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  1. #1
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Bethel, Vermont
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    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Coal stoves

    Anyone heat their house by coal?

    I was in West Virginia a weekend back and noticed (in the houses for sale ads) a number of homes have coal stoves rather then wood stoves.

    If you have a coal stove, how do you like it? Advantages (I know coal is relatively cheap)? Disadvantages?
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Dutch445's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Upstate NY
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    JD X585

    Default Re: Coal stoves

    I just moved out of my house of 8 years this past weekend that
    was heated by coal.
    The stove was in the basement, it was just a hand fired Harman
    Mark III stove which required me to load and shake the grates
    to clear out the ash twice a day. Once a day I had to remove the
    ash try from the bottom of the stove to dump them. (i used
    a 55 gal steel drum)

    we heated the ranch house with this setup quite comfortably,
    and economically. there is a very nice oil boiler in the house,
    but that is used in the spring/fall when it's not cold enough
    to keep the stove running efficiently. (usually burned coal from
    thanksgiving thru easter). i use a nominal amount of fuel oil, and
    maybe have had the tank filled 3 times in the 8 years I lived there.

    one of the biggest advantages is the constant, even heat that
    the coal produces. even my handfed stays at operating temp for
    12-18 hrs or longer if needed without having to be there to tend
    the fire.
    the only disadvantage i could see was my time, total 20 mins a day,
    and downstairs where the stove was you get some dust, which is
    fly ash. there is really no coal dust to speak of with the coal I was
    buying.

    in a typical year I would burn 4-5 ton of coal, that ranges from $220 to
    $250 per ton, cheap heat. with the mild winter this year i didn't burn 3 ton. (stove is
    shut down because we moved out this past weekend)

    There are a lot of people around here (upstate NY) that burn
    coal, it is very popular and the stoves comes in many styles,
    from furnaces, to automatic feed stokers like a pellet stove,
    to the hand fired that I had. I am hoping to find a suitable
    appliance for my new house, just don't have a masonry chimney
    so it isn't just an easy install.

    coal burners even have their own forum here in the Northeast,
    Northeastern Pennsylvania Community Forums, Home of the Anthracite and Bituminous Coal Forums
    that is full of experienced burners and useful information on all the
    different manufacturer stoves and setups.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Car Doc's Avatar
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    Kansas
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    YM3810D Yanmar

    Default Re: Coal stoves

    I wish we had the choice too but coal is not readily available in my area or I would w/o a doubt supplement my wood and propane heating, my shop heater burns wood and coal if I want it too.

    We do have coal fired power plants in the state (that are a constant battle with the "greeny" bureaucrats) but not close enough to me to make buying any worthwhile if I had the mind to do so.
    Yanmar YM3810D, LT duty 3pt hoe, 6' KK2 tiller, 6' KK box blade, 6 1/2' KK disc, 5' Howse bush hog, 5' Howse back blade, 9" Yellow PHD, 3 Husky chain saws 346XP NE, 359, 372XP. 07 HD Heritage Softail, Crack injectors, check compression, take 2 beers and call me. "Hey you didn't build that."

  4. #4
    Silver Member Sterff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coal stoves

    We used to have a combination wood/coal stove. I would start the fire on wood and then add coal when it was hotter. Before I would go to bed Id load the stove up with coal and wood, and it would still be going in the morning. On my fireplace I could empty the ashes out the bottom so it was pretty common to have the fireplace going for a month without the fire going out. I would buy a ton of coal each year and use it with my usual wood.

    I now have a plain wood stove and burn wood only. The coal was good for heat I just didn't like paying for it (my wood is free). With the coal stove I could keep the basement at 80* on a 20* day.

  5. #5
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
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    Central Michigan
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    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: Coal stoves

    Interesting that Roy would start this thread, makes me wish I had stopped this morning on my way home to take a picture of the billboard about 5 miles south of us. There is a local concrete casting company that sells coal in the winter months and their billboard (actually a portable lighted roadfront sign) said something about heating for less using coal. I remember helping my Grandmother shovel coal into her furnace back in the middle '60's but aside from that have never even thought about using coal for heating. Interesting thread, Roy !!
    Rather than worry about the things you want but don't have, be grateful for the things you don't want and don't have.

    I didn't plan to do much of anything today, but by noon I was almost half done.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2003
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    Strongstown, PA
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    kubota bx2200

    Default Re: Coal stoves

    My Dad has a coal stove, a Hitzer, but now that he is retired he uses the wood stove.

    The things I remember about the coal stove are:

    1. It was always HOT! It would be great when the temperature is below 20 out. But on those days when you just wanted to take the chill out of the house, well it would sweat you out!

    2. It was always messy. He always burnt hard coal, nut size I believe. He had a coal bin in the basement and it broke apart the one time and coal dust was everywhere. Thick black dust. Always a film of the black dust on everything.

    3. A few times a month he would get a clinker, a half burnt piece of coal, that gets stuck in the grate and would have to let the stove cool to usually get it out.

    4. The ashes contain some harmful element that is not good for your garden. I forget what it is off the top of my head.

    I have a pellet stove in my house, but would have gone with a coal stove if it wasn't so dusty and dirty. Coal doesn't go bad (and eventually will turn into diamonds!). It is readily available here in PA and there is still lots of it left and technology to mine even more of it.

    I read about a guy who has an outdoor coal furnace that has a hopper that will hold a ton of coal. Not much maintenance expect empty the ashes.
    Wes
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  7. #7
    Elite Member Car Doc's Avatar
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    YM3810D Yanmar

    Default Re: Coal stoves

    I just remembered my dad telling me a story about when he was a kid them having to scrounge coal from along the rail road tracks to help heat and cook they were dirt poor.

    I can just imagine the woosies these days crying out loud over that situation.
    Yanmar YM3810D, LT duty 3pt hoe, 6' KK2 tiller, 6' KK box blade, 6 1/2' KK disc, 5' Howse bush hog, 5' Howse back blade, 9" Yellow PHD, 3 Husky chain saws 346XP NE, 359, 372XP. 07 HD Heritage Softail, Crack injectors, check compression, take 2 beers and call me. "Hey you didn't build that."

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    KS.
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    Case 1845C skidsteer

    Default Re: Coal stoves

    I burned coal while working in a coal fired generating station in Wyoming. We bought the coal from the plant where I worked at $2.50 a ton. We whined a lot when they started charging $5.00 a ton. I also had wood heat but it was about 70 miles to the nearest pine tree. The pine burned about like gunpowder. Wyoming was the coldest climate I have lived in but with the coal at the rate I was paying in the late 70's it was the cheapest heating I have ever experienced.
    My stove was an old down drafter "Warm Morning" that was given to me. The stove was set up in my uninsulated 2 car garage and the heat was blown into the house. The coal stove also kept the snow melted off the roof since my garage was uninsulated. Still have the stove and wish I still had access to coal. Neighbors would probably complain about the odor of the coal smoke.

  9. #9
    New Member
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    farmall 140

    Default Re: Coal stoves

    My uncle used coal and had a bunch of relatives over and my brother and I decided to stoke up the coal fired pot belly stove in a 100 year old farm house and we got that thing going red hot and then when my dad and everyone got done throwing red hot pieces of coal out into the yard to keep from burning the house down, my brother and I got some red hot rear ends!!!!

    It is very good heat though

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Dutch445's Avatar
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    Upstate NY
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    JD X585

    Default Re: Coal stoves

    one can buy bulk coal, probably the cheapest, and keep it in a bin. i had
    chosen to either bag my own at the distributor, or buy pre bagged.
    with the pre-bagged i bought the past 2 years, there was little to
    no dust, as the coal was probably bagged a little wet to keep
    the dust down. now the fly ash, (which is a white dust) does get
    around the basement, and because i move the air upstairs we get
    a little more dust there than in summer, but it isn't anything
    i would call "dirty". i know people with wood stoves complain
    about the mess the wood pile makes also.

    i really like the thought of an add on furnace in my new home,
    which has a forced air propane furnace. (thank god it's been
    mild this winter). but then again, a stove down in my basement
    would tend to warm up the basement also which we plan on using
    for living space as it is all petitioned off into rooms.

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