Wow, I just got my furnace restarted after being down for 10 days with the warm temps outside. I read about some of you using charcol so I tried some. I got a big bag of the Red Oak Natural Wood Charcol. Its only 10 pounds but the stuff is feather lite compared to coal. I layered up about 3 inches deep with the charcol, soaked it with some lighter fluid and let it soak in for a few minutes. I ignited it and let it get burning good for about 10 minutes. I added about 10 pounds of coal and in another 10 minutes it was starting to burn, I added another 15 pounds and now about another 15 minutes later, its burning awesome!
The charcol worked very good for me
Cut my fire starting time half compared to using wood and I had much better control of the fire thru the ignition process!! I used 1/2 the bag but probably could of did it with a 1/3. I'm sure with practice I could get at least 3 maybe 4 restarts with a 10 pound bag. I'll never use wood again, unless I have to