Can You Burn Coal In A Wood Burning Stove? It Depends.

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  • The general consensus is no, you shouldn’t burn coal in a wood-burning stove, but there are some caveats according to the experts
  • One Redditor said that it depends on your stove. A lot of stoves are actually able to do both wood and coal burning.
  • It’s recommended to check out the manufacturer recommendation (Source)
  • Another wood stove owner suggested trying a small amount to start, because it could be too easy to add too much and cause overheating (Source)
  • If you’re experimenting, keep an infrared thermometer gun on hand to check the stove temperature
  • One important note: don’t burn coal and wood together. Because burning coal will produce sulfur, and wood releases moisture, the water and sulfur combine to make sulfuric acid. This will destroy whatever stove pipe you’re using.
  • You should burn either coal or wood, but not at the same (unless you’re using a little kindling to start the coal fire) (Source)

Wood stoves are designed for control and safety, burning coal hotter than wood. The process of burning coal in a wood stove can be very dangerous and highly inadvisable.

It is not recommended to burn coal in a wood stove, but make sure to use small pieces if you are determined. Not all stoves are compatible with airtight fuel sources such as coal or pellets.

The coal will burn hotter than wood, and a stove that is not designed to burn airtight can send carbon monoxide poisoning through your home’s vents.

Therefore, to answer the question, NO, you cannot burn coal on a Wood Burning Stove. If you want to burn coal, you will need a multi-fuel stove but not a wood burner. A Wood Burning Stove should only be used to burn wood.

What is the difference between a wood-burning stove and a multi-fuel?

Wood burning Stove

A wood-burning stove is designed to burn ONLY wood and should never be used for other fuel types such as coal. A multi-fuel stove can burn multiple fuels, such as wood or coal.

The stove needs to be specifically designed to handle these fuels’ different properties and characteristics.

Multi-fuel stoves come in two variations:

Airtight means the fire is not exposed to oxygen until it has matured, so no coal or pellets can be burned in an airtight stove.

Ventilated draft- there are air inlets in the back of the stove to allow for combustion and exhaust. These stoves can burn airtight fuels such as coal and pellets, only in the right proportion.

Which fuel is most efficient?

There is no rule of which type of fuel is more efficient. Wood-burning stoves tend to be a bit more efficient in BTUs, though this also depends on the stove itself and the kind of wood being burned.

Reasons not to use coal in a wood-burning stove

1. Coal creates more ash compared to wood.

Wood burning Stove

Coal also gives off more heat than wood.

Pellets are processed wood pellets that create even less ash, and they give off the same amount of heat as coal or slightly more than coal- you’ll likely need a pellet stove to use them, however.

Wood tends to be the cheapest fuel, but it depends on the location and the availability of wood.

2. Coal can seriously damage the wood stove or cause a malfunction

Wood burning Stove

Coal has larger particles than wood and creates an extreme amount of heat. If the proper precautions are not taken, it can damage the stove’s lining or create high levels of carbon monoxide in your home. So do not use coal if you have a wood-burning stove.

3. Airtight stoves cannot burn coal or pellets

Coal emits exhaust similar to wood, but it creates more ash. (If you end up with a lot of ash, make sure you get an ash bucket or at least learn what to do with ashes.)

Using coal in the wrong proportions can cause carbon monoxide poisoning in your home through your vents if your stove is not intended for an airtight fuel source.

4. Wood-burning stoves are designed for control

Wood burning Stove

Burning wood in a stove is typically a more controlled process. It can be very efficient because it does not burn as hot or emit the same amount of carbon monoxide as coal. Wood also produces less ash than other fuel types such as coal.

5. It isn’t very easy to use coal in a wood-burning stove

Wood burning Stove

It is not recommended to burn coal in a wood stove, but if you are determined to use it, please only use small pieces and make sure the fire has matured completely before opening your stove door or removing the ash.

Not all stoves are compatible with airtight fuel sources such as coal or pellets.

What should you do if you have no other option besides using coal in a wood-burning stove?

Wood burning Stove

If you have no other option other than burning coal in a wood stove, please use small pieces of coal, so the fire has matured completely before opening your stove door or removing ash.

Also, know that not all stoves are compatible with airtight fuel sources such as coal or pellets.

Please follow the product instructions before using any fuel on your stove.

Coal can cause a serious malfunction and damage to your wood-burning stove, and it emits exhaust similar to wood which is equally dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.

Using coal also creates more ash, and depending on the area or availability, it costs much more than wood does. Wood-burning stoves are typically designed for more control and efficiency with wood, though this also depends on the stove itself.

If you have an airtight stove, then it cannot be used to burn coal or pellets. If you do not take the proper precautions when using a coal-burning stove, carbon monoxide poisoning can result through your home’s vents.

It is recommended to use small pieces of coal and only use the stove if the fire has matured completely before opening up your stove door or removing ashes. Not all stoves are compatible with airtight fuel sources such as coal or pellets.

Wood tends to be the cheapest and most accessible option, but it depends on availability in your area. Wood also produces less ash than other fuel types such as coal.

Burning wood is also a more controlled process and can be very efficient because it does not burn as hot or emit the same amount of carbon monoxide as coal.

It isn’t very easy to use coal in a wood-burning stove, especially if you have an airtight stove that cannot be used for this purpose.

If you decide to use it anyway, please only use small pieces and make sure the fire has matured completely before opening your stove door or removing the ash.

If you have no other option but to use coal in a wood-burning stove, please remember to use small pieces and make sure the fire has matured completely before opening your stove door or removing the ash.

Please also be aware that not all stoves are compatible with airtight fuel sources such as pellets or coal.

Conclusion

To put it in simple terms, no, you cannot burn coal on a wood-burning stove. If the fire has not matured completely before opening your stove door or removing ashes, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

To avoid damaging your stove and causing yourself harm, never use coal in a wood stove. The best options are either wood, pellet fuel, or natural gas.

Determining which one is best will depend on availability in your area and possibly cost. Wood tends to be the cheapest and most accessible option but may not be good for the environment.

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Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.

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