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Frequently Asked Questions


Isn't Coal Dirty to Heat With?

Anthracite coal is NOT the same coal that many in the Pittsburgh area are familiar with. Anthracite coal is 85% carbon, so it burns hot, clean, evenly, and without the dirty smoke, soot and tars that soft coal and wood have. And there is no build-up of tar, creosote, carbon, etc. in your chimney. You have probably burned anthracite and did not even realize it. Most brands of charcoal contain a significant amount of anthracite coal which improves the heat value of the charcoal while burning cleanly.


How long does a bag of coal last?

During a very cold winter day, the automatic stoker stove models could burn approximately 40 lbs. (one bag) of coal, generating over 500,000 BTU’s and leaving about 4 lbs. of ash.  On a more typical winter day, you will use less than a bag to heat a well insulated 2500 sq. ft. house.


how do i vent the stove?

Normally the stove is vented in an approved flue or a power vent can be used which eliminates the need for a chimney. Click here for more information about the power vent. 

aren't wood pellets more economical?

It takes 71.4 lbs. of wood pellets (almost 2 bags) to generate the same amount of heat as 40 lbs of anthracite, making anthracite much more economical. Click here for the Top Ten Reasons to Choose Coal over Wood Pellets. 

how much money can i save using BULK coal instead of bagged coal? 

You can save $50/ton by switching from Bagged coal to Bulk coal. Click here for bulk coal storage ideas and delivery information.

What would it cost to heat my house with anthracite coal?

A modern 3 or 4 bedroom house with about 2,500 sq. ft. of living area can be heated for one year with 2 to 3 tons of anthracite coal.  That would be a fuel cost of about $500 to $750. Another way to look at it, one ton of anthracite coal produces as much heat (or BTUs) as 200 gallons of oil or 300 gallons of propane.

where do i get the coal? parts? accessories?

HEET, Inc. is the local authorized dealer for Reading Anthracite & Stove  Company and will maintain a steady inventory of
bagged anthracite coal, bulk coal,  and stove parts.  Reading Anthracite & Stove Co. is the ONLY company the produces BOTH stoves and coal. Heet Inc is the local Dealer for Keystoker Stoves and Furnaces. We also have many coal distributors in Western PA. See our complete list of coal  yards  for the location nearest you.

will my stove continue to run during an electrical outage?

The Anthracite Stoves require very little electricity to operate. Heet Inc sells a battery backup unit (Power Pac) that will
automatically switch over and keep the stove operating for hours. Click here for more information on the Power Pac.

do i have to tend the stove frequently?

The stoker stove needs tended only ONCE a day.  The coal hopper is refilled and the ash pan is emptied (requiring about 15 minutes or less) and the stove is ready to operate for another 24 hours.  You do NOT shake this stove, it’s all automatic.  If you go away for the weekend stoker stove models from the Reading Stove Co. can operate for 2 ½ days without tending when using the lowest setting.

can i use anthracite in my wood/coal stove?

Anthracite nut coal can be used in any wood/coal stove or furnace that has cast iron grates with good airflow and control.  Anthracite nut coal will burn smokeless, longer than wood or soft coal, and will create a very hot, even heat. Try a bag or two in your stove/furnace and see how it performs.