FIREPLACE OPTIONS – WOODBURNER OR GAS FIRE?
In this article, we’ll look at fireplace options, exploring the qualities of woodburners and gas fires.
Whether you’re considering a new installation or contemplating a switch, we aim to provide you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.
So, grab a cup of cocoa, settle in, and let’s explore the enchanting warmth and beauty that these two fireplace options can bring to your home.
Table of Contents
Modern woodburners are highly energy efficient, produce limited air pollution and use a form of renewable energy.
Burning wood is carbon-neutral because it is a renewable resource. However, burning wood cleanly is the key to making it enviro-friendly.
The large amount of radiant heat produced by woodburners suits many of our New Zealand houses. This is especially the case for the older, poorly insulated and draughty homes with high ceilings. A properly sized and installed woodburner can heat the whole home.
TIP: If you’re relocating a solid fuel heating appliance, you will need to apply for a building consent regardless of how far the appliance is being moved.
Freestanding models are generally the most efficient. For example, for a given firewood load they return the most heat to a room. They are also the cheapest to install.
If you are renovating and have an existing open fireplace, an insert model is an option. Insert models are not as efficient as freestanding type but they are better than an open fire.
Tip: Always check the compliance plate. This has to be on every woodburner that’s sold – and it states the tested heat output, along with the efficiency and emissions rate.
Tip: Ensure you obtain a building consent – from your local city or district council to install a solid fuel burner. Check with them to find out if they have any extra requirements for solid fuel burners.
The cost of woodburners vary according to make and model. For the Jayline Walltherm Wood Fire, the RRP is $5,199. Flue kit is RRP $799. Installation cost is additional.
• Metro Fires.
RADIANT OR CONVECTIVE HEAT?
Woodburners release their heat through a combination of heat radiation and convection. Radiation heats objects and convection heats the air. The amount of each varies depending on the model of woodburner.
Radiant Heat – These types of woodburners produce mostly radiant heat to make the room feel warmer than the air actually is. This makes them particularly suitable for large rooms with high ceilings and for rooms where you have poor insulation and draught issues.
Convective Heat – Convective woodburners heat the air around them, which in turn rises to the ceiling. This produces less heat in the bottom part of your room. However, you can use a ceiling fan to mix up the hotter and cooler layers of air. Convective heat makes it easier to move some of the warm air to other parts of your home.
Tip: Use a certified installer. A quality installation is fundamental to your woodburners performance and safety. At Style Plus we recommend that you have your woodburner installed by a Solid Fuel Appliance Installation Technician certified by the New Zealand Home Heating Association.
The advantage of a gas fireplace is that it provides instant heat and has the look of an open fire, without the danger of the open flame or the need for firewood. Additionally, gas is more energy efficient than electricity (emitting less greenhouse gas emissions than burning it to make electricity in power stations).
A gas fire provides both radiant and convection heating, with the radiant heat warming objects in a room and the convection heat circulating the warmed air.
As with woodburners both freestanding and inset gas fires are available. Most freestanding fires must be flued. Some in-built gas fires installed into an existing fireplace may not require flues, but it is strongly recommended by manufacturers that a flexible flue is installed within the chimney breast.
Tip: When flued appliances are installed no additional air is required for combustion. When specifying the location of flued appliances, particular attention should be paid to where the flue will terminate on the outside.
New Zealand has very high safety standards with which manufacturers of gas appliances must comply, and gas fitters are legally obliged to install appliances in accordance with the safety requirements. Therefore it is important when specifying gas as an energy source that architects incorporate the necessary flue and ventilation requirements into the planning process.
GAS FIRE AS A DESIGN ELEMENT
When it’s time to select a gas fireplace for your home, it is important that it provides the necessary heat output and flame display to match the size and style of your room.
As a design element a fireplace will always be the centre of attention and should be attractive, efficient and above all, easy to use.
COST OF GAS FIRES
Gas fires have come a long way. Fireplace options now support the following features:
• Versatile installation options.
• Intelligent smartphone control.
• High performance with ambience.
• Energy efficient.
An example of a high-end gas fire is the DXDX1500 from Escea. The DX1500 captures up to 90% of the available heat and returns it back into every corner of the room via Escea’s Multi-room Technology. Some of this heat can even be ducted into the hallway or into other rooms in the home, making the DX1500 a whisper-quiet and environmentally conscious home heating choice. The DX1500 can also be remotely operated via any device connected to the internet. In addition to the normal remote, a smartphone with the Escea Smart Heat app installed can be used to operate the fireplace. The RRP is $9,795 + Duct + Install + Flue.
• The RRP is $9795 + Duct + Install + Flue.
Tip: You must have a Registered Gas fitter install your gas heater, and you need a Gas Certificate for the installation. You also need to use a Registered Electrician for any electrical work and get an Electrical Certificate of Compliance issued (if required).
As an Auckland North Shore family-owned and run business, Style Plus Renovations cares about what we do and we take the time to fully understand your renovation needs. We are also proud to receive some exceptional compliments from our Auckland clients.
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