How Coal Stacks up Against Other Sources of Heat

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Cyber36
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Post Mon. Aug. 08, 2011 1:23 pm


franco b
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Post Mon. Aug. 08, 2011 8:45 pm

SteveZee wrote:Lets not forget wood also.

One ton of anthracite is equal too 1.3 cords of dry hard wood. Plus you don't have to saw, split, season or stack it. Priceless!
Or lug it. The wood weighs twice as much.

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dlj
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Post Mon. Aug. 08, 2011 9:37 pm

markviii wrote: Excellent point. He already mentioned that the furnace was ~30 years old. I have seen some older furnaces that were way oversized, short cycled, etc. Add in some poorly insulated duct work and it is easy to see how a constantly burning coal stove (and a very efficient one at that) would edge out the oil furnace in operating efficiency.
It turns out, my furnace is sized just about right. Mainly because when it was first installed, the addition with the three bedrooms and bathroom were not on the house, when they were added afterwards, turns out the furnace is the right size as luck would have it.

I don't know what short cycled really means or how to check for it. I just assume it means the furnace runs for too short a time and cycles on and off too often. How do you tell?

Hmm, poorly insulated duct work? I'd say the UNinsulated duct work I have may be a major contributor!

Now one thing I will disagree with you on, you say "edge out the oil furnace in operating efficiency"; I'd say "blows away the oil furnace in operating efficiency"! Of course, I show no bias here do I? ... LOL

dj

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dlj
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Post Mon. Aug. 08, 2011 9:51 pm

Cyber36 wrote:Here is a fun little tool...... http://pelletheat.org/pellets/compare-fuel-costs/
Cyber36 - I love this one! Coal kicks butt on their calculator!Way better than pellets!

dj

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Richard S.
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Post Mon. Aug. 08, 2011 9:53 pm

Cyber36 wrote:Here is a fun little tool...... http://pelletheat.org/pellets/compare-fuel-costs/
The calculator here will do the same thing, actually better because you can change the BTU values where it may vary. ;)

https://coalpail.com/fuel-comparison-calculator-home-heating

You can also do a reverse calculation based on what you used for other fules.


franco b
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Post Mon. Aug. 08, 2011 10:41 pm

dlj wrote:I don't know what short cycled really means or how to check for it. I just assume it means the furnace runs for too short a time and cycles on and off too often. How do you tell?
An oil burner needs time to get up enough heat in the combustion chamber to reach maximum efficiency and burn the fuel completely. That time will vary with the particular installation, but at a minimum it should run long enough for the stack temp to reach its normal operating temperature plus a bit longer. To do it for maximum efficiency a running time recorder would be attached to the burner and a record kept for outside temperature. Firing rate would be adjusted to get long run times and still heat the building adequately. Most effective in a large building. Efficiency would be highest if it never shut off. Just like your coal stove.

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SMITTY
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Post Mon. Aug. 08, 2011 10:47 pm

Plus, you don't wear out the burner unit & related devices by repeated & unnecessary burner cycling. 8-)

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warminmn
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Post Sat. Aug. 13, 2011 8:32 pm

I can compare one to the other all I want, but with coal I use around 1 bag a day (about $6), usually less. Maybe 50 lbs on the coldest day. Theres no way I can heat it cheaper except wood. The others arent even close and I can keep my home 80 degrees with coal. So its an easy choice for me. My home is 110 years old on the prairie, lots of wind, in MN. It was a good day when I started using coal. They can keep their oil and gas.

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offcoursey
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Post Sun. Aug. 14, 2011 2:19 pm

I've only been through one winter with the coal stove. The stove is in the basement of a 110 year old house with a stone foundation, and radiant only, no fans on it. The Crown boiler is about 5 years old. On oil we kept the house at 64*. Heating with coal, I set the oil stat at 70* but it rarely comes on. I would estimate 180 gallons to 1 ton of coal. I saved approx. 600 gallons of oil last year. I also use oil for domestic hot water. Lots of variables but I still saw a large reduction in the amount of oil I used.

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coal berner
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Post Sun. Aug. 14, 2011 5:39 pm

offcoursey wrote:I've only been through one winter with the coal stove. The stove is in the basement of a 110 year old house with a stone foundation, and radiant only, no fans on it. The Crown boiler is about 5 years old. On oil we kept the house at 64*. Heating with coal, I set the oil stat at 70* but it rarely comes on. I would estimate 180 gallons to 1 ton of coal. I saved approx. 600 gallons of oil last year. I also use oil for domestic hot water. Lots of variables but I still saw a large reduction in the amount of oil I used.
184 Gals of #2 = 1 ton of Anthracite # 2 Fuel oil 139.400 BTU / Gal 184 Gals X 139.400 = 25.649.6 millon BTU
Anthracite coal = 12.000 BTU per lb 24 millon BTU Per Ton low side of Anthracite BTU scale
Anthracite BTU per lb Runs Between 12.000 BTU up 15.000 BTU per lb
UAE coal 13.500 to 13.600 per lb. 13.500 x 2.000 lbs = 27 Millon BTU Per ton


biggreen1
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Post Thu. Oct. 13, 2011 10:36 pm

If we were still using oil, it would cost us about $5,000 a year at current prices. We keep the house warmer with coal and spend about $1,500 a year. If you buy in bulk and live near the coal, coal will cut your heating bill by 2/3 compared to oil.

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AA130FIREMAN
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Post Thu. Oct. 13, 2011 10:53 pm

biggreen1 wrote: If you buy in bulk and live near the coal, coal will cut your heating bill by 2/3 compared to oil.
I pick up my own, and it's 1/4 or less than the cost of oil. I figure if oil is $0.80/gallon, it would be equal in price. Not including my labor $ cost :lol:

biggreen1
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Post Thu. Oct. 13, 2011 11:10 pm

Cut the cost by 3/4, yep, I'll buy that too.

Tull
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Post Mon. Oct. 24, 2011 12:27 pm

However the calcs are done, Isayre's figures for coal vs oil are close to my experience. I used to burn 1000 gallons of oil per year for heat and hot woter. I recently ran continuously for 2 years with coal, keeping the T-stat perhaps 2 degrees higher, and was consuming about 6.5 tons annually. Figuring (estimating) that I would have used 1050 gallons/year of oil under the same circumstances, my numbers come out to 1050/6.5 = 162 gallons/ton. This is my experience in South Central PA; your mileage may vary. Still way better to heat with coal.

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