Flueless gas fires are an alternative to other types of fire, such as traditional open fires, wood burning stoves, electric fires and gas fires with flues. They do not require a flue or chimney so are popular in modern homes without chimneys or older properties where the original fireplace has been bricked or boarded over. Flueless gas fires are energy efficient methods of providing secondary heating. Gas is cheaper by 70 per cent or more per kilowatt per hour than other fuels such as electricity, wood, and bioethanol. With flueless gas fires all the heat is retained in the room rather than escaping out of a chimney. They are also considerably cheaper to run than electric fires.
Flueless and Balanced Flue Gas Fires
Flueless gas fires do not require a flue. They are designed with filters, catalytic converters or other technology to burn cleanly and evenly with any small amount of emissions vented from the fire itself. Installing an air vent in the room to the outside is required and this ensures a supply of fresh air to be burned. Flueless gas fires are safe and have a number of additional safety features. Balanced flue gas fires are a different type of fire, but are also sometimes described as flueless. This is not accurate as they still require a flue. This can either be a special liner installed in a traditional chimney or, if there is no chimney, a flue that is installed in an outside wall or roof. So it is possible to use balanced flue gas fires without a chimney, but they still need a flue, and this can be very expensive to install.
Wall Mounted, Fireplace Inset, or Freestanding
There are three basic methods of installation for flueless gas fires. The first is by wall mounting or hanging, which gives the fire an extremely neat and contemporary appearance. Generally the fire is installed closer to the floor, with the surround about a foot above floor height, and this reflects the position of a traditional fire to some extent. At other times it is preferable to have the fire mounted higher, to give it a more central position and higher impact. Mounted in this way, they have a similar decorative effect to a large and impressive picture, only instead of a painting or photograph inside there is a beautiful living flame. Wall mounted flueless gas fires can be installed in all types of properties including flats and almost any room except bathrooms. No complicated building work is needed and it is simply mounted with screws. The second way is by installing the fire within a fireplace surround. This gives the fire a more traditional appearance and is a nice way to showcase and utilise an existing surround. If there is no existing surround, the fire can be supplied with one as a complete set, including the fire, surround, hearth and backing plate. With flames that look just like those produced from burning fuels such as wood or coal, this is the perfect solution for those without a chimney but wanting the effect of a traditional fire. The fire sits flush to the surround. Some flueless gas fires can also be installed into recesses in the wall. Not all flueless gas fires can be installed in this way and the fire will require a special recess system as well as a deflector gather to deflect heat. Recess systems allow the fire to be mounted flush to the wall. The third basic type of flueless gas fire is freestanding. Freestanding fires are usually designed to look like traditional stoves or wood burners.
Style, Colour, and Material
Flueless gas fires come in different sizes and with various different surrounds and interiors. The surround is also known as the fascia and the interior is the recessed part containing the fire itself. The size and shape of wall mounted fires is not limited by recesses or surrounds so there are a multitude of different shapes and sizes. Most are landscape, and there are especially wide fires, as well as square fires and portrait fires. Some have square surrounds with landscape interiors, and these can be useful for smaller rooms where there is not the space for a larger surround. Fires are usually plane or flush but some models have curved surrounds for a more graceful appearance. Sizes vary from approximately 500 mm to 1100 mm in width and approximately 400 mm to 600 mm in height. The depth varies from about 140 to 180 mm. The surrounds come in various materials and colours, including natural stone, stainless steel, aluminium, chrome and black glass. Clean lines and polished surrounds give an effortlessly sleek appearance while brushed metal offers distinctive style. More retro designs feature red and other bold colours. Interiors are also in various colours, from satin black to reflective mirrored surfaces. Some fires have special features such as LED backlighting. Inset fires tend to be more traditional in size and shape. They are available in both more traditional and more contemporary materials and colours, from time honoured brass and solid wood to granite and stylish chrome. Some surrounds use wood veneers but others are solid woods such as oak and walnut. Inset fires may have a coal fuelled effect. Sizes vary from around 500 mm to 600 mm in width and around 600 mm to 650 mm in height. At about 100 mm depth, they generally project less into the room. Freestanding fires often resemble stoves or wood burners and come in materials such as black cast aluminium.
Type of Flame
Flueless gas fires, whether wall mounted, inset or freestanding, usually have a glass front. Some are available with open flames. The flame effect varies. A popular type is the ribbon burner, which is a strip of uniform sized flames. This works very well in landscape fires. Some fires have a torch effect with a single large flame. This can have a dramatic and glamorous effect. Inset fires tend to have conventional looking flames, and both inset fires and freestanding stoves often feature coal or log burning effects. Many fires have variable controls, so that the flames can be adjusted from low to high. The heat output is also controllable. Fires have either manual or remote controls.
Installing a Flueless Gas Fire
There are a number of considerations when installing a flueless gas fire. Fires must be installed by GasSafe registered engineer following the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The room in which the fire is placed must be a minimum size. This will be stated in the technical specifications and varies according to model. The minimum room size for a small fire is around 25 square metres, but always refer to the specifications for the particular model to be installed. An air vent to the outside air must be installed. This should be a minimum distance from the fire, generally about 1 m, and a certain size, both of which should be stated in the technical specifications. The room should also have windows that can be opened. It is recommended not to hang wall mounted fires directly beneath a picture, TV or similar object. If hanging beneath a shelf a deflector gather should be installed. Flueless gas fires run on either natural gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
Flueless gas fires are an innovative and exciting way to experience the effect of a real fire without a chimney or other type of flue. They use advanced technology to burn gas safely and cleanly and are extremely energy efficient. Flueless gas fires are available in three basic types – wall mounted, fireplace inset and freestanding. Wall mounted fires are the most versatile and can be placed in almost any room of the house, excluding bathrooms, and in various positions for different effects. Fireplace inset fires are a great way to replicate the appearance of a traditional fire. Freestanding fires resemble stoves or wood burners. Each type of fire is available in various styles, colours and materials. Different types of flame are available, from small uniform flames produced by ribbon burners to traditional log effects and spectacular torch effect flames. Flueless gas fires must be installed by a GasSafe registered engineer following the manufacturer’s instructions and there are a number of points to address when installing, including minimum room size and air vents. As long as these basic guidelines are followed then flueless gas fires make a beautiful and stylish addition to the home.