Know your flue
The main consideration when choosing a fire and/or a fireplace, will be the compatibility with your existing flue provision. Whether your property has a flue, chimney or none at all, it is still possible to purchase a fire for all of these situations. We have therefore provided the following information with pictures to explain the different flue types and alternatives available to you.
Commonly in older houses, earlier than 1960. The Class 1 chimney is identifiable by a 7” (180mm) or greater diameter flue. The existing chimney must be structurally sound, please check before the installation of a new fireplace. This style will usually accept all styles of gas & electric fires including hole in wall designs..
Modern houses generally later than 1960 often have a pre-cast concrete chimney system, identifiable by a rectangular box section flue and a terminal, as illustrated in the picture. This style will not accept most hole in the wall fires but does accept a wide range of slimline (multiflue) gas or electric fires.
Either an older house where the existing chimney has been lined by a proprietary steel flue or a newer house with a steel flue built in. This chimney type is identifiable by a 5” (130 mm) diameter flue and a steel flue terminal. This style will usually accept most types of gas & electric fires including some hole in wall designs.
Modern houses often have no chimney. Whilst eliminating hole in the wall style fireplaces, modern electric suites are popular or if is gas is preferred, a balanced flue, power flue or flueless fire are ideal.
No flue what fire can I have?
If you don't have a conventional chimney or flue its not all doom and gloom as there are various options available to you, dependant on what your greater need or desire is. If heat is a primary requirement, then power flues to give a realistic open look, balanced flues for regular use and/or a larger (open plan) room or flueless were more flexibility is required. If ambiance is favoured over extra heat then electric is the way to go. Although the cost of running the heat in electric fires is greater than gas, all electric fires can create room ambience at a cost of around 1.5p per day without the need to use the heat unlike a gas appliance. It is safe to say there has never been a bigger choice of electric fires as this area continues to develop rapidly. There are a wonderful array to choose from and our experienced fitters can build chimney breasts to accomodate any style of fire or bespoke a suite to the styling of your choice.
Balanced Flue gas fires
Balanced flue fires are designed for those who want all the benefits of a gas fire but don’t have a built in chimney or flue in their home. A balanced flue fire is glass fronted & comes with its own flue terminal which is vented directly through an outside wall. Generally speaking, they are both very efficient to run and have a decent heat output.
For a quick and simple solution to creating a focal point to your room then there are a wide choice available to select from inset, wall mounted or freestanding. All levels of budget can be catered for, Whilst not as hot as a gas fire they are 100% efficient, have little or no maintainance but can offer very low cost ambience seperate from the heat output.
Flueless gas fires
Flueless gas fires are 100% efficient & designed to burn the gas extremely cleanly without a flue. The burnt gases are then passed through a catalytic converter. Flueless fires gently convect heat throughout the entire house. A small air vent regulates air into the room which is being heated. This heated air dissipates away from the fire and circulates around the house.
Power Flue gas fires
Power flue fires expel the combustion gases directly outside the building through the use of an electronically driven fan unit mounted on the external wall. As a positive they offer the realistic look of an open fire but as a trade off, they aren't the most efficient fires and the fans can be often be off-putting with the background hum they create.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of chimney do I need?
Who are Gas Safe?
Who can install my gas fire and carry out the annual safety check & servicing?
How often should my fire be serviced and how much does this cost?
How much does it cost to run a gas fire?
Can my fire be used as a primary heat source?
Where can I buy spare parts for my gas fire?
Why are the coals/pebbles on my fire sooting?
My gas fire is producing a strange smell, should I be worried?
I do not have mains gas in my home, can I still install a fire?
Can I put a flat screen TV above my fire?
Do I need a chimney or flue to have an electric fire installed?
Who can install my electric fire?
How do I clean my electric fire?
How often should my fire be serviced and how much does this cost?
Can I buy spare parts for my electric fire?
All of our brands aim to meet the requirements of a variety of different chimney types, including homes that do not have a chimney!
Please view the ‘Know your flue’ section above for more information regarding chimney and flues.
Gas Safe replaced CORGI in 2009 as the regulatory body. To undertake the fitting or servicing of a gas appliance in England, Scotland and Wales, any engineer that handles a gas appliance should be suitably qualified and registered with Gas Safe. We are happy to confirm all our engineers are registered with Gas Safe.
We recommend that all Gas Fires are installed by an experienced Gas Safe approved engineer.
We are more than happy to arrange this for you.
The industry regulators suggest that you have your fire safety checked & serviced every 12 months. However, an annual satety check & service, including replacement of the oxy-pilot is also a condition of your guarantee and is chargable.
Any guarantee with be void in you cannot provide proof of service every 12 months from the date of installation.
It is the customers responsibilty to arrange this not the retailer!
You should expect to pay between £60 and £100 for a safety check & gas fire service, including replacement of the oxy-pilot. Please check the cost of the service with the engineer when you make your booking.
Despite rising fuel prices, natural gas remains the most common and one of the cheapest ways to heat your home. Since the cost of gas can differ depending on service provider, location and tariff, suppliers do not include estimated running costs for their products. However, you can estimate your own running costs easily using the following calculation:- Maximum Heat Input x Your gas tariff x Running time = Running cost.
For example, a 4kw fire when used for 3 hours at a cost of 4.2p per kilowatt hour?
4.0kw x 4.2p x 3 hours = 50.4p
We recommend that all fires are used in conjunction with central heating and not as a primary source of heat.
For spares for all of our gas fire ranges, they can be ordered via our contact us page. Please include make, model, serial number & date of installation. This is usually not6ed on a data plate attached to the fire. Part name and if possible number are also required. These are often found in the back of your user manual.
Sooting up usually occurs if the coals or pebbles are not positioned correctly on the fuel bed. This restricts the airflow to the burner.
For the correct coal or pebble layout consult the layout image and instructions in the installation manual provided with your fire.
When first using your new gas fire a slight smell may be noticed. This is due to starch used in the manufacture of the soft ceramic coals. It is non-toxic and will soon disappear.
A selection of gas fires from many of our suppliers like Crystal, Wildfire, Flavel, Verine and The Collection by Michael Miller ranges are available with LPG versions, meaning you can operate them from either bottled gas or from a larger tank in the garden. LPG is readily available in most rural areas but you will need a suitably qualified engineer to install it.
This depends on the type of fire you have installed in your home as well as the TV you wish to install.
Open fronted fires do not create as much heat on the wall above where they are installed; this means that you may be able to install a flat screen TV above them. Please be aware that your television must be a minimum of 450mm higher than the top of the fire. Also ensure you have carefully checked the TV manufacturer’s installation instructions with regard to installation and heat proximity. If in doubt, it is best to check with the TV manufacturer.
You should NEVER install a TV above a glass fronted gas fire. Glass fronted fires emit more heat than open fronted fires and this can damage a TV mounted directly above. However, there is no issue with electric fires.
Not at all! The great thing about an electric fires is that it does not let off any fumes, gases or soot meaning that you have nothing to get rid of! Their flexibility means that they are relatively simple to install the fire, We can happily arrange for you along with capping off of a gas supply if that was your previous choice of fire.
We recommend that all electric fires are installed by an experienced fitter especially if they are being fitted into a suite, as a hole in the wall option or you require any gas supply capping off. We are more than happy to arrange this for you.
Please ensure that the fire has been turned off and allowed to cool before cleaning. Use a damp (not wet) cloth and gently wipe over the fire. Household glass cleaner may be used on the fire glass however please ensure that you do not use any other abrasive cleaner or chemical cleaning agent.
Unlike all gas fires, electric fires do not require an annual safety check and service so there is no additional costs. However, you will need to keep your receipt and/or register your warranty in case you need to make a claim should it stop working within its warranty period.
For spares for all of our electric fire ranges, they can be ordered via our contact us page. Please include make, model, serial number - this is usually attached to the fire along with date of purchase. Part name and if possible number are also required. These are often found in the back of your user manual.
Who can install my solid fuel stove or wood burning fire?
How often should my stove be serviced and does my chimney require sweeping?
All solid fuel appliances should be installed by an experienced HETAS approved & registered engineer.
We are more than happy to arrange this for you after a site survey has been completed by the engineer.
The stove must be serviced & maintained annually by a suitably qualified engineer such as HETAS or another competence scheme and flue must be swept at least once a year as a condition of the stove warranty and receipts for each annual sweep & annual service should be retained as evidence. The stove will need to be maintained and operated as per the instruction manualor the warranty will become invalid. The stove will not be covered by a warranty if it has not been installed correctly, the wrong fuel has been used on the stove e.g unseasoned wood, treated wood or solid fuel with a higher pet coke content than 20% or if the serial number / data plate has been removed from the stove.
What is a Smoke Control Area?
Within the UK the majority of towns and cities are Smoke Control Area’s. Within these areas it is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, from a furnace or from any fixed boiler. It is also an offence to acquire an “unauthorised fuel” for use within a smoke control area unless it is used in an “exempt” appliance.
Your local authority is responsible for implementing the Clean Air Act 1993 including designation and supervision of smoke control areas and you should contact them for more details about your local area.