This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New furnaces

This fall St. Augustine needed to replace its furnace. It did so with an array of five small furnaces installed by DeYoung Plumbing and Heating. One of the advantages of that arrangement is that each of the furnaces heats a particular section of the building so it is easier to heat only one part of the building. The new furnaces do not send the exhaust up the chimney, but through the wall. If I understand the technology correctly, the outgoing gasses heat the incoming air, improving efficiency. If you hold your hand in the exhaust flow, it is warm but not hot.
The picture shows all five of the new exhaust vents, though two are mostly obscured by the bush. It also shows a large metal grate that may or may not still be used for air flow, and a coal chute door that most definitely is no longer used. It is a reminder that at one time most of the buildings in Rensselaer were heated with coal. Now none are except those at Saint Joseph's College. Can you even buy coal anymore?

1 comment:

Gene said...

You asked: Can you even buy coal anymore?

Are you kidding? According to the New York Times:

"Coal, reliable, inexpensive and dirty, remains the most important fuel for producing electricity around the world. In the United States, coal is taking a drubbing from natural gas, whose price has dropped sharply. But coal remains a critical component of the world’s energy supply despite its bad image."