With the colder days approaching fast and the prospect of a cold and snowy winter to come we may all be thinking of new ways to keep our homes warm. If you do not already have an open fire, a gas fire may be a good option to add both a focal point and some extra heat.
While not designed to be used as a sole source of heat for the home, gas fires are great as a supplement in a larger lounge or kitchen and can look great too. So what do you need to consider before buying a gas fire?
The first thing to know is what type of chimney or flue do you have.
Traditional / Class 1 flue – This will have a diameter of 7 inches or more and will look like a traditional chimney stack. It relies on the natural flow of air to force the gases up and out of the chimney.
Pre-cast flue – This is made of hollow blocks inside the wall cavity. It will normally finish on a roof ridge and will not have a stack.
Prefabricated flue / Class 2 – This is made of metal interlocking sections and fitted to a metal flue on the roof. It is usually 5 inches in diameter.
No Flue – If you have no flue on your roof it is possible to install a fan to expel the air out through an external wall. This requires at least 2 metres clearance on the outside wall. These can be noisy due to the fan.
Once you know that type of flue you have you can discuss with your gas fitter which type of fire would be best for your application.
Inset – These will fit into an opening in the wall. They can be full depth which require a class 1 or 2 flue or slim line which have a shallower fuel bed and can be used with pre-cast flues.
Outset – These will sit on a hearth away from the wall. They can be used on different flue systems and have a good output and excellent efficiency.
Hole in wall – These need a bespoke opening to be made in the wall.
Balanced flue fire – These operate in the same way as a central heating unit. They do not require a flue but need to be on an external wall.
Whatever type of fire you choose it is important to know that you will always need it to be installed by a registered gas safe person. They can tell you the best type of fire for you home and ensure you get the output required for the size of room you are trying to heat.