Burning Coal: How did it begin for you?
It is a simple question, and to jump start the topic if I may, I will explain how it thus started with me.
I am a life long Mainer and as such we burn firewood; and for good reason, we are the most heavily forested state in the nation and my farm contains plenty of wood lot. But growing up, to supply heat to the various houses, greenhouses and barns, we consumed a lot of firewood, nearly 40 cord per year, and I grew to hate firewood, it seemed as if we were either cutting it down, hauling it in or burning the stuff. We were a slave to it it seemed.
20 Years ago I had an out-of-state neighbor who had bought a single wide trailer and installed a coal stove in it, but it was not sized correctly. Upon firing it, the stove got the small space so hot that the house sweated and his aluminum framed door had water running down it, which hit the sill and froze tight. Scared the stove was going to burn his house down, he tried to get out and panicked when he found out he was locked inside. Being neighborly friends, and knowing I had just built my house, he told me to take it...for free...but just to take it.
I brought it home and learned to burn coal, which was far different then burning wood. But I loved how it did not create creosote, and at $150 per ton in those days, coal was cheap. The stove also had a glass front and a hopper and could burn 14 hours and was a life saver during the Ice Storm of 1998 when we were without power for 14 days.
But all good things must come to an end, and when it began to rust out I replaced it with the Vogelzang that I have now. In retrospect I should have kept that stove as I have the ability to rebuild about anything as I am a welder at a major shipyard, but the experience of burning coal in that old hand me down stove never left me...as did my dislike for firewood, though I admit I have 7 cords of firewood stacked up and ready to go just in case. But when asked about what I heat my house with, I tell people coal because I think if you are not burning coal, you are missing out on a great, safe heating source and want to see more people burn it.
So that is how I got started...anyone else like to add anything?