1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

propane fireplace v. pellet stove

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by doublewide, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. doublewide

    doublewide Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    121
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    If I run a pellet stove set at 70 degrees in the basement of my house 24/7 for a month. (pellets $230 per ton)

    or

    I run a propane fireplace instead in the same basement set at 70 degrees 24/7 for a month. (propane $2.40 a gallon)


    "Roughly" what would be the cost difference or how would I be able to estimate it.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,757
    Loc:
    central ct
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

  4. dac122

    dac122 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    348
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    To do the most accurate comparison you need to know 3 things: fuel BTU, appliance BTU output and appliance efficiency.

    What are the BTU outputs of the proposed pellet stove and gas fireplace? If you know the efficiencies that would help.

    I can then post the calculations to compare costs.
  5. Fsappo

    Fsappo New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    3,551
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Pellets in a 75% efficient stove at $230 will be "about" $18-$19.00 per million BTUs
    Propane in a 75% efficient stove/fp at $2.40 per gallon would be "about" $30-$31.00 per million BTUs

    Even if the math isnt nerd proof perfect, it's pretty obvious that unless your going with a vent free gas system that pellets are going to save you 20-30% on your heating.
  6. defield

    defield New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    433
    Loc:
    South Central Maine
    The intangible here, and what bothers me about the comparison, is , how well the heating appliance distributes those BTUs out into the room.

    IMO a propane firerplace inesrt is not as good a "space heater" as a pellet stove and propane would be a much more expensive option.

    If you want ambiance go with the propane insert. For more serious heat, go with a pellet burning stove. ( Again, in my opinion.)

    Ranger
  7. doublewide

    doublewide Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    121
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    Thanks for all the info. Those calculators all gave me around the same costs.

    Dac122-- my pellet stove is 55,000 btu and 80eff.
    the propane fireplace is 33,000 input btu. 80eff
  8. joker3092

    joker3092 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    Albrightsville, PA
    I'd go with what the guys on here are saying......everyones situation is different. I did quite a bit of research and up here in the poconos it cost me significantly less to use a pellet stove. Thats for myself ofcourse, plus i factored in the rate at which fuel prices go up and down...they can change at any given moment and then your stuck with the cost of expensive propane...pellets seam to be alittle more stable in price. in fact with the research i have been doing pellet prices will more than likely go down than rise......same thing cant really be said about propane or NG
  9. welshcob

    welshcob New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Capital District, NY
    To go from life experience rather than numbers....here in upstate NY I use both.

    I have a Valor propane in my office that heats a very small, well-insulated area with absolutely zero hassle. All I have to do is pay the propane guy in a timely fashion and set the remote control - it even does the setback thermostat thing.

    In the 200 year old , not very well insulated area of the house I run a Quadrafire Santa Fe pellet stove, also with a thermostatic control. A lot more effort since it needs to be fed and cleaned a bit on a daily basis, and cleaned more thoroughly every month or so throughout the heating season. I use about 4 tons of pellets per year, plus of course the additional electric cost from the fans. This stove provides heat for a much larger area, but it is a lot more work and a lot more noise (the Valor is silent, the Quadrafire is like having a furnace in the living room.)

    And yes, there is the backup hot water radiator system, currently running on oil but about to shift to propane. From a numbers standpoint the propane doesn't make sense, but I think that using pellets as primary heat source with propane around the edges provides the best of both worlds without the mess and aggravation of the oil burner.
  10. poconoman

    poconoman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    230
    Loc:
    Pocono Lake, PA
    Propane is a rip off. It costs way more to use and a lot of these companies are arrogant. Last year the PC45 was installed, this year a coal self feeder furnace. So, I'm all covered with three choices of heat. Propane being the LAST resort.
  11. dac122

    dac122 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    348
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Compare the cost of 1 million BTU's of heat:

    We know propane is 91,000 BTUs/gallon. Propane fireplace w/propane at $2.30 per gallon, 80% efficient fireplace
    (1,000,000 / 91,000) x $2.30 / .8
    = $31.59

    We know pellets are 16,400,000 BTUs/ton. Pellet stove w/pellets at $230/ton, 80% efficient stove
    (1,000,000 / 16,400,000) x $230 / .8
    = $17.53

Share This Page