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What is House Coal?

September 25, 2019

What is House Coal?

House coal has been a tried and tested solution for open fires within homes for decades. This natural product brings the benefit of versatility, as it can be used in open fires as well as heating appliances and multi-fuel stoves. This simple yet effective product material in various different grades, which all bring with them their own unique benefit.

It is important to become accustomed with the different grades of house coal in order to know which option will produce the right results for your needs. All of these variations produce varying degrees of lifespan, heat and the amount of residual ash produced. Keep reading to discover all you need to know to get the most from your house coal.


What Makes a Good House Coal?

Formed over a sophisticated 300 million year process called coalification, house coal continues to be a hugely popular material despite the contemporary rise of smokeless alternatives. Part of the reason for this popularity is due to the high levels of heat,dancing and beautiful flames it is able to consistently produce. 

To the untrained eye, you may assume that different grades of coal provide the exact same function. However, this black sedimentary predominantly carbon rock can vary considerably by its effect depending on a number of factors. The major variations in how house coal will operate are seen in the aesthetics of the way that it burns and also the intensity and duration of time in which it gives off heat.

There are multiple factors which can influence how house coal reacts when burned. Origin is a major factor here. Britain was a major player within the coal industry for the majority of the 20th century. However, post-industrialisation and the resultant decline in the British mining industry has seen the origin of most of our house coals come from abroad. 

There are now many different countries who have become associated with producing excellent house coal. However, our experts at Dawsons Fuels believe that the best quality house coal comes from Colombia. Why? Columbian fuel is able to deliver consistently high heat output, as well as very low levels of ash after burning.

The origin of the fuel is not the only factor which you need to consider. The second influence on the effect of your coal is its size. Whilst the size of coal will of course not affect the quality of the fuel, it will, however, determine how it burns. 

Dawson Fuels sell premium house coal in two main sizes:

  • Colombian Doubles: One advantage of this smaller size is that they are easier to light and therefore get the fire started. They are usually 20-50mm in size. However, the major disadvantage is that they burn faster, so you will need to refuel your fire more frequently with this size of house coal. Colombian doubles have a high heat output and also benefit from the very low 2% ash levels.

  • Colombian Trebles: This larger size comes with the major benefit of burning for longer. This, of course, makes trebles house coal a more price-efficient option than doubles, as you won’t need to refuel your fire quite as often. Trebles can vary in size but are generally between 50 and 90mm in size. Once established they will give off a high heat output and burn with an alluring, distinct, long flame. Colombian trebles also give a longer burn time than the smaller doubles. They have very low ash levels too, around 2% on average. However, the major disadvantage of this size compared to doubles is that they usually take longer to get the fire started in the first place. 

Are There Any Alternatives to House Coal?

In light of pressing environmental concern, more and more homeowners around the globe are beginning to look towards “smokeless” house coal alternatives. These do not just considerably reduce your carbon footprint but they can also bring other benefits dependant on what you want from your fuel. 

Smokeless fuels became particularly popular in the UK after the 1956 Clean Air Act, which was an attempt to improve the air quality in towns and cities following 1952’s ‘Great Smog of London’. As a result, smokeless fuels which release far fewer emissions have become a frequent choice of house “coal” for people all over the world. Up to 20% less carbon dioxide is produced with some forms of smokeless fuel.

The composition of such a smokeless fuel means that they can also provide a much more efficient fire for homeowners. Alongside this, the high carbon content means that there is less ash remaining after you have used the appliance, conveniently meaning that the grate needs to be emptied less often. 

Homefire Ovals are a smokeless fuel briquette which has been developed for use on both multi-fuel stoves and open fires. They can be a very price-efficient fuel choice as their burn duration is much longer than traditional house coal. Another benefit of this traditional coal alternative is that a constant flame is guaranteed in the burning process. You also get less slack within the bags of “hard” ovoids as they do not degrade or weather like other ovoid types.

This HETAS approved fuel burns through completely leaving absolutely no waste, just ash. Ultimately, this is a great solution for those who are very conscious about the damage of burning traditional house coal has on the environment. This is because homefire ovals produce as much as 80% less smoke when compared to traditional house coal. It is also important to remember that they should stay in overnight on multi-fuel stoves. 


The Right House Coal Suppliers for You

Dawsons Fuels have established themselves as a market leader in traditional and modern combustible fuels to homes and businesses all across the country. We provide free standard delivery in the majority of areas and cost-effective prices are also available for next day delivery. 

Want to get the most out of your premium house coal? Browse our wide range of products or simply get in contact with any queries today.

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