A yearly service on your gas fire will improve efficiency, saving you
money on fuel bills, and also reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
When it comes to choosing a new gas fire and surround the main factor
will be personal taste and budget. There are many fire showrooms so shop
around and compare prices. Do not feel that you have to buy a fire, surround
and hearth all from the same place. When installing a fire in my own home
I managed to save approximately £300 by using different suppliers
for the fire, fireback and surround.
Most of the gas fires currently on the market today come in different
versions, each suitable for different types of installation. I live in
a Victorian terraced house and have the standard chimneys of the time
which are now known as Class 1 open flues. If you are in a modern house
you may have a Class 1 or Class 2 flue - typically a pre-cast, concrete
flue set into the wall. For houses where there is no chimney then a fire
with a fan assisted or balanced flue is the appropriate option.
For rooms without access to an outside wall there is now a 'flueless'
gas fire made by Focal Point Fires. The fire is a sealed unit which uses
the latest in catalytic technology and has been rated at 100% efficient.
It can go in any room at least 40 cubic metres in size (i.e. 14ft x 14ft
x 7ft 6in). The room must have (or have fitted) a permanent air vent (100cm2)
and an openable window.
For something a little more unusual, Focal Point Fires now also offer
this 'flueless' option in the form of a gas stove.
Installation of gas fires, as with all gas appliances, should be carried
out by a competent (i.e. Corgi registered) installer.
Gas fires of any type should not be fitted in bedrooms.
Before & After
photos show a gas fire installation I did some time ago. In the first
picture an old fire and central heating back boiler have been removed,
the builders opening has been exposed and a hearth built up.
The second picture shows the complete fireplace lined with a combination
of cream and green border tiles. The fire surround bought by the customer
was not quite the right depth so an extra panel was added before fixing
back to the chimney breast.