For the past three weeks I have been switching between wood left from two years ago and coal purchased this past Autumn, depending on the weather. Spring is coming on very slowly around here, as Freetown Fred can attest to, we live in the same area of NY state. The cold part.
I learned a lot about burning my Godin Round this first year with it. Firstly, it heats like a boss! It was so nice to walk into my house in the evening after a hard day and long drive and feel the warmth greet me every night. I did not have a one match year, simply because it is a right b@#ch to get that funky stove to shake out and maintain. I would go about two to three weeks, but then I would do a clean out. First because I had to, then because I knew I would have to. So every second or third Saturday I just let it die and clean it out. Not complaining, just saying. I like that stove a lot. It never let me down by going cold suddenly or unexpectedly.
Anyway, I will keep that Godin, I plan on moving to a larger house in the fall, where it gets even colder, so I am still on the hunt for a base burner or at least a larger stove. I have a coal insert in that house already, but it has fans, and I don't enjoy the hum. Its a good one, a Harmon, and it has been reliable for 20 years, but I still don't like the hum of the fans.
So, hopefully the 50's and 60's predicted next week will arrive and I will just burn the last of my old firewood in the Godin just as the weather gets mild. I used 2.5 tons of coal, and I think 2 will do it if learn a bit more about how the Godin works. Also, I am pretty sure my supplier gave me about half nut and half stove coal, I bought a half ton of bagged nut, and it was a lot more consistent in size and burned much better, plus was a lot easier to shake out. So, next year I am going back to my old supplier. This year I tried a new coal supplier. Again, not complaining, just saying. The coal I received would have been fine in my Harmon, it is more a matter of the grate system than the coal. But the supplier and the supply do make a difference.
So for this winter, which for me was a warm one, I guess the only thing left to do is wait a week or so and let the winter fires die out, unhook the flue, give the stove a round of maintenance and start thinking about planting the garden. Best wishes to all the folks here that offered advice and may the road come up to meet you.