Q&A LP, Wood Pellet or Coal??

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 17, 2007 at 11:46 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I have moved into a converted Mike house (Farm house they milked cows in :)) Great place! About 20x100 feet. But it has a oil heater and not a very efficient one at that. I was told by the previous tenant that if it wasn't for the wood stove they had, the cost of heat would be something like the national debt. Unfortunately they took their wood stove. So, I am in the market to replace it with something to help out that oil heater. I keep reading and reading and reading but I just can't decide what will give me the best HEAT for the buck.

    1) LP (can't get natural gas in my neck of the woods) Vented or vent free? I look at the efficiency ratings and think " wow a rating of 99.9% for vent free. But then I see messages about fumes, carbon monoxide, Oxygen depletion and I think "great, it's hot but will it kill me?" But 83% Vers. 99.9%? And it is an old converted milk house. If it wasn't drafty, it would cost so much to heat? Right? Is there any way to tell if I am getting an adequate air turn over for a vent free? And I know LP is much less work over all. A nice trade off.

    2) Wood that is what the previous owner had. I think he got his wood real cheap (if not free) some place but I could never find out where. But then there is the work and storage space of wood. And cost to buy it by the cord.

    3) Pellet, from what I see on your Q&A pages, it takes more work and maintenance then a wood stove. Great. And what about the cost?

    4) Coal, the coal stoves I have seen also burn wood. They have a much higher Btu rating. But what about soot, smell, fumes etc. I have always been told that coal is dirty.
    I am thinking I will burn what ever stove I get in the evenings and maybe again in the AM before work. I guess like 6PM to 11PM then 5AM to 7AM.
    So I guess what it burns down to is this.... "If you were in my situation, and these were your choices. What would you choose based on cost of HEAT. Then what would you choose based on the over all cost? Cost of HEAT, work, storage, maintenance etc..."


    From a price standpoint, I'd guess that the best thing you could do is replace the inefficient oil stove with a more efficient updated model. There are even some which are decorative.....use a vented heater, of course... Look at the oil models from coal Heat off the products page at https://www.hearth.com/prod.html

    There are also many other models on the market, including the well known Monitor brand.

    Coal is not practical for a on and off stove, Pellets might be higher in price than the others. LP , if you can find a decent local price, could be competitive. Same with wood if you enjoy burning it.....that's a lifestyle decision.
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