I had a pellet stove a few years ago installed in our basement, while I don't remember what the BTU rating was on it, it was rated to heat 1500 sq.ft.. In the middle of the second season with it pellets were hard to find in my area, and the places that did have them were limiting the amount of bags you could purchase at one time. I happen to be checking pellet prices on line of the one place that did sell me some previously and I noticed they were also selling bags of coal. So I got wondering "why are they selling 50 lbs bags of coal?" and then thinking "well I am somewhat in the coal region" and then started checking out information on coal and coal stoves, and stumbled on this site. Got to say one of the best places I ever came across on the internet!
So I when I went to get some pellets I was looking at some of the coal stoves they had and was quite impressed, they carry Leisure Line. So not wanting to abandon my pellet stove right away I went and found a VC Vigilant for a good price and installed that in the other side of the basement just to see how I would like it. OK the Vigilant was a little more of a learning curve, and a little more work than the pellet stove, But WoW what a difference in heat ! The pellet stove never got our house over 68* at full bore, the Vigilant on the low setting kept the house at 72*-74* and the heat was nice, felt more even. Another thing I liked about the Vigilant (and one of the reasons I picked up the Resolute) is that the size coal it uses is easy to find and lots of times you can find people selling pea and nut cheep or giving it away.
Now we have a Keystoker, 70,000 btu's, thermostat controlled, just as simple to run as a pellet stove, but this Keystoker puts out just as much heat and a bit more then the Vigilant and really only requires tending every other day, but I do it once a day just in case, ashes go the same place, the trash and like the above post I have no worries if I leave the coal out in truck and it rains
Plan and simple - I will never go back to a pellet stove as long as coal is available