My name is TVB and over the past few months, I,too, fell victim to the beguiling allure of anthracite. It all started when we purchased a home last May; it came with an older Vermont Castings multi-fuel stove. The sellers' claimed they burned something called coal in it.
As the weather cooled, I began dread the oil tank in my basement knowing it would be a very expensive proposition to have it filled. My fears were realized upon the first delivery when the oil covered man handed me a slip of paper with the sum of $792 written on it. I took another look at that blue cast iron thing called a coal burner sitting in my living room.
I googled coal, I googled Vermont Castings. I ended up here.
And I learned how to light that damn stuff I found at the local Agway for a few dollars for fifty pounds. That first night, I was up all night determined to figure out why it wouldn't stay lit. Back to that anthracite forum - an odd place I thought at first but chock full of useful information!
And then before I even realized it, that stove was working like a charm and burning all night through. And what is this? A thermostat that says 85 degrees? And the silence I was hearing? No oil fired boiler kicking on. Hmmmmm, these guys might be onto something, so I came back and then back again and I read and I read and then I read even more about this funny rock called anthracite.
Then it happened.
A few months passed by and I realized that the Vigilant was just a starter drug - there were bigger and better drugs around the corner. Ones that would satisfy my craving for heat and the absence of the boiler steaming in the basement. And then BOOM!
It happened. I walked into a store with new stoves. And I touched them and carassed them and then one followed me home.
Well, not quite followed me home and I haven't exactly taken a check over yet but it's official, I turned into a coal junkie.
In my other world, I live in Hunterdon County, NJ and am excited to be soon changing my equipment tag to Harman: Magnum Stoker. Look for me trying to unload a used VC Vigilant Model 1400 Multi-fuel once it's installed sometime in the next few weeks or so. It's a decent stove to cut your teeth on and despite it's bad rep, if you have the time to caress and massage it a couple times of day, will heat a decent sized space quite nicely and I've got goodies to go with it