According to this chart:http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/techl ... ulator.pdf
bitiminous coal has an 85% efficiency rating and throws out 30,600,000 per ton.
Wood, depending on what type and the level of seasoning only puts out roughly half that many BTU's. A gallon of fuel oil puts out roughly 138,000-150,000 btu's. No sense in mixing apples and oranges here...we need a lower form of measurement. Not quite fair to compare a gallon of oil to a TON of coal...I purchase my coal in 40 lbs. bags currently and it costs me $7.49 per bag. But I did recently find a place locally that sells anthracite for .14 cents per pound, which would save me close to $2 on 40 lbs! Anyhow...Let's run some math.
30,600,000 / 2000 (lbs) = 15,300 btus for each pound of coal (14 cents if bought at new place or 18.725 cents if bought it 40 lbs. bags)
Current cost of oil is 2.90 per gallon (for 138K-150K btu)
So, let's compare oil...2.90/.14 cents = 20.71 (lbs. of coal able to be purchase for EACH gallon of oil)
20.71 x 15,300 = 316,863 BTU's per 2.90 vs 138-150K btus running oil
Roughly DOUBLE the amount of heat for the same cost...The only issue is coal is ALWAYS ON vs. oil being an on demand type of thing. I've heard that the cost of coal is very cheap down in Pennsylvania. My in-laws actually own property in Western Pennsylvania, I wonder what the cost of coal is in those parts...might have to bring back several tons during the summer.
now if I could just figure out how to burn this stuff!!! hahaha.