First time burner here. Bought stove in August, brought home, set up and fired in October, and has been going since (except for a few times it went out on me--blame wife
I used to go thru about 4 tanks of oil/season, sometimes more. I filled the tank the last week of September, and right now I still have over 1/4 tank!! I use the oil to heat hot water, and a room that is too far away from the cellar door to get any heat from the stove.
Today, I have one bag left from 2 1/4 tons I bought back in October. It took me a while to learn how the coal burns--I ran it WAY TOO HOT at first, due to my experience with wood growing up. I wasted alot of coal this year. Due to my work schedule, I shake in the A.M., pile on the coal in a huge heap and it has to burn for at least 12 hours, sometimes 15 hrs!
When I first started burning, I had the intake open too far--It would be nice and toasty for about 6 hrs, then the rapid ash build up would gradually snuff it out before I got home (found this out one weekend). I didn't realize that I could turn the intake out just over 3/4 of a turn, and it would still burn!! Not as hot, but provides heat over a much broader time range, using MUCH less coal.
This morning it was 10* outside, and the house was 56*. This may seem cold to most of you, but if the stove were out, it would easily be in the upper 20's inside--not very comfortable! The house is 150+ yrs. old, and EXTREMELY drafty. On the weekends, I open the intake up over 1 turn out to heat things up more. It will usually get into the low-mid 60's. Just to maintain that temp with oil used over 4 tanks last season.
Stove is a Harman Mark I. I'd like to go to the next model up, due to the optional water coil that can be installed. But, just getting that little Mark I down my 100 year old cellar stairs was a nightmare. Not sure if I want to do that again!! I've got a year to make up my mind...