Q&A Burning coal in older airtight woodstove

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 24, 2007 at 4:26 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    We've read somewhere that you cannot burn coal in a woodstove. We've been doing this all week, and it seems to be working fine. What are the dangers or disadvantages of this. Any other suggestions or comments.


    There are quite a few different types of coal. The coal that most people burn in stoves is called hard coal (anthracite(, and is very difficult to ignite. It also produces a lot of ash, so burning it in a woodstove without a grate and ashpan can be very difficult.

    Soft coals are more wood-like and a chunk of these coals can often be added to a hot wood fire with no ill effect.

    coal may poison (ruin) the catalytic converters in newer stoves.

    In summary, the biggest reason not to burn coal in a woodstove is that it usually does not work well. Other reasons could be:
    1. Coal can produce hotter temperatures, which could burn out parts of the stove prematurely.
    2. The coal and wood embers do not mix well, as the wood embers will be spent sooner, and choke the coal.
    3. Without a grate and ashpan, it is difficult to keep a coal fire going.
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