Safety and Efficiency Tips for Coal-Based Home Heating

Safety and Efficiency Tips for Coal-Based Home Heating

Traditional house coal may no longer be available for sale in the UK, but that doesn’t mean that coal – in the form of anthracite, Homefire Ecoal 50, Newheat briquettes and other smokeless coals – is no longer a common source of heat in homes across the UK.

If you use coal to heat your home, it’s important that you follow a number of guidelines and procedures if you want to get the best out of both it and the appliance you burn it in. 

With that in mind, here are our top safety and efficiency tips for coal-based home heating.

Best Practices for Burning Coal

  • Make sure you get the right coal for your appliance

When shopping for coal, make sure that the coal you’re thinking about buying is suitable for your heating system. Some work better in closed appliances – such as a multi-fuel stove – than on open fires, and vice versa. If you don’t get the right type of coal for your particular home heating system, you won’t get the best value out of it and you won’t heat your home as efficiently as you could.

  • Remove ashes and clear the grate regularly

We’ll talk about more general cleaning and maintenance matters later, but a key part of your regular routine needs to be removing ashes and clinker (the larger, stony residue you often get when burning coal). Letting it build up will prevent air from getting to where it needs to be to feed your fire, meaning that your fire will operate much less efficiently. Allowing ash and clinker to accumulate also increases the risk of damaging your appliance.

  • Don’t stint on quality

We all like a bargain, but when it comes to coal, you’re always better off getting the best quality that you can afford. Lower quality coal may cost less, but the price you pay for that is that it won’t burn as efficiently as higher quality alternatives, which are likely to burn both hotter and longer. Poor quality coal is also going to put out more CO2 emissions and leave more ash afterwards.

  • Think about converting your open fire into a closed appliance

By fitting glass doors or a firefront to an open fire, you can turn it into a closed appliance. That will mean more harmful emissions going up the chimney rather than into your home, while closed appliances also distribute the heat they generate more efficiently than an open fire. In fact, it is estimated that a good closed appliance can operate as much as three times as efficiently as an open fire.

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

  • Have your chimney swept at least once a year

Having your chimney swept regularly should form an essential part of your cleaning and maintenance programme. Even smokeless coal leaves deposits – although considerably less than traditional house coal used to – that can accumulate over time and cause all kinds of problems if not dealt with effectively. The best time to get your chimney swept would usually be in the autumn, before the temperature drops and you have to start using your fire more regularly.  

  • Follow manufacturer’s maintenance instructions

If you’re using a multi-fuel stove or some other kind of closed appliance, it’s essential that you follow any maintenance instructions that the manufacturer sets out in the manual. That could include scraping the surface of your boiler to remove deposits and checking seals on your closed appliance to make sure that it’s fully airtight.

  • Clean your appliance at least once a year

As with your chimney, giving your appliance a thorough clean should be an annual task. That will include cleaning the flue, the grate and the glass door. Cleaning your appliance won’t just mean that it works more efficiently and heats your home more effectively, it will also prolong its working life so that you should get years of reliable warmth out of it.

Modern Fireplace with logs

KG Smith & Son is a leading supplier of high-quality smokeless coals for homes and businesses across the country. With fast and free delivery always available, not to mention extra discounts on larger orders, you’ll struggle to find a faster, friendlier service. 

We’re also here to help with expert advice on the best fuel for your particular home and heating system. We always have a wide range of smokeless coals and other smokeless fuel packages available, so we’re sure to have the one that will work best for you.

Call us now to discover more and ask for our coal delivery options, or place your order for rapid UK delivery online now.



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