Fuel Cost Savings
From Guy Girouard, Northern Kentucky
When lighting the fire for the first time, I've developed, what I think is a great technique. I set a bed of pellets a little below the door. I then put a firestarter so that it sits against the grate and is partially submerged in the pellets. I place the brick (or log) so that it sits on the pellets and on the starter so there is a little air gap between the pellets and the brick. The pellets start to burn real quickly (probably because there is a lot of air between them). I've got a good fire in less than 5 min. I only use the pellets to get a fire going. It causes too many complications to try to heat with them.
I've been tracking my propane usage. It works out to 2.9 gals per day of propane for the month of January vs about 10 bricks/day at a cost of $0.50/brick. A gallon of propane costs about $2.50/gal, depending when you buy. Comparing costs:
Propane - $2.50/gal x 2.9 gal/day=$7.25/day Kimberly - $0.50/brick x 9 brick/day =$4.50/day (based on 2.75hrs/brick/x 24hrs. A brick weighs 3.5lbs so presto logs would result in 31.5lbs/day)
So you get a 38% cost savings with Kimberly over natural gas or propane, based on my analysis. You just can't keep a good engineer down. Our home is fairly well insulated for it's 11 years old.