New Propane Insert


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Old 01-09-15, 08:50 AM
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New Propane Insert

I have been using wood burning fireplaces for 30+ years and my present one is a Regency 67000BTU, 72% efficiency insert installed in 1998. I burn about 6 cords per season ($85/cord delivered) and have been very happy with it. However as we age itís time to think for alternate means to have this extra heat in the winter because stacking / feeding / cleaning gets more difficult every year.

Since there is no gas supply in my neighborhood Iím looking for a propane gas insert which means that I will have to buy / rent one of this large bottles to store the gas. Looking at different models I noticed the efficiency of each is stated in 2 numbers; one is efficiency and the other is Energuide rating and the difference between these 2 numbers is as much as 20%. Which is the number I should be looking at?

In addition I would like to estimate my propane cost but I cant find what is needed. I know the propane cost in my area is about $0.46/Litre but how many BTUís are in 1 Litre? And when a fireplace is rated at 60000BTU how many Litres it needs to make all this heat?
 
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Old 01-09-15, 08:58 AM
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IIRC, one gallon of propane is 91,000 btu (trying to remember from a post of Furd's recently), so a liter would be in the neighborhood of 20,000 btu (my math comes up with 21,540).
 
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Old 01-09-15, 10:26 AM
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I think EnergyGuide and efficiency both measure the same thing... differently. EFU or efficiency is done under laboratory controlled conditions with certain rules and testing stuff while the Canadian EnergyGuide tries to more accurately reflect the efficiency you'd get when using the appliance in your home over the course of the season. I would expect the efficiency number to always be higher than the EnergyGuide number.

When comparing units I would make sure you are comparing items on the same scale. Compare stoves EnergyGuide to EnergyGuide ratings but don't compare EnergyGuide to EFU or other rating scales. So, you cannot compare your old stoves rating of 72% against a new stove's EnergyGuide 72%. Under EnergyGuide your old stove might only be 30 or 50%.
 
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Old 01-09-15, 12:49 PM
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Yes the efficiency number is always by about 20% higher than the EnergyGuide.

Another question is when a manufacturer quotes an insert to be xxxBTU, is this number per hour, day or what?
 
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Old 01-09-15, 01:05 PM
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I believe it's BTU's per hour.
 
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Old 01-15-15, 03:04 PM
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You are right PJmax, it's BTU's per hour

Looking to select a propane insert I noticed that wood inserts are rated at 60000BTU and more (the one I have now is 68000BTU) but the propane are about 30-38000BTU. Somehow I thought that propane will generate more heat than wood. Am I wrong?
 
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Old 01-15-15, 05:36 PM
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Burning good dried hard wood can generate insane amounts of heat. I recall many nights not being able to throttle the wood stove down enough and had to resort to opening windows. I think propane's benefit, in addition to cleanliness and convenience is that it is steady and controllable. Wood may have a peak of 60k+ btu's but propane can stay at it's 30k level all night long if needed.
 
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Old 01-16-15, 06:29 AM
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You are right, wood burning produces tons of heat but this heat does go up and down and I can see now that propane will have a stable output as per my setting. Thanks
 
 

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