Preparing For A Cold Winter With Proper Heating

In a cold winter season, there is nothing as important as having an efficient heating system at home, school or at the office. This is because temperatures can drop below zero, which can cause serious damage to property and the lives of human beings, indoor plants and pets. There are many sources of heat that can be used to heat up a building. These include propane heaters, wood stoves, oil stoves, electric heaters and coal furnaces. All these heat sources have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, coal furnaces have some attributes that make them more suitable than other types of heaters.

About Anthracite Coal

This is the most lustrous type of coal. It has the highest carbon content of all coal types. This mineral has the highest calorific value than any other type of coal. This makes it suitable for electricity generation in thermal power plants. Anthracite also has the fewest impurities, so it burns with a smokeless, short blue flame. It may be difficult to ignite anthracite but it produces a lot of heat when it starts burning. Other types of coal include lignite and bituminous coal. Mining of this mineral in the U.S started in Pottsville, Pennsylvania in the year 1790. However, commercial mining in the U.S can be traced back to 1808 when the first commercially mined anthracite was shipped from Plymouth, Pennsylvania, down the Susquehanna River.

Where to Buy Anthracite Coal

There are many places where anthracite can be purchased. These include local outlets and online stores. When placing an order online directly from mining companies, consumers need to specify the weight of the coal as well as the most suitable sizing. Anthracite, like other types of coal, comes in a variety of sizes ranging from the size of a single sugar granule to the size of an egg.

Using Anthracite for Winter Heating

All you need to have in order to enjoy a warm winter is a bag of anthracite and a coal stove. This is a much cheaper and more convenient option compared to other heating fuels like softwood and hardwood logs, firewood and sold fuel among others. It also provides more heat and burns for more hours than other heating fuels. Furthermore, it is a clean energy source since it does not produce any smoke or odor. You do not need to worry about storage because it can be stored outside, get wet and still burn. When preparing for a cold winter season, you just need to purchase a few bags of anthracite and stack them up in a suitable place. Your heating needs for the entire season will be taken care of whether or not there is a blackout. The best time to buy coal is when prices are low. Consumers do not need to wait for winter to arrive in order to start searching for affordable anthracite.

Factors Affecting Coal Prices

Generally, anthracite costs twice or thrice as much as regular coal. The price of anthracite per short ton is generally stable, but small fluctuations occur from time to time. While the forces of demand and supply in the market may affect prices, the single most important factor that leads to price fluctuations is changes in oil prices. This is because the material is transported by rail, on road and sometimes on water; and oil is used to power these transporting vehicles. Therefore, an increase in oil prices will lead to an increase in coal prices and vice versa. 

Article written by Max Tallmadge.

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