blue83camaro wrote: I have a 94% eff gas furnace so my bill will hardly ever exceed $200 a month at the current price for gas. That makes it impractical for me to burn anthracite. Thanks for the info.
I'm in the same boat as you - I have a high eff. gas furnace, and with our 2800 sq.ft. new home, our gas bills, even with the real cold weather we've had, will not exceed $200, and that's with gas for everthing in the house.
I can get Illinois bituminous stoker coal for $88/ton. Nevertheless, I'm in the process of refurbishing a Keystoker direct vent stove to burn anthracite, which is $300/ton bagged locally. I'm working with the local stove dealer to look into bringing in bulk anthracite for next year.
Two reasons drove my decision: 1) Lack of bituminous burning stoker stoves and 2) lack of a good location in our house to install a vertical chimney.
I will not burn bituminous in any of the current crop of hand fed stoves. We tried the Indiana version of this coal (basically the same) years ago when I was in grade school in a Woodchuck add-on furnace. It basically covered the house and surrounding area in stringy coal soot. What a mess.
However, in a proper stoker like member HardWood's Combustioneer, these coals will burn relatively smoke-free. Sadly, the Combustioneer is long out of production, and there are no other bituminous stoker stoves like it in current production.