Just finished my first year burning coal instead of wood to heat my home. I heated over 20 years with scrounged wood. I sold my XL Federal Dutchwest stove on E-bay for $888.00 and bought a Harman Mark II with brass trim for $1672.00. Found a coal dealer in Scranton, PA called AGEL who is very nice, and also very busy. I bought and hauled bagged nut coal for $170.00 a ton to my home in Sussex, NJ. If I choose to build a hopper, loose coal will cost me approximately $120.00 per ton. I figured that I should buy 1 ton of coal for each cord of wood I burned in previous years. It worked out well. I purchased 3 tons of coal, and now have a little over 500 pounds left for next year. It took me about six weeks last September and October to learn to burn anthracite. There was a time during that period that I thought burning rocks was impossible. I finally perfected the technique and can now control the burn quite well. Coal burns one hell of a lot hotter than wood. Even with a low fire, my living room was 80+ degrees all winter; we loved it. There is less mess than wood, and less refueling, absolutely no smoke out of the flue, and no creosote. You have to learn not to mess with the fire, like you can and sometimes must with a wood fire. Overall, there is much less work with coal, but you do have to buy it, unlike scrounged wood. We had a relatively warm winter, but with this stove and a supply of coal, it could be thirty below outside and we would still be toasty in our house. An unforseen problem: now what do I do with the tree trimmings that are too big to chip?? The coal stove doesn't burn wood very well, and although you need to build a wood fire to ignite the coal fire, the coal stove will stay burning for weeks with additional fuel added. I'll give it to my friends who still burn wood, make them happy.