Can You Burn Coal In A Wood Stove? Simplified Guide Inside!

No, it is not recommended to burn coal in a wood stove due to the high temperatures it can create, which can damage the stove and put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Wood stoves are an excellent and efficient heat source that have been used for centuries.

However, many people wonder if coal can be burned in a wood burner as well. The answer is no. Coal burns hotter than wood and can create temperatures that can harm the wood stove. Furthermore, burning coal can release toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, which can pose a severe danger to those in proximity.

In addition, coal contains sulfur, which can produce harmful emissions when burned. It is important to use the correct type of fuel for your wood stove, and in this case, it is wood.

Can You Burn Coal In A Wood Stove? Simplified Guide Inside!


Understanding The Basics Of Wood Stoves And Coal Burning

Wood stoves are quite popular in households as they are environmentally friendly and cost-efficient. However, people often wonder if it is possible to burn coal in a wood stove. In this post, we will discuss the basics of wood stoves and coal burning.

Let’s get started!

What Is A Wood Stove?

A wood stove is a heating appliance designed to burn wood, which heats the space around it. The heat is generated via the combustion of wood in the stove’s firebox.

How Does It Work?

Wood stoves work by burning wood in a firebox. As the wood burns, it generates heat, which warms the air inside the stove. Then, a blower or a fan blows the warm air out of the stove’s vents and into the room.

What Are The Primary Uses Of A Wood Stove?

Wood stoves can be used for a variety of purposes, including heating a room or an entire house, cooking, and water heating. They are also used for decorative purposes in some cases.

What Is Coal, And How Does It Differ From Wood?

Coal is a fossil fuel that is extracted from the ground. Unlike wood, coal generates heat when it is burned and produces a significant amount of smoke. Coal also contains more carbon per unit of energy as compared to wood, making it an efficient source of heat.

Is It Safe To Burn Coal In A Wood Stove?

The short answer is no. It is not safe to burn coal in a wood stove. Since coal produces a lot of smoke, it can lead to the formation of creosote, which can cause chimney fires. Additionally, coal generates more carbon monoxide and other harmful gases as compared to wood, which can be dangerous if not vented correctly.

In conclusion,

It is essential to understand that burning coal in a wood stove is not the safest option. Coal produces more smoke, harmful gases and can lead to the buildup of creosote in the chimney, which can cause fire hazards. It is best to use a coal stove to burn coal, as it is designed explicitly for that purpose.

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If you have any doubts or concerns, reach out to a qualified professional to get the right advice.

Pros And Cons Of Burning Coal In A Wood Stove

Can you burn coal in a wood stove? Pros and cons of burning coal in a wood stove

Have you ever felt the urge to burn coal in your wood stove? You might be tempted to try it, but before you do, there are some important things to consider. Burning coal in a wood stove has its advantages and disadvantages.

We’ll explore both sides to help you make an informed decision.

Advantages Of Using Coal In A Wood Stove

Burning coal in a wood stove has the following benefits:

  • Efficient burning: Coal is a denser fuel than wood, so it burns hotter and longer, which means you’ll need less fuel overall and will spend less time refilling your wood stove.
  • Cost-effective: Coal is cheaper than wood in many regions, so if you live in a place where coal is readily available, it could be a more cost-effective option for heating your home.
  • Stable heat output: Coal burns at a consistent temperature, which means you won’t experience the same fluctuations in heat output that you might when burning wood.
  • Can be used as a backup fuel: If you live in a region where power outages are common, having coal as a backup fuel can be a smart choice. Coal can be stored for long periods without deteriorating, so it’s a reliable option for emergency heating.

Disadvantages Of Using Coal In A Wood Stove

While coal can be a viable fuel source for a wood stove, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Environmental impact: Coal is a non-renewable resource, and burning it produces significantly more pollutants than burning wood. This can have a negative impact on both local air quality and the environment as a whole.
  • Health hazards: Burning coal releases toxic chemicals like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air, which can be hazardous to human health, particularly for those with respiratory conditions.
  • Safety concerns: Coal burns at higher temperatures than wood, which can increase the risk of chimney fires and other safety hazards. Additionally, coal must be stored in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of dangerous gases like carbon monoxide.
  • Maintenance requirements: Coal leaves behind more residue than wood, which means you’ll need to clean your stove more frequently when burning coal. You’ll also need to use a different kind of stove to burn coal, as it requires a more airtight design than a typical wood stove.

While burning coal in a wood stove can have some advantages, it’s important to weigh those benefits against the drawbacks before deciding whether to use it as a fuel source. Consider factors like environmental impact, safety concerns, and maintenance requirements, and make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances.

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Tips For Burning Coal In A Wood Stove

Can you burn coal in a wood stove? Tips for burning coal in a wood stove

Wood stoves are a popular and cost-effective way to heat homes, but did you know that you can also burn coal in your wood stove? If you’re considering using coal as a heat source, there are some important tips to keep in mind.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about burning coal in a wood stove, including how to choose the right type of coal, how to prepare your wood stove for coal burning, how to add coal to your wood stove, how to maintain your wood stove during coal burning season, and safety tips for coal burning.

Choosing The Right Type Of Coal

Not all coal is created equal, and different types of coal have different properties and burn differently. Here are some of the most common types of coal and their characteristics:

  • Anthracite coal: This type of coal is the hardest and densest, and also has the highest carbon content. It burns slowly and cleanly, with little smoke or creosote buildup. It’s also the most expensive type of coal.
  • Bituminous coal: This type of coal is softer and has a lower carbon content than anthracite coal. It burns hotter and faster, but also produces more smoke and creosote buildup.
  • Lignite coal: This is the softest and least dense type of coal, and also has the lowest carbon content. It burns quickly but with a low heat output, and produces a lot of smoke and creosote buildup.

When choosing the right type of coal for your wood stove, consider your budget, how much heat you need, and how clean you want your burning process to be.

Preparing Your Wood Stove For Coal Burning

Before you start burning coal in your wood stove, you need to prepare it properly. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Clean out your wood stove and chimney to remove any debris, ash, or creosote buildup.
  • Check your chimney for any bird nests or obstructions that could cause a fire.
  • Line the bottom of your wood stove with firebricks to protect it from the high heat of coal burning.
  • Install a coal grate to hold the coal in place and prevent it from falling through the gaps in your wood stove’s grates.

Adding Coal To Your Wood Stove

Once your wood stove is prepared, you’re ready to start burning coal. Here’s how to add coal to your wood stove:

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  • Start with a small amount of kindling wood and light it as you would for a wood fire.
  • Once the kindling is burning well, add a small amount of coal to the fire.
  • Gradually add more coal, making sure to keep the fire hot and well-ventilated.
  • Add coal as needed to maintain the fire, but avoid overloading the wood stove with large amounts of coal at once.

Maintaining Your Wood Stove During Coal Burning Season

Burning coal in your wood stove requires different maintenance than burning wood. Here are some tips to keep your wood stove in good condition during coal burning season:

  • Check your chimney frequently for any creosote buildup, which can cause a chimney fire.
  • Clean out the ashes from your wood stove regularly to prevent blockages and ensure good airflow.
  • Keep your coal grate clean and free of ash to maintain good ventilation.
  • Consider using special coal stove ashes for paving walkways or smoothing icy driveways.

Safety Tips For Coal Burning In A Wood Stove

Burning coal in a wood stove can be safe if you follow these tips:

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to detect any buildup of dangerous gases.
  • Use only high-quality coal and never burn coal that is wet, moldy, or contaminated.
  • Never leave a burning coal fire unattended.
  • Keep children and pets away from the hot stove and coal burning area.
  • Consider using a heat shield or other protective barrier around your wood stove to prevent accidental burns.

Burning coal in your wood stove can be a great way to save money on heating costs, but it requires careful preparation, maintenance, and safety precautions. With the right type of coal, your wood stove can provide safe and efficient heat for your home, even during the coldest winter months.


After conducting thorough research and analyzing the different factors involved, it’s safe to conclude that burning coal in a wood stove isn’t a wise decision. Apart from creating unsafe conditions and damaging the stove, burning coal in a wood stove is detrimental to the environment.

To enjoy the maximum benefits of a wood stove, it’s essential to burn only the recommended fuels. Whether you’re looking to save money or minimize your carbon footprint, proper fuel choice is crucial. Therefore, if you have a wood stove, use it to its full potential, but make sure you’re only burning the right materials.

In the end, it’s all about making the right choice and being mindful of the impact of our actions. By following the guidelines, taking safety precautions, and using the right materials, you can make sure that your wood stove keeps delivering the warmth and comfort that you so desire while preserving the environment for future generations to enjoy.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.