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How to use your gas fireplace most efficiently during the winter

Posted at 9:19 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 10:19:48-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — One snow storm after another has made winter feel especially cold around Kansas City, like the kind of winter where it’d be great to curl up by the fireplace. But using a natural gas fireplace can increase your gas bill.

Spire Energy and Fluesbrothers Chimney Service both said there are ways to make your gas fireplace more efficient.

  • Newer gas fireplaces have thermostats to better control how hard a heater works. Jeremy Biswell from Fluesbrothers said technicians may be able to add a thermostat control to some older insert-style gas fireplaces. Certain modern fireplaces have programmable settings and a remote control.
  • Make sure vents are clear and uncovered, so your fireplace has the proper airflow.
  • Ensure the blower is working properly.
  • If you’re fireplace uses a pilot light, make sure it is burning blue.
  • Turn down your home’s furnace if you’ll be in the room where the fireplace is located, then turn off the fireplace when you leave the room.

“You are not tempering areas of the house that you are not in. It’s kind of like leaving your lights on in the bedroom all day when you’re only in your bedroom when you go to bed,” Biswell said.

There are many different varieties of gas fireplaces. No matter which one you have, Biswell recommends having the fireplace and chimney professionally inspected and cleaned once a year. Keeping the elements clean will improve the appliance’s efficiency.