Gas Fireplaces were traditionally developed for an aesthetic appeal, and to overcome the hassle associated with Solid fuel Fireplaces (burning coal and logs leaves smog and requires excessive cleaning). Gas Fireplaces have come a long way from their decorative predecessors.   While most gas Fireplaces still look very decorative with large visual flames the majority of the heat is lost to the environment or up the chimney. The typical gas fireplace is usually 60% efficient, where as some decorative inset gas fires in Cast iron fireplaces have as little as 25% efficiency. Recently technology has been developed to counter the problem of inefficient gas fires, and finally high efficiency fires which are up to 98% efficient have been developed.

High efficiency gas fireplaces

High efficiency gas fireplaces are fires with a low input to output ratio; hence the amount of gas consumed is almost entirely emitted into the room. High efficiency gas fireplaces are up to 5kw in output (as opposed to 3kw), which is very warm for most rooms. High efficiency gas fireplaces have to be glass fronted, to prevent heat loss up the chimney, and ensure the fire radiates in the most optimal way.

Problems with high efficiency gas fireplaces

1. High efficiency gas fireplaces are glass fronted which ruins the open living flame effect. Essentially it is hard to distinguish between electric fireplaces, and defies the purpose of having gas. 2. Essentially High efficiency gas fireplaces have a higher heat output; however this is not needed in most homes with efficient central heating systems. It is almost always cheaper to heat a home via a boiler than a gas fire. 3. High efficiency gas fireplaces cost in excess of £450 from something decent. Some would argue that although the fires are better for the environment, there is little monetary incentive to switch as all the cost saving made while running the fire, are spent at the start in purchasing a high efficiency appliance (regular gas fires cost as little as £150).