Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is Anthracite Coal?

Anthracite Coal is a premium hard clean-burning coal mined out of Pennsylvania. It is one of the most economical fuel and heat sources in the world today. Anthracite coal produces the lowest cost per BTU and more consistent even heat, compared to other fuel sources such as wood pellets, fuel oil, natural gas, electricity, and wood. Anthracite coal burns very warm and clean producing no dirty soot or particle build up. It leaves no residue and produces no smoke.

Is Anthracite Coal the same as Bituminous Coal?

Anthracite coal and Bituminous coal are very different.

Anthracite Coal is a premium type of coal. It is very hard and compact. It is considered the highest quality of coal. It has the least amount of impurities, giving it the name “Clean Coal.” Anthracite coal has no soot residue and produces no smoke when consumed.

Bituminous Coal is a “soft coal” that contains tar-like particles within the coal. It is dirty to touch as well as burn. Because of these tar-like particles called “bitumen” it leaves soot like residue. It also produces dark smoke full of impurities and bitumen when consumed.

Is there any creosote in Anthracite Coal?

No, there is no creosote in Anthracite Coal. Anthracite coal and wood are very different fuel sources. There is no soot or smoke when burning Anthracite coal.

How many BTU’s are in Anthracite Coal?

There are around 13,500 BTU per pound of anthracite coal.

Is there more heat in Anthracite coal compared to wood?

Yes, there is more heat produced by burning anthracite coal compared to burning wood. This is because there is more BTU’s in anthracite coal.

How do I start Anthracite Coal?

Anthracite coal starts differently compared to other fuel sources. There are three important factors that must occur to start anthracite coal successfully. The three factors are air flow, heat source, and fuel. First, there must be air flow and the air must come from the bottom and flow up through the coal. The next necessity is there must be a hot source of heat such as a kindling fire or hot charcoal. The last necessity is there has to be enough anthracite coal to burn properly. This system of event occurs over a period of time and must be performed in stages. The first stage is clear all the ash to allow correct air flow. The next stage is to create a hot kindling or charcoal fire. The last stage is to cover the whole grate area one layer at a time with coal, allowing each layer to start burning before applying the next layer.

Stove Questions

Can I use a small amount of coal if I just want a small fire?

The important factor is the whole grate area must be covered in order for the anthracite coal to burn properly. Also a deep bed of coal burns better than a shallow bed. This doesn’t mean the whole bed of coal will ignite, because coal burns from the bottom up. Therefore, it will only burn the bottom layers even if there is a deep bed of coal. Your coal will not burn if the whole grate area is not covered, because the air flow will go around the coal instead of through the coal.

How long of burn time can I expect from one burn period, before filling the stove with more coal?

There are a lot of variables that can affect the burn time of the unit. These variables include the exterior weather conditions, room temperature desired, draft of the chimney, as well as many other conditions. Results may vary, but the average burn time between loads ranges from 8- 24 hours. These burn times may exceed the averages, depending on the situation as every situation is different.

How often do I have to shake the ashes out of the firebox into the ash pan?

There are a lot of variables that affects how much ash you will have and how often you will have to shake them into the ash pan. These variables include the exterior weather temperature, room temperature desired, draft of chimney. The average range for shaking your ash ranges from 1- 3 times daily.

How much ash do I shake out when shaking my ashes to my ash pan?

It is important to shake enough ashes to allow the proper amount of air flow up through the coal. It is important when shaking the grates with the grate shaker to use fast, short, vigorous strokes; this swivels the grates back and forth without losing all of your hot coals. Continue this method until red coals fall into the ash pan. When there are red coals that fall into the ash pan roughly the length of the grate, the proper amount of ash has been removed.

When do I have to remove the ashes from the ash pan?

Remove and empty the ash pan as soon as it is full. If hot coals are in the ash pan, let the coal cool completely before disposal of ash. Do not let the ash build up to the grate level as this will warp and damage the grate.

How do I make my stove burn warmer?

There are numerous ways to make the stove burn warmer. First, remove all the ash build up by shaking the ashes with the grate shaker. Next, allow for more air to enter through the air intakes. This can be done by adjusting the thermostat to a higher number, opening the ash door slides, opening the air intake knobs, or a combination of these methods. The last method is to apply more fuel, as you might not have enough fuel to maintain a hot fire.

Why did my stove fire go out?

There are a lot of reasons why the fire can go out. Every situation is different and different variables cause this to happen. There are four very common reasons why the fire went out. The most common reason is there is too much ash build up and the ashes weren’t shaken out enough. This restricts the air flow that is necessary for the fire to burn. Another very common reason is there wasn’t enough air supplied to the fire. This can be cured by clearing the ash and opening the air intake locations to allow more air flow. Another cause of this occurrence is there wasn’t enough fuel to maintain a continuous burn time. The last reason that could cause this problem is related to the chimney. There might not be enough draft in the chimney to pull the air through the fire to sustain a continuous burn, leaving unburned fuel in the fire box. The chimney could also have too much draft that it is burning the fuel rapidly, decreasing the burn time. There are many different reasons why the fire can go out. In all of these reasons it is not directly correlated with the stove itself. It is usually some other variable that is causing this to happen.

When burning the stove do I need the Damper Control pushed in or pulled out?

The stove will burn either way with the damper pushed in or pulled out. However, to capture the most heat the damper control should be pushed in to reduce air flow up the flue and out the chimney. When the damper control is pulled out the flue is open increasing the draft and the heat will transfer up the chimney.

What number should I have the thermostat set on?

The number the thermostat is set on should correlate with the amount of heat you want the stove to produce. The higher the number, the more heat the stove will produce. The lower the number the less heat it will produce. The number for the setting is determined by the preference of the customer.

Is a damper in the stove pipe necessary?

A damper in the stove pipe is not a requirement, however, it is suggested. It is suggested because it eliminates excessive draft created by a hard pulling chimney. It will decrease the amount of warm draft up the flue, and allow more warm air created by the stove to be used for your home. The damper in the stove pipe regulates the amount of air flow to the flue and eventually up the chimney. There are two types of dampers to use in these situations: a manual damper or a barometric damper.

Chimney Questions

How tall should my chimney be to have good draft?

The chimney should be 2 feet taller than anything within a 10 foot radius. In most situations the taller the chimney the better draft it will have.

How often should I have my chimney inspected or cleaned?

The chimney should be cleaned a minimum of once a year. The preferred time is before the burning season to make sure there is no substance in the chimney. During the burn season it should be inspected at least twice monthly to insure the safety of the chimney. Upon inspection, if the chimney is dirty or plugged, have the chimney cleaned immediately.