You’ve done it; you’ve decided to opt for a gas fireplace. Well done! It’s a tricky decision to make, but ultimately one that we think is correct. Gas fireplaces can be installed in virtually any room and provide that warm flicker of flames without smoke or spewing any toxins into your living room.
But now, you are met with another challenge, figuring out how much gas your fireplace will use. Whether this is idle curiosity, an attempt to work out your bills going forward, or deciding whether you can afford a gas fireplace, figuring out the gas usage can be tricky, especially if you are new to a gas fireplace.
Navigating a world of tariffs, different gas types, and usages can be overwhelming and leave many of us with a headache and the need to lie down in a dark room. Well, no more! We are here today to answer your questions!
Keep reading to find out how much gas a fireplace uses and satisfy your curiosity once and for all!
How much gas does a fireplace use?
Unfortunately, there is no one answer when it comes to how much gas a fireplace uses. Instead, the gas usage will depend on several factors, such as the size of the fireplace, the time it’s on for, the size of the room, and the setting your fireplace is on.
Thankfully, you can work this out yourself by calculating the size of the room and how long it would take for your fireplace to heat the room. Once you have a time frame, you can look at how much gas your fireplace consumes (this information can often be found on the product description or in your fireplace manual) to provide an answer to your question.
While that can sound like a disappointing answer and a lot of work on your part, we aren’t going to let you leave here empty-handed! We have the average usage coming up and the factors you need to consider when working out how much gas your fireplace does or will use.
Just stick with us and keep on reading!
How much gas does the average fireplace use?
To get this average cost, we have used an average 40,000BTU gas fireplace burning natural gas. During a two and a half-hour period, a fireplace will use one therm of gas (100 cubic feet of gas). That doesn’t sound like too much, does it?
We used an average-sized room and the average temperature across the country to work this out, so you might notice some discrepancies with your fireplace.
Depending on the make and model of your gas fireplace, you can expect it to use between 10,000BTUs to 70,000BTUs. Typically though, we see standard gas fireplaces using between 30,000 to 40,000BTUs. Now, you might be wondering, what is BTU? It stands for British Thermal Unit and is how the output of most gas fireplaces is stated in the US and across the pond.
However, you might also see gas fireplaces rated in kW rather than BTUs. If not, you can always convert BTUs to kW or vice versa easily. Again, we find simply entering the conversion into Google achieves accurate results quickly.
Different models burn differently
As we mentioned earlier, the amount of gas your fireplace uses will depend on its make and model. Typically, if you have a gas fireplace installed into a traditional vent fireplace, it will be connected to the house gas main and use natural gas. The fireplace will only use the gas when turned on, meaning the usage can be lowered.
Older models may also feature a standing pilot light. These fireplaces will constantly burn a small amount of fuel, keeping the fireplace on and providing you with access to heat quickly. This does mean that you will use more gas, though, with the average pilot light gas fireplace using 751BTUs or 17 cubic feet of gas per day.
While that might not sound like a lot, it does add up over time. Turning the fireplace off entirely will stop it from consuming gas at all times and save you some money.
We see a different pilot light in modern fireplaces; an intermittent pilot ignition (IPI) is in place. These are used when your gas fireplace is also connected to your electricity supply, allowing the pilot to be started by the electricity whenever you want to turn it on. In older fireplaces, the pilot was responsible for sparking itself and igniting the flame, hence why it was always on.
These modern fireplaces will use less gas compared to older fireplaces and at a less constant rate too. So it’s these types of fireplaces you are likely to purchase now or find in newer homes.
You will also need to consider the efficiency of your gas fireplace when determining how much gas it uses. The more efficient your fireplace is, the more gas it can convert to heat without needing to be on higher settings, using less gas as a result.
There are a few factors that can determine your gas fireplace's efficiency, which is listed below.
- Fuel type used (natural gas, propane, etc.)
- Whether it has a standing or intermittent pilot light
- The efficiency of the fireplace
- The maximum heat output available
- The type of fireplace (ventless, natural vent, or direct vent)
It's worth considering all of these factors when making your calculations. These factors can dramatically impact the gas usage of your fireplace and see you using more than other fireplaces.
If you are purchasing a new gas fireplace, use this as a list to help make your purchase. After all, you want to ensure it’s as efficient as possible!
And just like that, we have reached the end! As you can see, the amount of gas your fireplace uses will vary depending on several factors and the make and model. But, generally speaking, modern gas fireplaces tend to be fairly efficient to run and will heat your rooms quickly compared to older gas fireplaces.
However, if your fireplace is on maximum output all day, the usage will mount up every day. Therefore, you must consider all these factors when purchasing your new gas fireplace or calculating its gas usage!