The advantages of coal stoves may far well exceed that of wood-burning ones. Thus, in this article, we will list down the benefits of using coal stoves so you can decide for yourself which one to get for the winter season. We will take a look into various factors including, seasoning, storage space, cost-effectiveness, and possible fire hazards. Stay on this page for all the details before you make your huge purchase.
Looking at the cost, wood may seem more economical at first glance. However, coal is typically around $250 per ton and can be delivered to your door. Wood is typically $250-$350 per cord. It takes 1.3 cords to get the same heat as 1 ton of coal, ($350 x 1.3 = $$455) so you are looking at wood costing $450 and coal costing $250 on average. Not to mention wood may need cut, split, and stacked. A typical home uses 2 – 8 tons of coal each winter. The only time wood is more cost-effective is if you own wooded land.
Wood does not burn as long as coal does. One pound of anthracite coal has nearly 2x more BTU than does one pound of wood, because of this, you can fit nearly 2x more fuel in your stove. The advantages of this are that you can heat larger spaces, and you are tending the stove only twice per day. Coal produces even heat all day long. On the flip side, wood may need more fill-ups, up to four times per day which can be a bother if you have a hectic schedule. Again, wood needs to be cut, split, and stacked.
Potential Fire Hazards
Anthracite is a form of coal that emits no smoke or harmful particles. It burns very cleanly and produces no residue that can potentially start a fire. It is thus considered to be one of the cleanest burning coals available.
But this is not the case with wood. Wood burning in an airtight stove under slow fire releases large portions of creosote which can cling to flues. When the substance multiplies and is not removed regularly, it can ignite a spark and result in a dangerous chimney fire.
No Need for Seasoning
Do you know that wood has to be seasoned well before it can enter wood stoves for use? This means that the firewood you use has to be air-dried to about 20% moisture content to be regarded as an ideal state. Mind you, the process would take about half a year so that’s a long wait.
On the contrary, coal does not need to be seasoned because it contains almost non-existent moisture content. As long as you get your coal from a reliable supplier that sells clean, anthracite coal that has no dust or other pollutants, you’re good to go.
Save on Storage Space
The standard unit measurement of wood is a cord. This means you will need 128 cubic feet, or a space 4 by 4 by 8 feet to store your stacks of wood. Oh yes, before we forget, a typical household usually uses up to six cords a year, so imagine all the woodshed space you will need to store them.
Looking right back at coal, a ton will occupy less than 40 cubic feet, so you will probably need only 3 by 3 by 4 feet to store per ton. This is significantly less than wood. In addition, wood has to be stored in supreme conditions and cannot afford rain and snow to affect their dampness. But coal can withstand fluctuating temperatures and it’s alright to be left outdoor in bins. Coal will never rot or decay and can be kept anywhere indefinitely. Sounds like much less of a hassle, isn’t it?
Looking at the advantages of coal stoves, don’t you think that it benefits you more to get one than wood-burning stoves? Whether it’s saving on costs, storage space, or the need for maintenance, we would certainly choose coal over wood.