Days of installing old style chimneys with long stacks shooting off the roof are long gone. In the contemporary home, innovative fireplace stoves that use gas fire are quickly gaining popularity. These are called balanced flue gas fire. But what are they and how do they work?
Balanced Flue Gas Fires
These are special gas fires that are connected to the air from outside via a concentric flue. Their discerning feature is a glass front that seals the whole system from the room where it has been installed. The glass provides better insulation thus maximum heating can be achieved. It also prevents draught that often undermines the efficiency of such systems.
Balanced flue gas fires have been designed to suck in more oxygen and dissipate exhaust gases out through a wall flue. This process uses the natural convection mechanism.
Balanced Flue Gas Fires Vs. Power Flue Gas Fires
These two are great alternatives to the traditional fireplace. However, they differ from each other in their mode of operation. The power flues are fitted with a fan that creates a suction pressure to expunge bad fumes from the flames and directs them outside. Balanced flues, on the other hand, are sealed at the front with glass. They bring clean air in to improve combustion and at the same time take the exhaust gases out via a double-walled duct buried in the wall.
The Advantages of Balanced Flue Gas fires
Based on their closed combustion design, they have an advantage over their power flue counterparts with regards to heating efficiency. As they bring in fresh air from outside, more oxygen is available to mix with the gas for complete burning. Consequently, they do not rely on the oxygen inside the house and thus do not deplete it.
These gas fires are not restricted to a particular chimney size. In fact, they can work with or without a chimney. The advantage of that is that you can get them in any design, size, and shape based on the available space in your house. Common ones include letterbox, portrait, and landscape models. These can further be classified into two-sided, three-sided, see-through tunnel gas fires, and standalone gas stoves. It is also important to mention that you can fit them either on the ceiling or the wall depending on your preferences or room requirements.
When to Apply Them
As mentioned earlier, these appliances can be used to replace the traditional fireplace to benefit from their efficacy and innovative design. They are applicable whether you have an existing chimney or not. If your current chimney is a UK Class 1 type, a balanced flue gas fire can be fixed easily with little building work involved. However, letterbox balanced flues like DRU Global 100 or Metro 100XT require a considerable amount of building. This usually takes a day.
These are some of the important things to know about balanced flue gas fires. If you still have the old-style chimneys, perhaps you can consider these for a fresher and warmer room. They are also quite aesthetic and can make great centrepiece furniture in your living room.