Balanced flue gas fires
What is a balanced flue gas fire?
Balanced flue gas fires (or closed combustion gas fires) are efficient, modern gas appliances that are connected to the outside atmosphere through a concentric flue.
Air is drawn from outside the building for combustion, with waste gases expelled outside through the flue, which is connected to the top of the fire and inserted through an outside facing wall.
All balanced flue gas fires are room-sealed, glass-fronted appliances. As well as being attractive in appearance, they provide high levels of comfort due to the fact that the oxygen levels in the home are not being depleted.
Balanced flue gas fires also have higher-than-average energy efficiency ratings, due to their closed combustion system and modern fireplace engineering standards.
Because there are no restrictions in terms of chimney size, balanced flue gas fires are available in a huge range of sizes, shapes and designs. There are letterbox, portrait and landscape models; 2-sided, 3-sided and see-through tunnel fires as well as freestanding contemporary gas stoves.
Many of these models can be combined with natural stone fire surrounds or a wide selection of beautiful, tailor-made outer frames to enhance the appearance of the fires.
Balanced flue gas fires are available with authentic log effect displays, natural looking twigs, pebbles, stones and even anthracite glass. Interiors include matt or glossy black, natural stone, classic brick and mirrored Ceraglass.
Elegant, comfortable and energy efficient, balanced flue gas fires are an inspired choice for period or contemporary homes.
Can it be installed into my existing chimney?
Most modern, balanced flue gas fires can be installed into a UK Class 1 chimney with minimal building work.
If you select letterbox fires, such as the DRU Global 100 or DRU Metro 100XT balanced flue gas fires, there is some building work to do, but it should take less than one day to complete.
The old chimney opening above the hearth has to be bricked up, and a new opening made for the fire higher up the chimneybreast. A vertical opening also has to be made for the flue, which is connected to the top of the fire and should exit the wall at least 1 metre above the fire to ensure a perfect flame picture. Once the fire is installed, the new brickwork is plastered and you can start using your fire once the plaster has dried and you’ve redecorated the wall. Read more on installing a balanced fluegas fire in an existing chimney in our essential information part of the website.
Once installed, these fires have a clean, seamless appearance that transforms and outdated fireplace into an elegant, modern focal point for the living room.
Can it be installed with no chimney?
Although it is possible to install a balanced flue gas fire into a standard chimney, most are installed into a false chimneybreast, which replicates the appearance of a brick fireplace. The false chimneybreast, which is made from heat resistant material, cleverly conceals the fire engine and flue, revealing just the glass-fronted interior with its realistic fire bed.
A concentric flue pipe is attached to the top or back of the fire. This uses natural convection to draw air from outside the building through the fire chamber, creating combustion that gives your balanced flue fire its high, realistic flames. The same flue also expels waste gases outside.
Once installed, the false chimneybreast can be decorated so that the complete assembly becomes a seamless part of the living room.
Read more on chimneyless gas fires
Where will the flue be located?
The flue on a balanced flue gas fire is normally connected to the top of the fire assembly. It rises about 1 metre above the fire and is then connected to a 90º elbow in order to exit the wall. There is a terminal on the outside of the wall that draws in air and also expels the waste gases.
Where there is no chimney, the flue is concealed behind a false chimneybreast. If there is a chimney, the flue can be left exposed with a flue cover or decorative coating to match the fire. Alternatively, a cavity has to be made in the brickwork to conceal the flue, which then exits into the chimney space.
How much gas will it use in comparison to an open gas fire?
A balanced flue gas fire has a closed combustion system. This means that very little energy is wasted in order to generate the necessary heat and create an authentic flame picture.
In contrast, an open gas fire relies on a combination of air from the living space and draught from the chimney for its combustion. This results in a larger percentage of the energy being dispersed into the atmosphere.
On average, a balanced flue gas fire is 70 – 85% energy efficient, whereas the typical ratings for an open gas fire are 40 – 50%
How realistic will the log fire effect be?
With an energy efficient balanced flue gas fire, it is possible to generate a flame effect that it is as close as possible to a real log fire.
This is because the appliance is completely room-sealed, so there are no atmospheric conditions to interfere with the combustion process.
In addition, raising the flue at least one metre above the fire replicates the draught generated by a real chimney in order to create high, realistic flames.
New burner technology, such as the system in the DRU Maestro series of gas fires, creates much denser flames that, again, are close to those of a real log fire. The effect can also be enhanced by using mirrored Ceraglass for the interior of the fire, for greater depth of vision.
Why are balanced flue fires glass fronted?
A balanced flue gas fire is a completely room-sealed appliance. The gas and air required for combustion circulate around the fire chamber and concentric flue in order to create the maximum heat output, most realistic flame picture and best possible energy efficiency.
The operation is possible because the fire is glass fronted. No excess energy is lost into the atmosphere and, at the same time, you have an elegant and practical viewing window for the best possible outlook on the fire display.
Special heat-resistant glass is used so it cannot be damaged by the heat from the fire. The window is also designed to be opened and cleaned regularly, so there is always a clear and uninterrupted view of the fire.