High efficiency gas fires
How do high efficiency gas fires achieve their energy savings?
Modern high efficiency gas fires, such as those manufactured by DRU, have a number of built-in features that contribute to their efficient operation.
Firstly, all high-efficiency gas fires are glass-fronted, room-sealed appliances. This means that the combustion process all takes place within an airtight chamber, so no fuel is wasted during the operation.
A high efficiency conventional flue gas fire is connected directly to the cavity inside an existing chimney, using the air from the living room and draught from the chimney to produce a beautiful flame picture with impressive energy savings.
In the case of a balanced flue gas fire, all of the air for combustion is drawn from outside the building, with waste gases expelled to the outside using a concentric flue. This, again, results in a stunning, realistic fire with lower than average energy consumption.
DRU has also introduced the latest technology to the control systems for its gas fires. The remote controls are fully electronic with room temperature displays, so you can easily regulate the heat output of the fire to save valuable energy.
Even more impressive is the DRU Eco Wave app for tablets and smartphones. This enables you to design your own individual flame pattern, whilst at the same time reducing the heat output of the fire to save valuable energy.
Whichever modern DRU gas fire you choose, you can be sure that it will run in the most energy efficient way.
Does a high efficiency gas fire always have a glass front?
The answer is yes. It is necessary for a gas fire to have a glass front in order to perform more efficiently.
When a gas fire is open-fronted, it draws air from the living room and draught from the chimney for combustion. Without a glass front, more of the heat output of the fire is dispersed into the atmosphere. This results in more gas being used up because the fire is constantly generating more heat to replace the heat that is being dispersed.
With a glass-fronted gas fire, all of the air is circulating within the chamber of the fire. Consequently, it takes less air and gas to produce the same amount of heat as that generated by an open fire. This is what determines a high efficiency heating appliance.
What is the very best energy efficiency rating you can get from a high efficiency gas fire?
In general, balanced flue gas fires have the highest energy efficiency ratings, which are typically in the region of 80 – 85 %.
This is because, in a balanced flue gas fire, the entire operation of the fire is room-sealed. The fire bed is situated behind a glass window and the fire chamber is connected to a concentric flue.
All of the air used to create the combustion for the fire travels from the outside atmosphere through the flue, with any waste gases consequently expelled through a separate chamber in the same flue.
In a conventional flue gas fire, some of the air for the combustion of the fire is drawn from the living space through vents at the front of the fire. This is combined with draught from the chimney to form the combustion needed for the flames.
Consequently, because a conventional flue gas fire is not completely room-sealed, there is a slight loss of efficiency when compared to balanced flue gas fires.
However, the modern conventional flue gas fires by DRU still have energy efficiency ratings of between 75 and 80%, a far superior performance to ordinary open fronted gas fires.
What effect does high efficiency have on the appearance of the fire effect?
It’s true to say that the greater the energy efficiency of the gas fire, the more impressive the flame picture will be.
If a gas fire is open-fronted, a lot of the air that could be used for combustion escapes into the living room. Consequently, the fire struggles to produce high, natural flames.
But when a gas fire is glass-fronted and has closed combustion, all of the air necessary to fuel the fire is used, with very little wastage.
When the balanced flue is installed, with its outlet at least one metre above the fire, this creates a strong draught that replicates the function of a traditional chimney. This draught generates more power in the fire to produce high, realistic flames that resemble a genuine, organic log fire.
How easy is it to control a high efficiency gas fire?
It is much easier to control a high efficiency gas fire than it is to control and ordinary, open fronted gas fire.
This is because, in a room sealed appliance, such as a DRU balanced flue gas fire, the process of combustion all takes place in an enclosed space, with no intrusion from air from around the home.
This results in the flame height and heat output of the fire being more accurate and easier to control using an electronic remote control. You can even determine the room temperature and, if you use the DRU Eco Wave app, how much gas you are using.
The flames can be maintained at a constant height and the room held at a constant temperature, just like controlling your central heating.
Are high efficiency gas fires more expensive to buy than ordinary gas fires?
The answer is yes. There is a difference in price between modern, high efficiency gas fires and traditional open-fronted gas fires.
However, the difference is easily offset by the long term savings in energy that a high efficiency gas fire can bring.
In addition, future European legislation will determine that it will no longer be possible to buy open-fronted gas fires because their efficiency ratings are not acceptable.
So it is better to invest in a high efficiency gas fire now. It will not become obsolete in the future and will result in considerable household energy savings over the lifetime of the appliance.