When I was a kid, my dad used to have a hopper that he would fill with coal.
Throughout the night, the coal would slowly move into the furnace and give us warmth and comfort all through the night.
We had a thermostat in the living room that was far away from the door so it didn’t get any cold drafts. We spent many nights curled up on the old sofa bed. The stairway would be blocked off with blankets to keep the heat from going up the stairs. We would have long nights in the living room, pretending we were camping, on the nights when the temperatures would drop below zero. Tending to that old coal furnace seemed simple and although we didn’t sleep upstairs in the winter, we were warm and cozy and we always enjoyed the night time. Now we have an oil burner and whenever the power goes out, we don’t have any heat. The furnace often glitches if we have a power glitch and then we need to go downstairs and reset the furnace. We never had that problem with the coal furnace. It didn’t rely on electricity to run. It was all done with good old gravity. As much as I love the modern heating systems and their ability to give good heat to every room of the house, I prefer having heating no matter what the weather, or whether or not we have electricity. If I could go back in time and find a modern coal furnace that worked without any needing to load coal once or twice a day, and still ran without electricity, I would gladly buy one.