Choosing a new fire is usually dependant on the type of chimney you have. Outlined below are the four chimney type options, one of which you will recognise as your own. This should help you gain a better understanding of which fires will be suitable for your home.
PlumbNation strongly recommend that you seek the advice of your Corgi registered installer to confirm the fire that you wish to purchase is suitable for your installation.
Brick Built Chimney (Class 1)
The traditional brick built chimney is suitable for all gas and electric fires. As these chimneys are deep, you can choose a full depth gas fire (inset), through to the shallower slimline or electric fires.
Pre-fabricated Flue (Class 2)
Pre-fabricated chimneys are suitable for most gas and electric fires and gas stoves. Pre-fabricated chimneys are usually made of a metal interlocking flue connected to a flue box, with a metal terminal on your roof. The minimum flue size is 5" in diameter. Pre-Fabricated chimneys offer a good depth, but not as much as a brick built chimney, therefore, you can still choose from the majority of full depth gas fires and all slimline gas and electric fires.
Many new properties that do not have chimneys are fitted with Pre-cast flues. These are made of rectangular hollow concrete or clay blocks that travel vertically up through the cavity wall of your property and ends as a ridge vent on your roof. Pre-cast flues have a much shallower depth in comparison to a chimney, and so, limit the fires that will fit into this flue type. In your home, you will likely have a flat wall instead of the alcoves of a traditional chimney. Suitable for slimline fires and electric fires. Full depth gas fires can also be used with Pre-cast flues with the aid of a spacer kit.
No Chimney or Flue
In some cases, some properties may not have a chimney or flue at all. Instead, the fire may have a flue that goes straight through an external wall. These are commonly referred to as Powerflue or Balanced flue. With a Balanced Flue, the emissions from the fire are extracted through the wall via a fan assembly, air is drawn in from the outside for combustion purposes, increasing its efficiency through an outer pipe, whilst the inner pipe vents the combustion gases safely away to the outside of the property.
Powerflue (or Fan Flue) appliances work in a similar way to Balanced flues where the flue gases are vented directly out via an external wall, however the flue gases are actually extracted via an electric fan assembly. As the electric fan is switched on it has been known to create some noise.
Inset Gas Fires
Inset gas fires are installed directly into the fireplace opening. This is usually in a hearth setting, but in some cases, can be a purpose built opening in a chimney breast higher up the wall. Inset gas fires are predominantly for use with traditional or Class 1 chimney types, Pre-fabricated Flues or Pre-Cast Flues.
Outset Gas Fires
Outset gas fires are used with a fireplace opening which is covered over and sealed with the supplied back plate, therefore it sits outside the hearth setting, and the majority of the fire protrudes out into the room. Outset gas fires are predominantly for use with traditional or Class 1 chimney types, Pre-fabricated Flues or Pre-Cast Flues.
Balanced Flue/Powered Flue Fires
Balanced Flue/Powerflue Fires are only suitable for properties that do not have a chimney or flue option. Balanced Flue/Powerflue fires extract gases directly through an external wall rather than vertically through the roof via a chimney or vertical flue terminal.
Radiant Gas Fires
Radiant Gas Fires are more traditional gas fires that consist of white radiants (ceramic pots). These are economical to run and very controllable. Most models can be hearth or wall mounted and they are suitable for Class 1, Class 2 and Pre-cast flues.
Basket Gas Fires
A Basket Gas fire is a four-sided ‘bed’ for holding a gas fire and can be suited to either modern or classic designs. Basket Gas Fires will sit directly into the fireplace opening.
The real benefit of an electric fire is that no specialist installation required, in most cases, you just plug it in and you’re ready to go. Electric fires are a great alternative to a gas fire. There are less inconvenient and messy and can be installed almost anywhere you want. Electric Fires can are considered highly efficient to the end user, as there are no CO2 emissions or heat wasted on flames.
Electric Fires can either be wall-mounted, inset or floor mounted and can add an extremely stylish, traditional or modern look to your home. Some models can even be switched on without giving off heat, ideal in the warmer months, when you don’t require much heat, yet you still want the effective look of a fire.
Living Flame Effect (LFE)
Living Flame Effect, commonly referred to as LFE, is a terminology used where a flame effect of a traditional solid fuel fire, is generated via a Gas or Electric Fire. Therefore, although the fires are not solid fuel, the Living Flame Effect is still generated, creating the same realistic feel and warmth.