People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Devil505 On: Wed May 28, 2008 7:34 am

One of the great things about coal:



I have next winter & 1/2 of the following winter's heat all stacked up outside my basement door at last winter's prices. Let the cold & the fuel prices come........I'm ready! :D (I'll post these pretty pics every opportunity I get! :lol: )
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Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Sting On: Wed May 28, 2008 10:57 am

Pellet fuel may or may not be dramatically more or less

It all depends on where you need the fuel and what is available.

I understand the struggle described above - and it took a long time to come to grip that coal vs pellets ( for me ) does not have a clear advantage to find a winner -

Who knows what the future will bring with each - so pick the one today that is the clear winner - and be happy! :idea:
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed May 28, 2008 2:20 pm

All other things being equal, the moisture-free storage requirements of pellets would be enough for me to choose anthracite.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy


Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed May 28, 2008 2:25 pm

When the pellet rage started I thought to myself damn i can dleiver that just like coal if I had bulk supplier then I found out about moisture problems....
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Sting On: Wed May 28, 2008 2:41 pm

oh come on!

NO! - you cannot leave bags of pellets out under the open sided lean too for years or until the plastic bag breaks down from exposure - but really - all this talk about pellet fuel being so fragile it will be junk 16 hours after delivery -- well that holds about as much water as the statement - all coal is dusty and dirty and your a fool to convert to it.

It all depends on how its handled.

Richard - you won't need an extra truck - you have cheep fuel - but others have them

one example http://www.maineenergysystems.com/

and the guy that delivers at my little place
Image
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: rberq On: Wed May 28, 2008 7:25 pm

There's a pellet dealer near me who now delivers in one-ton Super Sacks. The price break is small compared to 40 lb. bags on pallets -- $200 for the big sack, $220 in bags -- so people I know are mostly opting for the bags that they are used to. I suggested to a bulk-coal dealer that the two-ton Super Sacks might be a good option for him, too, but I got no response to my email.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: BIG BEAM On: Wed May 28, 2008 8:02 pm

I have one of the cheapest,crappest coal furnaces you can buy.(hotblast)I just finished my 2nd season burnning it.I also have a wood stove in the parlor.We still use the wood stove in the off season(late spring early fall)The wood stove makes MUCH more of a mess then the coal furnace in the celler.If at all possible install a furnace or boiler in the celler,keeps whatever dust and stuff in the celler.One thing I thought was how much work it was going to be taking down 7.5 tons of coal in the celler.(no coal bin)I buy 50 # bags and take them down 3 at a time with one of thoes big wheeled wood carts.I like to buy all my coal and get it downstairs before the season starts.Even with all this work I wouldn't even think of using my oil hot air furnace unless I was sick or something.One thing I have to stress BUY GOOD COAL.It's makes all the differance in the world!I think down the road you'll say to yourself what a smart move it was to burn coal,I do,and you can laugh at all the naysayers all the way to the bank!
DON
BIG BEAM
 
Stove/Furnace Make: USS Hot blast
Stove/Furnace Model: 1557M

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: coal berner On: Wed May 28, 2008 9:50 pm

rberq wrote:"I think you would be doing him a disservice to recommend Pellets for heat. There are so many disadvantages to Pellets...."

Well, agreed, coal would be MY choice over pellets, but this guy just can't accept coal for whatever reason and he badly needs an alternative to oil (don't we all?) As I said, pellets are break-even with coal cost here in Maine, and have been readily available for some years, and they DO boost the local economy since we have a lot of wood available here. Pellets may even come down in price as more pellet mills are opening locally and reducing transportation costs. The disadvantages of pellets depend largely on the individual -- if you have a dry place to store them, and enough room, and can manage the dust, then they are a legitimate choice. After all, coal ashes are pretty dusty too. And pellets are "renewable" in the short term, carbon neutral, and don't require stripping away mountain tops to obtain them.

I know I'm sounding like a heretic. I prefer coal, and see pellets as less desirable, but not dramatically less.

There Is No comparison to burning Anthracite coal & burning wood Pellets Good Qaulity Anthracite will win eveytime
it has almost double the BTU's Per lb Then any wood Pellet It is the second cleanest burning fossil fuel you can burn Next
to N.G. It does not care if it is wet or dry burns the same even the poorest grade of Anthercite will give you more BTU's Per lb Anthercite coal will put out 12.000 to 13.600 BTUs Per lb wood pellets run from 8.000 to 8.400 Per lb you can not get them wet and you have to clean a Pellet stove at lease once a week a 1/4 " of ash will take 50% of you heat away they are not clean no matter how you look at it there alot more work then People think Supply & Price are always up & down so in the long Run Anthracite coal will win every time IT is not that hard to get Anthracite trucked any where in the US all you have do is call the source direct and it can be trucked to you door in some cases it will be more in Price then wood
Pellets but in the long run the extra heat you get from it will Make up the Price differents you will use less Anthracite to
heat any home then wood Pellets and you can use the ash in the winter to put down on the Ice & snow or use it for fill
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed May 28, 2008 10:55 pm

Sting wrote:oh come on!

NO! - you cannot leave bags of pellets out under the open sided lean too for years or until the plastic bag breaks down from exposure - but really - all this talk about pellet fuel being so fragile it will be junk 16 hours after delivery -- well that holds about as much water as the statement - all coal is dusty and dirty and your a fool to convert to it.

It all depends on how its handled.

Richard - you won't need an extra truck - you have cheep fuel - but others have them

one example http://www.maineenergysystems.com/

and the guy that delivers at my little place
Image


Well I like a fuel that I can store for a decade, let it get wet, or dry, or move it around loose, store in open bulk containers or bins..

My buddy in WV who burns pellets won't buy more than a one year supply because he has had to throw away too many bags of pellets that got damp over the spring, summer and fall, and would not feed in his stoker when winter came..

Sting,, maybe your luck with storing pellets has been good, or maybe your stoker setup is not as finicky about swollen, mushy pellets.. but it IS an issue, Nobody said they go bad in 16 hours :lol: :D , but they will go bad over a couple of months in a high humidity environment..

Your rocket ship pellet hopper has a sealed design,, much better than a bunch of bags in the garage!!

Greg L..

.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu May 29, 2008 12:00 am

Sting wrote: all this talk about pellet fuel being so fragile it will be junk 16 hours after delivery --


I didn't say that, the fact is a lot of people are not going to have a suitable environment where they can store pellets in bulk. Youm have a nice hopper there that will be able to keep the moisture out, most people are only going to have a basement floor which in general are going to be damp. I know at least half the houses I delivered too had some form of water problems. Most of the places I delivered too were rural.

I have small water problems myself, and if the river goes up to 42 feet I got big moisture problem. :lol: Basement was flooded in Agnes of 72 and came within a few feet of going in twice within the last few years.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:12 am

Unless you already own a truck/trailer/saw/woodlot and are cutting and splitting your own wood for free, coal is the cheapest fuel to heat your house with. Coal is also easier and much less work than wood. I heated my house exclusively with coal for 2007-2008, all the armchair experts didn't think it was going to work. You should hear the stories; the chimney will catch on fire, the coal gas will kill the grass, the grates will melt down, the soot will cover everything, the house will stink like sulfur... blah blah they were all opinions from people who never burned coal a day in their life. Look into how many coal burners in good health switched to another fuel. That will tell the story. Pretty much the only people selling coal boilers are elderly folks or newlyweds moving in who never heard of coal and don't care to learn.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Dan On: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:15 pm

rberq wrote:A guy in my office is struggling with solar-electric, solar-water, windmills, and perpetual motion machines in his fear of next year's oil heat cost. He can find nothing that will replace his oil and that has a payback period less than about twenty years, and he can't come up with the initial investment anyway. I keep telling him quietly about coal, but it doesn't sink in. Even one of the alternative-heat consultants who came to his house suggested coal. He is really in dreamland because he keeps sending me Internet links to machines that put out thirty percent more energy than goes in. In high school he was playing football when he should have been studying the laws of thermodynamics.

There's a big push in Maine now toward pellet heat, and it's competitive with coal on BTUs-per-dollar, in fact pellets may be cheaper because it costs so much to ship the coal here from PA. So before he slits his wrists with worrying, I should push him toward pellets. Maybe he will accept that more than the strange antiquated concept of coal.


I live in Erie County, PA, the northwestern part of the state. About a year ago I was considering a corn stove when someone suggested I consider coal. "Coal ? " I exclaim....hell I thought he was nuts. This gent goes on to explain "when in Rome do as the Romans do....." and he continues saying that corn is great for fuel if you're in the midwest but you're in Pennsylvania....COAL COUNTRY ! So use coal....it will be geographically closer and thus cheaper and it's coal....great stuff." So seeing as you guys are in Maine....wood pellets are to you what coal is to us Pennsylvanians as corn is to Mid-Westerners.

I'd push your bud toward the wood pellets. He'll be glad he did. But hey....no corn stove ! :mrgreen:

Dan in Erie County
Dan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: rberq On: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:41 pm

The trouble with pellets in Maine seems to be price fluctuation, and sometimes short supply. Three months ago a friend was ordering them for bulk delivery at $200 per ton. Now I'm hearing $268 per ton for bagged. And mid-winter sometimes there are none to be had. We have a lot of trees, but when lumber demand is low the sawmills scale back, then there's less sawdust to turn into pellets.

Meanwhile I've been trying to convert one of my brothers to coal. "But I have free wood," he says, because he cuts it himself off his own land. Sure it's free, if you don't count the chain saws, hydraulic splitter, fuel, 4-wheel drive Kubota tractor, hours and hours of labor, and the danger of working in the woods -- one of the most dangerous of all jobs. Well, he's about 15 years younger than me. I suspect his wood hobby will sour a bit in another 10 years.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:04 pm

rberq wrote: pellets may be cheaper because it costs so much to ship the coal here from PA.


How do you figure? According to my Fuel calculator program with coal at $350 a ton and pellets at $268, $15.61 worth of coal equals $20.30 worth of pellets. That means pellets cost over 25% more than coal at todays street price. Even after the August price increase bulk coal can be delivered here in central Maine for $245 a ton. Maybe even cheaper becase diesel has dropped in price. That makes pellets almost 90% more!!!
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: People think I'm crazy to switch to coal

PostBy: Sting On: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:40 pm

Your a very lucrative poster Freddy. :|
Last edited by Sting on Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas