Coal, sounds too good to be true

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: lsayre On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:45 pm

Some positives for anthracite:
------------------------
No creosote. No possibility of chimney fires.
Way more energy per unit volume and per pound than for wood.
No serious concern regarding its dryness level. Seems to burn pretty much just as well damp as dry. Can wet it intentionally to greatly mitigate dust.
No bugs.
About 60% to 65% efficient (real world) vs. 50% efficient for wood (real world).
Incredibly long and steady burns vs. wood. Shake down and reload about every 12 hours for a hand fired, vs. load every 3 - 4 hours for wood.
Even and predictable heat due to great uniformity, vs. unknown heat (load for load) with wood due to great variability in density, dryness, size of chunks, etc...
Burns pretty much smoke and odor free, vs. loads of smoke and stink for wood

Some negatives for anthracite:
------------------------
Some noticeable dust to control. Can wet or oil it to knock out the dust.
5 to perhaps 10 times the ashes of wood by volume.
Lower stack temp. means chimney draft is generally lower and should be monitored, and CO levels must also be monitored more closely.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:04 pm

Nortel

I burned wood for well over 20 years. I wish I knew then what I know now. I would have started burning coal and never have given a thought about wood. You just cannot compare wood to coal. Coal wins every time. ;)

Even thought now for the first time in my life that I am paying for a fuel to heat my home I do it with a smile. The house is kept at an even steady temp and I don't have to even think about getting up in the wee wee hours of the morning to put wood in the stove. That means REAL 12 to 14 hour burn times at 450F+. Wood stoves can't do that.

Tells us what part of the country you are in and I bet a fellow NEPA member will be happy to have you over and see and experience coal for yourself! :D
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: warminmn On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:11 pm

Coal has been barely available in my area for 30 years and local people still think its dirty, lol. I think people just assume that from hearing bad things on the news, and all the talk about so called "clean" energy.
warminmn
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Efel Nestor Martin
Coal Size/Type: nut and stove anthracite. Soft coal
Other Heating: wood


Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: Ed.A On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:28 pm

I know the people around my area still hold the thought of dirty coal. From talking to people before I bought into Coal they all talked about SOOT and how it would stain your house (and neighbors if you had some close by).
So as you guessed, everyone still thinks all Coal being ONE Type, although they couldn't name you a type if you paid them.

That said, it was my wife who did the research because back then I worked for company on 2nd shift. She couldn't take it dealing with Wood anymore, and frankly paying 180 Cord that is dropped in my driveway and the time stacking, then the bugs, then the frozen bits of bark that melt on the floor etc etc....Enough!

Then I found NEPA. The rest is history.
Ed.A
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: Rigar On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:04 pm

nortel...
heating nearly 4000 sq ft house..built in 1890...
( then again in 2012 lol)
im in cny...and only options here (besides wood) was oil or propane...
cost comparison in my area fuel oil vs. coal is 3.5 to 1
you cant beat coal for heat output per dollar spent. PERIOD.
the propane delivery truck shows up at my neighbors house every 3-4 weeks in the winter....at 900 bucks a pop....he thought i was crazy to consider coal
funny thing is all he does is bitch about heating costs ( and he supplements with wood too)

....sure there are moments when i wish i went another route...like when i have to fill the hopper and empty the ash every 5 to 7 DAYS.....i mean its 8 minutes of my life every week ...
Thats 8 minutes i could be online...HERE...in this forum
im not sure which is more addicting some days..
so grab a chair...a beer...and take some notes...ur gonna love it here!
This site is an HONEST wealth of coal burning knowledge...guys know what theyre talking about
hell.....even Freetowm learned that 'harass' was one word !
Rigar
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: KLook On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:18 pm

Welcome to the forum. I would launch into a lesson as to how I came to be here, but I think you get the point.
I would attempt to be funny but I can't top these two lines......
As you get older, it gets more difficult to whack your wood.

hell.....even Freetowm learned that 'harass' was one word !


:rofl: :rofl: :woot:

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman (Back In Maine)
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:15 pm

No, coal is much better than it sounds. With the right installation and minimal effort there isn't any mess to speak of. A modern coal stove is easy to maintain and can be adjusted to burn with no attention for 12 or 15 hours on average and much longer if need be. My longest burn was 36 hours. We left for the weekend with the house at 75* and when we got back 36 hours later the house was still 75* and had fuel for another couple of hours. Try that with wood. That was during my first winter burning coal but thanks to the guys on the Forum showing me how to burn coal more efficiently I can now drop that temperature and up my burn time for even better results. Even with the price of natural gas falling we still choose to burn coal because of the great heat. It's well with the effort - 10 mins in the morning before work and 10 mins before bed. One match in the fall and the stove will burn well into the spring. It will always be my first choice in home heating. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:35 pm

A cord of wood is $200 and even $250 near me; and it's not a true cord. That face cord will last 2/3 weeks at most. For $290 I can get a ton of coal that will last me a month and a half.

I grew up burning wood. Moved into my own home when I moved out of my parent's house. After 5 seasons of fighting with wood I switched to coal and have never looked back.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: Davian On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:23 pm

nortel33 wrote:I have been looking at this site for sometime. All the talk about burning coal for home heating sounds too good to be true. Everyone I talk to says coal burning is extremely dirty, procedurse coal dust through out the house and the heat is hard to regulate. Also, with coal you are dependent on the seller for the prcie they sell it. With wood you can atleast go out and get your own if need be. You are not doing that with coal.

I dont see any discussions from people who gave up on coal.


The learning curve is steep if you've never burned it before...but its well worth it once you figure it out.

As for controlling the temp, its far more steady than wood heat which tends to burn hot, cool down, burn hot, etc. The steady heat is one of the things I like the most about burning coal...also, mice dont like to make nests in piles of coal bags unlike stacked wood. 2-3 tons of coal takes up far less space than the comparable piles of wood too. Its easier to carry a 50 lb bag of coal than a full day's worth of split wood. You dont have to split and stack it or dry it out.

The dust is very manageable as long as you never dump your ash inside the house and/or shake down the stove with the door open (why you'd do that is beyond me but I could see it happening I guess).

Lots of positives to burning anthracite.
Davian
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Morso
Stove/Furnace Model: 1410 Squirrel

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:52 pm

nortel33 wrote: Everyone I talk to says coal burning is extremely dirty, procedurse coal dust through out the house


From other peoples opinions I gather it's about as dirty as wood or pellets however unlike those fuels we have options. For example all my coal is in a sealed bin and it gets shoveled into a 55 gallon drum that is inside the bin. You can get oiled coal, you can use also use a garden type sprayer to lightly dampen it before moving it. You could put it in feed bag over your auger like this:



and the heat is hard to regulate.


That is absolutely not the case. With a stoker you turn your thermostat up or down, no different than any conventional heat. With a hand fired stove the amount of heat being produced is not determined by how much fuel is in the firebox, this is where rookies make their mistake when trying to keep one lit and maintain it. You need to fill it up completely which is counter intuitive especially if you have burned wood, you regulate it with the air. Once you have figured out what the iar should be set at it's basically going to maintain the same temp throughout the day. Note I said day, generally you only need to fill it twice a day. Trying to compare how well you can regulate a hand fired coal stove to wood is a joke.


Also, with coal you are dependent on the seller for the prcie they sell it.


Coal is by far the most stable price wise, you're going to pay more the farther you get away from NEPA so it's important to find out what those costs are. Bottom line is this when comparing to wood or pellets, it's cheaper in most areas.

With wood you can atleast go out and get your own if need be.


That's true however have yet to meet someone that switched from wood to coal that regretted that decision. Supply is not an issue except perhaps mid fall and around February occasionally, you can get all the coal you want any other time of the year so plan ahead accordingly.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: Davian On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:29 pm

To be fair on wood too...its not as if you can just go cut down another tree and burn it. Even if you have the trees (I do and I do harvest from my property regularly), you have to plan ahead just like purchasing coal. You have to cut no later than the Spring for it to dry out sufficiently to burn inside. You have to split, stack and let it air out properly or you're adding a ton of creosote to your chimney. Yeah, it's "always" available if you have the trees but there is a fairly significant turnaround time. I suppose it is easier than mining coal by oneself at least...so there's that.
Davian
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Morso
Stove/Furnace Model: 1410 Squirrel

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:35 pm

nortel33 wrote:I have been looking at this site for sometime. All the talk about burning coal for home heating sounds too good to be true. Everyone I talk to says coal burning is extremely dirty, procedurse coal dust through out the house and the heat is hard to regulate. Also, with coal you are dependent on the seller for the prcie they sell it. With wood you can atleast go out and get your own if need be. You are not doing that with coal.

I dont see any discussions from people who gave up on coal.


Stick with wood! more coal for me. 8-)
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: Ed.A On: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:28 am

Hope we didn't scare the OP away with our Facts.
Ed.A
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: katman On: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:35 am

I gave up my coal boiler and installed a pellet boiler. did it to make my wife happy--she thinks pellets are greener. the pellet boiler works fine for me, and I will admit they are easier to get in my area. However, keeping the coal boiler would have been fine by me and I sometimes wonder if I would have been better off replacing the wife.
katman
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Magnum
Other Heating: Harman PB 105 Pellet Boiler

Re: Coal, sounds too good to be true

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:42 am

I would have been better off replacing the wife.


Better late than never, then switch back then visit my site (coal)match .com full of all new coal loving bimbos, everyone prescreened to shovel 200# of coal in one minute. Please don't ask for photos.
Last edited by coalnewbie on Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93,
Baseburners & Antiques: Invader 2 Wings Best, Glenwood #8 + Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22