Heating With Coal. How to Start a Coal Fire

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today I'm going to show you how to use

coal to heat your house hey everybody

welcome back to the homestead this is

come in with living traditions homestead

and the weather outside is terrible it

is cold as well see you down into the

single digits tonight we could even get

below zero with the windchill which for

Missouri is pretty cold and it's

supposed to stay that way for several

days so I thought that this would be the

perfect opportunity to show you guys how

to make a fire in your stove with coal

and how to keep that going on these

really cold days most of the time we

burn wood in our stove mostly because

it's free we can harvest it ourselves

and it does a really good job but during

really long stretches of cold weather we

actually like to burn coal sometimes now

I'll tell you this stove is designed to

burn both wood and coal not all stoves

are so if you have a stove make sure

that your stove is capable and designed

to burn coal otherwise you could wreck

your stove our stove is a D stove it is

the comfort max 75 and for our house

which is about 1400 square feet it does

a really really good job to heat our

entire house the type of coal that we're

going to be using is anthracite coal

this is not to be confused with charcoal

that you would use for your grill

charcoal is a man-made material used by

burning wood without oxygen to create

charcoal this is anthracite coal which

is a natural mineral a fossil fuels you

know millions of years old and needs to

be you know mined in order to get it out

of the ground one of the reasons that we

really like to burn coal during these

cold stretches is that once you get it

going it burns for

very long time at a very consistent

temperature and you really don't have to

do much with it unlike wood that burns

you know fairly fast like on this once

we get a good fire going you know we add

what about every four or five hours

we'll add a few more logs but with coal

once you get it going it's really like

every 12 hours maybe even a little

longer and you don't have to do anything

with it in between there so it works

really really well when you have a good

long cold stretch or when you want to

really keep the fire going really warm

all night long so it's a pretty easy

process of course you need coal we buy

it in bags that's the only way that I

know of at least here in the United

States that you can get it at least in

this part of the country so we buy it in

these bags we were actually given a

thousand pounds of coal free when we

bought our stove and we're still working

on that so we don't use it real often

but we do really like it when we use it

so the first thing I'm going to do is

get a good wood fire going in the stove

now in our stove the bottom is like a

metal grate now normally when you're

burning just wood there's a plate that

goes in there they kind of restrict some

of the air flow and it just makes it

burn more consistently for wood when

you're doing a coal fire you want to

make sure you take that plate out so

it's more of a you know open grate in

the bottom and you get better airflow

from the bottom up so I've already done

that I've taken that plate out and I'm

going to get a good wood fire started in

the stove I still have some coals left

from last night's fire that I'm going to

use to get this going and the way that I

like to get a fire going is what's

called a top-down fire our stove is what

they consider an east-west stove which

means the logs run this way and there's

also north so

stoves which are longer front to back

and you would put your logs in this way

so on our stove they go in east and west

so I'll put two or three big logs you

know in the bottom of the stove put my

old coals on top and then a little bit

of kindling to get a fire going on top

of those logs and that will burn down

it'll make a nice better wood coals on

the bottom of the stove once I get that

going I'll show it to you and I'll show

you the next step after that which will

be starting to add the coal to the fire

okay so you can see I have my logs in I

have my fire started on top of the logs

and we're gonna let this burn now for

probably a good hour hour and a half

before we start adding any coal we want

this wood to burn down into a nice bed

of coals before we start adding our

actual coal so you want to make sure you

have all of your baffles open so you

have good airflow and again we're just

gonna let this burn down for you know

anywhere from an hour to two hours

depending on how quickly the wood is a

that you have so I'm gonna shut the door

and we're gonna let this get started as

a fire and I'll come back and show you

the next step when we get ready to add

some coal

okay so my wood fire is going really

well there's already a pretty good bed

of coals down the bottom I can see on my

temperature gauge that it's already into

the green which means it's you know had

a good temperature so what I'm gonna do

now is just kind of smooth out the coals

from the wood and then we're going to

start putting the actual call on top so

this is this is what the coal looks like

again this is anthracite coal it's a

hard call it burns very very clean and

but it does take a little you know it's

not super easy to get licked but once

it's lit it does a really good job so

what I'm going to do again is smooth out

the coals on top and then we're going to

shovel on probably three or four

decent-sized these little shovel loads

of the coal under the top of those

let those start to catch and we'll add

more call about every 20 to 30 minutes

until we have a good bed of coal in the

stove okay so you can see there's a good

bed of coals here on top and my lot my

bigger logs are really starting to be

catch so that's good now again I'm just

going to smooth those out on top

and then I'm going to take several of



that's about good I don't want to put so

much it then it gets smothered out so

I'm going to put that in for now that's

three shoulder load and we're just going

to shout it up and we're gonna let that

start to catch now you'll notice when it

starts to catch you'll start to see like

a real blue kind of flame and that's

exactly what you want once we see that

going good we'll add more and then we'll

just keep adding more and more until the

entire wood stove is filled up on the

bottom with a good bed of probably I

don't know five to six inches of coal on

the bottom and that will keep us going

for a good 12 hours it'll probably take

in total about 240 pound bags to get

that initial bed of coals going on the

bottom okay so it's been about 30

minutes and the initial coal that I put

in has caught and it's it's burning

pretty good so I'm going to put more

coal in now I'm going to spread out

what's in there I'm gonna put more coal

on top this time I'm going to put quite

a bit more in I'm going to cover up you

know quite a bit of the bottom with with

a good layer of coal and we're gonna get

that going and then again in about 30

minutes if that is caught we will do

this all over again so this time I'm

gonna try shaking a little bit in here

and put a pretty good layer down in the

bottom now you can see the fire kind of

coming up through the coal that's

exactly what you want we're just going

to shut this and again we'll leave it

Karl about a half hour and then we'll

add more coal again and this next time

we'll even be able to add more okay so

it's been about another 30 minutes or so

and you can see that the bed of coals is

really going well now so now I'm going

to add the rest of this bucket of coal

to the top and that will give us a nice

bed of coals and I'm just going to keep

doing this every time I see that it's

going really well I'm going to add more

until we have this completely filled to

the top of the firebox and now one thing

that I did mention is that when you do

this what you want to do is just one

corner I don't think it really matters

what corner but one corner you want to

always leave that open like not not put

nuke all in one corner and that will

allow the heat from the other coal to

kind of spread better

I'm not remember I don't remember where

I learned that but it was on a video

that I watched and that's what they said

to do and I can tell you it works really

well it helps the new call family catch

quicker so that's what I'm going to do

I'm going to put this in and I'll leave

the back corner kind of open and then

we'll come back in about another 30

minutes okay so you can see I have the

nuke bed of coals on top that'll get

started and you see I've just left that

back corner open that again will allow

the new coal to light a little easier

will also allow some of the gases that

off of the new call to have a place to

kind of burn off and I just burn more

efficiently all right it's been about

four hours since the time that we

started getting our fire going and now

we have a beautiful coal fire I Sarah's

gonna zoom in here so you guys can see

just how beautiful those coals are but

now that this is going again I won't

have to do anything with this until

tomorrow morning about every 12 hours

you just take your handle over here on

the side and you just shake the coal a

little bit so you let some of the fine

particles drop through and then I'll

just add a little more coal on top and

really it's it's as easy as that once

you get a coal fire going you really

don't have to mess with it at all I just

went look at the thermostat in the house

and it's currently 75 degrees in our

house which honestly is a little on the

warm side but overnight like I said it's

supposed to get down below zero and this

will keep the house beautiful all night

long so you guys I hope that this was

helpful to you if you're debating about

you know what type of stove to get for

your homestead you know I would highly

consider getting one that can burn both

the wood and coal again ours is a d/s

stove it's called the Comfort max 75 and

we've been very very happy with it you

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so much for coming back and until next

time thanks for stopping by the

homestead and God bless