Is coal a dirty heat source?

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: Paulie On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:16 pm

ddersch4 wrote:Time to tend to the stove.

:lol:
Paulie
 
Stove/Furnace Make: leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:40 pm

Burning wood is a much dirtier operation.. wood chips, bugs, dirt from the bark on the wood.. and unless you have a 36' chimney, you WILL get a small amount of wood smoke out of the loading door at least several times a day.. and that translates into turning the inside of your house a 'lovely' yellow... the blues turn green, the white ceiling turns yellow.. and it smears when you try to wash it..

Coal with a very little bit of care is clean.. just a slight amount of dust.. no more than normal in my opinion.

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: Uglysquirrel On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:57 pm

I've learned that the perception of the 1920's burning bit from a dirty pile with coal dust flying around is still prevalent, after all, one person told me, thats why "spring" cleaning is required! I've pretty much stopped trying to convince people like this, they create a reason in their own mind to convince them not to consider it.

With the advent of some bagged being washed, the coal dust % is almost down to nil, people are amazed when I plunge my hand into the rice and a tiny discoloration remains on my hand. Having two ash pans helps a lot (easy out,easy in) with stokers generally cleaner due no shaking.

I'll offer though that it seemed that even with the washed nut, there always was a bit more dust with the nut compared to the washed rice. And opening that hand fed ash pan a bit early post shaking sometimes created an small unwelcome ash cloud.

Love it or leave it.
Uglysquirrel
 
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono

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Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: Uglysquirrel On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:00 pm

God yes, coal is the dirtiest heat source around!!!

Don't do it!!! :no1: :no1: :no1:

(I'll just buy the coal you did'nt buy)

:P :P
Uglysquirrel
 
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: nortcan On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:38 pm

I agree with these comments. I burnt wood for 23 Y. and hope never come back to that. Anthracite burning is much more cleaner than burning wood. My stove is in the living room and the place is even cleaner than when I burnt wood.For ash dust wood or anthracite they both need to be carefull. Vermont Castings have a super system for ash removal: when you open the ash door, the ash pan swings out, all you have to do is slide the ash pan cover on the pan and lift up. Very very easy and clean to use. All stoves must have that systm.
nortcan
nortcan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: Kenbod On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:49 pm

Contrary to my fellow anthracite users, I will tell you the truth: yes, it is a dirty heat source.

In fact, next to maybe wood or trash, it is the dirtiest fuel you can burn. Natural gas and propane are the cleanliness winners, hands down. Oil (when centrally located in a modern appliance) is also far cleaner but does have some serious microscopic soot issues.

As said above, responsibly handled in its own space in a basement and it is quite tolerable. Not a problem. And, yes, generally cleaner than wood.

Manual units in the living space will not be as clean. No way. I can bring laboratory swabs into anyone's house who has one and prove it. And accidentally spill some of that 'wet' or oiled coal on your carpet or furniture and it is trash.

And for those who care, it being the most 'carbon dense' fuel source, it is 'environmentally' the dirtiest fuel source. Toss in the developed organic compounds and liberated acids, and yes, admittedly, it is an imperfect choice.

But life rarely presents us a single 'perfect' choice among a host of wrong choices. There are 'relatives' involved in each of the above. And coal's downsides in most residential applications can be satisfactorily addressed.
Kenbod
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Van Wert Simplex Multitherm
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker Kaa-2

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: freetown fred On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:53 pm

WHAT :? :roll: toothy ---you mean yes it can be a little dusty :?:
Kenbod wrote:Contrary to my fellow anthracite users, I will tell you the truth: yes, it is a dirty heat source.

In fact, next to maybe wood or trash, it is the dirtiest fuel you can burn. Natural gas and propane are the cleanliness winners, hands down. Oil (when centrally located in a modern appliance) is also far cleaner but does have some serious microscopic soot issues.

As said above, responsibly handled in its own space in a basement and it is quite tolerable. Not a problem. And, yes, generally cleaner than wood.

Manual units in the living space will not be as clean. No way. I can bring laboratory swabs into anyone's house who has one and prove it. And accidentally spill some of that 'wet' or oiled coal on your carpet or furniture and it is trash.

And for those who care, it being the most 'carbon dense' fuel source, it is 'environmentally' the dirtiest fuel source. Toss in the developed organic compounds and liberated acids, and yes, admittedly, it is an imperfect choice.

But life rarely presents us a single 'perfect' choice among a host of wrong choices. There are 'relatives' involved in each of the above. And coal's downsides in most residential applications can be satisfactorily addressed.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: heartofcoal On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:06 pm

I think that's what he's saying...............Yup
heartofcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: C-80

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: MURDOC1 On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:26 pm

It is what YOU make of it, and by that I mean that YOU are in control of how clean/dirty your operation is... In my mind its kinda like this- There are two kinds of people in this world, either on/off or having the ability to finesse... The on/off types insist on slamming every door they ever opened, even at 2:00AM with a house full of sleeping people, they have only those two speeds, slam cabinet doors, break shovel handles, basically, they break everything they touch eventually, like a bull in a china shop... The second type has the ability to "finesse" things, closes those same doors slowly and with only enough force to get the job done, smooth operators, their stuff seldom breaks and they things that they have are usually very well maintained...

If you are the first type you're gonna have a mess on your hands... If you are the second type you most likley have the intelligence to understand what makes the mess and what doesn't and will simply "put a little finesse" into your actions when tending our stove...

I heated 100% with wood for many years prior to switching to coal and wood is a much dirtier operation, even with care... Coal has been virtually dust-free as I only tend the stoves once every 48 hours and have 2 ash pans for each of my 2 stoves... I heat to 75* 24/7 the entire heating season and the oil furnace has been unplugged for the last two years... Coal makes 100% of the heat here, I purchase oiled rice coal from the local coal yard and have it delivered, I store it in a 4 ton indoor (garage) bin... No dust to speak of here...
MURDOC1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska/Franco Belge/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: S.S. 2/ 144.08.02/ Mag Stoker

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:29 pm

freetown fred wrote:WHAT :? :roll: toothy ---you mean yes it can be a little dusty :?:
Kenbod wrote:Contrary to my fellow anthracite users, I will tell you the truth: yes, it is a dirty heat source....

And coal's downsides in most residential applications can be satisfactorily addressed.


I think that's what I said in my previous post but it's late and I may be remembering wrong. ;) Good night all, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:33 am

My wife is a clean freak, we have a Lil heater right in our living room . I get a little dust right around the stove from changing the ash pan but not much. My wife has no complaints especially since it is 76 degrees in there . It has to be cleaner than driving to that 2nd job to pay for the oil man . Also propane and oil mostly come from foreign sources, some who want us dead . Now when is the last time someone had a coal miner try to kill them .
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: europachris On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:26 pm

Freddy wrote:Bituminous I don't know. Certainly it has the potential to make an awful mess. Most of us here burn anthracite. That's "hard coal". It's much cleaner than bituminous and it's why most residential coal heat is anthracite. With just a tiny bit of care anthracite can be very clean. The most you should get is to notice a bit of gray ash dust on the windowsills when you do your Spring cleaning. It's much easier to clean a bit of dust than it is to watch your checking account get cleaned out by the oil man.


I burned 3300 pounds of bituminous for the "test drive" of my new installation this winter and am very pleased at how little mess there was, and 95% of what mess I had would be eliminated by having a boiler optimized for bituminous and some design changes to the boiler base. Cleaning the fire created a fair amount of dust as loose ash and chunks of coke and clinker would fall out of the cleanout door into my ash bucket while bringing out other pieces of clinker. Design problem, not a bituminous problem. :oops:

Bituminous does require regular brushing of the boiler heating surfaces - no less than once a month and weekly isn't too often, so a boiler with a big front door along with heat exchanger tubes that can be brushed out while standing would be preferable. With proper design, it's a 15 minute job tops. All I do is shovel out the collected fly ash/soot from the boiler base into a bag and dispose of it - very little mess. It's a little dirtier than anthracite due to the soot content, but not NEARLY as bad as the pure 100% black permanently-attached-for-the-rest-of-your-life soot I remember from burning bituminous in a hand fed stove.

I had about 3/16"~1/4" of buildup in my flue when I took it down for cleaning - a little more than I expected. I'll have to see how next season goes when it will be running full time. The fly ash is very light and fluffy, almost like little flakes, and might build up to a point and then fall off/blow out on it's own. I thought about drilling a small hole at the bottom of the elbow coming out of the boiler, waiting for a windy winter day and hitting it with the air compressor blow gun. :shh: With my luck I'd just blow a huge cloud of soot out of the boiler and into the shop.

I would definitely install a similar setup inside the house with only one condition - easy access to the coal. I ran my Keystoker for 4 years downstairs and while it did a wonderful job keeping the finished basement warm and toasty using a bag every two days, carrying dripping bags of coal through the house and downstairs was a pain. So either a walkout basement with the coal bin right there or a sealed bin inside would be important. Keep a garden sprayer filled with water handy to keep the dust down during handling. My coal was fresh out of the wash plant and pretty wet when I picked it up, but towards the end it dried out and got a bit dusty. Really no different than anthracite, I suppose.

As for wood.....only if it's free. I do love a good wood fire - oak, hickory, beech, maple, etc. - when burning properly. Choked down in the airtights of the 70's/80's or those outdoor wood boilers, wood makes a stench worse than 10 coal fires. And then you have the bark and bugs all over the place. Best thing about wood is the ashes - good for the garden and there isn't nearly as much of it as with coal. But try shoveling out a month's worth of ashes out of an old Fisher "Papa Bear" stove - you'll fill two 5 gallon buckets and fill the house up with dust doing it....
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: europachris On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:36 pm

Flyer5 wrote:Now when is the last time someone had a coal miner try to kill them?


That right there gets my vote for quote of the year! THE perfect response to anyone questioning why you burn coal.
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

europachris wrote:
Flyer5 wrote:Now when is the last time someone had a coal miner try to kill them?


That right there gets my vote for quote of the year! THE perfect response to anyone questioning why you burn coal.

Sounds like a bumper sticker!
As others have said well, the amount of care you take handling the coal and the ash determines how much dust you'll have. I've made improvements over the years to reduce dust from handling both and I am very pleased with the results.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Is coal a dirty heat source?

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:01 pm

The biggest issue that most seem to not be saying is that 99% of these supplemental heating devices use a FAN to distribute the heat throughout the house. As we all know, a fan moves air. If there is any dust in the air while the fan is running, it will blow that dust with it.

Now with due diligence, if you eliminate or severely restrict the amount of dust created, you will lessen the amount of dust blowed around the house. It really is that simple. Before vacuum cleaners, everyone used brooms. How many people use a broom while having a fan blowing ??? Do you sweep off your front porch while having the front windows open and a wind blowing towards the house ?? No you wouldn't or someone would be screaming at you.

So if you shut off the fans and keep the dust created by switching ash pans to a minimum, you will not have too much dirt blowing around and settling on the knick knacks and shelves.



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

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