When you think of gas burners, ranges and cooktops likely come to mind. Calculating gas consumption in gas burners, ranges or other gas-burning appliances is fairly straightforward and can help you to estimate your fuel consumption and related costs. Smaller gas burners may have both lower costs and a reduced environmental impact, due to lower gas consumption.
Gas Burner Consumption: Propane
Cooks like gas burners because they provide instant, controllable heat. Gas burners with higher Btu (British thermal units, a measurement for heat) provide more heating power but use more gas. Still, the type of cooking pots and pans used will also influence the cooking time of your food. You will want the burners on your range to work with the kinds of tools you use most.
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If you have a liquid propane (LPG) burner, you can use the burner's Btu per-hour rating to determine gas consumption. This information should be available from the manufacturer's product specifications; check the owner's manual or the manufacturer's website. Note that this is a rating of gas consumption, not the burner's output.
One gallon of propane contains 91,500 Btu. Divide this number by the burner's per-hour rating to determine how long the burner can run 1 gallon of propane. For example, if the burner's Btu per-hour rating is 25,000:
91,500 divided by 25,000 = 3.66.
The burner can run for 3.66 hours on a gallon of propane.
Gas Burner Consumption: Natural Gas
If your gas burners use natural gas, you will need to calculate your gas consumption differently than if you have propane. To do this, you can use an online calculator that will estimate your natural gas usage based on the appliance type. However, this will only provide a general consumption amount, not one specific to your appliance model.
Natural gas is measured in Btu or in therms. A therm is equal to 100,000 Btu. Check the rating on your appliance, which should be provided by the manufacturer. If your appliance is not new, you can find this information on the manufacturer's website or by calling their customer service line.
Then, you can divide the estimated usage per year by months (12) or days (365) to determine the gas output of the appliance per a given unit of time. Some sources estimate that a standard range uses 9,000 Btu per hour, and a clothes dryer uses 20,000 Btu per hour, on average. A gas fireplace could be expected to use 60,000 Btu per hour.
Buying Gas Cooktops
Gas burners on cooktops usually come in 30-inch and 36-inch widths, but you can often find other sizes on the market as well. The average number of burners on a cooktop is five, but you can purchase other configurations if you prefer. Keep in mind that the higher the Btu rating for the appliance, the more cooking power you will have.
You can consult manufacturer materials to get an idea of the cost of energy to run the appliance for a year. Once you have calculated the natural gas or propane needs of your appliance, you can check with local suppliers and multiply their rates by your expected usage. This will reveal an estimated cost to you.