We initiated service with Amerigas for two unvented gas log fireplaces in our 1626 sq.ft. ranch home w/crawlspace.
They installed a 100-gal. tank. Now that we've been in our home for two years and experienced from one extreme to the next, I have compared our cooling and heating consumption. Our home is all electric with a central ac/heat pump system currently in good working order.
Home is well insulated (blown and blanket insulation) with rating of 34R. Last summer, with pool pump for 24' round above ground pool running 24/7 and interior thermostat set at 74-75, our monthly electric bill never went above $250.(Note: Last summer was an abnormally cool one.) Now, this summer, with interior thermostat set at a constant 75 and the pool pump running only 2-3 hours per day instead of 24/7, the electric consumption for May was billed at $139.14. The most recent bill for June consumption jumped to $212.54. This increase is in part due to many warm days exceeding 90 and 95 degrees and several triple-digit days, unlike last year's milder temps.
This past winter, which was one of the coldest on record in recent years, with record snowfall, the average monthly cost for electricity over a four month period (November through February) only was $177.23/1,600.75KWH. The total billed during the time period was $708.95/6,403KWH. It was our thinking that we could keep costs down by supplementing some of the heat costs by using the gas log fireplaces. They produce way too much heat to run more than an hour or two at most.
During the early fall days we turn on one gas log fireplace during the evening for 1-2 hours, long enough to knock off the chill for remainder of the night without having to turn on the central system. During the colder months, we typically turn on one of the fireplaces for 1 or 2 hrs in the evenings, and then several times throughout the day during the weekends when we are home. They are never left burning during the night or when we're not home. In the first year with Amerigas we received a bill for a service call to repair a gas leak.
Well, this was a complete surprise to us and when I phoned them they could not confirm the phone call nor could they confirm the service repair, especially since we were not home at time the work was supposedly done. The only thing they had to go on was a service ticket filled out by the driver. We should have discontinued service with Amerigas right then and there but they immediately deleted the service call and all charges dropped. From that point forward, however, the gas consumption just doesn't add up.
I have gone over the bills and during the winter months (09-10) we were billed a little over $590 after they knocked off $67 for what we perceived to be an excessive bill.
Maybe our thinking that running a gas log fireplace for an hour or two to offset electricity consumption is not correct. Even then, the propane consumption for a gas log fireplace that's a little over 83% for the total cost for electricity during the same time does seem excessive.