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A anthracite coal stoker can either be a small stove or full scale furnace and are not much different than any other modern heating appliance. The major difference from a gas or oil fired furnace is you need to supply it with coal and remove the ashes it generates.

For residential heating the BTU output typically ranges from 70,000 BTU's to 250,000 but can go higher.

One benefit of having a stoker is the hot water jacket which will provide practically an unlimited supply of hot water which is next to nothing in the winter and less than what you will pay for other fuels during the summer. The large stokers are insulated and designed to run year round.

People who use a stoker are often referred to as "girlie men" by their hand fired counterparts because of the ease of use of these types of furnaces.