When the days start turning and that icy autumn bite creeps in, you know it’s time to start preparing for the winter. Nothing beats the cozy crackle and soothing glow of a fire when the sky is grey and the clouds are out. While fire-burning combustion stoves are an excellent home addition, the rustic coal stove still has its place in our hearts. Anthracite coal is a favourite when it comes to coal stoves, due to its incredible heat output and clean flame. If your home is furnished with a coal stove, or you are thinking of installing one, keep reading for reasons why anthracite coal is the fuel for you this winter.
What is anthracite coal?
Coal is a mineral composed primarily of carbon. But, coal is not just coal. Depending on its carbon content and net heat energy production, coal is ranked according to five core types:
Anthracite is the oldest geological coal form available, coming out on the top of the list with the highest carbon content, longest burning time, and greatest heat energy production. Its density and dryness make it a quick home warmer, which also lasts much longer than wood. Lower-ranking coal produces more polluting gases when burnt and lasts for shorter periods of time, due to moisture and minimal carbon content. Ultimately, anthracite coal is a blue-ribbon winner in the world of coal and is the ideal source of fuel for heating spaces efficiently and cleanly.
How is anthracite coal formed?
Plants, like moss and algae, were buried under layers of mud and other vegetation from occasional sea flooding. As time went on and the layers increased, the underlying plant matter encountered extreme temperatures and pressure. A lack of oxygen led to a slow decaying process and carbon retention. Coal, as we know it, formed when this plant matter (at this point called peat), underwent further heat and intense compression. Anthracite coal is coal that has been underground for the longest time, which accounts for its density and high carbon composition.
Anthracite coal is used as both a domestic fuel, as well as a commercial and industrial energy source. In the past, it has been used to power coal trains, and while some of these locomotives are still in action, anthracite is now predominantly being employed in a variety of heating systems, in the process of steel making, and as a water filtering material.
Pro’s of anthracite coal
While anthracite coal may be a bit pricier than other coal types available on the market, its undeniable quality makes for an arguably more cost-effective option in the long run.
Let’s take a look at some of its key advantages:
- Anthracite is superior when it comes to burning time and heat output. As we have already discussed, anthracite’s age leaves it with a higher density and much lower moisture content than the other four coal types. This makes it a slow burner with incredible heat production, warming your home for hours without having to add any more.
- It is the cleanest burning coal you can get. Because of how rich anthracite coal is in carbon, it produces hardly any smoke and no strange smells when burning. This makes it possible to use even in modern closed-combustion stoves, which typically take wood.
- It doesn’t leave a big mess. While most coal types will make your hands and everything else they come into contact with filthy due to soot, anthracite coal won’t leave any stains. The time it spent underground is to thank for its clean quality. Not only this, but the ash left behind is minimal, making cleanup swift and fuss-free, which is what you want for an indoor stove.
Home heating with coal
Hand-fired stoves or automatic stoker furnaces are the most popular when it comes to using anthracite coal. If you feel that anthracite will be your go-to winter warmer, a specially designed stove made for just coal would be best for your home. If you are considering a combination of coal and wood to use throughout the colder months, a closed-combustion stove may be more suited to you. These stoves can take both anthracite coal and wood and are designed to offer maximum efficiency, so you would be sure to save in the big picture.
Looking for an anthracite coal supply?
At The Firewood Company, we set out to make sure your home never goes cold. If you have been searching for a reliable anthracite coal supply, look no further! We will deliver to your doorstep, so you don’t have to take one step out into the rain. Anthracite coal is efficient, clean burning, and an all-around crowd-pleaser when it comes to a quality fuel option for your home heating system. Consider trying out anthracite when you make your next fire, and enjoy its soothing glow all evening long.