Scottscoaled wrote:here is something you should also consider. You have no chimneys right now....Coal for you is the most expensive to install. You need a chimney built or a stainless steel exhaust up the side of your house. You sound like you are in it to save money. That could be a deal breaker. I can tell you there is no better heat than coal. Period.
Indeed this could be a deal breaker - For coal you will need either a mortar chimney or a Class A stainless steel one running up the outside of your house. There is more then upfront cost to consider. A mortar chimney will be more expensive up front but once you have it in place it will require little or no maintenance forever. A stainless steel one will be less upfront but will have to be washed out in the spring to remove the accumulated coal flyash. The acid in the flyash when mixed with the summer humidity will eat through the stainless steel very quickly and despite routine maintenance the stainless steel chimney will have to be replaced in 15 or 20 years.
How long do you plan to be in the house? How long would it take to recoup your upfront costs, the stove and chimney, through the savings of burning coal?
When we started burning coal 10 years ago we didn't have the forum to teach us any different and went with a Class A stainless steel chimney running up the outside of the house. It works well but I can already see the negative effects of the flyash on the chimney. Without a doubt we will have to replace it within 5 years.
In the long run it would have been less expensive to pay the high initial cost of a mortar chimney.
That being said - I love burning coal. It's cleaner then wood and the fact that a load of coal has a 12 hour burn time means I'm sleeping through the night instead of getting up to feed the fire. I'm able to keep the house at a higher temperature for less money. Also since I have a handfed stove, should we be without power for any length of time, I can cook on the coal stove and have heat to boot. To me there are no drawbacks to burning coal. Lisa