Hi-Efficiency Gas Fires – How They Work
Gas fires have come a long way in recent years. They have become more efficient and come in many sizes and for some you don’t even need a chimney.
In this video, I demonstrate (very simply) how a gas fire works and walk you through some of the gas fires types available, so that when you come to our gas fire showroom, you will have a better idea of what you need to ask to meet your personal requirements.
Here is a text script of the video
Hi. today I would like to talk about why gas fires all of a sudden become really popular. obviously we’ve had the wood burners, gone through a fashion point, if you like, and they have been really popular for the last sort of eight to 10 years. Gas fires all of a sudden, well, in the last year especially, have become more and more popular and there’s reasons for it.
So the one of the main ones is efficiency and people don’t realise just how efficient gas fires can be now because they’re used to the older types and they imagine that they haven’t moved on. But in fact, they really, really have.
So I just want to explain why they’re more efficient. because I’m finding when customers come in until such time, I’ve explained it properly. they don’t really get it.
So once it’s pointed out, it might actually, help you decide before you even go visiting showrooms. which way you want to go, whether it be electric, gas, or wood burning.
But so many of our customers are actually coming in wanting a wood burner when they’re told about the gas fires and what’s available, all of a sudden they, jump to a gas fire idea.
Okay, to explain, this is what I’d normally explained to a customer when they come in. This is a traditional old style, what we call the 16 inch standard gas fire. The way they work is you got a box with reflective panels in it, which reflects heat.
You’ve got controls under here, which basically control a burner like a, like a cooker anything else that has a burner underneath. The burner puts flames through the coal fuel bed. The colds glow up and it all becomes nice and hot in there. So that’s reflecting heat forward. Okay, so what you’re getting is radiant heat….
A bit like sitting in the sun. You go in the shade, you’re cool, you go into the sun, you feel the radiant heat. That’s how these radiant gas fires work. If they do, produce any warm air, it’s simply because they’ve warmed up your carpet and furniture around it from that radiant heat. The air’s running over those objects and warming the air up a little bit.
So they call these like, a hotbox fire. They were around 20% heat efficient. So 80% of that heat is actually being used in the burner itself and going straight up the flu. So you’re getting 20% of the heat that’s radian heat only – any warm air it might, it produces getting sucked straight back up your chimney, because chimneys are always drawing.
So that’s why the old type are not very efficient and nowadays not being very efficient, isn’t a good thing. So that’s brought gas-fired manufacturers onto making them as efficient as they possibly can. So what they’ve actually achieved now, it’s gone from 20% radiant heat, only with heat loss – up to anything up to 90/95%.
radiant heat with warm convected air and very little heat loss. And I’ll show you how they achieve that with these fire next to me.
All right, so same size fire, what we call a 16 by 22 inch standard gas fire, obviously you probably see straight away that they have, a more pleasing fuel bed and more realistic
This one happens to be a log one, but let’s talk about why these are more efficient. The way these work in the same way with a burner underneath. Okay. With your controls. Gas coming through into that hot box environment, if you like, and that’s kind of it, where they’re similar.
How this produces heat is this has an air space around it and that air space goes over the exhaust outlets, which are pipes within the fire. So like any other radiator in your room, once this builds up heat, it naturally draws cold air towards it. So that cold air goes through the fire, through the bottom, here goes around the back of the fire, over the exhaust outlets, and comes through here as warm air.
So instantly you’re upping the efficiency, you’re getting more heat for your money. And your gas input because it’s warming the air up and putting it into the room. You’re also getting radiant heat, but that radiant heat is now coming through a ceramic glass panel, which might not show up very well. It probably won’t do because this is what they call an anti-reflective glass on that side – It’s almost invisible, but that’s getting radiant heat through the glass, convected warm air into the room, so that builds and builds and builds. But because of this glass run. The chimney, can’t pull that back up the chimney so that heat hits producing. Most of it is staying in the room.
So I’m instantly, you’ve jumped from lower efficiency, right up to high efficiency.
It’s obviously a really good thing now, and this is why most gas fires, 90% of what we sell now are all glass fronted. Doesn’t just have to be this size because, because they become so popular now that the manufacturers or the good manufacturers have started to make bigger fires, more advanced fires with control, even this little one, you know, it’s all fully remote control, turn it off completely.
You can adjust the flame, which is a handy feature on this because they’re so efficient. You would generally have it running low most of the time anyway, once it’s built that heat up, a lot of them have thermostats on, so you can use them as heaters to control the heat in your room by a thermostat.
As I mentioned they do other sizes and designs. I just want to show you this, product here is the Gazco Riva 2600, one of their latest gas fires, the other ones I also showed you were Gazco products, which is basically our main gas fires that we sell, we do like the backup and support, we get from a British manufacturer. It’s worked well for us.
But anyway, so this is the Riva 2600 which works in exactly the same way as the smaller fires. It’s just a wider fire, we make the fireplaces to go with these fires, so you can basically create the look that you want, but you still got that high efficiency.
Going back onto efficiency. These ones tend to be around 75% 80% heat efficient because these ones are connected to chimneys where a lot of time we would line the chimney and use that to get rid of the fumes that they produce. A lot of these fires, you can fit as balanced flow as well, so you don’t necessarily need a chimney at all.
As long as you’ve got an outside wall, most of these fires you can have. So it’s another plus point for these because all balanced flue fires are glass fronted anyway. And it’s just the way balance flues work, which I’ll explain on another video another day.
It’s a frameless option this one. So this is all part of the fireplace. So it’s what we call the edge fire and going back to the glass just very quickly, I was quite tempted on that last bit to tap the glass to demonstrate that there is glass in front of it. And I thought better of it because if I did tap that glass, I’d probably take the skin off my knuckle, so from a safety point of view, please don’t think that because these are glass fronted gas fires, that they’re safe for children or anything like that. In fact, they’re pretty dangerous where that’s concerned, you’ve got to use a fire guard and treat them in exactly the same way as you would an open fire.
So, this is the Gazco Riva 2600 – a wider fire kept more landscape design. They do a taller one called the 600 HL, which is a square, and we would make this fireplace to compliment that by stretching it up, like say every fireplace that we do, stone, natural limestones, wood, they’re actually made to suit the fire that you choose.
So if you liked this fireplace with a different fire, we will make the fireplace to suit. That’s what we’re all about. So we choose the stone that is manufactured from, for consistency, and we’d make the whole thing work together. So they are really versatile products with these gas fires, we can put them with just about everything.
This is the Gazco Reflex – one of their flagship fires, slightly different burner on this one you noticed on the other ones are the gas was coming through the bottom of the fuel bed and rising up through the logs. This has got a special fuel bed on it where the logs themselves are the burners.
So the flames coming out the wood, you’ve got lots of control on it, the front and back burners, so that you can instantly half the heat, but keep the flame height there. , we have done a demonstration on this one before. He, if you go back on some of her other videos that again works in the same way as the other fires, it’s just bigger.
When they’re bigger they’re more powerful, you’ve got to remember that as well. so not suitable for everyone, obviously for larger rooms and what have you, obviously when we survey the job, we’ll make recommendations to you, we won’t just sell you what you want because of the, like the size of it, it’s got to suit your room and everything else, because they can be extremely hot, these fires and that you know that that’s all part of the survey, so don’t worry about that. We can advise you properly on that.
Okay, so glass fronted fires, as I’ve just shown you obviously lends itself to the design of a wood burner.
So there’s a lot of people that have wood burners or had wood burners or fancy a wood burner but they can’t have one because of chimney situation. You can have a gas version of a wood burner. So you’ve got the look with the opening and everything else with exactly the same setup as you’ve got with the gas fires in any other part of the showroom.
So they work in exactly the same way. This particular one has a balanced flu, so no chimney required for this particular one. We build the chimney breast out, fit this high efficiency gas stove in there. Then the flu goes up it just goes out the wall to the other side, so you’ve got a little terminal, no great big chimney going up.
So that’s ideal if you haven’t got a chimney and you don’t want to put a big ugly, flue up for a, for a wood burner, again, you’ve got masses of efficiency there. So yeah, there’s benefits to these and obviously convenience you haven’t got to load it up and what have you. Not saying these are better than wood burners or anything like that because it’s about what you want at the end of the day.
If you like the idea of burning wood and getting that atmosphere going, then you know, sometimes there’s nothing like a wood burner, these are a brilliant alternative and people just don’t realise these are available. So that’s just one example again, we do lots and lots of different designs and they’re proving to be super popular.
And the one thing we have noticed when people have taken out wood burners and wanted to put gas back in because they just don’t simply don’t use the wood burner because of the inconvenience I suppose, the feedback we get is, well I’ve made a really good purchase there because I’ve bought something – I might have spent quite a bit of money, but I’m actually using it and that that’s value for money as far as we’re concerned.
If you fit in something that’s getting used, then that’s good value for money. So there you go. that’s it on high efficiency, gas fires and stoves and why they are so efficient and popular now.