I information section
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Ok next, you heard coal was dirty right? Wrong. But when I ask people what they mean, they are not sure. Dirty to the touch, or dirty to burn in the house? Now compared to wood for instance - This is where the rubber meets the road.
First, coal is washed off at the mine. It is bagged wet, and you open it at home there is no dust. it is like a wonderful bag of black chestnut size rocks! Compare that to bringing in wood from outside, now that's dirty! Even if you are going to use it in our heater.
Next: anthracite is dirty to burn in the house right? Wrong. Anthracite nut is much cleaner to burn in your home than wood. Anthracite has no smoke, no bugs, no creosote, no chimney fires, no path of dirt out to the wood pile. Not to mention prep time for cutting the wood, splitting it, hauling it, & stacking it up! prep time with anthracite is (is zero.)
How about an overnight burn? With anthracite you can fill it up at (say) 8-9pm and the stove temperature is at 350 degrees. When you get up at 8am the next day the stove will still be at 350 degrees. That is without touching it once overnight! Steady heat is the hallmark of anthracite burning. You have just learned why our grandparents burned anthracite instead of wood, pellets, or any other solid fuel. They enjoyed a good nights sleep! Lastly, you do have to empty the ash pan daily. If you are careful and empty it into a barrel outside on the ground you are fine, still a lot cleaner than wood burning. The minor amount of dust from anthracite burning is a result of not being careful during ash removal. Remember, the dirty stuff is bituminous coal, not anthracite. Bit, as it is called is used in power plants to generate electricity and is in fact environmentally an issue. Don't confuse anthracite nut coal with bituminous, anthracites distant relative. Anthracite is environmentally friendly in comparison to either wood, or pellets . So be ecologically smart and choose clean, smokeless, soot free, smoke free, anthracite. Now you know the facts! Always be warm!
I just can't figure out what kind of stove to buy. Help please!
I am still not sure what type of stove to buy. I have visited several stove shops with questions and it seems that the answer is always on their showroom floor. If they don't sell it - I don't need it type thing. Some places have even played down stoves my research shows, are well respected, because they don't sell them. Help!
Just the facts. If you have an endless supply of hardwood, consider a wood burning stove. If the fuel is free, that's hard to beat. That being said, I would consider a straight wood stove, not a combination wood / pellet or wood / coal or any combination. Again, If you have free wood, and don't mind the frequent filling, a straight wood stove is for you. There done. P. S. We do not make wood stoves so that is an impartial answer.
Why not a combination though??
Ok, if you have lots of wood to burn we have narrowed it down to a wood stove. If you are thinking a combo stove, that is a question based on fuels versus stove design. For instance, a wood stove does not need a grate / auger/ or any other sort of fuel handling / burning equipment. If you purchase a combination stove it will have some sort of equipment not needed in a wood stove. Therefore you will be giving up something, to get something. Something you don't really need for the wood stove side. Lets just say your combination stove burns wood / coal.
A coal stove, in order to work properly, needs an elevated grate system, a fire pot. A wood stove doesn't. What's the harm? With a grate in your combination stove you will burn or literally eat through the wood because it is lifted up (so you can burn coal or corn or whatever the combo is.) In a straight airtight efficient wood stove you will burn half the wood, without a grate. So as stated earlier it is a question of how much fuel you want to go through for the design you buy. Lastly, a combination will not burn either fuel very efficiently. Some have tried removable parts etc. but my opinion only, stick with one or the other..
What are the benefits of a wood stove V. S. an anthracite burner.
Some efficient wood burners today from reputable manufacturers are excellent units. They meet the newer clean air standards and the straight wood burners are the best choice. Because these stoves are so efficient if you burn them slowly, to try and get an overnight burn, you may build creosote in your chimney system leading to a chimney fire. So follow the manufacturers instructions on avoiding this scenario. Burning wood hot is always a better safety choice. Just plan at least 1 maybe two overnight refills and burn the stove a little warmer. Still worth the effort though considering the price of oil & gas.
Another choice sure. For my money I would stick with wood or coal. The good first. Easier than wood, much more expensive though.The bad. The pellets must be kept dry because if they get damp or wet they are not usable. Also, the time you need your unit the most is when the power goes out. However, without power a pellet stove does not work. Finally, if you choose a pellet burner be sure to purchase it from a local stove dealer who has been in business a while. The biggest complaint with pellets are the required stove service. If you buy locally you will be sure to get service when you want it. Best choice for occasional use.
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