Which House Coal Is Best?
October 20, 2016
The Dawsons House Coal Buying Guide
It is often thought that all coal is the same, unfortunately, it isn’t. It may appear to all look the same, but the way that it burns and the heat that it gives off varies considerably. The biggest factor now for customers determining the quality of house coal is where the coal originates from.
At one time British was best, but over the last 20 years the quality of imported fuels has improved, aligned with the decline in the British mining industry. Coal is now imported from many different countries; Russia, Poland and Colombia to name just a few. In our opinion, the best quality house coal comes from Colombia mainly due to the consistently high heat output and the very low levels of ash that it produces.
The second factor is the size of the coal. Coal comes in three main sizes; doubles, trebles and cobbles. We sell doubles and trebles. The size does not reflect the quality the fuel, but it does determine how it burns.
These are smaller in size than trebles. One advantage for this is that it makes them easier to light and therefore get your fire established. The drawback is that they burn faster, so you will need to re-fuel your fire more frequently.
These are larger in size than the doubles. The main benefit for this is that they will burn for longer, therefore you don’t need to re-fuel your fire quite as often. The disadvantage is that they can take a little longer in getting your fire established.
The Dawsons Fuels Way
Not all coal merchants will operate in the same way that we do. Our family business has been operating since 1895, over 120 years. We set ourselves high standards to ensure that our customers receive only the best fuels and the best service.
Before we pack any of our fuels they are screened. This helps to remove as much of the slack or dust from the product as possible. Not all merchants will do this and this means that you can end up paying for dust that you cannot use. We also try to make sure that our coal is as dry as possible before we pack it, you don’t want to be paying for water!
We don’t mix our fuels. Some merchants will try and bring the prices of their fuels down by mixing in cheaper fuels. Their prices may look attractive, but you aren’t necessarily getting what you pay for.
Below is our guide to the fuels that we sell, we have listed them in order of what we think are the best fuels:
The fuels listed are for use solely on an open fire. We do don’t recommend using house coal on multi-fuel stoves. For our guide to our recommended stove fuels click here.
Colombian House Coal Trebles
We having been selling Colombian house coal for well over 20 years now and have found it to be of a consistently high quality. However, it does depend on which mine the Colombian coal comes from, the quality can vary. The trebles vary in size, but are generally between 50 and 90mm in size. Once established they give off a high heat output and burn with an attractive long flame. They also give a longer burn time than the smaller Colombian Doubles. They have very low ash levels too, around 2% on average.
Wildfire is a manufactured fuel. Made in the same way as the stove fuels that we sell. It is a great alternative to traditional house coal. Using a blend of petroleum coke, anthracite and coal, Wildfire burns for a long time and produces a great amount of heat. The drawback is that it is a little harder to light and takes longer for the fire to establish.
Colombian House Coal Doubles
These come from exactly the same place as the Colombian Trebles, the difference being that the size is smaller, at around 20-50mm in size. They are easy to light and you can quickly establish a good hot fire. Great if you are lighting a fire when you come back in after a hard day’s work. Colombian doubles have a high heat output and also benefit from the very low 2% ash levels.
British House Coal Doubles
Classed as an economy house coal the British House Coal Doubles are still a good quality fuel. When compared to the Colombian house coals, though, you will find that the heat output is not as great and they produce a lot more ash.
|Fuel||Smokeless||HETAS Approved||Lighting||Heat Output||Burn Time||Ash|
|FuelColombian Trebles||SmokelessNo||HETAS ApprovedNo||Lighting||Heat Output||Burn Time||Ash|
|FuelWildfire||SmokelessNo||HETAS ApprovedNo||Lighting||Heat Output||Burn Time||Ash|
|FuelColombian Doubles||SmokelessNo||HETAS ApprovedNo||Lighting||Heat Output||Burn Time||Ash|
|FuelBritish Doubles||SmokelessNo||HETAS ApprovedNo||Lighting||Heat Output||Burn Time||Ash|