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burning wood/coal in a stove

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by happycamper, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. happycamper

    happycamper New Member

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    Mar 14, 2013
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    is that real messy burning coal and wood
    is their lots of dirt bugs etc from the wood

    or is it realy that bad

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  2. Dustin92

    Dustin92 Member

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    Jackson, MI, USA
    I can't vouch for coal, as I have never burned it, and you wouldn't want to unless your stove was built for it. Wood on the other hand, can be messy if you let it be, but if you keep on top of the dirt (usually gets hauled in on wood), it's not too bad. Never really had an issue with bugs, but early in the fall I managed to haul in a yellow jacket on a load of wood. Came downstairs to it buzzing around the laundry room- yikes!
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    If your the type that expects everyone to remove their shoes upon entering your home and you have white carpet, then yeah its messy.
    Cuerno Verde likes this.
  4. hman

    hman Member

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    Chillicothe,Ohio
    One thing with coal,don't have to worry about the bugs.The dust from the stove is gray to black in color and that makes it more noticeable.
  5. dlj

    dlj New Member

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    Monroe, NY
    You can burn wood in a coal stove, but you can't readily burn coal in a wood stove. Burning wood or coal is somewhat messy, the comment on the white carpet was spot on. I've burned both for many years and find coal both cleaner and easier to use than wood. I no longer burn wood actually as burning coal works much better for me. Of course, that's anthracite, not bituminous or any of the lower grades...

    dj
  6. ryjen

    ryjen Member

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    north carolina
    If you live south of VA, you can pretty much rule out burning coal. There are very few coal yards down this way, and those that you find typically service power companies, and big industries, dealing in very large quantity. Shipping coal is very pricey. Also on the high price list are stoves that are rated for both coal and wood.
  7. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Including those top of the line buck stoves you have. They can be used for coal, with the correct grate.
  8. ryjen

    ryjen Member

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    and the refractory brick added back in.
  9. smokedragon

    smokedragon Minister of Fire

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    Greensboro, NC
    Grew up with wood heat and have burned myself for a few year. It is not too messy if you stay on top of it. We bring 1 - 2 weeks worth of wood into our sunroom at a time, then bring it into the stove room from there in smaller loads. Some bark/dirt builds up in the sunroom, but we don't use it during the winter so we just do a thorough cleaning when burning season is over. I will say any time I see bugs in a split (which is rare), it gets chucked and will not be brought in. I have yet to know a woodburner who had a problem with bugs in their house from wood.

    Can't speak of coal, never burned it and never seen it burned.
  10. dlj

    dlj New Member

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    When I was a kid, we burned coal. Then for about 20 years burned pretty much exclusively wood. Went back to more "traditional" fuels, like fuel oil, natural gas and such for a number of years. Then when I moved into my current house, about 6 years ago, I went back over to coal - anthracite specifically. During my wood burning years I was blacksmithing, burned a lot of bituminous smithing. Some folk use it for heat, but I prefer anthracite as it's significantly cleaner burning. Bituminous is what we have huge reserves of and what the power companies use for power generation. It's what you can get just about anywhere in the country. Anthracite is available mainly in the North East as the main anthracite mines are in PA. I know folk in VA that burn it, but can't say as I know anyone down in NC that burns it...

    There is little mess with anthracite. There is a small amount of fine light grey dust that comes from the ash that does get around. But I used to get fine dust with wood too. More with coal though. I get 16 to 18 hour burn times with essentially no fluctuation in temperature in the house for that time. These days with sub-zero temperatures that time drops down to 12 to 14 hours. I'll tend my stove twice a day, done. Takes a few minutes. That's in the winter, in the spring and fall, I can go 24 to 28 hours (or sometimes longer) without touching the stove, depending upon heat needs... Faster, easier more consistent heat than I ever got with wood. And none of the bark or dirt.

    dj
  11. smokedragon

    smokedragon Minister of Fire

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    I would be willing to invest in a nice coal stove if I could get a steady supply. My great-grandmother had two coals stoves in their home. Years after she passed we went to the house to get it ready for sale (other relatives had lived there for a while) and we could still find a few chunks of coal here and there from where they piled it in her back yard every year. The last load of coal that came to that house was probably 25 years ago.

    I agree, I don't think anyone in my neck of the woods burns it anymore. Shame since a lot of our power plants use it.
  12. dlj

    dlj New Member

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    Go to http://nepacrossroads.com and ask around there. They have a lot of knowledge of where you can get coal. There are folk not far from you burning coal. Your power plants are likely burning bituminous. There are folk burning it, but I personally prefer anthracite. It is a lot cleaner...

    dj
  13. Woodman37

    Woodman37 New Member

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    Colerain Ohio
    My furnace can burn wood or coal. Most of the time I burn wood in it but I keep some coal around because when it drops below zero like it has many times this winter you just can't beat the heat that coal provides. Plus once you get it going you can go a lot longer before you have to fool around with the coal fire.
  14. Earth Stove

    Earth Stove New Member

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    Atchison KS
    I like the quote someday made on this site about this very topic. "If you have little or no tolerance for dirt, than wood burning may not be for you"????? Exactly!!!!
  15. ryjen

    ryjen Member

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    Every little bit that I sweep up around the stove reminds me of the money I'm NOT paying to the power company to heat my home.

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