Gary in Pennsylvania wrote:NEPAForum Admin wrote:If you have the money for a stoker by all means purchase one, they are much easier to operate.
Granted....I'm just being silly. But I wouldn't go so far as claiming stokers are MUCH easier to operate!
I make a distinction in central heating vs. space heaters. In central heating the heat distribution system, hydronic radiators or supply and return ducts are already in place. The central heating coal boiler or furnace is installed in parallel. Since it sized to heat your entire house it uses more coal than a local heating stove or fireplace insert. While hand firing is possible it's much more work than with a stoker. Those that have hand fired central heating systems do so usually because the coal they burn does lend itself to unattended stoker operation. Shoveling 3-5 tons a heating season is not fun.