In the present study, the WRF-Chem model is used to assess contributions of residential coal combustion (RCC) emissions to the air quality in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) during a persistent air pollution episode from 9 to 25 January 2014. In general, the predicted temporal variations and spatial distributions of the mass concentrations of air pollutants are in good agreement with observations at monitoring sites in BTH. The WRF-Chem model also reasonably reproduces the temporal variations in aerosol species when compared with the aerosol mass spectrometer measurements in Beijing. The RCC emissions play an important role in the haze formation in BTH, contributing about 23.1 % of PM.sub.2.5 (fine particulate matter) and 42.6 % of SO.sub.2 during the simulation period on average. Organic aerosols dominate the PM.sub.2.5 from the RCC emissions in BTH, with a contribution of 42.8 %, followed by sulfate (17.1 %). The air quality in Beijing is remarkably improved when the RCC emissions in BTH and the surrounding areas are excluded in model simulations, with a 30 % decrease in PM.sub.2.5 mass concentrations. However, if only the RCC emissions in Beijing are excluded, the local PM.sub.2.5 mass concentration is decreased by 18.0 % on average. Our results suggest that the implementation of the residential coal replacement by clean energy sources in Beijing is beneficial to the local air quality. Should residential coal replacement be carried out in BTH and its surrounding areas, the air quality in Beijing would be improved remarkably. Further studies would need to consider uncertainties in the emission inventory and meteorological fields.