Burning natural gas releases CO2 - which contributes to global warming and climate change. Therefore, it is important to reduce our dependance on natural gas, as stated in the Paris Climate Agreement. So, is it still wise to buy a gas fire? A fair question, which we will answer in this article. 

We divide the above question into four important sub-questions: 

  1. How soon do we have to stop using gas?
  2. When and why do people still opt for a gas fire?
  3. What alternatives exist to heat your home in an attractive and sustainable way?
  4. What can you do now to use less gas?

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1. How soon do we have to stop using gas?

In the next 30 to 40 years, gas will still occupy an important place when it comes to heating. This is because it is complex and expensive to convert established properties from gas to alternative heat sources. For new build homes it is different.

Below we explain how this works:

Established homes 
At present, most established homes still have a natural gas connection. In addition, the existing insulation is not sufficient for the operation and efficiency of a heat pump.

According to companies such as Gasunie and Aedes, converting these homes to a climate-neutral alternative costs between €30,000 and €50,000. This is a considerable investment, which not everyone can afford.

Furthermore, the conversion of an established home is not always environmentally friendly. Insulating your house is a considerable burden on the environment because a lot of waste material is produced during such a renovation. In addition, the capacity of solar energy panels is too low to provide for the entire energy supply and at peak times, the energy still comes from coal-fired power stations.

New build homes 
Most new build homes are not connected to natural gas. These homes are insulated to modern standards and use alternative energy supplies, such as heat pumps.

2. When and why do people still choose a gas fire?

When you have a gas connection, it is certainly possible to use a gas fire. But even if you do not have one, there are alternatives such as propane.

But why do people still choose a gas fire if we must phase out gas?

We give 2 reasons:
  1. Have you had a fireplace in your home for a long time? Replacing an old fireplace is better for the environment. Modern fireplaces are cleaner, more efficient and have greatly reduced CO2 emissions.
  2. The average lifespan of a fireplace is 15 years. That means that your fireplace will need replacing before 2050. That is still well worth the investment.
Technology does not stand still. By the time that gas has been phased out, there will certainly be new appliances that use alternative energy sources. And the gas network may well provide biogas and methane gas (from hydrogen) as fuels for fires and stoves.

For the time being, you can be assured that all current DRU gas fires can handle all types of gas. Need some extra inspiration?

Request your brochure!

3. What alternatives exist for heating your home in a visually attractive and sustainable manner?

Propane gas fire
Do you have no mains gas connection in your home but would like to enjoy the convenience of a gas fire? Then choose propane gas. Propane is delivered to the fires by expertly connected cylinders. 

A woodburning stove in your living room is a real mood enhancer. Firstly, it is wise to consider whether your home is suitable for a woodburning stove. Ideally, you need an existing chimney or solid stone structure. And remember, woodburning stoves must comply with strict regulations.

Electric fire
For an electric fire, all you need is a mains connection, no chimney or flue. You can locate it almost anywhere in the home, providing there is a convenient electrical connection.

4. What measures can you take now to use less gas?

A gas fire is still a sensible investment, and this will not change for the foreseeable future. The development of sustainable energy for established buildings takes a long time. That is why natural gas is still a very efficient energy source.

Of course, you don't have to wait until 2050 to contribute to a greener world. Would you like to use less gas anyway? Then use the tips below.

Look at the age of your fireplace.
Is the gas fire more than 15 years old? If so, it is likely to be much less efficient and more polluting than a new model.

Make your home sustainable 
  1. Ensure good insulation: No matter how you want to heat your home: good insulation is always a sensible first step. If your house holds the heat better, you will use less energy.
  2. Choose a more sustainable replacement system: A hybrid system or heat pump will only be more effective if your home is well insulated.
Do you prefer electricity to gas? Then make sure that you consume electricity in a sustainable way - for example, with solar panels. Unfortunately, it is not possible to heat an entire house using only solar energy, due to the low number of sun hours in the UK. Therefore, solar energy is mainly used during the day for essential electrical appliances.

Visit a dealer for more information

Are you keen to choose a new fireplace for your home? Come to DRU Inspiration Shops for inspiration, advice, and a great selection. To decide on your purchase, you can visit your nearest DRU dealer.

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