Over two winters from 2008 to 2010, a series of experiments were conducted in the twin house facility at the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology (CCHT) to examine the impact of gas fireplace operation on an R-2000 house. The interaction of the fireplace with the central heating system was explored, including impact on furnace natural gas and electrical consumption, and room and surface temperature effects. Overall, evening fireplace operation resulted in an increase in total energy consumption of 36.4 MJ/day (12.5%) with continuous furnace fan operation and 29.9 MJ/day (11.6%) without continuous fan operation. When efficiencies of the furnace and fireplace were taken into account, the net energy supplied to the house by the fireplace and the furnace increased by an average 2.8% from the benchmark case, and was up to 12% greater on the warmest days of testing.
citation: Armstrong M.M., Swinton, M.C., Szadkowski, F., Assessment of the Impact of a Natural Gas Fireplace on Heating Energy Consumption and Room Temperatures at The Canadian Centre For Housing Technology (NRC-IRC), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Contract: B-6039, March 31, 2010
RBc: Ah yes the energy paradoxes continue. See our energy synopsis and the confusions over efficiency at the retail/consumer level.