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Old 10-18-2009, 07:47 AM
1,039 posts, read 2,488,986 times
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Thanks guys, I will break out that manual and make sure I know what I'm doing. 1 bad month will be more than enough to teach me a lesson but I would prefer to none...
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:04 AM
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
9,038 posts, read 14,579,228 times
Reputation: 3631
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
And, by the way, to add to the discussion of the pilot light...

That little flame runs only an extra $10-20 per month on your gas bill. Sure, that's $20 more, but it's by no means the way to make your gas fireplace cheaper. It's when you open the throttle on that thing and let the gas dump in for a visible flame to heat the room...that's when it gets expensive. It's like an afterburner on a fighter jet. It takes A LOT of gas to make a flame that big...even the smallest setting on the fireplace.

If it's possible, I'd seriously consider converting your gas fireplace to a wood burning one. Forgo the ill-perceived thought of a gas fireplace being more convenient. In this case, the convenience does not equal the cost!
thanks for the info about the flame. Does haviing the pilot light on constantly really cost about $20/month?
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:09 AM
28,063 posts, read 31,098,350 times
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Have a propane gas fire place. It does cost money to operate and we turn the pilot light off AFTER the season. We have one each on the first and second floor. It is nice and we love it. It is worth the additional cost to take the chill off in the morning or whenever we want. It is like most things in life you need to decide what it is worth to YOU.
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:44 AM
166 posts, read 476,613 times
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Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
thanks for the info about the flame. Does haviing the pilot light on constantly really cost about $20/month?
I have a friend who is an engineer and he said he did some calculations and there is no way it's even close to $20.00 per month. He said it would be pennies per day. Don't we all remember when our stoves had pilot lights? I don't remember when they changed over from them but that would have been $40.00 per month without cooking He did say though when you turn it on all bets are off!!
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:57 AM
Location: Charlotte, NC
624 posts, read 1,780,361 times
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I haven't had first hand experience yet, but when I moved in both the builder, my real estate agent and the guy from Piedmont gas said the pilot light would cost about 15-20 per month for my direct vent fireplace.

Calculation wise, I believe the statement below. Figuring 720 hours (24x30) in a month it wouldn't be difficult to get to 2,000 pennies (20 dollars).
What is the cost of operating a gas fireplace? This varies by region, by gas utility and by fuel type. Based on national averages, a gas fireplace will cost just under a penny per hour for every 1,000 BTU's (if your fireplace consumes 20,000 BTU's, it will cost you 20 cents per hour. LP units are slightly higher to operate. Your monthly gas bill should include your exact cost per therm (100,000 BTU's). Based on this rate, and the BTU input listed on the rating plate on your fireplace, you can calculate the cost for your area.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:08 AM
4,010 posts, read 8,312,801 times
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Originally Posted by Waiting2go View Post
.... Don't we all remember when our stoves had pilot lights?
The last residential stove that I saw with pilot lights was in 1985 in an old cinderblock and stucco home in Orlando that was built in the late 1940s. Anyone who has lived in Fla, will know the kind of home that I am talking about. These pilot stoves disappeared after the first energy crisis in the early 1970s. Some of those old stoves would have 6 pilots running in them and cost a lot of money to run. This stove was one of those and was left in that house because the owner had never updated it. The kitchen in that house was always too hot. Restaurant stoves still use pilots, but this is because they pretty much run all the time anyway and it is more reliable for high use.

I've got a free standing cast iron and soapstone gas fireplace in the sunroom that probably weighs at least a quarter of a ton. I do turn off the single pilot in it during the warm months because once it is on, and even considering that it is vented to the outside, that single pilot light will heat the top of that fireplace well above body temp. I'm estimating from the bills that it cost ~$11-13/month to run it so it's definitely worth it to cut off when it is warm.

I've also got some gas logs in the brick fireplace where the pilot gets the same treatment. In fact I didn't even cut it on last year because we don't use that fireplace much now.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:44 AM
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For me, running my fireplace occasionally does not cause that much of a bill increase. Ours is not just decorative, and the house gets quite warm within minutes when we run it unlike wood fireplaces which actually take heat from the house. Wood fireplaces are very nice, but I like my gas one. No dirty clean up, no energy loss, and it's not expensive to run.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:00 AM
109 posts, read 297,763 times
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On this topic, can anyone provide feedback around the use of a blower on your gas fireplace. First, ours does not currently have a blower. Two, is it worth adding one. Three, how difficult is it to install a blower kit. Finally, is it something that should be installed professionally.

We only used our fireplace a couple of times last winter based on feedback from this site and others around the cost. I did not notice a lot of heat, though it was nice for ambiance. If we were to use it more this winter, I would like it to add more heat to our home, thus my question around a blower.

Thank you.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:13 AM
1,644 posts, read 3,866,306 times
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Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
The first thing the Piedmont NG guy told us when we moved into our rental from FL over 2 years ago was "ohhh...you have a gas fireplace...hope you like high gas bills!" Sure enough, our winter bills were outrageous ($200+). When we bought our house, it came with a fireplace...a "real" one that had been converted to a gas one. I went through one winter with the gas setup and sure enough, high bills. I ripped out the gas components last March (yes, near the end of the cold season) and have been burning real logs since. Not enough data yet to say yes or no to a lower gas bill...but I'll certainly update this post when I know for sure.

I can fill the bed of my truck up with firewood for $60-80 and it should last the whole winter. Well worth it if it actually reduces my gas bill. Being a two story, we've got to run it downstairs or we pretty much can't use the downstairs when it gets bitterly cold outside...not without bundling up in the house!
Can I ask where you get your logs from?
We have a cast iron wood burning stove and a fair amount of logs, but may need some more before the winter is out, although it seems very efficient and we do have central heat too.
We have an acre and tons of trees, so alternative would be to get someone to take another tree down for us.I guess they would charge more to cut it into bits we could manage with an axe. Sounds like it may be more economical to buy some logs, unless anyone knows of a cheaper person to cut down a tree or two.Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:49 PM
Location: america
324 posts, read 724,844 times
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I have a gas fireplace in my living room, I used it maybe twice last year and my gas bill on average is $10-$20. I have an open living room with high ceilings and have no idea where the pilot light is located.
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