Burning coal and loving it

We actually burned coal for two winters, then the soot and carbon monoxide warnings got to be more stressful than it was worth. The house has electric heat and no A.C. (we used window units) and just got a mini-split air-sourced heat pump (Feb 2022) that will give the main room A.C. and more efficient heating, in theory.

Fri, 18 Jan 2008

I’m a coal-burning Neanderthal. But my house is warm and my electric bill is tiny so… I’m good with it.

Back in college a professor reminded the class that burning a primary energy source for heat was always more energy efficient than electric heat. Why burn fuel to make steam to make electricity and pipe it across vast distances into your house to convert it back to heat with resistance coils while losing energy at every transfer and conversion? Isn’t it better just to burn it and get the heat out yourself?

So we do. Coal is regional in PA, and anthracite is hard, black coal that burns cleaner and hotter than Bituminous coal that is used in power plants.

The house is warmer that when we used all electric heat, and savings are about $50 / month. We’ll see after the cold season is over, but it’s looking good.

So I’m actually reducing global warming emissions by burning coal in my house and using less electricity (made from burning coal).
Yay me.

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