When settling in a new home, one of the main concerns is how to keep the house warm. One of the best solutions, which is also good for the home budget, is a gas fireplace.
Some people like traditional fireplaces batter. Nothing can change the smell and crackling sound of burning wood in a fireplace. Or the warm view of golden flickering flames. Yet, in modern days, gas fireplaces proved to be much more practical.
A gas fireplace gives a similar impression as a traditional one. But, it requires less work around it. You do not have to chop wood, clean ashes, spend too much time igniting the fire… It is all simpler with the gas fireplace.
As for the energy consumption of a gas fireplace… One BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit. BTU stands for the “British Thermal Unit”. This unit states the level of energy consumption. To make it more clear how much cheaper gas is – 1 therm (gas is usually given in this unit) is equal to 100.000 BTUs.
Investing in a gas fireplace
Image source: Fireplace Xtrordinair
If you consider installing the gas heating system in your house, be sure it will affect the monthly bills. But, don’t worry, you can easily calculate how much money it will take.
There are various conditions and factors that affect this calculation. This is why there isn’t one answer for all. The cost depends on the cost of gas, location, season and market conditions too. Of course, the size and the construction of your house is also an important. It is not the same heating a small family house and a two-floored house.
Before starting a project, gather all the information and calculate all the expenses.
We will introduce you to some factors you should consider if installing a gas fireplace.
Types of fireplace
Some of the best features of a gas fireplace are: it saves a lot of energy, it gives you a similar ambiance as a classical fireplace, they require less maintenance… And the best of all – it is more affordable. There are three models of gas fireplaces you can choose from: a gas log, gas inserts and a built-in.
If you are going for a more realistic view, you will like this type of gas fireplace. It is constructed of realistic ceramic logs with the gas burners hidden inside. Gas log is the most affordable option. The downside is it radiates less heat.
For example, if you want a fireplace only as a decorative addition to your living room, this one is a good choice. Without installation costs, owning this kind of gas fireplace will be 450 to 850 dollars.
This model of a gas fireplace is good if you already own a wood-burner. Or if you want to substitute it for something easier to handle. It is designed with two separate boxes and a space to separate them. That space between is where the air is heated and released into the room.
Installing it doesn’t take too much effort. You just insert the entire unit into the existing fireplace box.
As for the monthly costs, it is somewhat between 580 and 1160 dollars. You should also know there will be some extra charges for the installation.
If you decide to use the old, existing chimney, installing this unit in your home will cost you 500-3500 dollars.
The best trait of this kind of gas fireplace is you can install it almost anywhere. It requires neither an old, existing fireplace nor a chimney to work. It also has a higher BTU and radiates more heat. Without the costs for installation, you will need to pay 1000 to 4000 dollars per year.
Propane vs. natural gas
Selecting what fuel will power up the gas log fireplace is one of the major factors that affect the monthly expenses. Gas logs can burn natural gas or propane. Sometimes, you cannot really choose as it depends on which one you can get in your local area.
If you need to heat the entire house, natural gas is a better choice. It is a clean energy source and it rarely causes harmful discharges. It is good to know natural gas is lighter than plain air. That is a more secure option because if the vent stays open – gas will just go up and out through the chimney.
The cost for natural gas use is about 400 to 3000 dollars. Using natural gas can be a simpler choice, as it is often provided by the local companies.
If you choose this kind of fuel, you will be able to access an ample supply of fuel any time you want. This is the exact reason why many people choose propane over natural gas.
You have to be more careful with the liquid propane. The vent has to be shut tightly because the propane is heavier than air, unlike natural gas. If there is a leak somewhere, it may easily cause a house fire.
As for the price range, propane will cost you about 500 to 4000 dollars. The price depends on the model of the gas fireplace. This price does not include the installation of the gas fireplace.
This does cost more, but for some people is the only way to establish the heating system in their home. For example, in rural areas, people don’t have other options.
Type of ventilation
Getting a vented or ventless unit is one of the biggest concerns when installing a gas fireplace.
A vented (directed) fireplace demands a venting system. It is why it cannot be installed anywhere.
Firstly, it should be placed against the outside wall because of the chimney. Gas byproducts are going out through the chimney pipe, carbon monoxide too. It also releases fresh air inside.
Without the venting pipe and installation, a vented gas fireplace costs around 1000-10.000 dollars. This depends on the size, shape and features.
On average, as claimed by the Home advisor, the installation of a vented gas fireplace is somewhere between 3500 and 7500 dollars.
Vent-free and ventless fireplace
The good thing about this vent-free gas fireplace is it will cost less. It is usually about 2000 to 3500 dollars, which is good news for those on a budget.
Good thing is, this type of gas fireplace produces more heat, but it lessens the amount of oxygen. This is not so good for a gas fireplace lifetime. It might also not be that good for the health. In some areas, these aren’t even permitted.
Material and labor costs
This depends on a gas fireplace type, design and on existing conditions. If the installation or a model of a fireplace demands more work, it will surely cost more.
If you, for instance, want to additionally secure the gas line to the fireplace or to run an extended gas line. This costs 10-20 dollars per linear foot.
Finish work such as masonry, tiles or decorating the exterior also adds to the price (typically, around 3500-7500$).
It is of high priority to have an insight into the electricity expenses. The BTUs are regulated and controlled by the electrical switch. Power consumption is usually expressed in kilowatt-hours. One kilowatt-hour equals 3,413 BTUs. To calculate the cost of electricity, multiply the kiloWatt hour cost by 100.000 and then divide it by 3,143.
Ending thoughts on how much does it cost to run a gas fireplace
The fireplace is a nice decorative detail in one’s home, and also practical. There is a slight difference when it comes to installing a traditional or a gas fireplace. But, there is a rather noticeable difference in annual costs.
A gas fireplace creates a similar cozy ambiance as the classical wood-burning one. But it has benefits such as no ash, smoke, no wood chopping, low maintenance.
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