Annual Cost to Operate a Gas Fireplace

April 15, 2020

How Much Does it Cost to Operate a Gas Fireplace?

This is a very common question – how much will my gas fireplace or gas insert cost to run in one year? There is no definitive answer because, it depends. There are many factors influencing the cost of running a gas fireplace, gas insert, or gas stove including the unit’s size, the size of the area it is heating, the cost of gas in your area, the type of gas you are using, how often you use your fireplace, and many, many more.

A Gas insert might cost anywhere from $580 - $1,160* per year when being used as a zone heaters with natural gas.

A Gas fireplace might cost anywhere from $556 - $1,112* per year when being used for supplemental heating with natural gas.

A Freestanding Gas Stove might cost anywhere from $1,016 - $2,031* per year when being used as a zone heaters with natural gas.

*Note: These are broad generalizations based on several assumptions about typical usage, natural gas rates, and environmental factors. Actual numbers will vary dramatically, these are meant simply as an educational tool and does not guarantee any real-world costs.

Key Things to Consider When Estimating Gas Fireplace Operating Costs

Even with identical fireplaces two homes can use significantly different amounts gas depending on a wide range of factors. The following are some key considerations for estimating your new gas fireplace, fireplace insert, or freestanding gas stove’s utility bill in a single year. For an analysis of your real-world situation and recommendation on finding the right unit for you consult your local Regency fireplace expert

Size of Your Home

How large is the space you are heating? Does the fireplace need to stay on constantly to keep it warm or does it turn on and off sparingly to maintain temperature?

Volume of Space to Heat

Does your home have high ceilings? What is the total volume of air that needs to be heated. The greater the volume the longer the unit needs to run to maintain temperature.

Construction of the Home

How old is the home? Is it well insulated? Is it air-tight? All of these will affect the heating capacity of the gas fireplace.

Fireplace Usage

Is the fireplace being used constantly as a sole source of heat? Or is the gas fireplace used occasional as supplemental zone heater? Fireplace usage is the single biggest factor affecting operating cost for the year.

Environmental Factors

Do you live in a windy area or in higher altitude? How cold does it get outside? This will tell you a lot about your gas consumption as it’s a direct correlation to what the gas fireplace, stove or insert needs to counter in order to keep you warm.

Cost of Gas in Your Region

The price of gas varies dramatically throughout North America. When researching a gas fireplace heater, you should research your local gas service providers rates to get an idea of the price of gas in your region. Typically, natural gas will be priced between $1-$2 per therm (1 therm is approx. 100,000 BTUs).

Calculating Your Gas Usage for a New Gas Fireplace

Calculating the true cost of a gas fireplace is no simple task. As mentioned above there is lots of outside factors that can affect the efficiency of the unit and increase or decrease costs. In addition, billing for natural gas typically includes external charges from your gas service provider that will be over and above any estimates we provide. For more accurate forecasting talk to your local Regency fireplace expert or research natural gas delivery charges, storage and transportation charges, and daily rates from your local gas service provider.

Below are examples of what you can use as a baseline for your decision making about adding a new gas fireplace heater to your home. Each chart represents using a standard medium unit as either supplemental heating (on a low setting) or for zone heating (on a high setting) and how daily usage and the cost of natural gas affect the total operating costs. The most typical use case for each appliance has been highlighted. For a full breakdown of the calculation see the bottom of this post.

For a rough estimate of propane costs divide the total cost by the cost of the natural gas to get the approximate therms per year, then divide that by 0.91647 to get the gallon-therm equivalents in propane and then multiply by the cost per gallon of propane in your region.
(Example: $618/$1.5 = 412 therms/0.91647 = 449 Gallons * $1.5/Gallon = $674)

Gas Inserts Cost Estimates**

 

Gas Fireplace Inserts

 Medium Insert

Usage

NG Gas Cost

Supplemental Heat (Low)

Zone Heating (High)

Low (8hrs/day)

Low ($1)

 $           412

 $           580

Medium ($1.5)

 $           618

 $           870

High ($2)

 $           824

 $        1,160

Medium (12hrs/day)

Low ($1)

 $           618

 $           870

Medium ($1.5)

 $           926

 $        1,306

High ($2)

 $        1,235

 $        1,741

High (16hrs/day)

Low ($1)

 $           824

 $        1,160

Medium ($1.5)

 $        1,235

 $        1,741

High ($2)

 $        1,647

 $        2,321

 

 

Gas Fireplace Cost Estimates**

 

Gas Fireplaces

 Medium Fireplace

Usage

NG Gas Cost

Supplemental Heat (Low)

Zone Heating (High)

Low (8hrs/day)

Low ($1)

 $           556

 $           787

Medium ($1.5)

 $           834

 $        1,181

High ($2)

 $        1,112

 $        1,575

Medium (12hrs/day)

Low ($1)

 $           834

 $        1,181

Medium ($1.5)

 $        1,251

 $        1,772

High ($2)

 $        1,667

 $        2,362

High (16hrs/day)

Low ($1)

 $        1,112

 $        1,575

Medium ($1.5)

 $        1,667

 $        2,362

High ($2)

 $        2,223

 $        3,149

 

Freestanding Gas Stove Cost Estimates**

 

Gas Stoves

 Medium Stove

Usage

NG Gas Cost

Supplemental Heat (Low)

Zone Heating (High)

Low (8hrs/day)

Low ($1)

 $           463

 $           677

Medium ($1.5)

 $           695

 $        1,016

High ($2)

 $           927

 $        1,354

Medium (12hrs/day)

Low ($1)

 $           695

 $        1,016

Medium ($1.5)

 $        1,042

 $        1,523

High ($2)

 $        1,390

 $        2,031

High (16hrs/day)

Low ($1)

 $           927

 $        1,354

Medium ($1.5)

 $        1,390

 $        2,031

High ($2)

 $        1,853

 $        2,708

 


**Note: The estimates above are simple calculations based on usage, sample BTU outputs and standardized use cases. It does not include any of the factors above and actual usage/costs will vary. Prices are calculated using a price-per-therm model, where one therm is equal to 100,000 BTU’s and the price/hour has been adjusted for standardized efficiency. Totals represent 26 full weeks of heating per year. These estimates are to be used strictly as educational for product research purposes.