coal = dirty vents/carpet?

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Old 12-04-11, 03:00 PM
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coal = dirty vents/carpet?

is it normal for forced air coal to produce do much dirt that the carpet outside the vent becomes stained?

i know someone that has some kind of coal/oil/wood furnace and they are always complaining how dirty things get

or is it just a product of not keeping up with maintenance
 
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Old 12-04-11, 03:42 PM
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No it is not normal. The heat exchanger should be checked. If the air from the vents is unusually hot (150[SUP]o[/SUP] or higher) that too can cause discoloration around the vents.
Solid fuels are more dusty than oil or gas, no doubt about it. I guess it's possible the fuel dust is being drawn into the system & blown thru the ducts.
 
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Old 12-05-11, 05:29 AM
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I'm certainly no expert when it comes to furnaces but as a painter I've noticed that with oil or coal furnaces the vents and often part of the wall/ceiling are often discolored and need cleaning and/or priming before painting. I don't know if it's caused by lack of maintenance or not but I've seen it often on homes with oil or coal heat and rarely [maybe never] on gas or electric heat.
 
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Old 12-05-11, 06:56 AM
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Wow.. There's still coal burning furnace out there??

As Grady said, it's leaking some where, and getting into the air flow.. I grew up burning wood, and yes, at times the smoke puffs out and does get into the house, but not at the vent.
 
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Old 12-05-11, 10:19 AM
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Jay I thought the same thing! It must have some age.
 
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Old 12-05-11, 10:22 AM
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i think it was installed during the 80s...mostly coal put thru it, rarely oil or wood, i dont know brand or anything
 
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Old 12-05-11, 02:47 PM
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There is a high school a few miles from me that still used coal 10-12 yrs ago when my sons went there. I think they still do but don't know for sure. A little north of here [coal country] a lot of homes are still heated with coal.
 
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Old 12-05-11, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Grady View Post
I guess it's possible the fuel dust is being drawn into the system & blown thru the ducts.
Yes, just unloading coal into the basement coal bin and then handling it to get it into the furnace produces coal dust that can distribute itself through the house and get into the system through the cold air returns. Ditto for coal ash. Curtains need to be washed frequently and the house dusted.

The typical residential chimney isn't tall enough to prevent coal flue gas, containing fly ash and sulfur dioxide, from down-drafting and entering the house, and thence the heating system. And then there are the clinkers and ash to remove from the furnace and perhaps spread over the driveway. Been there and done all of that.

When many midwestern towns first got natural gas in the '50s and '60s, residential coal heating was converted to gas almost overnight. No wonder.

At current gas prices, at least in the midwest, I'm not even sure coal is economical for residential heating - even if it were worth the hassle.

Now maybe in areas of Tennessee, etc., with a nearby good-old-boy with access to a little mine and a dump truck, and no natural gas available, things may be different.
 
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Old 01-02-12, 06:49 PM
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I've seen houses where people converted their old octopus convection furnace from burning sawdust to coal to oil to gas over the past hundred years. Some have saved their shaker grates so they can convert back to burning coal if needs be.

These people will be the survivors of the future...
 
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Old 01-22-12, 03:57 PM
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1. if your coal is just sitting outside on the driveway, and you bring it in and there's 'rodent evidence' or just general 'dirt' etc in the coal and it is brought in to burn, will you smell that inside the house..sounds potentially icky

2. if someone stands next to a furnace and chain smokes will that cig smoke be vented to the entire house?
 
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