The Ultimate Guide for Coal Burning Stoves

Coal burning stoves are nowadays alternative heating appliances. You can use a coal stove as a fireplace insert or in a stand-alone mode depending on the type of stove model you have selected. Coal stoves are available in a large range of domestic, industrial and outdoor models in accordance with different requirements. These stoves, besides being a good choice for domestic heating purposes are good for outdoor applications and camping enthusiasts. There were days when you had to carry a bulky coal stove for your camping trip. Nowadays, coal stoves are lightweight, small, efficient and safe.

Working of Coal Burning Stoves

The dynamics of a standard coal stove is very similar to the wood stove. These stoves do not require electric or fan’s help for combustion. This stove also uses natural draft and has the same chimney requirements. All coal stoves need to have grates and ash removal pot. The performance of a coal stove is measured by the time it takes to boil a quart of water in ideal conditions at a temperature of 700 F and at sea level. A coal stove generally works efficiently with either anthracite or bituminous coal.

The major difference between the wood and pellet based stoves and a coal stove is the time taken for igniting and starting the fire. Coal appliances are not as easy to start as a wood fire or a pellet stove. The time taken for the fire to start burning hot varies from stove to stove and depends on the type of coal you are using for your coal stove. It would take a lot of patience and practice to burn coal. There is a specific procedure involved in loading, shaking and adjusting of the stove. If you do not follow the right procedure then you are bound to have difficulties in starting a fire in the coal burning stoves.

Igniting Fire in a Coal Stove

Here are a few important things that you should consider before attempting to ignite a fire in a coal burning stove. The temperature outside has to be below 55 degrees, as it will determine the amount of draft you will get. To start a coal fire, you have to follow these steps:

  • Get some paper and do some dry kindling to start the fire.
  • When you see the fire burning hot, add pieces of hardwood.
  • You need to have the draft control fully open until it creates a hot fire.
  • Keep on adding small amount of coal from time to time to the already existing bed of burning coal. It is important to fill the coal stove with coal to the highest level possible.
  • When you see the coal burning with a blue flame, then you can bring down the draft control.

You should shake the coal burning stove at least twice a day to ensure its smooth functioning. This is because coal-burning stoves produce ten times ash when compared to their wood burning cousins. Coal stoves require regular maintenance and you should not allow large amount of ash collection in the ash pit. If there is excess of ash in the pit then there is a possibility of the fire going out. Take time to inspect the various parts of the stove such as the glass, gasket, grates etc. and take steps for their proper upkeep and maintenance. Check the stovepipe and the chimney systems thoroughly. Check the pipe every 6 months to see the extent of corrosion and replace if need be.

The price of coal burning stove ranges anywhere between $20 to $2000 depending on the brand, application and the fuel consumed. The efficiency of the coal stove is measured in BTU or British Thermal Units. The efficiency of a good coal burning stove ranges between 25,000 and 30,000 BTU.

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