Nothing Lasts Forever­

The United States uses a lot of coal, and despite the huge amounts of it found in this country, we’ve got less than 250 years until we exhaust the resource completely. On average, 3.8 tons (3.45 metric tons) of coal are used per U.S. resident every year [source: American Coal Foundation]. ­

Installing Coal Stoves

Installing a coal stove in your home shouldn't be taken lightly. A faulty installation could result in improper ventilation or even worse, it could burn your house down. Whether you choose a hand fired stove or a stoker stove, both can be difficult to install and require an experienced professional. Most likely, whoever you buy the stove from will also be able to install it.

There are a few things you need to consider before you install a coal stove in your home. Regardless of the type of stove you're installing, the size of the stove should be proportional to the size of the area you're trying to heat [source: Dowling Stoves]. A small stove isn't going to heat your entire house.

If you decide to go with a hand fired coal stove, you'll need a chimney. If you already have one in your house, you'll probably want to find a way to use it -- chimneys aren't cheap. Constructing a brand new one usually costs more than the stove itself. If you have to install one, then you need to choose an area in your house where the chimney will not only fit, but the stove will be able to efficiently heat the space you want it to heat. Whoever you hire to install the stove will be able to offer you advice on this matter.

The installation of a stoker coal stove will involve electricity. The stove is hooked up to a thermostat. While the stove should be placed with efficiency in mind, the thermostat can be installed wherever it is most convenient. The venting system for stoker stoves is also a delicate matter. If not done properly, you could end up with a house full of carbon monoxide and a fire that keeps getting suffocated.

The bottom line is that unless you're a professional stove installer, your job pretty much involves picking out a stove and the spot you want it to go in your house. Everything else should be left up to someone with training and experience.