The Warmth and Economy of Owning A Coal Stove

The Warmth and Economy of Owning A Coal Stove


It’s Been Very Cold!!  The Oil, Gas and/or Electric Bills are pouring in and they are much higher then you expected.  You promise yourself to do something about it.  Your goal is to reduce the cost to heat your home and you want a quick return on your investment.  What fuel will you choose?  The answer is Coal.

Oh no you say, Coal is too dirty.  This is the number one concern I hear from perspective customers when I mention Coal and it simply is not true.  Coal is only as dirty as you make it.  You choose the appliance to burn it, you choose where to store the coal, you load the coal in the stove, you remove the ashes and you decide where to dispose of the ashes.  If you make the proper choices – Coal is not dirty.

Coal goes back many years in people’s memory when they possibly grew up or had a friend or relative in a home that had a hand fired coal burning furnace.  When you fired the “beast” you opened the feed door and shoveled in the coal.  Usually there was an ash pit where you shoveled out the ashes.  Coal was usually dumped into a corner of the basement.  Ash was shoveled into galvanized bushel baskets for removal to the “ash pile.” Everything created dust.  Many times soft coal (bituminous) was used in lieu of hard (anthracite) coal.  Soft coal by nature created more dust then hard coal.  Certainly one can understand why Dust is the number one customer concern.

Technology has changed.  When you buy a coal stove look for those “antidust” features like hopper feed, internal ash pan, internal shaker and to make burning coal a clean experience practice an anti dust procedure when you tend your stove.  Let common sense prevail.  If you choose a non electric coal stove it will provide a good emergency backup.  And don’t forget to purchase a carbon monoxide detector as you would with any fossil fuel appliance.

Coal requires a shaker system to move ashes to an ash pan.  It burns at an even temperature for 12 to 16 hours between shaking so there is not a lot of tending involved.  Three tons of coal requires a well constructed 8’ long x 4’ wide x 4’ high bin (32 cubic feet per ton) so storing coal doesn’t require much space.  It is a stove so it doesn’t have a distribution system like your central heating system – so – you need to carefully select a central location to install it so the heat will flow evenly to all areas of your home.

OK, Fine, But will coal save me any money on my heating costs.  In one ton of anthracite coal there is 25,000,000 btu’s of heat.  Let’s assume the cost of a ton is $235.00 delivered and that your house requires 60,000,000 btu’s of heat per year.  For the coal stove efficiency we’ll assume a conservative 75%.  Using these numbers the yearly cost to heat your house would be $752.00.  There is no other fuel except Natural Gas that can compete with this!!

OK, Fine, but what Coal Stove should I buy?  Please visit our shop in Millheim and allow us to show you a Saey Coal Stove.  We believe you will agree it is The Best Coal Stove.


Curt Bierly is president of the bierly group incorporated of which Stanley C. Bierly is a division.  He is chair of the Penn College HVAC Advisory Board.  You can contact him at his business in Millheim (814-349-3000,