What is an Inset Gas Fire?
You might be wondering what exactly an inset gas fire is. And with so many different types of gas fireplaces available on the market, we don’t blame you for losing track of which one is which! ‘Inset’ literally means that the fireplace is set into a recess in a wall or chimney breast opening. If you like the sleek aesthetic of a fireplace that’s flush with the wall rather than extending out onto a hearth, an inset fire might be the perfect option for you. On top of inset gas fires, you can also get electric variants.
Inset fires have gained popularity in recent years because they take up much less space when fitted into a wall cavity – particularly handy if your room is a little on the small side. They also look very neat in an existing fireplace, and naturally there are a wealth of styles to choose from to suit any home decor.
How Does an Inset Gas Fire Work?
Inset fires come in gas and electric varieties, and each works a little differently. The key difference is that inset gas fires require a chimney to work. When choosing an inset gas fire, it’s important to know the type of chimney you have since there are different products for Class 1, Class 2 and balanced flue chimneys. If you’re not sure what type of inset gas fire would be suitable for your home’s chimney situation (or lack thereof), below we have outlined the key types.
This type of inset gas fire is used in conjunction with an existing chimney and is by far the most cost-effective solution. They can also be installed in a new build property using a flue liner and a false chimney breast. These fires can offer up to 4 kw of heat, although it is worth noting that due to the high efficiency in most homes, 4kw is akin to adding two electric fires into your home. This is naturally great for reducing running costs.
If the flue pipe can be routed vertically, then a flue liner offers a cost-effective installation solution for new build properties that don’t have a brick chimney. The glass-fronted inset gas fire is installed in a flue box and the flue liner runs off the box, and around this an artificial chimney breast can be built.
Balanced flue fires are for homes that don’t have any kind of chimney, and it’s impossible for the flue route to go vertically. The pipes can be routed upwards, then horizontally before terminating on a side wall. An artificial chimney breast is then built around the appliance. There are various sizes available, with size having a greater heat output up to a maximum of 12kw. Balanced flue inset gas fires are best suited to large open-plan properties which require a fire as a heat source rather than simply as a visual effect.
Power flue inset gas fires are suitable for properties where a vertical flue cannot be fitted, but the pipes are capable of being routed in multiple directions – even beneath the floor. Power flue pipes are either 54mm or 80mm in diameter and can have a maximum length of 40m. They may also be used in the centre of a room as a freestanding gas fire. Much like balanced flues, sizes vary and the larger sizes have a maximum heat output of 12kw.
The Benefits of Inset Wall Gas Fires
One of the most obvious reasons that people choose any type of wall-mounted gas fire is to save on space. However, inset gas fires go one step further than simply hanging on your wall – they instead sit inside a wall or chimney cavity, meaning that they lie as flat against your wall as possible. This can help make your room appear bigger and is ideal for those working with a compact space.
Another key reason for the appeal of inset gas fires is their eye-catching and versatile appearance. Whether you’re going for a classic look or something completely contemporary for your room of choice, with so many designs to choose from an inset gas fire is always bound to deliver the wow-factor when it comes to style.
It’s not just space and style that make inset gas fires such an attractive choice. One of the most significant advantages for many customers is how fantastically energy efficient they are, which in turn will save you money on your bills. As they are sealed from the front with a glass panel, inset gas fires do pull in air from the room, meaning that the fire burns a lot more efficiently. This heat is then radiated directly into the room through the glass, achieving a warm, cosy temperature.
Alongside the savings you will make on your energy bills, as a whole gas fires tend to be amongst some of the cheapest heat sources, beating electric fireplaces by a mile. They are also much cleaner than open fires, requiring very little maintenance and fuss to source and store solid fuels, not to mention that they are a lot kinder to the environment. Inset gas fires are thus perfect if you want a modem, more sustainable and adaptable fireplace that won’t break the bank but also retains a little charm.
What Sizes of Inset Wall Gas Fires are Available?
Most inset gas fires come in a standard size of 410mm x 560mm (16in x 22in), which is also the same height and width size of the aperture in a majority of fireplace back panels. Before you go ahead with a purchase, make sure to measure your choice of inset gas fire carefully to check that it fits into the wall or chimney recess.
You should also consider the depth of your wall or chimney recess, and bear in mind that Class 1 chimneys are much deeper than Class 2 chimneys. When it comes to inset gas fires, ensure that the model you end up purchasing will fit snugly into the recess by measuring the recess itself.
Other Types of Modern Indoor Fireplace Solutions
Outset Gas Fires
If you have a little more space to work within your designated room, outset gas fires possess all of the benefits of an inset gas fire, aside from the fact that they stick out from the wall instead. This is a great option if you want a freestanding fire, or simply even something that has more of a presence in a room. Much like inset gas fires, there are lots of styles and sizes to choose from to suit individual tastes.
Electric fireplaces are a cost-effective option that can be plugged into the wall. This type of fire uses coils and a fan to distribute heat and generally includes a fake flickering flame to replicate the look of a traditional wood-burning fire. The flame is ignited with the flip of a switch, and since they are ventless, electric fires are relatively affordable to install. However, electric fires produce the least amount of heat out of all of the options, making them popular for homes that are looking for ambiance over a highly reliable heat source. Electric fires come in a wide variety of styles, including inset, outset, freestanding and hang on the wall.
This environmentally-friendly alternative burns ethanol in a container to produce a real flame. Given that ethanol does not produce any smoke, ventilation is not necessary. Bioethanol fires are distinct because it’s the only style that allows you to pour the ethanol directly into it. This feature makes this fuel source ideal for creative designs or uniquely modern fireplaces, such as table-top fireplaces. However, they don’t tend to produce much heat, so they are once again favoured for their aesthetic appeal.
Find Your Dream Indoor Fireplace at Fireplaces & Furnishings Direct Ltd
Aside from their practical heating benefits, a fireplace of any kind will provide your home with a pleasing focal point for family and friends to gather around. Here at Fireplace Superstore, we provide expert fireplace and stove installation services for clients throughout Cheadle Hulme, Wilmslow, Cheshire and across the North West. We have an extensive range of wood-burning, electric, gas and bioethanol fires to choose from at our Stockport-based showroom – from electric Evonic fires to Gazco gas fireplaces – with over 150 live displays to browse through. Our team of experienced engineers can provide all of the necessary guidance to help you find the perfect fireplace for your home. Browse our selection online, or for more information please contact us today.