Cost To Operate a Gas Fireplace

After you have bought your gas fireplace unit, how much does it cost to operate? This is a critical component of any heating system. Even if the upfront cost is low, a high operation and maintenance costs can be crippling and prohibitive.

How much you can hope to save on heating costs really depends on a number of factors:

  1. The size of your home
  2. Your insulation system (i.e. how much heat your home loses due to leaky walls, windows, and attic insulation systems including radiant barriers)
  3. How often you use your fireplace
  4. What your primary heating system is (i.e. hydronic heating, standard gas, convective air)

If you use a gas fireplace properly, as a zone heating source while turning down your primary heating source in other parts of your home, you can save upwards of 10% to 20% on your heating bill. This of course depends on the above factors, and how often you utilize a zone heating pattern.

But what about actual numbers? Personally, in a cold Chicago winter I use a ventless gas fireplace as my main source of heat in a loft condo. I have 15 foot ceilings (with a ceiling fan), but share some interior walls with neighbors so probably have less heat loss than the average home and I have never had a gas bill over $65 in the winter, and I keep it at 70 degrees as a minimum. When I turn the fireplace on my whole place can get up to 73 degrees in under 30 minutes.

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