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  1. Why a gas fire is good for you!

     

    Advantages

    • Cheap to run when compared to electricity
    • Not affected by power cuts or boiler breakdowns
    • Half the CO2 emissions of an electric fire so better for the environment
    • Aesthetically pleasing

     

    The flame effect and authenticity provided by gas fires means they are still the number one choice for homes, despite the advances in electric fires over recent years. Combined with high heat efficiencies and low running costs, today’s gas fires offer affordable warmth, visual comfort and are a powerful weapon in the fight against fuel poverty.

    The gas-guzzling decorative gas fires from the 1980’s are now a thing of the past. Thanks to developments in technology, gas fires today are capable of delivering heat efficiencies of over 80% and heat outputs of 4.0kW. For some living rooms, this is more than enough to act as a primary source of heat.

    Many new houses are built without any thought of a fire in the living room. There is an assumption that better insulation of modern homes will eliminate the need for a fire.  So on a cold summers day to get any source of heat the central heating has to be used.  Even with having the heating in two zones, which is the practice in new homes, it still means it costs a lot more than switching a gas fire on.

    Whilst there are still 11 million homes in the UK with a chimney and a gas point, the absence of a chimney no longer restricts the installation of a gas fire. This is due to the wealth of balanced flue models now available that simply require an outside wall for installation. There are also flueless models.

    Gas is by far the cheapest fuel to run. Typically, 1kW of gas supplied by British Gas costs just 4.662p (incl VAT) compared to nearly 14.259p (incl VAT) for 1kW of electricity. Not only that, running a gas fire is actually more beneficial to the environment too, as it delivers half the CO2 emissions of an electric fire.

    There are many people in the UK trapped in fuel poverty so the low running costs provided by a gas fire is a welcome relief. They can benefit from all the warmth and comfort of a gas fire without having to worry about excessive bills.

    The elderly also benefit from the heat of a gas fire. During freezing winters, it is reassuring to know that they can rely on a gas fire. Even if their boiler breaks down they can stay safe and comfortable until everything is back up and running.

    From insets, outsets and balanced flue living flame and radiant gas fires, and from traditional to contemporary, the choice of gas fires is endless. Combined with high heat efficiencies and low running costs, today’s gas fires offer affordable warmth and visual comfort.  Every home should have one!

  2. In these days of high energy bills it has become more important to consider how well you are controlling how much energy you use.

    You might have read about the importance of having an energy efficient condensing boiler.  However this is only relevant if your current boiler is beyond repair.  This is because it would probably take you a lot of years to recoup the money you spend on having a new boiler installed.

    It is more important to consider the control you have over your existing system.  It is estimated that up to 40% of households do not have a thermostat.  It is estimated that fitting a thermostat could save you up to 30% on your heating bill.

    In the last few years technology has moved on and you might be surprised to know how much control you can have over your heating system depending on the type of controls you need.

    The minimum you need is a thermostat and some thermostatically controlled radiator valves.  TRV’s means you can turn down or off some of the rooms you don’t use so much.

    You could have a programmable thermostat which in addition to the normal on and off times you can tell it when you go on holiday and set it to come back on when you come back meaning that you return to a warm house.  A lot of people worry about frozen pipes if they go away during the winter.  With one of these you can set the heating to come on if the temperature goes below a temperature chosen by you.  This type of thermostat allows you to set different temperatures for different times of day depending on your lifestyle or who is in the house.  You can also set different times on different days such as weekends.

    There are now some much more sophisticated controls available.  For example you could zone your house so that the heating comes on in different rooms at different times and at the temperatures that you choose.  The bigger your house the more value you might get out of this type of system.

    You could also have a system where you can control your heating system via your mobile phone, tablet or computer.  This might be useful if your working days are variable and you can set the heating to come on when you know you are coming home. If the weather gets bad while you are out you could set it to come on or if you know you aren’t going to get home you can turn it off remotely.

    When choosing how to control your system you need to consider your lifestyle.  For example if you are at home all day and wish you didn’t have to heat the whole house then zoning might be for you.

    If you have a second home it can be an asset to be able control the heating remotely.