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Coal heat in the UK

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Anybody from the UK? Have some questions about heating your home. We're moving to a rural area and are considering solid fuel but the U.S. seems to out of touch with solid fuels. Anybody use a solid fuel boiler?
post #2 of 11
I'm from the UK, and my heating system is gas fired radiators. My partner who lives in the highlands of Scotland has a solid fuel heating system though because theres no gas where he is because it's quite remote.

Once his coal fire is lit and the water is hot, theres a pump that he opens up and that distributes the hot water around his radiators and it's toasty!

The only downside to a coal fire is it can be quite cold in the mornings once the fire has went out, then you have to clean it out and start again, unlike my heating that can be set to come on with a timer.

That reminds me, i must pack my bed socks when i go up there next weekend
post #3 of 11
You mean like wood and coal? I don't because I live in the city, but I've known many people to use it.

There are a range of smokeless boilers that you can get, so thats nothing to worry about. And theres nothing better than sitting by a nice open fire in the winter. Sometimes just the fire will do if it's a fairly small house, and maybe something upstairs if you have one.

Alot of places will be connected up with gas, but some don't and so thay use LPG (Bottled Gas) for their stoves.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I found a double sided Hunter Herald stove thats not available in the U.S., I liked the style so much I'm interested in importing one. Then I found out that other models would supply hot water and heat to radiators. Further investigation led to the discovery of these kitchen boilers for heat and hot water. I'm mainly interested in using coal to combat the rising cost of energy. Here's a pic of one of those multifuel boilers that runs on anthracite.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...rma/Bioler.jpg
Here's a pic my neighbor sent me of one of their friends out back.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...a/IzzyDeer.jpg
post #5 of 11
What country is that boiler from?, and is that powered by coal?
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Those boilers are from the UK. If you google trianco solid fuel boilers you'll find a bunch of them. I talk to a girl from the southern part of the country and she had to leave in a hurry one day because her coal delivery had arrived. She's not online a lot but I'm curious as to how they are using coal. Looks to me that coal here has been phased out. Coal in the Uk seems to be utilized to a maximum. With $100 a barrel oil prices on the way I'm interested.
post #7 of 11
I must ask Gil what his boiler is called but i've never seen an actual boiler inside the house?

Mine is a combi boiler which is instant hot water and heat. I know that Gil pays £13 a week for one bag of coal, but in the winter he needs more than one bag so his fuel bill is much higher than mine because i only pay £28 a month, and that's for both electricity and gas.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
That's amazing. Your gas and electric are so much cheaper than ours. Yet the coal over there the coal seems to be out of sight. Must be that different countrys have different energy policys. Just goes to show you how we're being raked back and forth over the coals when it comes to paying for energy. I figured because the Britts are paying exorbitant prices for gasoline, Heat like propane, Natural gas and oil would be way up to boot. How much does that 13 pound bag of coal weigh?
post #9 of 11
I pay about £4 for a small sack of coal for our open fire. I have seen those stand alone boilers but I dont think they are used as much nowadays. Either gas or oil boilers is the way to go, and no matter what type of fuel used it is bound to be subjected to rising and falling prices. Years ago people would have a back boiler behind the open coal fire which heated domestic water, those are far and few now. We had an old wood burning aga in our kitchen when we moved in which also heated the water. Aga cookers have come a long way with ones that can burn gas, oil, propane gas, and even deisel. and they are still capable of heating your domestic water as well. It all depends if you have the room in your kitchen to fit an Aga into it.

I do not think that they are capable of heating a radiator system though, that would have to be a small wall mounted gas boiler, in which case you might as well get a combi boiler which does heating and your domestic hot water.
http://www.worcester-bosch.co.uk/ind...&con_id=130817
post #10 of 11
As a kid I lived in Rutherglen (Glasgow) in Scotland. We had gas heat. Now, my Uncle Robert lived in the Highlands and they had a wood burning boiler type deal. It sounds kind of like what Rosiemac is talking about. I was too young to remember exactly, but I do remember helping him cut wood and feed the boiler. My parents hated to use the heat when we moved to NY. Always the fireplace. Mom always said it wasn't cold enough to use the heat and that the cold would make us resistant to getting sick. Crazy Scottish woman! In retrospect, I never use the heat in my apartment here in Seattle and the weather is a LOT like Scotland.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
I'm from the UK, and my heating system is gas fired radiators. My partner who lives in the highlands of Scotland has a solid fuel heating system though because theres no gas where he is because it's quite remote.

Once his coal fire is lit and the water is hot, theres a pump that he opens up and that distributes the hot water around his radiators and it's toasty!

The only downside to a coal fire is it can be quite cold in the mornings once the fire has went out, then you have to clean it out and start again, unlike my heating that can be set to come on with a timer.

That reminds me, i must pack my bed socks when i go up there next weekend

Where in the Highlands, Susan? I moved to Copenhagen from there

We also had a heating system at some point that used solid fuel. I don't recall that much about it because I was very small at the time, but I do remember how cold it was in the mornings. I slept between my parents in their bed with a hat and gloves on and there would be ice on the insides of the windows. But the house was poorly insulated and not double-glazed, so I'm certain that would have had an adverse effect on any heating.

We also had an open fire when we moved to the Highlands, which is fantastic for one room... not much use to heat a whole house though, of course. It heats up a treat, but you do have to clean the grate out every morning and start again.... when I was about 12, it was my job to clean the grate out and light the fire in the morning. I earned my pocket money as a kid Hehe

On the plus side, it's really cozy to be able to sit around it and toast things over it.... I miss that. A family of four sitting around the fire with hot chocolate, snow and wind outside, toasting marshmallows and roasting chestnuts.... (ok... the nuts went black because we burned them. The sentiment was there though!) You also have the advantage of there being less to go wrong with it. It's fairly reliable and if I recall rightly, it's also cheaper than gas......
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