Too efficient boiler!

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Green Aura
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Too efficient boiler!

Post: #130865 Green Aura
Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:19 pm

Hi folks I need some advice.

We have an ancient Franco-Belge boiler which we inherited when we moved in here last year.

It uses just short of 2 big bags of smokeless fuel weekly at a cost of £30.50, plus a small bag of house coal to get it lit at about £8 a month. Kindling is currently free as we're chopping up old wood, but as you can see it's pretty pricey.

Do any of you know of anything that burns more slowly than the smokeless coal (red flame)? I saw some peat at the local shop which is only £6 for a huge bag - but the shpkeeper said it would burn too quickly and I have worries about its source. (My neighbour uses peat but he has cutting rights and cuts/stacks it himself and only uses what he needs - this stuff is in a bag from the coalman).

We can't afford to get rid of it but since we had the double glazing installed it's just too powerful. We're having to go round turning off radiators because the house is boiling within a couple of hours of lighting it. The radiant heat from the boiler itself is sufficient to heat the kitchen, dining room and living room.

The problem is that once it's lit there's little we can do until it goes out and as it's a b4st4rd to light we'd ideally like to keep it ticking along just burning really slowly. It'd be better for my aged mother as well who gets up before us and, if the boiler's out, insists on sitting in the cold instead of putting an electric heater on.

Any suggestions gratefully received.
Maggie

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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JulieSherris
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Re: Too efficient boiler!

Post: #130867 JulieSherris
Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:44 pm

Maggie, I now know exactly what you mean!

Now we have our stanley working properly, it chugs along 24/7.... we burn peat, but then where we are, it's the fuel of choice for 90% of households.
We have our own 2 bog plots which will be sorted next year for us to cut, but a large trailer of turf costs us 350 euros - we should use approx 5 trailers a year...... equal to £1400 a year for heating, hot water & 95% of cooking too (plus the kettle!)
In our rented house, we were getting thru 300 euros of oil a month :angryfire: plus leccy for cooking....

The heat though..... phew! We have every door in the house open so the heat circulates out... hubby has made me a gate for the doorway so I can have the door open, but the dogs can't go lay on the beds!

You're right about peat burning quickly as well - i use around 6 large buckets a day... even when we bank the range & leave it just ticking over.

What about looking for free wood to burn? Or is that not an option? Are there any turf bogs that you can lease locally? It's great exercise I'm told - I shall find out next year!

Julie
The more people I meet, the more I like my garden :wink:

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Green Aura
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Re: Too efficient boiler!

Post: #130869 Green Aura
Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:56 pm

Wood's not easy to get round here - no forestry (in fact no trees) in our immediate area. Does wood burn more slowly than coal? If so it would be worth getting it shipped in.

It's not just the cost of the coal, it's also the discomfort and the sheer waste of energy that upset me.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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JulieSherris
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Re: Too efficient boiler!

Post: #130883 JulieSherris
Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:13 pm

When I researched our stan, I found this little snippet on the stanley site...

The following solid fuel types are presented in order of highest fuel efficiency and calorific value:
1st: Coal or Anthracite
2nd: Seasoned Hard Wood
3rd: Dry Turf or Briquettes
4th: Soft Woods

So.... soft woods would burn cooler.... and after burning some this week, yes they do - although I wouldn't say that they last longer - seems about the same. Obviously from the info above, it would seem if you can get some seasoned hard wood, it would be better.

They also have a 'heat calculator' for your house - I don't know if it's much use to you.... but here's the link.
http://www.waterfordstanley.com/1331.htm

Have you any local (ish) businesses that have wooden pallets that they give away?
A lot of places here put them out for people to collect - the broken ones are ok for firewood apparently - that's another avenue I've yet to explore... but I will!!
The more people I meet, the more I like my garden :wink:

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Re: Too efficient boiler!

Post: #130987 snapdragon
Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:24 pm

Would it be possible to add fire bricks and therefore reduce the fire size?
This is what I've done with my open fire (still saving for a closed stove) and it did reduce the fuel used

As to fuels I would go for anthracite rather than coal briquettes, we previously ran a hopper fed boiler on anthracite grains and it was slower burning with them than with the manufactured pellets
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Re: Too efficient boiler!

Post: #130996 Green Aura
Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:31 pm

Reducing the size with fire bricks is something we'd not thought about. We'll look into that certainly, as well as seeing if we can get anthracite.
Thanks folks for your suggestions.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Too efficient boiler!

Post: #131116 Big Al
Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:20 am

JulieSherris wrote:
They also have a 'heat calculator' for your house - I don't know if it's much use to you.... but here's the link.
http://www.waterfordstanley.com/1331.htm



It's helped me for a start....

thanks for the link
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