If You Weren't Burning Coal How Much Would Heating Cost You

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Freddy
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 5:04 am

I save about $3,000 a year compare to oil....and... stay more comfy!


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Carbon12
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 7:03 am

Why isn't everyone burning coal??? I guess out little secret is keeping our coal costs reasonable :D

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Lightning
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 7:16 am

I wondered the same thing. Some people just don't have a frugal mindset I guess and would rather not take on the additional work and responsibility.

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Carbon12
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 7:19 am

It's true that coal is not for everyone. But most could be taught to safely burn coal. I think part of the problem, currently, is that there are just not enough knowledgable people to service the average homeowners coal system. Most people are not do it yourself types.

Davian
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 8:28 am

On average, around 1200-1300 gallons of fuel oil without the stove. That'd be anywhere from $4,848.00 - $5,252.00 at the current rate of $4.04 a gallon I had to pay a few weeks ago to top off my tank (which I still use for hot water and suppmentary heat). With the coal stove, my annual oil consumption is dropped to roughly 400 gallons (depending on just how cold it gets in the winter). Thus this "saves" me anywhere from $3,232.00 - $3,636.00 a year. However, of course, I have to pay for coal...which in VT isn't as cheap as NE PA. I pay anywhere from $330-$350 a ton (typically $7 a bag for 40# bags so let's say $350). I burned 4,120 lbs of coal last year and I'm on pace for around that this year (my stove was down for 2 weeks in Dec so despite the cold, I'll likely end up around the same this year)...So, at $7 a bag, that's 103 bags for a total of $721.00. So figure on $1,616.00 for the oil and $721.00 for the coal for a grand total of $2,337.00 or a savings of around $2,915.00 on the high end and a low-end estimate of $2,511.00.

I installed the stove and entire chimney system 3 winters ago for roughly $3200 and have had to pay about $200 in maintenance parts (new fire bricks and a new baffle plate this year) and change but with that savings, I'm so far about $4-5K ahead of the game since I went to coal full time.

Another key point...the price of fuel oil has been all over the board in the past 3-4 years for me...its been anywhere from $3.25 a gallon to $4.50ish a gallon with no predictability whatsoever. Coal hasn't budged...the same dealer that charged $7 a bag or $330 a ton for bulk orders is still charging $7 a bag or $330 a ton for bulk.

Math is fun.

Davian
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 8:32 am

Carbon12 wrote:Why isn't everyone burning coal??? I guess out little secret is keeping our coal costs reasonable :D
Exactly...the cost of coal would skyrocket if more and more people started burning it. Let them keep their propane tanks and oil deliveries.

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whistlenut
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 9:54 am

I always tell folks it isn't about the 60% you save, IT IS ABOUT THE COMFORT LEVEL. Yes, the money is critical, but sitting at 74 degrees beats sitting at 66 degrees...and all for a lot less. Heat that penetrates the entire structure, not just conditioning the space within. Let's face it, we are all going to be up on usage about 30%, however, the fact that the oil truck or proPain truck doesn't have us on his GPS is a WARM feeling from day one! :idea: :idea: :!:

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michaelanthony
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 11:19 am

whistlenut brought up a good point about the comfort level and the heat penetrating the structure. A couple days ago I needed to reseal the door gaskets on the Vigilant, the house was warm and I had planned the shut down the night before so I did not add coal and the next day at noon I dumped the fire and did my maintenance. Well when I fired the stove back up and had a seat the couch was cool brrrrrrrrrr! That never happens with the stove crankin' every thing in the house is warm!


Davian
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 11:27 am

whistlenut wrote:I always tell folks it isn't about the 60% you save, IT IS ABOUT THE COMFORT LEVEL. Yes, the money is critical, but sitting at 74 degrees beats sitting at 66 degrees...and all for a lot less. Heat that penetrates the entire structure, not just conditioning the space within. Let's face it, we are all going to be up on usage about 30%, however, the fact that the oil truck or proPain truck doesn't have us on his GPS is a WARM feeling from day one! :idea: :idea: :!:
That's a great point...I could never afford to set my thermostat at 67-70 downstairs and 63 upstairs and I get that with the coal stove. Without it, its on 62 on both floors and we wear layers. Its nice to be able to relax like that.

kstills
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 11:37 am

4.5 tons of coal this year (roughly) at 255 = 1147.50

Equivalent BTUs of oil = 818 gallons x 4.05 = 3312.50

Savings = 2165.00

As others have mentioned, I would never keep the house at the same temperature using oil as I do with coal. So it's not a fair comparison at all.

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Lightning
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 4:55 pm

The fairest comparison is to use btus to figure how much of the other fuel you would need to get the same comfort level.

Other than the savings, a particular passion goes along with coal burning that people on the outside may not understand. :D

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Carbon12
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 4:57 pm

So true! Part art, part science, all fun! It's a primal thing. Keeping your family warm and safe and dry by direct effort,.....not just spinning a thermostat and writing a check. Now,.....where to find a Wooly Mammoth to hunt?!!?

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Freddy
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 5:27 pm

kstills wrote:I would never keep the house at the same temperature using oil as I do with coal.
We do (did). My wife and I both shivered our entire childhoods & we refuse to shiver as adults. We enjoy dressing lightly and being comfortable. We will forgo other things in life to allow ourselves the comfort of being warm, and, we will work more and harder if need be to see that we stay warm. But, now that we burn coal, we can have the best of both worlds.... we are warm & it's cost is reasonable.

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warminmn
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 6:14 pm

Im not sure what I'd save money wise, probably cost less then coal, cuz I'd be burning wood. But I do know how many splinters and sore backs and shoulders that would cost me cutting it, not to mention lost weekends cutting it. I still cut wood for the shoulder seasons, a cord or 2, but I used to cut a lot more for most my life and don't miss it.

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buffalo bob
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Post Tue. Feb. 04, 2014 7:46 pm

coal cost me more money than when I burnt wood,but the labor in the wood made for a lot of hours..now I can just relax in my retirement and only tend the stove twice a day,little like viet nam 12 hrs on 12 hrs off...love it...


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