How Much Does it Cost to Run a Gas Fireplace

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Gas Fireplace?

Cuddling up next to a crackling fire during frosty winter evenings is an idyllic way to spend your time. However, the inconvenience of starting a flame, constantly adding logs to maintain it, and clearing out the ash may make you reconsider before lighting a match.

Although there are other fireplace alternatives, like electric-powered ones, some homeowners believe they lack authenticity. If you share this viewpoint, a gas fireplace could be ideal. Unlike electric fireplaces, a gas-powered one produces flames that look genuine. Therefore, a gas-powered hearth is an excellent choice for individuals who desire to relish a bonfire’s realistic appearance and feel without the fuss and untidiness of a wood-burning fireplace.

Are you concerned about the expenses of operating a gas fireplace? Let’s delve into the cost of running one and other crucial details about this furnace type and whether it matches your lifestyle.

What are gas fireplaces?

A gas fireplace is a heating alternative that resembles a wood-burning hearth, providing the same comforting and snug atmosphere to your living area. What sets it apart from a conventional fireplace is the convenience it offers. Gas-powered fireplaces don’t require any ignition logs or ashes to clear out.

Gas fireplaces are not just for warmth; they can also serve as a decorative element to establish a cozy ambience in any room. They come in various designs, styles, and sizes, making it easy to choose the one that complements your home’s interior decor. Moreover, gas fireplaces have a simpler installation process and take up less floor space.

Are you considering adding a gas fireplace to your home to enhance its aesthetic appeal? If so, you may be wondering whether the cost is worth it. The good news is that gas fireplaces are typically reasonably priced, but the overall expense varies depending on several factors. These include the type of fireplace, the fuel source, and the installation process.

Unit Cost:

┬áThe price of a gas fireplace unit varies widely based on the model’s size, style, and features. Generally, depending on your chosen type, you can expect to pay between $2,300 to $8,000 for a gas fireplace. For instance, a built-in gas fireplace can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000, while more advanced models with extra features like remote control, LED lighting, and high-tech venting systems can run upwards of $5,000. Gas fireplace inserts range from $1,000 to $5,000, but some luxury models with advanced features, such as adjustable flames and decorative inserts, may cost over $10,000.

Installation Cost: 

Installation costs vary based on the type of gas fireplace, the complexity of installation, and where the unit will be located. Additionally, installation costs typically include materials, labour, and permit fees. It’s worth noting that the installation expenses may not be included in the unit cost, so be sure to ask the vendor about what is included in the sticker price.

Remodelling vs New Installation: 

Installation costs are generally higher when remodelling than on a new installation. Remodelling a room to accommodate a gas fireplace can involve additional expenses, such as rebuilding walls, rerouting electrical and gas lines, and modifying existing HVAC systems.

Vented Gas Fireplaces 

Vented gas fireplaces require a chimney or venting system to expel the combustion gases outside the house. The cost of installing a vented gas fireplace ranges from $1,000 to $10,000, excluding the price of the venting pipe. In addition, homeowners should expect to pay around $700 to $5,000 for labour costs.

Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces

 In contrast, vent-free gas fireplaces do not require a chimney or venting system. Instead, they draw in air from the room, heat it, and release it into the living space. This lack of a venting pipe makes vent-free gas fireplaces more affordable, with installation cost ranging from $1,500 to $4,600, including labour. However, vent-free gas fireplaces are controversial due to safety concerns and may not be permitted in all areas. Homeowners should check their local regulations before installing one.

Running Costs 

While gas fireplaces are generally more cost-effective than electric-powered ones, the running cost of a gas fireplace can vary depending on several factors. These factors include the room size that needs heating, the number of hours the fireplace is used daily, the appliance’s energy efficiency, and the fuel source used.

Calculating the Running Cost

 Homeowners need to calculate the hourly cost of running the appliance at its maximum heating output to determine the running cost of a gas fireplace. For a gas fireplace that uses natural gas, homeowners can multiply the BTU output of the appliance by the cost per therm their energy provider charges. For example, if the gas-powered fireplace has a 50,000 BTU output and the energy provider charges $0.60 per therm, the hourly cost would be $0.30.

For a gas fireplace that uses propane, homeowners can multiply the appliance’s BTU output by the propane price per gallon, typically around $1.20, and divide the figure by the BTU equivalent. For example, if the propane-powered fireplace has a 50,000 BTU output, the hourly cost would be $0.60.

Daily Running Costs

The daily running cost of a gas fireplace depends on how long you keep the unit operating. For gas fireplaces that use natural gas, it costs $1.20 to operate for 4 hours, $2.40 for 8 hours, $3.60 for 12 hours, and $7.20 for 24 hours. On the other hand, gas fireplaces that use propane have higher daily running costs. It costs $2.40 to run for 4 hours, $4.80 for 8 hours, $7.20 for twelve hours, and $14.40 for 24 hours.

Monthly Running Costs

First, you need to multiply the daily cost by the number of days you use your gas fireplace to calculate the monthly running cost of a gas fireplace.

It’s important to consider the appliance’s heating output, the hours of usage per day, and the unit’s energy efficiency. The cost of fuel and your energy provider’s charges also affect the monthly running expenses.

Gas fireplaces can cost anywhere from $36 to $216 per month for natural gas units and $72 to $432 for propane units. It’s important to note that these costs are estimates, and actual expenses may vary based on individual usage and other factors. Therefore, it’s recommended to refer to the appliance manual or consult an expert for a more accurate calculation of running costs.

Summing up:

The cost of running a gas fireplace depends on several factors, such as the type of fuel used, heating output, hours of operation per day, and energy efficiency of the unit. Gas fireplaces are more cost-effective than electric fireplaces due to the lower cost of natural gas and propane. However, it’s important to note that vent-free gas fireplaces may have safety risks and may not be permitted in certain areas, so it’s crucial to check local regulations before installing one. By understanding the running costs of a gas fireplace, homeowners can make informed decisions when choosing and operating their heating appliances.

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