tote wrote:Hi, After burning wood for most of this winter ,I picked up a few bags of anthracite(nut) after depleting my wood supply. Now i'm a little disillusioned with the results.
Hopefully it's a coal/wood burner, you have to burn it in a stove designed to burn coal. If it's wood only you're going to experience trouble and most likely will damage the stove shortly.
Here's why: coal is hard to start : I seem to be spending a lot more time in the cellar coaxing a coal fire to burn than I do with the wood. Heat: wood gets the stove hotter /faster .
The wood may light faster, it may burn hotter initailly but it is no comparison to coal once it's lit. The key to starting a coal fire is patience, first build a wood fire, get it good and hot. Make sure you have the bottom draft fully open. Add some coal, about an inch, it should begin to crackle immediately, if it doesn't your fire is not hot enough. Wait a minute or two
Slowly keep adding more until you have filled the stove completely
. That doesn't mean until you have filled every nook and cranny but whatever the stove is capable holding in the firebox. At this point you should have blue wisps coming up through the coal that hasn't lit yet. Once you have sufficient fire going put the draft back to almost nothing....
Keep in mind what you do now takes a while to take affect... Closing the draft off after you have a huge fire going isn't going to slow it down for quite a long time.
Once it's lit, don't poke it, don't shake it, don't even look at it funny. Leave it alone until your ready to shake and add more coal. One of the benefits of coal is the long burn time, you should easily get 12 hours out of it on single loading and shaking. Therefore most people keep their fires going for the entire season so you should only have to light it once.
Unburned fuel: Virtually none with wood, and when I went to take out the ash bin which has the unburned chunks and spent chunks it weighs a ton .
A) Your probably not giving it suffient time to burn and/or shaking it out before it burns. Again you have to have patience
B) Could be the product is not that great, but most hand fired units usually burn even sub standard product up to almost nothing. Unless it's all rock you should at the very least get it burnt to a semi ash for lack of a better term.
Most people who switch from woo to coal experience the same problems as you, they have there habits for burning wood which work great for wood but do not apply to coal. It's a whole different ballgame.
Any tips /encouragement is welcome. p.s I like the thought of handling coal vs. wood especially if the cost is comparable. Thanks
Cost comparison depends... In most cases in the end coal is cheaper, I even have a few customers who sell wood that burn coal to heat there homes if that tells you anything.