There are adjustable gas valves installed on fireplaces, stoves and inserts. Adjust the flame height down and you will use less gas and realize less heat. Adjust the amount up, and you’ll use more gas and get more heat from the unit.
In the USA and some Canadian provinces, natural gas (NG) is measured in therms. One therm equals 100,000 BTU’s of heat. In other Canadian provinces, natural gas is measured in cubic meters. One cubic meter equals 35,915 BTU’s of heat.
Liquified propane (LP) gas is measured in gallons in the USA. One gallon of LP equals 91,500 BTU’s of heat. In Canada, LP is measured by the liter. One liter of LP equals 23,700 BTU.
In the USA, let’s assume the burner is set at the mid to 2/3 setting or about 30,000 BTH/hour, a common input for many gas appliances. In this scenario, for each hour of fireplace operation, figure a little less than 1/3 of one therm of NG. And approximately 1/3 of one gallon for LP.
If the rate is 60ȼ/therm for NG, for each hour of use, the cost is about 17ȼ. For LP, if the rate is 70ȼ/gallon, about 23ȼ/hour.
Let’s use the same example, but for Canadian consumers. The 30,000 BTU burner is using approximately .83 cubic meter/hour. Using 20¢/cubic meter, your fireplace would cost approximately 17¢/hour.
Meanwhile with LP, the burner is using about 1.3 liters/hour. Figuring an LP cost of 60¢/liter, the cost to operate the fireplace would be about 76¢/hour.
A few other points worth mentioning:
- Adjust the gas usage up or down, based on the actual burner setting. And adjust the gas cost up or down, based on what you’re currently paying.
- Most people do not operate their fireplace 24 hours/day. Remember there are several variables that will affect the heating costs of your home.
- Many gas valves on fireplaces, stoves and inserts will adjust the amount of gas that is burned automatically, based on remote control thermostat settings. The colder the weather the more BTU’s you will need to stay comfortable. The amount of gas will vary according to the heating demands of your home.
- And, you will want to keep in mind that gas companies have fixed charges and other adjustments shown on your monthly statement that can affect the cost.