How Much Propane Does a Fireplace Use?

In this day and age, many people are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

They’re also looking to swap their appliances and products for more energy-efficient, cost-effective options.

With that in mind, it’s no secret why plenty of homeowners are ditching traditional fireplaces, replacing them with propane-ran ones. 

But before you take the plunge into a propane fireplace, there are many things you need to be aware of.

One of the most important things is how much propane a fireplace actually uses. After all, you need to be sure it will truly be an equitable change for your family.

As a general rule, one gallon of propane is required for every 100,000 BTUs in a propane fireplace. However, keep in mind that how much propane a fireplace uses depends on its size, how often it is used, the settings, condition, and if any coverings are present. 

If you’re curious about how much propane a fireplace uses, you’ve stumbled upon the right article.

Here, you will learn the ins and outs of how much propane a fireplace uses, as well as other interesting info.

How Much Propane Does a Fireplace Use?

A propane fireplace uses approximately one gallon of propane for every 100,000 BTUs required.

That said, if your fireplace is rated 100,000 BTU, it will go through a single gallon of propane per hour. If it’s smaller at 50,000 BTU, a single gallon will last for two hours.

Many elements can impact how much propane your fireplace really uses, though.

Things such as the size of the fireplace, the outdoor weather conditions, fireplace settings, and the condition of the fireplace will play a tremendous role in how much propane your fireplace uses.

1.Size of the Fireplaces

It’s pretty simple: a larger propane fireplace will produce higher output, which requires more propane.

Therefore, the bigger your fireplace is, the more you will have to spend on propane.

2.Outdoor Weather Conditions

Outdoor weather conditions also play a significant role. For instance, you’re going to use your fireplace far more often during cold months when you need to heat up the house.

During the summer months, you’re less likely to use your propane fireplace – so you won’t need to be overly concerned with how much you’re using per day or per hour.

3.Fireplace Settings

One of the perks of a gas fireplace is that you have full control of your unit, which isn’t possible on a wood-burning fireplace.

The settings will allow you to adjust the level of propane output. The lower the settings, the longer longevity of your tank of propane.

4.Fireplace Condition

The state of your propane fireplace can affect how much propane is being used.

For instance, a gas fireplace struggling with leaks or other maintenance issues will struggle to heat the home, leading to excess propane output.

This will cause you to use more propane per hour.

That is why it is recommended to get your propane fireplace maintained at least once a year. This will keep it in tip-top condition with superior efficiency. 

Double-check for chimney leaks, too. This type of leak will cause the heat to escape from the roof rather than dissipate inside your home.

When this happens, your propane fireplace has to work twice as hard – and you waste twice as much propane.


Plenty of people install coverings on their unit to make it look classier or artsier – and these things can actually help your propane fireplace become a heat-producing powerhouse, reducing in less propane output without affecting the heat.

That said, you might consider adding a covering to your propane fireplace.

Not only will it enhance the aesthetics of the room you’re installing it, but it will help reduce the amount of propane required to warm the home.

How Much Propane Does a Fireplace Use Per Hour?

The actual number depends largely on how big your fireplace is.

However, as a general rule, fireplaces will use one gallon of propane every hour if rated at 100,000 BTU.

This number changes immensely according to the rating of your fireplace.

Propane fireplaces can range anywhere from ultra-small 7,000 BTU units to extra-large to 60,000 BTU (British thermal units).

Therefore, the actual amount of propane in your fireplace can vary greatly. Here’s a quick breakdown.

7,000 BTUsApprox. 14 hours
20,000 BTUsApprox. 5 hours
40,000 BTUsApprox. 2.5 hours
80,000 BTUsApprox. 1.25 Hours

You can use a simple calculation to figure out how much propane you will use per hour.

All you need to do is divide one gallon of propane – 100,000 by the size of your propane fireplace unit (ex. 7,000, 15,000, or 50,000).

Then, you will know precisely how much propane your fireplace uses per hour.

How Much Propane Does a Fireplace Use Per Day?

The amount of propane your fireplaces uses per day depends on the size of your fireplace, its efficiency, and how often you’re running it.

Propane tank

For example, if you have a 100,000 BTU fireplace and run it for 24 hours, you will blow through 24 gallons of propane in a single day.

On the other hand, a smaller, 10,000 BTU fireplace ran for the same amount of time (24 hours) will only go through 2.4 gallons of propane.

To calculate how much propane you will use per day, you will need to know the size of your fireplace and how often you will run the fireplace in a day. 

How Much Propane Does a 30,000 BTU Fireplace Use?

Using the calculation listed above, you will see that a 30,000 BTU fireplace will use a gallon of propane (100,000 BTU) approximately every three hours.

How Long Will 100 Gallons of Propane Last in a Fireplace?

How long 100 gallons of propane will last in a fireplace depends on your fireplace size and heating needs.  

You can calculate how long your propane will last by dividing the number of hours of use by the total of BTUs per 100 gallons, which is 7,320,000 BTUs.

For example, if you have a heating need of 5,000 BTU/h, you would do the following equation: 7,320,000 divided by 5,000, equaling 61 total days. 

A larger need, such as 40,000 BTU, would render as little as 8 days.

How Much Propane Does a Vented, Ventless, and Insert Use?

There are many types of propane fireplaces on the market, including vented, ventless, and inserts. 

Vented fireplaces must be connected to a chimney or vent to release harmful materials. 

Ventless is not connected, making them more efficient. However, because the chemicals are released into the home, they tend to have a lower BTU.

The same is true for inserts, which typically have a maximum BTU of around 20,000.

That said, the amount doesn’t change much depending on the type of propane fireplace. It’s best to calculate your propane needs based on the size of your fireplace.

Do Propane Fireplaces Use a Lot of Propane?

The amount of propane a fireplace uses depends on the size and efficiency of the fireplace.

A fireplace

A larger fireplace is going to require more propane than a smaller one.

Regardless, a propane fireplace running for a total of 24 hours will use more propane than one used for a few hours during the day.

100,000 BTU fireplace1 gallon per hour
50,000 BTU fireplace1 gallon per every 2 hours
20,000 BTU fireplace1 gallon per every 5 hours

Are Propane Fireplaces Expensive to Run?

If you’re looking to get rid of your wood-burning fireplace in place of an electric or propane model, you might consider which one is cheaper.

It is noted that propane is 3 times less expensive than electric fireplaces

Natural gas tends to run about $1.09 per 100 cubic feet in most locations.

So, a 20,000 BTU unit with 20 cubic feet will cost you about $0.22 per hour when running at 100% output.

Ran for a full 24 hours, it would only cost approximately $5.28.

A larger model, for example, a 60,000 BTU unit with 60 cubic feet, would cost $0.66 per hour when running at 100%.

For a full 24 hours of use, the price would equate to approximately $15.84. 

Propane$1.09 per 100 cubic feet
Electric$3.87 per 100 cubic feet

How Long Do Propane Fireplaces Last?

Another commonly asked question is how long propane fireplaces last, especially considering how cheap they are compared to electric fireplace models.

Propane fireplaces can last up to 25 years with proper maintenance

The length of time your propane fireplace lasts depends mainly on how often you use it, too.

The more you burn, the more wear and tear on your unit. However, with regular maintenance and repairs when necessary, even a heavily used unit can last 15-25 years.

Final Words

Propane fireplaces are highly efficient, but the total amount of propane required depends on the size of your fireplace and how often it’s used.

As a general rule of thumb, a gallon of propane is used per every 100,000 BTUs.

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