Coal Vs Pellet Heat

Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: Devil505 On: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:53 pm

One of my local TV stations just did a piece on how heating with pellet stoves can save the average homeowner (Oil, propane, nat gas user) alot of $$$$ & has really gained popularity. I have been heating my home with a (hand fired) coal stove for many years but have wondered about pellets. First, I dont like the idea of relying on a heat source you lose if your power fails & 2nd, I have a feeling that burning pellets would cost probably double what coal costs me for the same heat output. I'm sure there are threads comparing coal vs pellet heat but I can't find them. Anyone know of a good comparison site or have any info...coal v pellet?
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:00 pm

Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: WNY On: Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:49 pm

I was my sisters house over the weekend, she has a pellet stove (Quadrafire?), it has helped her out alot vs. Fuel Oil, they cut their bill in half (6000 sq.ft house!!), They basically have 2 furnances in the basement (for upstairs and downstairs), it just didn't feel AS WARM as my coal heat, I think her stove was only 40-50K output. She goes thru 4-5 tons of pellets.

Granted there is very little ash, but I think you have to clean it more often for optimum burning, the burn pot gets clogged with the ash/creosote .

I only clean out the coal stove maybe 1-3 times depending during the season.

Plus I think the auto ignition system is a plus for many people that don't want to deal with lighting coal AND hard coal is NOT available everywhere, pellets can be purchase almost anywhere in the country.

I thinkt he coal buring is coming along and people are catching on.....
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon


Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: av8r On: Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:18 pm

Quite a few of the guys I work with have pellet stoves. They're all rated under 50K btu and all burn 3-4 tons a year as supplemental heat. They all spent twice or more for their stove than i did and while the stoves they have are prettier, mine will pay for itself in about 2.5 years. They all say they clean them once a week or twice a month. Everyone I know with coal stoves say they clean them once a year. A few of the pellet guys have actually told me they want to switch to coal and are going to list their stoves on Craigslist or ebay... I'm pleased with my choice and I hope the pellet burners are pleased with theirs.
av8r
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Hearth with twin turbos (sounds like it)
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth model with twin turbos

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: gambler On: Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:27 pm

I have burned pellets and corn for several years and this is my first year with coal and the pellet stoves are more maitenance (cleaning) than coal. I have burned wood, corn, pellets and coal and of those I like the coal the best. But I may be bias because the coal burning is new to me. Many of the pellet and corn stoves are controlled by a computer and seem to have more than there fair share of problems with the electronics. Typically they are 40-50k btu output stoves. Quadrafire came out last year with their AE and it is a 60k btu stove and has had nothing but problems with this stove. So if it were me I would stick with coal.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: Ed.A On: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:56 pm

I've a pellet stove Dealer down the road from me, he told a friend of mine that he's averaging service calls of about 1 out of 3 stoves he sells. He convinced the guy to buy a Quadradire Wood stove instead.

I'm thinking of stopping in and discuss Coal with the owner and see what reaction I recieve.
Ed.A
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: bksaun On: Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:18 pm

Take him to your house and show him the real deal!

BK
bksaun
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid, Gentleman Janitor GJ-6RSU/ EFM 700
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Coal Size/Type: Pea Stoker/Bit, Pea or Nut Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer/ EFM-Gentleman Janitor
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert/ 700/GJ-62

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: Ed.A On: Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:28 pm

bksaun wrote:Take him to your house and show him the real deal!

BK



You're reading my mind, I plan on doing just that. :)
Ed.A
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:39 pm

I know a few people with pellet stoves and one complaint is storing them. They are usually in short supply so that prompts you to buy a lot of them. Then they take up so much room and often go bad, moldy or damp.

Thats funny, you can chip coal out of ice after 50 years and throw it on the fire. :D
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: av8r On: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:49 pm

Are pellets still hard to come by some places? Around here, they're not. $205 - $211 a ton and they're everywhere!
av8r
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Hearth with twin turbos (sounds like it)
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth model with twin turbos

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: Ed.A On: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:12 am

av8r wrote:Are pellets still hard to come by some places? Around here, they're not. $205 - $211 a ton and they're everywhere!

Actually $235/240 is the norm around these parts. If you were to base it on BTU's vs Coal then you'd come up a bit short in the equality deparment.

Of course I'd never mention that pellets need a controlled storage enviroment, unlike our favorite Black beauties that require none of the afore mentioned. :)
Ed.A
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: ktm rider On: Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:22 am

I had one for 3 years. it worked O.K. But I like the heat of a coal stove ALOT better. Plus it still throws heat when the power is out. Pellets were around $140 a ton back then and now I believe they are right at $200 now.

My dad also has a pellet stove and he treid to get pellets last year in Oct. He didn't get any til the end of february !!! You are at the mercy of the pellet makers.
ktm rider
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS Multifuel
Stove/Furnace Model: CO 55 with oil backup

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:59 pm

The benefit of a pellet stove is that anyone can dump pellets in the hopper and make supplemental heat. You don't need to know anything at all about heating, starting a fire, draft, nothing at all - just dump and go and vacuum out the fly ash when it shuts off. Pellets are $239/ton around here and when the supply gets low they are way more. That equals about $350/ton for bagged coal on a btu comparison basis. I looked into buying a pellet stove before I switched to coal because I had misinformation about coal - it makes your house stink like sulfur, the fire is almost impossible to light and goes out easy, there is coal dust and corrosive ash everywhere, smoke and soot is everywhere, it ruins the basement, poses a fire hazard, etc.. and I since learned that all the coal info came from people that never burned a piece of anthracite in their life.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: smith10210 On: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:36 pm

I had a wood stove and two pellet stoves one being a qudrafire insert and the other a Breckwell BigE. I sold my wood stove because I got sick of dealing with wood etc and replaced it with a free standing pellet stove which I ended up selling after 2 weeks. It didn't put out enough heat and was a pain to clean alot of maintenance between the two plus i had to run the furnace.. I than replaced it with my stoker and couldn't be happier. Alot less work and heats my whole house instead of one room like the pellet stoves did. I still have my pellet insert which was in the house when we bought it and don't use it anymore along with the furnace. At least the pellet insert is cosmetically good looking because it's retired. Its great to have one heating source :D
smith10210
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93

Re: Coal Vs Pellet Heat

PostBy: SuperBeetle On: Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:45 pm

I never owned a pellet stove and I never will. I was visiting a relative today who has a rather small one (Quadrafire) in his family room which is about 15 x 20. It was chilly in the house (64) so he fired up that little pellet stove. When we left to come home 4 hours later, it was 67 in the family room. Now, I think the thing was set at low but I don't know how it works but he said it has 3 settings and on high it will run ya outta the room.
I started laughing and told him that my coal stove will run ya outta the house. He didn't think it was all that funny though. :wtf:

This leads me to a few questions. I see this stove is rated at 30,000 btu and they claim it will heat up to 1500 sq. ft. My Harman MK II is rated at 72,000 btu and will heat up to 1900 sq. ft. I heat 2000 sq. ft pretty easily although when it is extremely cold it can get a little chilly in the back room. (Under 70) How do these companies come up with these ratings? Is it possible to heat 1500 sq. ft with only 30,000 btu and keep it above 65?
SuperBeetle
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark II
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut, & Stove Anthracite