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How Much Does It Cost To Burn Gas Logs?
About Our Gas Log Fuel Consumption Calculator

January 11, 2010
By: Greg Tillotson
Gas Log Expert & Webmaster for Hansen Wholesale

We are constantly asked how much it will cost to burn a gas log, or how much gas a particular gas log will consume. In response to these questions, we have recently added the calculator you see below to the left hand navigation of all of our gas log search results pages as well as included the calculated usages and costs on each of our gas log product detail pages.

Calculate The Cost to Burn Any Gas Log...
Find out how much gas your gas logs will burn
and how much it will cost to run them per hour!

Enter the BTU rating of any gas log set...then click Calculate!

Gas Log BTU Rating: (Adjust fuel costs)
How Does this Gas Log Fuel Calculator work:

Basic Overview

The amount of gas (Natural or Propane) that a gas log will use is directly related to the BTU rating of the burner system you choose. The BTU rating is in fact the amount of gas that is burned by the gas log set, not the amount of heat that the gas logs generate...particularly when referring to vented gas logs since much of the heat goes up the flue. Ventless gas logs will pretty much produce the same amount of heat in BTUs as the amount of gas that is consumed because they are burned with the damper closed and 99.9% of the heat comes into your room.

However, most consumers do not know just how to translate BTUs into either the amount of fuel used, or the cost attributed to the BTUs, hence the reason we have published this page. In order to translate BTUs into something useful, you must first understand the terminology used by the company you buy your fuel from, whether it be natural gas or propane.

BTU: BTU stands for British Thermal Units, which is a standard measurement of the amount of energy contained in any fuel that is released per hour when it is burned. So a gas log set that has a 40000 BTU burner consumes 40000 BTUs of gas per hour.


Calculating the Cost to Burn Liquid Propane:

Liquid propane is normally sold either by the Pound or by the Gallon. So in order to make use of the BTU rating of a gas log to calculate the amount of propane gas it will consume and attribute a cost to that, we need to know how many BTUs there are in a pound or gallon of LP gas. Here is that information:

1 Pound of LP Gas = 22,000 BTUs
1 Gallon of LP Gas = 91,500 BTUs

Now that you have that information, you can easily calculate the amount of gas any gas log (or gas appliance for that matter) will consume. You simply divide the BTU rating of the burner by the BTUs for the unit of measure you want to check. Here is an example of performing the calculation for a 40,000 BTU gas log:

Pounds of LP Gas Used: 40,000 BTUs divided by 22,000 BTUs = 1.818 Pounds
Gallons of LP Gas Used: 40,000 BTUs divided by 91,500 BTUs = 0.442 Gallons

Calculating the Cost

If you know the cost per pound or gallon of your the LP gas that you purchase, simply multiply this by the calculated usage above. On our website, we actually perform these calculations for you on each one of our gas log product pages...but the calculation we perform is based on the National Average for the cost of Propane Gas, which in fact varies widely by region.

The National Average cost of LP Gas is $2.536 per gallon according to the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) as of January 2010

Using this information, we are able to calculate the average cost in the USA to operate a 40,000 BTU gas log using this formula:

40,000 BTUs divided by 91,500 BTUs/gallon times $2.536/gallon = $1.11 per hour


Calculating the Cost to Burn Natural Gas

Natural Gas is normally sold to the residential consumer by the Therm (100,000 BTUs) or Ccf (100 cubic feet = 102,700 BTUs). So in order to make use of the BTU rating of a gas log to calculate the amount of Natural Gas it will consume and attribute a cost to that, we can use these numbers to do the math:

1 Therm of Natural Gas = 100,000 BTUs
1 Ccf of Natural Gas = 102,700 BTUs

Now that you have that information, you can take the BTU rating of a gas log and translate it into useable information by converting the BTUs into Therms or Ccf. To do this, you simply divide the BTU rating of the burner by the BTUs in a Therm or Ccf. Here is an example of performing the calculation for a 40,000 BTU gas log:

Therms of Natural Gas Used: 40,000 BTUs divided by 100,000 BTUs/Therm = 0.40 Therms
Ccf of Natural Gas Used: 40,000 BTUs divided by 102,700 BTUs = 0.389 Ccf

Calculating the Cost

You can find the cost of your natural gas in either Therms or Ccf by looking at your gas bill. If a different unit of measure is used, you will need to convert a little additional math in order to perform the conversion properly. However, according to the EIA, these 2 units of measure are the most commonly used for by gas companies when billing residential consumers. So, take the cost/Therm or Ccf and multiply by the Therms or Ccf used by the gas logs found from the previous calculation above.

On our website, we actually perform these calculations for you on each one of our gas log product pages based on the National Average for the cost of Natural Gas, which varies widely by region.

The National Average cost of Natural Gas is $1.368 per Therm according to the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) for 2008. Based on this information, we are able to calculate the average cost in the USA to operate a 40,000 BTU gas log using this formula:

40,000 BTUs divided by 100,000 BTUs/Therm times $1.368/Therm = $0.55 per hour


Interesting side note: Based on the excersises performed above, we find that the National Average cost of Natural Gas is about half the cost of Propane. So if you have access to both fuels and are contemplating which to choose, then Natural Gas is likely your best choice.


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Answers to Recent Gas Logs Questions Posted To This Page
  1. Question #9526 - Posted: 12/29/2016 9:05:21 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/logsonly.asp

    QUESTION: I have a gas burning fireplace with a broken log. It was originally a wood-burning fireplace built in the early 1960s. It has a damper which is always open when burning. The fireplace was converted professionally to gas sometime before 2000. I converted it to remote-control lighting in 2010 using a reputable firm. Sometime later, one of the logs was dropped and cracked in half. It is held together by internal wires. I would like to replace one log rather than the entire set. Possible?

    ANSWER: It is possible, but that depends on the type of gas log set you have. If you can email us a picture of your gas logs, maybe we can find what you need. Email pictures to: gregt@hansenwholesale.com

  2. Question #9525 - Posted: 12/29/2016 8:58:26 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/best-gas-logs.asp

    QUESTION: I have a classic fireplace 26" in the back, 36" in the front and 26" depth. I live in a two story house built in 1935. The furnace broke and needs to be replaced. I'm looking for something to install in my fireplace to warm up the living room. I live in California so it has to be vented. What do you recommend to keep my room the warmest it can be? log set or would an insert be better?

    ANSWER: A vented gas log is not going to provide very much warmth for your room. Since you cannot install a ventless gas log in California, you are left with the option of installing a gas insert. I would suggest taking a look at the Real Fyre Direct Vent gas insert.

  3. Question #9524 - Posted: 12/29/2016 8:51:36 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/gaslogfaqs.asp

    QUESTION: i live in a 100 year old house and my fireplace was for coal and has a metal firebox. i have burned wood in it until last year, until we realized there was some leakage of smoke from the chimney upstairs. Would it be safe to use vented gas logs? Would we need to line the chimney like we would need to if we continued burning wood?

    ANSWER: Burning a vented gas log produces smoke just like burning real wood, so yes, you would have to reline or repair the chimney. I would suggest considering a ventless gas log so do not have to worry about smoke.

  4. Question #9523 - Posted: 12/29/2016 8:45:42 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/gaslogfaqs.asp

    QUESTION: what size and kind can I put in a woodstove "MORE HEAT" that has a door 20 BY 8.5 FIREBOX 28 BY 18 AND IS 12 INCHE DEEP and will they warm the stove enough to product heat with the fan.

    ANSWER: Unfortunately, you cannot install gas logs in a wood stove. Wood stoves are designed to operate with much lower draft than gas logs and the venting does not meet the minimum venting diameter. Even more, air tight wood stoves are designed to be burned with the doors closed, which is a definite no no when it comes to burning gas logs since they must be burned with the doors opened. There are other reasons why gas logs will not work in a stove, but I will not belabor that here. For more details, read more about Where Gas Logs Can Be Installed.

  5. Question #9522 - Posted: 12/29/2016 7:59:50 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/gaslogfaqs.asp

    QUESTION: I have a 24" peterson gas log set. The gas line in the fireplace is slightly larger than the connection for flex tube that leads to the gas burner. Can I add a smaller fitting to attach to the line leading to the burner?

    ANSWER: That should not be a problem unless the incoming gas pressure is higher than allowed by the installation manual, so you may want to check that.

  6. Question #9521 - Posted: 12/29/2016 7:53:16 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/rhpeterson.asp

    QUESTION: I occasionally turn our ceiling fan on low with the blades drawing the air upward while using our ventless gas logs. Our installation manual says a ceiling fan should not be used when the ventless logs are on. The flame of the gass logs appears to be unaffected. Is there a problem in having a ceiling fan on at the same time as the ventless gas logs? Thank you.

    ANSWER: Running a ceiling fan to destratify the air in your room makes sense from a heating efficiency/conservation standpoint, so I understand why you are asking your question. The responsible answer is that the owners manual says not to run your fan when you are operating your ventless gas log, so we cannot tell you that it is OK to do so. With that said, drafts can certainly cause ventless gas logs to NOT burn correctly and start producing toxic odorless Carbon Monoxide. It is safer for the manufacturer to tell you not to run your fan at all in order to avoid a potentially hazardous outcome rather than suggest that you can run it on a low speed in reverse with no ill effect. They cannot test the actual impact of doing so in your particular room. Their ultimate concern is to prevent any draft from affecting the flame. Whether you decide to follow the instructions is ultimately your decision...I will leave it at that.

  7. Question #9520 - Posted: 12/29/2016 7:31:40 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/vented-vs-ventfree.asp

    QUESTION: I do not really need the heat, and I have a fireplace already,but, the damper is either all the way open or completely closed. can I get that fixed so i can have it open part of the way so all the hot air does not go up the chimney thereby kind of making it silly to have one

    ANSWER: Technically, a vented gas log is supposed to be burned with the damper completely open. Plus, you cannot ever completely close the damper just in case there is a gas leak, so there is a clamp that is included with the burner system that gets attached to the damper to prevent it from ever closing completely. So if you do not really need the heat, then the way your damper operates is sufficient for a vented gas log. Whether you close the damper slightly to preserve some of the heat will not make much difference, you will get most of the heat from a vented gas log radiated into the room from the ceramic in the logs themselves. If you are really concerned about getting heat (which you say you are not), then you should consider buying a ventless gas log.

  8. Question #9519 - Posted: 12/29/2016 7:02:36 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/default.asp

    QUESTION: Question - Are there burners or logs that are better for use with propane to achieve the best flame presentation? Currently my propane flame in my FP is not as robust as I would like. Just curious if there are options that are better for propane specifically.

    ANSWER: Whether you are burning natural gas or liquid propane, each type of burner is configured for optimal performance for the gas you are using. So you would need to make sure you order a burner system for Propane gas, otherwise it will not perform properly. With that said, if you want the most robust flame, we would recommend either the G4 or G45 burners since they operate at the highest BTU (the most flame). However, neither of these may not be the best choice for your particular fireplace depending on the type of fireplace you have and the dimensions. Please send us some pictures of your current setup so we can see what you have and make further recommendations. Email pictures to: gregt@hansenwholesale.com.

  9. Question #9518 - Posted: 12/29/2016 6:53:51 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/gas-log-burn-cost.asp

    QUESTION: Where do I find a remote control for my gas logs? And how much?

    ANSWER: Gas log remote controls are not universal in design. They are made as a transmitter and receiver combination, the receiver usually a built-in component of the gas log valve and burner system. So if you have an existing gas log with a remote and you are looking to replace a remote that is no longer working, you are going to need to contact the manufacturer of the gas log system you own and see if they can supply you with a replacement remote. If you are wanting to add a remote control to an existing gas log, that is a different story. In most cases, you will need to replace the entire burner system with one that is remote capable. Replacing the burner system may also require you to replace the logs since not all logs are compatible with all burners. If you email us some pictures of your fireplace we may be able to offer more direct advice. Send your pictures to: gregt@hansenwholesale.com...or just give us a call at: 1-800-201-1193.

  10. Question #9517 - Posted: 12/29/2016 6:49:03 PM

    Gas Logs Question

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/gas-logs/vented/default.asp

    QUESTION: I have a gas log fireplace that is over 50 years old and works great but the logs have burnt up. It's a vented system, the Logs are straight, 19 " long and 4" in diameter the second log is 2.5"diameter and also 19" long Do you have anything even close?

    ANSWER: We do have logs that are very close in size to what you have. However, we need to make sure that they are compatible with the burner system that you have. Can you please email us some pictures of your setup so we can take a look?

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