Gas fireplaces offer the same warmth and ambiance, without all of the mess and maintenance of their traditional wood-burning counterparts. For most people, the main concern associated with gas fireplaces or inserts is the cost associated with their operation. Here is some information to help make that determination.
Understanding the Variables
It is important to understand that there are a number of variables that determine the costs associated with running a gas fireplace. It is very important to consider the size of the area that needs to be heated, whether the unit requires propane or natural gas and the number of BTU's or therms the unit uses per hour. Once this information is acquired it is fairly simple to determine the cost of operating a gas fireplace.
Crunching the Numbers
To determine the cost of operating a fireplace that uses natural gas you would need to know how much your gas provider charges per therm. It should be noted that one therm equals 100,000 BTUs. You would then need to multiply the BTU output of your fireplace by the cost per therm your provider charges. For example, if your gas fireplace puts out 50,000 BTUs and your gas provider charges .60 per therm the mathematical equation would be: 50,000X.60/100,000=.30 per hour to operate.
If you needed to determine the cost to operate a fireplace that uses propane, you would need to multiply the fireplace BTU multiplied by the cost of propane by the gallon, then divide that number by the BTU equivalent. The formula would be: 50000X1.20/100000=.60 per hour.
To determine the monthly cost to run a gas fireplace you would then multiply the hourly operating cost by the hours used during the month. It should be noted that there may be a minimal electrical cost associated with the blowers used by gas fireplaces.
The type of fireplace and room variables such as vaulted or cathedral ceilings can greatly affect the cost per hour as well. While a vent free fireplace might technically be the most efficient per hour the hot air they produce will immediately rise. This means that you must first heat that space above before you will feel the heat at ground level. A ceiling fan can greatly help out. A better alternative in this space might be a direct vent fireplace that will radiate heat at ground level, avoiding the expense of heating the space above.
Some averages to help you out! (Numbers as averages in winter 2019 in North Carolina)
Direct Vent Fireplaces can range from 18,000 BTU’s to 60,000 (or more). They also often have a very wide differential from low to high allowing you to operate the unit at its most efficient setting to heat your space. You can use the numbers above to help to guide the cost per hour.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, deciding what is economically responsible for your home is going to be the choice that benefits your life, but don’t let cost be a deterring factor when it comes to your heating source.
If you want to know more about the costs of gas fireplaces, and want help selecting the right fireplace for your home and finances, contact Casual Furniture World today for all the assistance you need. Our goal is to provide you a luxurious home experience, all year round.