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Heating With Coal

Introduction to Coal
In many areas of the world, coal is still used as a practical fuel for home heating. Before choosing this form of heating with coal, it’s important to note there are differences in the types of coal. Coal is in essence sedimentary rock that’s been formed by vegetable matter that’s accumulated, and the subsequent physical and chemical alterations that occur through the geologic process. Coal is classified according to chemical and physical properties and can be subdivided according to the differences between lignite, anthracite, semianthracite, and bituminous, used as an industrial fuel source of manufactured gas. Anthracite is the popular choice for heating with coal because it has the highest carbon content. Anthracite lacks soot and dust and burns longer than other coals. It is recognizable by its hardness and black color. It has also been polished in use for ornamental purposes.

Heating With Coal
The popularity of heating with coal spiked until the late 1950’s. As a result of competition from oil heating, fewer coal furnaces were manufactured for residential heating, although many industries continued to rely solely on coal-fired furnaces. However, with regular technological advancements, heating with coal has enjoyed a resurgence as a result of the ability to derive synthetic gases from coal that burn clean and diminish greenhouse gases. In parts of the world, coal is still the main choice for home heating as well as to generate electricity.

The Coal Delivery
Many individuals feel a certain nostalgia when they recall coal deliveries to homes heating with coal. Generally, the coal company would retain a regular schedule of customers who would call when their coal supply required refueling. It was a huge event for children to watch as the coal chute was sent down into a basement window or into a covered coal bin. The shiny black “diamonds” would be sent from the coal truck into the coal chute and into the coal storage bin.

Coal Sizes For Heating
Coal is sized by classifications such as stove, lump, egg or steamboat coals. It is available for sale in different sizes. Buckwheat, rice, pea and chestnut are the most popular. The type of coal furnace determines the compatible sizes that can be used for heating with coal. As an example, rice is the most popular size for automatic stoker furnaces. Buckwheat can also be used in these furnaces. In hand-fired furnaces, chestnut or pea is more prevalent for use. In terms of actual size, rice is 3/16 to 3/8 of an inch in size compared to chestnut at 7/8ths to 1 1/2 inch.

Heating With Coal To Save Energy Costs
Of available fuels for home heating, coal is less costly than oil and natural gas. It’s far less costly than electric baseboard heating. In many homes heating with coal is done in coal stoves for indoor heating as an alternative energy source. However, it should be noted that costs can increase for residences heating with coal if it has to be transported over areas that are not located convenient to coal mines. Heating with coal is a good substitute for winter months when temperatures require minimal amounts of heating and also in spring as the colder temperatures wind down. It’s a good idea to compare current heating energy costs and heating with coal.