Megan Walden
Design Director

Many clients come to us asking what type of gas fire is best for them. Ultimately, both styles have their advantages and disadvantages.

Efficiency

A balanced flue fireplace is a glass fronted gas appliance, with many models now available with anti-reflective glass. The hermetically sealed nature of a balanced flue fire, provides high efficiency levels and impressive heat outputs. The convection system required on all balanced flue fires adds to the efficiency levels, whilst also ensuring that the chimney breast does not overheat. The direct supply of combustion air to the fireplace also is a useful feature, supplied via the concentric flue pipe, eliminating the requirement for an external air vent/brick into the room.

Whereas, an open gas fire, will provide a certain level of heat, however is more for aesthetic purposes due to its open flue and combustion air requirement. Many open gas fires will require a stainless-steel flue system, (if not connecting into an existing chimney), and an external supply of combustion air (oxygen that allows the fire to burn) into the room. This combustion air, in some cases, can be ducted directly to the fireplace, adding to the efficiency of the fire, but in some circumstances, the air must be supplied via an air vent/brick into the room. In many houses efficiency may not even be considered, as clients may have underfloor heating, so the warmth from the fire is a bonus, but not necessarily used as the primary heat source.

Design Options

Within our bespoke factory, we can design and manufacture an extensive range of open gas fires, with different burner types, and fuel bed options. We offer a wide collection of suspended fireplaces, and ‘hole-in-the-wall’ designs to suit a variety of homes and décor. All of our fireplaces are operated using a mains Honeywell remote system, and come with full CE certification.

The CE certification on balanced flue fires are slightly different, as a closed appliance has a variety of different physical considerations. Within our collection, we offer a range of sizes and configurations from 60cm wide, up to 1.7m wide, in front/corner/three-sided and tunnel designs, all with a full mains-operated remote system.

Fluing

Often, the main decider for many clients is the fluing possibilities at the project- whether there are height restrictions or bends to consider, and where the flue needs to terminate.

Balanced flue fireplaces have the benefit of an efficient ‘up and out’ flue system, requirement a minimum rise of 1m, followed by a 90° bend, terminating through an external wall. The flue can travel further horizontally or vertically if required, with a maximum number of bends and distance to be complied with.

An open gas fire often will require a minimum of approximately 4.5-5m of vertical flue run to achieve natural draught, however there are a number of factors which may affect the draw, which cannot be calculated until the time of commission. Therefore, in cases where natural draw cannot be achieved, fan extraction may be discussed.

Please see our blog post on fluing for further information.

Therefore, an open gas fireplace is a great option for clients wanting a completely bespoke design, with an extensive collection of ideas and concepts to discuss. Whereas, a balanced flue fireplace is the better options for clients wanting high heat outputs and efficient fluing possibilities.

Please contact one of our experienced team to discuss your gas fireplace needs in detail, to see which option is best for you.