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Old 01-03-2009, 07:06 PM
 
33 posts, read 177,214 times
Reputation: 24

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Our home has Gas Heat, and a gas fireplace. I know its been cold as hell lately, but we keep our heat around 68-72*. We had company for 4 days at the end of the billing period. On Christmas eve and day, we had our gas fireplace place on for several hours. I am sure I ran it for a short period of time in between there, but nothing major.
Our Bill was 4 times the amount it was last month. Could it have been the fireplace? i expected it would go up due to the cold days, but 4 times the amount was just mind boggling.

Is this normal for gas fireplaces?We keep it just above the level needed to keep it lit, we don't turn it up more then a smidge.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Inthewoods
113 posts, read 366,604 times
Reputation: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by marinewife91 View Post
Our home has Gas Heat, and a gas fireplace. I know its been cold as hell lately, but we keep our heat around 68-72*. We had company for 4 days at the end of the billing period. On Christmas eve and day, we had our gas fireplace place on for several hours. I am sure I ran it for a short period of time in between there, but nothing major.
Our Bill was 4 times the amount it was last month. Could it have been the fireplace? i expected it would go up due to the cold days, but 4 times the amount was just mind boggling.

Is this normal for gas fireplaces?We keep it just above the level needed to keep it lit, we don't turn it up more then a smidge.
Hello,

I am not sure if that is normal or not. I used to have gas but now we do not have any gas in our house. We do not even have the choice to get gas.

I can suggest that once you get your fireplace going that you should be able to turn off the gas and still have a really good fire by the coals in your fireplace. You could even use a starter log here and there. ( you are not really supposed to use them but I did a few times when I had gas because I was to cheap and did not want to pay for gas. Maybe I did it more then I think.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:11 AM
 
32,468 posts, read 50,936,481 times
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Frankly I don't think it has been "as cold as hell lately"
we have had a mild winter so far with only one really cold snap--if you think this is cold you are in for a rude awakening if we get some ice...

do not put anything in that gas fireplace--it could be an unvented one that does not have a functioning chimney--
if you add anything to the fireplace like a starter log you could cause a lot of problems for yourself...

having a gas fireplace is like a pure stream of NG burning w/o much effect from the heat---
it burns more BTUs than your furnace might and it burns for longer since you start/stop it based on your own choice not a thermostat cycling on and off...
you probably also have gas hot water heater -- and maybe a gas dryer
if you know where you gas meter is---go outside and check your meter usage--go outside after 30 min and check it again--preferably after your hot water heater and furnace have had a run...
then run your gas fireplace for 15-30 min and check the gas meter--you can see the difference between the two timings--once with and once without the fire place--
that should give you an idea of how much gas it would use in 30 min

gas rates are down for producers but the NG providers and electric providers probably locked in some of their rates when prices were high because they did not want to pay even higher rates...
also they lie about what they pay for gas anway so I don't think any of us get a straight answer about the cost of our fuel at any given time...
they pad their rates to make their profits and the utility board in Austin is such a syncophant that they don't do anything stricter than a slap on the wrist...
check the profits of the gas and electric utilities--unless they went out of business they have still made profits this past year...big time...
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:36 PM
 
33 posts, read 177,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
Frankly I don't think it has been "as cold as hell lately"
we have had a mild winter so far with only one really cold snap--if you think this is cold you are in for a rude awakening if we get some ice...
I am from Upstate NY, so trust me I DO know how cold "ice" can be, however, when the windchill is in the teens I do consider that cold as hell.


Yes we have a gas water heater, No we don't have a gas dryer. I will definately watch the gas gauge to compare the fireplace to the normal household use.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:23 PM
 
32,468 posts, read 50,936,481 times
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people say this type of cold is different from some other places that have "dry" cold--and I think that is true from my small exposure to colder climes
you do know cold if you are from upstate NY and it has been cold but it can get worse--
if your house is very chilly inside and you have to run the heater at higher temps to warm it up you probably should consider adding insulation into the attic and checking for air leaks--especially if you have a vented fireplace--putting a good seal across the front of it can help stop heated air from escaping up the chimney...
extra insulation is most cost effective way to lower your heating bill really
just make sure you use reputable firm and make sure they do not add too much air to the blower which blows in the insulation--it might look like 6 inches or 12 inches but will quickly settle to less than you paid for--check the number of bales before they go into the hopper...
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Keller, TX
295 posts, read 875,776 times
Reputation: 57
I'm thinking 4 times should not be entirely due to the fact you used your fireplace for a couple hours here and there. However, you should go around your house and check for how air tight it is and whether you need to replace weather strips, insulation, etc. Also watch for how long your furnace runs and how long your house is able to keep the temperature you set. And last, don't set your thermostat higher than 68F as every additional degree costs you quite a bit!

Oh, I would also make sure your filters don't need to be replaced...
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Inthewoods
113 posts, read 366,604 times
Reputation: 53
Why not use the fireplace and stay warm. I have friend that does not have heat and he uses a wood burning stove they he built to heat his house. Of coure me and him grow up in the sticks. I use my fireplace all the time. I can heat my house really well in about and hour.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:08 AM
 
32,468 posts, read 50,936,481 times
Reputation: 18373
using a wood burning stove to heat a house and using a gas-burning fireplace to heat a house have no real point of comparison and saying they are just the same just proves you don't understand much about heating...
also the houses being heated could vary widely in construction/design/sq ft--
it like like saying someone gets good mileage with his car--why can't you when one person is driving a Prius and the other an 8 cyl 12 yr old pickup...
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