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Wood pellet stove versus coal stove

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jmcp, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. jmcp

    jmcp New Member

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    lower bucks

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  2. Jack Morrissey

    Jack Morrissey Feeling the Heat

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    Feb 25, 2009
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    Loc:
    Stoughton, Ma
    Anthracite MIGHT be cheaper around here but not many places carry it. Plus I havent seen any stoves where you can set the thermostat w a coal stove and leave it and not worry about keeping the house warm....
    '
  3. pollywog

    pollywog Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
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    31
    Loc:
    southern, NH
    I burn both. Coal in the cellar at one end. Pellets in the living room at the other end of the house. The coal was $336 a ton vs $225-270 for pellets. The coal is a good steady heat . I dont start it till december. But this year with it being so warm I dont even have the pellets burning in the day time. Coal is the highest ash producer. I usually have 3 or 4 empty pellet bags filled with coal ash every week. Not filled but say about 1/3. That way the trash man doesnt complain. You have to empty the ashes every day. But its cheaper than oil.
  4. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    central maine Lat 45
    I say if you live in coal country, burn coal.
    I have burned stick wood, coal, now pellets.
    I will stick with pellets. Oil is the best for me,
    but costs too much.
  5. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Depending on where you live coal can be cheaper per BTU than pellets. The further away from the coal fields you get the harder it is to find and the more expensive it is. Shop around to see how plentiful coal is in your area BEFORE you buy a stove...

    Coal stoves can be hand fired radiant stoves, simple and cheap. They can also be auto feed, thermostatically controlled units that have the augers, electronics, and all the complexities of a pellet stove. There is every variation between.

    I burn a basic hand fired radiant coal stove. This year, in my area, coal goes for about $300 a ton and has about 25,000,000 btu per ton. In NE Penn I've seen it for $180/ton. I tend the stove twice a day and burn it at about 20,000 btu per hour. The stove I have is rated 38,000 btu per hour but that is too hot for the space I need to heat. 20,000 btu/hr is about 40 to 50 lbs of coal a day.

    Hope this gives you some numbers to compare to burning pellets...

    KaptJaq
  6. jmcp

    jmcp New Member

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    Loc:
    lower bucks
    I see some people burn both pellets and coal which is your preference.
  7. MarkF48

    MarkF48 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    Central MA
    I'm using a coal stove to help out the pellet stove when the temps drop below 20 deg F for several days in a row. It's got a good steady heat that will burn a long time when loaded up. The one I have is basic with a shaker grate and no electricity needed, so if the house loses power I still have a source of heat. The pellet stove is in the living room and coal stove is at the opposite end of the house in the kitchen. Substantially more ash with coal and disposal isn't as environmentally friendly as ash from the pellet stove.
    I think I paid about $300/ton in October plus a deliver charge. With the warm weather we've had I haven't used much.
  8. gfreek

    gfreek Minister of Fire

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    Nov 5, 2010
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    643
    Loc:
    Beautiful Attica/Varysburg,New York
    Burned coal for years in a Harman Mark I, hand fed with blower. Excellent heat, more btu's, much more ash than pellets, harder to start, but once you get the idea its easy, manual shaker grate shake twice a day, clean chimney less often, fire stays for long time. I kinda miss the radiant heat, but it was time to move on. This area its approx 325/ton. Pellets 200 to 250/ton
  9. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    Long Island, NY
    In comparisons remember coal is about 25,000,000 BTUs per ton, pellets are about 14,000,000 per ton. If coal is $300 per ton and pellets are $200 per ton then $300 of coal is about $350 of pellets for the same BTUs. This does not take into account the efficiencies of the stove.

    I burn coal and wood. Coal is easier, my wood if free.

    KaptJaq
  10. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    North Georgia
    You live in Bucks County so coal should be a lot cheaper than all the way up in NH and ME. My brother lives north of Reading, and he gets his coal right from the breaker for $170/ton. It's a no brainer. They make stokers now that can work off of a thermostat but you need electricity for the motor. They make beautiful stoves in both stoker and manual feed. No creosote worries or smell. Yea, more ash but they have bigger ash bins and for one helluva savings, you can live with a little more ash.

    http://www.buildinggreen.com/calc/fuel_cost.cfm is the best calculator. I think Reading Anthracite was getting $6 for a 50 pound bag the last I checked. I might even bring a ton south in my trailer for my next visit up North. :)

    Think coal! http://www.keystoker.com/products.php#as

    http://www.readingstove.com/heating-stoves/coal-stoves/juniata-stove.php

    http://www.leisurelinestoves.com/698400.html

    AND no more bitching that your pellet stove can't keep your 3500 sq foot house warm all over!!! ha ha ha. :) Coal stoves typically are in the 70,000 to 120,000 btu range IF you need it.
  11. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    Winthrop, Maine
    Can coal stoves be direct vented like pellet stoves?
  12. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    North Georgia
    Yes, they even make a device called a Power Venter that mounts on the wall outside your house and eliminates any need for a chimney. It puts negative pressure on your entire venting system so there's no leaks and no dust. It's interlocked with the stove for safety too.

    Make your depth 300 feet. 5 degree down bubble. Ahead full. Break out the torpedo juice.
  13. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Winthrop, Maine
    Brings back memories. Although 300 feet was pretty shallow for us.
  14. padfitz

    padfitz New Member

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    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    NEPA
    The one issue with coal, it is dirty!! No matter how you load, store, or empty your heater, it is dirty. Pellets might be less btu but, put a price on the wife unit not complianing about the mess..... lol

    BTW, alot of my neighbors run coal furnaces, have coal delivered by truck and loaded in to the basement via shoot. Township used to pick up the ash and store it, used it on the roads to offset the cost of salt.
  15. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    North Georgia
    Man, you're from NE Pa. You should know better! Bituminous (soft coal) is dirty but Anthracite? Sure, if you roll around in it, you'll get dirty! Dust? Yes, if you throw it around. There's more dust pouring out a bag of pellets than a hod of coal. You know not of what you speak. :) Anyway for a savings of at least 50% over pellets per btu, it's still a no-brainer. I envy the heck out of NE Pa. people.

    Using a stoker stove, you don't even have shaker grates that are one of the possible causes of dust/dirt. Pulling the ash pan out right after you shake down the stove is also a contributor to dust but only novices do that. The educated let the embers cool before exchanging ash pans.

    The only time you're going to see any dirt is when you get your 3 tons delivered into your coal bin. Of course, since the weather has no effect on coal, you can have your bin outside or in a corner of the garage, as I did when I lived there.

    Dirty is simply not an excuse for not using coal. Tree hugging and Al-Goreism are excuses. :)

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