homecomfort wrote:Burning anthracite coal is nice as a supplemental, keep part of the house or 1 room very warm in the coldest part of winter. sort of entertaining if free time is available, a feeling of some self sufficiency, and you will save on utility bill. I would hate to have to depend on it for all of my heating, there are better ways to keep your house warm.
This is very subjective, depends on the size &type of stove/stoker you have, the size & layout of the house for heat distribution, insulation level in the house, etc etc. I am guessing your statement is your personal situation and not meant as a generalization for coal as a heat source.
My layout, house size, stoker size & location aren't anywhere close to optimal, but I can still heat the house to a very comfortable 72* (or higher
) with 100% coal if I choose to. Re-filling the hopper and exchanging ash pans once per day is my usual routine so that I don't forget, but may need to go to twice per day during the coldest snaps around here. The only reason I don't go 100% coal heat is if I go away from home for days at a time or during the shoulder months when I don't feel like re-lighting multiple times during a warm spell. During those times I'll let the propane furnace get some exercise, but not so much that I can't go three years between propane deliveries even though we also use it for hot water, dryer and cooking.
It does take a level of effort above turning a thermostat when heating with coal and that is not for everyone. I can tell you that it is much less effort than burning wood! The amount of effort depends on the stove/stoker and how much up front work you do to make daily chores easier. If it was me and I had never burned coal before but had a stove sitting there waiting to be used, I would have to at least try it out, but I like tooyls and experimenting. Then I could decide if I wanted to burn full time part time or not at all, get a bigger/different unit or take it out and sell it. One benefit of moving all that coal is you can save on the health club membership dues. But since you have kids that may not apply to you since you are probably running around already.
As other have mentioned, safety is the most important thing if you do try it out. Make sure all pipes are cleaned, all gaskets tight, all CO detectors have fresh batteries.