Dispelling 5 myths about gas fires
With a long list of benefits for homeowners, there is more to gas fires than meets the eye
The market might have moved on since the heyday of the 1980s when scores of British Gas showrooms lined the UKs high streets, but there are a whole host of reasons why gas fires continue to burn brightly.
From continued demand for real flames and the stark reality of operating and maintaining a solid fuel stove to the development of innovative models, homeowners are quick to list the benefits of gas.
Here are five common myths still associated with gas fires
1: They are unstylish compared to other fuel types.
Ten years ago, people could have been forgiven for thinking this was the case because traditional gas fires were predominantly aimed at elderly customers and the social housing sector. Today, it could not be further from the truth.
From eye-catching landscape fires and stoves that satisfy the latest interior trends, to bespoke balanced-flue installations that can act as room divider in the most prestigious of properties, gas fires are no longer restricted to inset and radiant models.
2: You need a chimney to install one.
It still amazes me that some gas installers believe this myth. In fact, research by Valor shows one in twenty Gas Registered engineers still believe a chimney is needed to install a gas fire.
Quite simply, it is not true. Manufacturers continue to develop a wide range of balanced flue models, which simply require an outside wall and offer some of the highest efficiencies on the market.
Even though around 11 million homes in the UK have a chimney and a gas point fitting, this product development has been key in helping to ensure the longevity of gas fires in modern homes.
3: They âre not efficient enough.
Again, this comes down to the development of gas fires in the last decade or so. Gone are the days of gas-guzzling fires that people relied on in the 1970s and 1980s. Today's models offer a new generation of gas fires that are capable of delivering impressive heat efficiencies of up to 89% without sacrificing realism and authenticity.
Prices may have come down in recent times but the cost of energy remains critical for many families and it is important to remember that natural gas is still the lowest cost fuel supplied for the same kW usage. An efficient gas fire can cost up to 50% less per KW/h than an electric fire with the same heat output. Plus, it is kinder to the environment with life cycle CO2 emissions nearly half that of mains electricity.
4: They don't give off enough heat.
Gas fires do not just create a focal point in the home, they also offer effective single-room heating for many households with heat outputs up to 4.8kW, which is more than enough to keep the average living room warm.
This is made possible by the continued development of heat exchangers, which offer a higher heat performance by drawing air from the room, heating it as it passes over the heat exchanger and diverting it back into the room. This, of course, is in contrast to the lower heat output offered by the inefficient fires of previous years.
5: They are difficult to control.
This has been one of the biggest areas of development for manufacturers in recent years and the advances that have been made will surprise many customers.
For example, Valor now offers fires that can be controlled using an advanced remote control or via innovative ˜Fireslide"™ technology, which offers a control on the top right-hand side of the fire instead of having to bend down. Other fires have top switch control or electric ignition, which makes it easier for elderly or less able customers to operate.
There is also far greater control over the output of gas fires too, with stepped burners that enable customers to scale the heat output up or down according to specific requirements.