Coal vs Pellet Stove

bytebankJanuary 25, 2005

I am looking to get either the Harman DVC-500 coal stove or the P68 pellet stove. Both stoves have the direct vent feature which I need to install in my living room. I keep arguing with myself on what would be better. Pellets easier to kindle, less soot but higher cost. Coal is lower cost per BTU but is messier. Anybody have any experience with either of these stoves or just basic experience with coal or pellets.

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Pellet stoves give you greater flexibility. You can simply throw a switch to start of stop them.

Coal stoves are better suited to long-term burning. They're really not good for "oh let's have a quick fire to take the chill off."

With a coal stove it's really better to start them at the beginning of the season and let them run all season long.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 2:29PM
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I have never used a Harman rice coal stove but I have used their pellet stoves, which are great.

IMOP: You could most likely burn wood pellets in the coal stove, but probably couldn't burn coal in the pellet stove. You could probably also mix them in the coal stoker. And you didn't hear this from me.

But I know what you are talking about. If only there was one stove that was all-fuel. Some variations have been tried by some manufacturers and failed.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 2:33PM
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Thank you for the feedback. It would be great to have multi fuel stove. That way you would not get stuck with a fuel that gets difficult to get or too expensive and you could switch mid season. I will try to see of the coal stove can burn pellets (and I did not hear this from Xanndra).

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 7:24PM
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I switched from an old coal stove that came with my house to a pellet stove. The pellet stove does not heat like coal but i also don't have the mess or a problem disposing of all the ash the coal stove produced. pellet stove can be shut of on mild days and relit when needed. coal can be turned down on mild days and you open your windows and wait all day for it to go out,then clean all the ash out then go through the lengthy start up. My expierence with coal is it will heat you out of your house, but boy do I miss it when the temp is in the single digets

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 6:47PM
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I bought a coal stove and I have a force hot air furnace trying to eliminate using gas as much as possible. when temp do get in the 40"s you can turn down the settings on the TLC 2000 and not heat you out of your house the settings are so low and yet the coal does not go out.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 8:59PM
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Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like the coal stove is working for you, I am inclined in getting one as well. I like the pellet idea but I want the max BTU for the buck. As it is heating has become one of the major expenses.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 7:31PM
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My first question is where are you located geographically?

If you live in washington DC then, a pellet stove would make more sense. If you live in the NE like I do then coal may make more sense. Also are you trying to completly by pass your furnace? or just suppliment it.

Some things to consider aside from fuel type:
What size furnace/boiler etc do you have now? Personally I would get one as close to that size.

What are your intentions to heat 24*7 or just to make it cozier when you are home.

How much maintanence and upkeep are you willing to do? With a pellet stove you will touch it atleast everyday and a half to clean it, and with coal it will be more. Regardless of what anyone says.

The most important thing to consider is how much is the fuel for these stoves and how readily available is it. I can buy a coal stove but can not find coal fuel as easily.

If you need to drive an hour each way to get the fuel is that something you are willing to do. especially if you run out 8pm on a saturday night.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 11:05PM
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DC is on the edge of hard coal country, but it's still close enough that it's not out of bounds if you buy in increments of several tons and have a place to store it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 10:38AM
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I am in PA and there is a lot of coal in the area. I want to supplement my heat. Oil has gone up almost 50% over the last two years and it looks like it will be even higher for the next winter. If I put the stove in a central place heat should circulate and reduce the amount of oil heat. I guess it will be more work and somewhat messy. Any other ideas?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 5:11PM
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Having a coal or wood stove is certainly work.

If you're not willing or able to put that kind of effort into it, then a better option might the pellet stove, or a stove that burns shelled corn.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 10:18PM
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DO you purchase the pellet or coal stove. Let me know because I'm looking at the DVC-500. WHat kind of prices did you get?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 6:25PM
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For those of you who are considering using a coal stove vs. pellet, it isn't just messier. My stove, while older, puts a film of black dust all over everthing in my house and is very difficult to keep clean. It get into your carpeting and everything. Do pellets if you are going to do anything. It's 10,000 times cleaner and in fact I'm pullin my stover out and replacing it this fall

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 1:58PM
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I have used an excellent model pellet stove for the past two years. It is normally a far cleaner heat source than my previous wood stove, (although as it is a convection heater it is not nearly as good a heater as the radiant heat of the wood stove.) However, in the last two months my pellet stove has backfired a couple of times belching a thin black film of soot over the immediate surrounding areas. My question is: what do people use to clean up this soot film? Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 10:21AM
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I suggest ya'll check out the NEPA coal forums for some good information from people that have a variety of mfg's stoves, and general information on residential coal heat, it's a good resource.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 3:12AM
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