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  1. mtarbert

    mtarbert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    526
    Loc:
    Maryland
    Greetings all,
    The information on this site is quite interesting but, Why dosent anyone burn Coal ?
    I have two wood stoves in our home and am thinking of replacing ( when needed) with coal burners.
    If someone has any reasons why this would not be good to do Please let me know.
    Thanks,
    Mike

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    there are a lot of coal burners but most are found near the coal mines
    If paying for wood and can get coal at a decent price, coal can be the best value vs cost of BTU's
    Iam sure they will be piping in soon or tomorrow morning
  3. davemich

    davemich New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    St Joseph, Mi.
    Mike, I burn coal and love the heat it produces. Like Elk said, depends on where you live, the availability and cost of coal that would sway you towards coal or away from it. I live in Michigan and have a supplier that I pay about $235.ton and I burn 2 tons a year for my 1800 SF home. Its cheaper than gas and the temp in my home is a toasty 74 or 75 most of the time.
  4. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    134
    Loc:
    Northeast Pa
    Welcome aboard..I use a harman magnum stoker that burns rice coal. For me coal is 120 a ton picked up. I burn around around 1 ton a month. With natural gas it would've cost me anywhere from 350 to 600 for a month and that was to keep the house at 65 to 68. Coal keeps the house around 75 to 80 no problem.Empty the ashes keep the hopper full that's all..
  5. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,003
    Loc:
    Orient Point, NY
    I looked at coal vs. pellets for another source of heat in the house, and in my area, which is not coal country, coal seems to be the way to go. Cheaper per BTU than pellets, and when you use a stoker, maintenance and dust are minimized.

    -- Mike
  6. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    763
    Loc:
    NW MI near nowhere
    Hi Mike:

    I burn wood and coal. Why? I have my own woodlot, a wood burner and a basement wood/coal stove (Harman TLC 2000, a heating brute I light up when it's sub-zero).

    WOOD: It's here. All I have to do is get it (little said for lots of work). Exercise, peace of mind and cheap (for me). Not much ash (OK in garden) but can be messy. Bugs, no problem. The Standard, renewable, eco-friendly.

    COAL: Anthracite (hard nut coal). Personally, I would not burn soft coal (bituminous) like some/industry. It was cheap but has 'bout doubled in 2 years and all signs point to it going higher so it may not be "value heat" much longer (I last paid $4.85/40 lb bag x 50 = $243 + Tx per ton w/o delivery). Burns longer/load, hotter and much more convenient than wood. Has lots more ash (NG in garden but OK on slippery driveway grade), clunkers and acid forming (sulfur) exhaust. No creosote, no odor. Not as eco-friendly. A limited resource.

    CONCLUSION: 6 = 1/2 dozen. Both will "cost" unless you own a wood source. Both heat well but coal wins here and also in convenience.

    Good luck. Stay warm

    Aye,
    Marty
  7. Michael6268

    Michael6268 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    475
    Loc:
    Grafton NH/Upper Valley
    I have been asking that same question time and time again!! I have tried to get people to look more to coal but it seems like everyone is brainwashed with these pellet stoves. Funny thing is, they buy the pellet stove and then half of them are asking about burning corn for more heat. I always say, if you want more heat than you will ever need, get a coal stoker! If you live anywhere where coal is available, there is not other choice, unless you are harvesting your own wood for a wood stove. I live in Ct. and in my area there are several dealers withing a 5 mile radius and even several gas stations have a pallet of bagged coal for sale all winter. I really dont think anyone one the east coast would have a tough time finding coal either. Coal is a very warm heat. Stoker stoves essentially work like a pellet stove and in my opinion bagged coal is cleaner as it is washed before bagging. I run a Keystoker 105k and it is one great stove! Just empty the ash pan once a week and fill a couple of times a week. Thats it!
  8. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,003
    Loc:
    Orient Point, NY
    Mike,
    How do you have your Keystoker 105 set up? Are you using the hot air duct option at all? I was looking at the Keystokers, want to place it in the basement, run the hot air duct into the first floor.
    Also, what made you chose the 105 vs. the 90, is the heat output that much more, and how much more coal do you think it eats?

    Thanks,
    Mike
  9. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA
    We burn coal too! In fact, I'm relighting the stove right now, because DOH! dad let the stove go out last night.

    We live in northeast PA
  10. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    Ah, the coal/pellet debate.....
    Well, you certainly do get more btu's/lb for coal than pellet OR corn. But, pellets are renewable, whereas coal isnt. Coal is less efficient tho, and you send more heat up the chimney, so that detracts from all those extra btu's/lb. As for cleanliness? Coal is cleaner than pellets? Riiiiight......most folks who run coal stokers have to religiously remove their ashes every 1-2 days, not once a week. I empty my Harman P61 ash pan every MONTH, whether it needs it or not. Ash is dirty, any way you look at it, and every time you pull that ash out, you have a mess to clean up, and small ash particles become airborn, spreading around. And what about the exhaust gas from coal vs pellets? Do you really want to go there?
    Oh, yea, by the way, we also sell coal stokers, and we burn one as well.
  11. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    134
    Loc:
    Northeast Pa
    I used a pellet stove last year. I can honestly say both can be dusty... I'm in the habit of empting my ashes once a day wether it needs it or not.I have the dust to a minium with coal.usually my coal is slightly damp so that cuts down on the dust when filling the hopper.. When i empty the ashes i shut off the distbrution fan so that when i open the ash door dust doesn't go every where.One great use of coal ashes is for the driveway and walk ways during the winter
  12. Michael6268

    Michael6268 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    475
    Loc:
    Grafton NH/Upper Valley
    Mike W.

    I went with tne 105k not really for the extra btu's but for the bigger blower. On the 105 you can increase the convection blower up to 500 cfm. That was the only reason I didnt go with the 90k. I think you can raise the 90k to 350 cfm. It is in the finished basement and I am runnig 4 ducts up to the main floor. That is why I wanted the bigger blower and the duct top. I know Harry didnt believe I only empty the ashes once a week but the thing has a huge ash pan and this winter ran mostly on low, so I usually get about a week out of it when its warm out. Nice thing is it comes with a second ash pan, so all I do is open the door, take out the full one and put in the empty one. Couldnt be simpler. As far as coal usage about a half a bag on warmer days/24hr period. Really cold about a bag to a bag and a half at most! I use less than three tons a season. One side note. My house is "super insulated" so in average insulated house these figures may not be the same.... As for Harry- I dont know where he gets that coal is "less effecient than pellet"! Keystoker stoves have a heat exchanger just like a pellet stove, if not better! Keystoker are 88% - 90% effeciency due to the heat exchage system. I would like to see any Harmon pellet stove he sells reach that! And as far as coal being cleaner than pellets- RIGHTTTT..... Yes right. The coal is washed prior to bagging and in my opinion has much less dust than the crap that floats out of those pellet bags! (had a pellet stove once and everything was covered with dust) And as for ash, I shut the blower off, open the door, swap ash pans, and take the full one outside. No dust. No mess! Where do you get a mess with your stoker stoves Harry?? Maybe you are confusing the mess your pellet stove makes withe the coal stove. Oh yeah Harry, I dont have to vaccum my stove out ever other day like you have to do with your pellet stove. Maybe that is where your mess is coming from! Any how Mike W I think you will be very happy with a keystoker should you decide on one.
  13. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    763
    Loc:
    NW MI near nowhere
    Mike 62...:

    I'm dialed into your posts
    1) Less muss & fuss with coal
    2) Much more heat with coal
    3) Yada, yada, yada

    except, what good is that bigger blower when the power fails (and it will)?

    I live in the boonies where
    1) Power outs are common
    2) Less is more
    3) Simpler is better
    4) A pellet stove would be a catastrophie waiting to happen
    5) Mother Nature rules, and she can be a ....., well you know.

    Aye,
    Marty
  14. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    134
    Loc:
    Northeast Pa
    For the power issue i have a regular 12 volt car battery with an invertor. My harman magnum stoker uses a total of 3 amps to run all 3 motors..
    Also if power outages are a concern then go with a handfired wood stove or coal. I've never seen a hand fired pellet stove
  15. Michael6268

    Michael6268 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    475
    Loc:
    Grafton NH/Upper Valley
    Marty,
    I agree but I can honstly say in the 4+ years I have been here the power has gone out once, and that was when some drunk hit a pole a couple of streets over. If I lived in an area prone to outages, it would do as Lime said, buy a battery back-up, as keystoker does make one. Dont get me wrong either, I like the idea of "no electricity" and if my stove was on my main floor I probably would have bought a hand fired jobber! I had a hand fired Franco Belge many years ago and that was one great stove!
  16. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    763
    Loc:
    NW MI near nowhere
    Exactly.

    Pellet stoves require machinery, maintenance, fiddlin', fussin', yada. Not my style. Look at the problems with stoves (malfunction, break down, not enough heat, blah blah) on this site and I'll bet the lion's share are with pellet stoves. I think the people who buy them are mostly those who don't know what they really want or else don't have a chimney for a stove.

    Aye,
    Marty
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