Question: Hi Craig, I am hoping you can answer this question for me. I have used a coal stove as a secondary heat source for 10 years. I fire it up in late November, and it runs non-stop until late April. This season, everything seems to need replacing; flue pipe, coal bin, and parts on the stove. Also, the 5 gal bucket a day of coal is taking it's toll on me. It seemed to me that now would be a good time to explore an alternate. I have been leaning towards ventless gas logs, but have some concerns to leaving them on unattended; the open flame and everything. Also, I have no idea of gas usage. I have heard numbers such as $.18/.hr, But I don't know how true this is. Answer: Tom, some of your concerns are correct. A vent free product should not be considered as a primary heat source, and would not make a good replacement for your coal stove. If you want to go with gas, look at direct vented products, which provide a high efficiency plus the ability to use for extended periods of time. Gas burned in a stove or in a central furnace costs the same. Most stoves will use from 20,000 to 30,000 BTU an hour, which is 20 to 30 cents at local rates. Since rates for heating vary widely across the country it might be good to use the Hearth.com fuel cost calculator. It lets you enter your local rates for various fuels and the efficiencies at which the fuels are consumed (default efficiencies are entered if yours are not known). It's a great tool to get a baseline of what fuel costs will be for you.