efficiency furnace.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:41 AM   #8
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


Put it on the E place or Craigslist. I can not believe the stuff people will actually buy!!

Actually I can't believe some of the stuff I have bought!!!!!
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:49 AM   #9
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


Quote:
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Put it on the E place or Craigslist. I can not believe the stuff people will actually buy!!

Actually I can't believe some of the stuff I have bought!!!!!
JIm


I'm sure someone would buy it for a cabin or some other set up. That they only need heat once in a while.

Considering that it would have an AFUE of 50%, if it had an AFUE rating.
I hope he doesn't take advantage of someone buy selling it.
Plus, as scrape, its probably worth more then he can sell it for online.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:07 AM   #10
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


American Pickers, Mike and Frank scour the country side looking for treasures like that.

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Old 06-05-2010, 04:41 PM   #11
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


use it as a oat anchor
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:45 PM   #12
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


Wow that unit does look impressive. If it can actually be moved outside I would try to just see if someone wants it, if not, scrap metal... as it is very inefficient. It's done it's time.

Could maybe convert it into a wood burning furnace though for use at a cottage or something.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:46 PM   #13
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


I would leave it in the "corner" of your basement. You will be the only house on the block with heat (shovel coal in) when the electricity grid goes down from a major power surge or ice storm.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:44 AM   #14
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I heat my historic house in Mahwah New Jersey with an old American Standard Sunbeam coal furnace that was converted to gas maybe 70 years ago with a Janitrol gas conversion. It is convection hot air (no fan to force air out and no filter to replace)via one large floor opening to the first floor which contains the hot-air output and return. It works well and is efficient, in that it needs no maintenance as modern heating uses. It is controlled by a modern thermostat on the first floor.

In all the 25 or so years I have been talking to contractors, and looking for a possible replacement, I once spoke to a heating engineer at a heating manufacturer out West. He said that spending $1,220 per year for heat and hot water for a 1,200 sq ft house is rather reasonable, and he did not see why I needed to replace the heating system. And this is without any insulation in the walls as it done in modern building. Anyhow, it is not feasible to add insulation since the house still has knob and tube wiring which requires air space between the conductors for safety reason.

Anyhow, after talking to heating contractors in NJ, I finally found an oldtimer who agreed to update the controls on my antique heating system. (I was only concerned with the controls failing and not being able to find someone to repair them,) He indicated that as a child he worked for his father's heating company in Scranton, PA and installed gas conversions to coal furnaces. He advised that this system has an 80% efficiency, just like modern heating systems and that he could prove it. I believed him, although I had seen estimates down to 40% efficiency in some publications.

Essentially, all the other heating contractors did not want to work on my old setup because apparently they were not familiar with it, and were concerned about liability. They also wanted to do a replacement with a new heating and distribution system for (since my house had no heating piping or air ducts going to rooms around the house.) about $20,000. The upgrade cost me $1,800, and works fine. The oldtimer said that it would be good for another 100 years.

I even back-dated the heating vent cover with a turn-of-the century cast-iron cover I obtained in an Ebay auction. This grating came from an antique house in Ohio. It was large and fit exactly to the opening in the floor.

I also note that I was amazed that the gas valves on the conversion unit worked as smoothly as they probably did when they were installed about 100 years ago. They were made with quality brass. I had had freezing and failure of several modern gas valves, including the main gas valve for the house entrance. They just do not make things like they used to.

The only problem I forsee is that someday when I go to sell this house, people will just not understand that it has a heating system arrangement that is superior, in its simplicity and efficiency to most modern heating systems.

Last edited by levine1944; 06-24-2010 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:52 AM   #15
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Old coal furnace......worth saving? [PICS]


Note that i even had the heating control power source to what i think is called bi-metal which generates its own power, rather than requiring house power. This will allow the heating system controls to work in a power outage, which we have at least once a year in my town.

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