Many people are surprised when they learn how little it costs to run a gas fireplace. There’s a misconception that they come with high running costs, but gas (especially natural gas) is one of the cheapest forms of energy available. One just needs to buy an energy-efficient gas fireplace to go with it.
There are a few things to look for to ensure an efficient gas fireplace choice. First, look at the star rating — the more stars the better. Many have 5-star efficiency ratings and these cost about the same as a wood fire to run.
Secondly, go for a glass-fronted gas fireplace, not open-fronted. Glass-fronted fires are more efficient because they are sealed units, the warm air from the room cannot escape back up the chimney.
Lastly, look at the flue system or chimney. Efficient fireplace brands like Escea use a ‘direct vent system' which uses a fan to both bring air from outside into the firebox and expel exhaust back out. Direct vent systems can make a fire up to 95% efficient, compared to an open-fronted fireplace at around 45%.
Gas fireplaces come in many different sizes, with the linear styles a popular choice for modern homes. But the bigger a fireplace, the more flame and heat it will produce so a smaller room will not need that much heat output. Similar to heat pumps, it's important to select a fireplace with the right kWs for the space. As a guide, Escea recommends 1kW of heat per 10 square meters. So that means a 200m² home would need 20kW of heat. But that's a simple equation that works for a well-insulated new-build and not so well for a draughty villa with high ceilings.
Another alternative is to go with a multiroom fireplace such as Escea’s DX Series. This range has a linear style but comes with Escea’s Heat Ducting technology, allowing the heat to be distributed into other areas of the home. It captures up to 90% of the available heat and carries it throughout the home via ceiling and floor vents.