Best High-Efficiency Gas Fires

calendarNovember 18, 2021

This article will guide you through the features to consider when buying a high-efficiency gas fire and our top picks of high-efficiency gas fires on the market.

Replacing your current fire with a more modern, high-efficiency model is a superb idea. You can enjoy up to 55% savings on your yearly gas bills. While, of course, you will consider the initial cost of buying that new gas fire, you will enjoy having this fabulous unit that allows you regularly heat one room instead of the entire property, thereby racking up your energy bills.

Older gas fires are just wasteful. If your fireplace is over five years old, they only reach 25% of their potential efficiency. A newer model will save you money and also give you 45% more heat. These highly efficient gas fires reduce the amount of heat lost to the chimney, meaning more heat for your home on less fuel. High-efficiency gas fires can significantly help you save more money and time by heating your home more effectively. Some newer models also work without a chimney or flue and will heat your home effectively.

But then, some contemporary high-efficiency gas fires are better than others. So, how do you choose a suitable unit for your home?

In this article, you will learn about:

  • Factors to consider when buying a gas fire
  • The most efficient types of gas fires
  • 7 Best High-Efficiency gas fires & models

What to consider when buying a gas fire?

1.   Type of flue or chimney that you have

Do you have a prefabricated flue, pre-cast flue or traditional chimney? You might want to check that the gas fire you purchase is compatible, and there are four options to choose from: 

  • Open gas flues, also known as conventional flues, will use your existing chimney as long as it has been sufficiently lined. The flue is required on the room’s airflow, where the appliance is placed to power combustion products up the chimney and the outside air.
  • In contrast, fanned flues draw air from outside to power the gas unit and then combustion products will be powered safely back out. However, this unit requires that your room have appropriate ventilation so the unit can draw air from outside sufficiently.
  • You can also choose a flueless gas stove or fire if you don’t have a flue or chimney.
  • Finally, it’s also possible to create a balanced flue that has its own flue vented through an external wall. But this model would mean that your stove or fire be placed against an external-facing wall, and you need a hole in it for the flue. It’s best to use this model in rooms requiring a large amount of heat as they are designed to prevent air from escaping to and from the room where you have the appliance. Therefore, these flues ensure that fire is not impacted by wind or draught, which would otherwise affect air inlet and flue outlet equally, cancelling them out.

If you don’t already know the type of chimney you have or whether you need a flueless model, then consider consulting a professional retailer or installer.

2.   Outset or inset

Outset models may be wall-mounted or sit on the hearth, but they will protrude from the fireplace or wall. In contrast, inset models sit inside the fireplace, providing more space. A hole in the wall gas fire may even go a step further by sitting within the chimney breast and would not require a traditional fireplace at all.

3.   What heat output do you need?

You need just the suitable gas that can heat the room it’s installed in. When the output is too low, your stove or fire won’t keep the room warm enough. When too powerful, there’s a risk of wasting money, and you always have to run at a low temperature. We recommend that you need 1Kw of heat for every 14 cubic metres of space to make your room 21oC when it’s 1oC outside. So, as a rough guide, you can multiply your room’s width, length, and height in metres and then divide by 14.

Don’t forget that this is only a rough figure; your professional installer or retailer can provide more tailored advice.

4.   Glass-fronted or open fronted

Glass-fronted high efficient gas modes have a fixed glass panel in front of the flame. That way, the heat is more enclosed and concentrated, making them more efficient. However, they require more maintenance, and you might have to clean the glass more often than not. The light reflecting on the glass might also make it challenging to see the flame effect.

In contrast, open-fronted fires are cheaper upfront but are less efficient and have even higher running costs over time. Regardless they also over a more realistic experience.

5.   Other features to consider

Besides considering the factors outlined above, there are other features you might want to have in your gas fire or stove.

  • Easy access control panels or remote controls – Both features allow you to adjust the heat seamlessly without the constant need of bending down.
  • Different fuel beds – Some models will determine the ‘fuel bed’ you choose, such as coals, stones or logs, which will ‘appear to be burning’ when the fire is on
  • A CE Mark – to show that your gas fire meets European safety and efficiency standards
  • Oxygen depletion sensors – This feature switches off the gas automatically if oxygen levels drop to prevent producing dangerous carbon monoxide levels.

Which gas fires are the most efficient?

When talking about a fire’s efficiency, it’s more about the style that is high for you. Already, you know how the flue or chimney influences your choice. Let’s talk about the different high-efficiency gas fires to expect and their most important attributes.

●      Open front gas fires – up to 74% Efficiency.

Open front gas fires offer a more traditional aesthetic appeal. They give warmth through convected air as it’s pulled under the fire, heated using the heat exchanger and expelled from the canopy at the top. At the same time, it features the radiant heat that gets removed from the fuel bed too.

●      Outset living flame gas fires – up to 78%

These glass fires sit on the hearth instead of inside the chimney and will feature a glass front that provides radiant heat and will draw in cold air to heat and expel the air using convection. Some outset gas fires may also have side glass panels increasing the radiant heat. Usually, you can select from the log, pebble or coal bed effect, and many of these models come with remote control options.

●      Outset radiant gas fires – up to 84%

The outset, radiant gas fires use ceramic plates instead of pebbles or coal beds like living flame gas fires. Like other gas fires, they utilize a heat exchanger at the back of the fire to heat the air via convection. However, some people call this a little old-fashioned, although they are very effective at heating a room and staying warm even after they’ve been turned off.

●      Glass Fronted High-Efficiency Gas Fires – up to 89%

Glass Fronted gas fires are built into the wall or hearth mounted, and they are highly efficient in heating a room. Usually, the heat is mainly pushed through the glass panel using radiation, with less being lost up the chimney. Convection equally is at work here to make the fires more efficient.

●      Balanced Flue High-Efficiency Gas Fires – up to 94%

Balanced flue high-efficiency gas fires are excellent for those without chimneys in their home. This unit has its own flue system that goes out through an external wall while eliminating any harmful gas. The unit will draw in cold air from the room and outside, increasing the fire’s airflow. It equally has a fuel bed to provide radiant heat. Balanced flue gas fires come in various styles, including outset, inset and hole in the wall designs.

●      Flueless Gas Fires – up to 100%

Flueless Gas fires offer the ultimate inefficiency. They don’t use any external flue or chimney but have an in-built catalytic converter that removes harmful emissions. They also have a self-monitoring system that detects a drop in air quality and will help you detect when the system has a fault. Flueless gas fires also have a lower heat rating than other fires of 2.5kW, but they are equally as efficient because all heat goes into the room.

Our recommended list of high-efficiency gas fires

Don’t forget that this list is by no means exhaustive. Many other high-efficiency gas fires, especially those from top brands such as Verine, Flavel, Gazco and Eko. Different units have different features. Some come with remote control alongside great features that can help you remain safe while enjoying your unit. While we cannot feature all notable high-efficiency gas fires, here are our top seven selections. You can equally use these selections as starting points to consider other models provided by the brands on our list.

1.   Verine Orbis HE High-Efficiency Gas Fire

Key Features

  • Up to 89% Efficiency
  • Glass-fronted inset fire
  • Ideal for Class 1, 2, prefabricated
  • Depth of 230mm fully inset
  • 4kW heat output
  • It can purchase a unit with hand-held remote control or convenient slide control.
  • Five years warranty

Verine offers some of the most top-quality high efficient gas fires. The Verine Orbis comes with an assortment of frets & trims in diverse finishes so you can create the fireplace that suits your home decor. It is suitable for Class 1 flue (real chimney), full depth fuel bed, and will use less gas while producing high heat output.

Besides this unit, you can also check out models by Verine such as Verine Midas Plus High-Efficiency Gas Fire, Verine Quasar Plus HE Gas fire, Verine Midas High-Efficiency Gas Fire, and Verine Alpena Balanced Flue Gas Fire. Many of these units offer similar features alongside higher energy efficiency ratings. For instance, the Verine Alpena comes with a fully sequential remote control, full depth gas fire and can deliver a net efficiency of 94%.

2.   Legend Evora HE High-Efficiency Gas Fire

Key Features

  • Can purchase this gas fire with remote control, manual control or slide control
  • Designed predominantly for class 1 flues but can work with Class 2 prefabricated flues
  • Maximum 4.6kW heat output
  • Up to 83% efficiency rating

Legend Fires is a UK company with a diverse range of gas fires designed with cutting edge technology. The Levora Evora HE is a premium high-efficiency gas proven popular because of its 83% efficiency rating. The Evora is a glass-fronted gas fire available with different trims and frets, choosing between a pebble fuel or modular coal bed set behind a glass panel. You can also combine your unit with a four-sided fascia making it possible to fit your Evora gas fire on a wall. It’s also possible to purchase a balanced flue model of this fire for homes without flue or chimney.

3.   Ekofires 5510 Ultra-Efficient Flueless Gas

Key features

  • 3kw heat output
  • Requires 100cm2 air vent
  • Three years warranty
  • Coal fuel bed with manual control

Although Ekofires ultra-efficient flueless gas delivers a lower heat output, it guarantees 100% efficiency like other flueless gas. This glass-fronted gas fire is suitable for homes without chimneys. It comes from the functionality of modern catalytic technology to an ultra-reliable ribbon burner to deliver clean air around your home. If you choose a unit that works with a chimney, then the EkoFires 4015 High-Efficiency Gas Fire is an excellent choice. This offers 90% efficiency and has a maximum output of 4.0kW. It does not require an air vent and comes with its own Oxygen Depletion sensor/flame failure device.

4.   Flavel Windsor Contemporary Plus HE Gas Fire

Key Features

  • 0kW heat output
  • Manual controls with realistic pebble fuel or coal effect
  • It comes with an AirWatch system and flame supervision device
  • Up to 70% Energy Efficiency
  • Seven-year guarantee

The Flavel Windsor Contemporary Plus HE Gas fire is suitable for almost any flue or chimney, including a pre-cast. It is a manually controlled open-fronted unit available in various choices, including chrome fascia with coals or chrome or satin fascia with pebbles. Suppose you would love a Flavel unit with higher energy efficiency. In that case, the Flavel Windsor HE Gas Fire is an excellent choice. It comes with similar features, alongside a large viewing window and an energy efficiency of 81.3%. However, it offers a maximum heat of 2.9kW.

5.   Flavel Linear High-Efficiency Gas Fire

Key Features

  • Energy efficiency rating of 70%
  • 2kW heat output with manual control
  • Seven years warranty

The Flavel Linear HE Gas Fire is also an excellent high-efficiency open-fronted gas fire. It is manually controlled but offers up to 4.4kW heat output and an efficiency rating of 70%. It is designed for Class 1 and Class 2 chimney systems. This unit does not require an air vent but comes with an oxygen depletion sensor and flame failure device for your safety.

6.   Grosvenor Grove High-Efficiency Gas Fire

Key Features

  • Multi-flue design with a min-fireplace depth of 125mm (+20 mm debris collection)
  • Three-year guarantee
  • 1kW Direct Output
  • Glass-fronted high efficiency

The Grosvenor Grove HE Gas fire is designed to fit diverse flue installations. It works with most prefabricated flue systems, pre-cast flues, and conventional class brick built chimneys. This unit reinvents the traditional flued inset coal-effect gas fire with a discrete glass front that helps increase efficiency by reducing the number of heat inputs. It also comes with a patented safety diverter system that ensures safety in the event of a flue draft reversal.

7.   Gazco Riva 2600 High-Efficiency Gas Fire

Key Features

  • 3kW of heat output
  • It comes with non-reflective glass
  • It comes with logs fuel bed type
  • It offers up to 80% Efficiency
  • It has a programmable thermostatic remote control
  • Designed for conventional flue installation and available in diverse finishes for different home interiors.

Gazco offers some of the most astounding high-efficiency gas fires with superb warranties. The Gazco Riva is especially ideal for wider fireplace landscape designs, and you will love the magnificent realistic display. It comes with non-reflective gas, practical hand detailed logs and natural rolling flames. Gazco Riva 2600 is also ideal for most standard rooms with different model variants for other home styles. For instance, the Gazco Riva2 600HL edge can be installed without a frame to give the hole-in-the-wall design. In contrast, the Riva 2600 Icon Xs comes with clean geometric lines and highly reflective black glass that makes a bold statement.

Concluding Thoughts

High-Efficiency gas fires are excellent for all homes. However, older models were wasteful, which is why you should consider buying a gas fire. Fortunately, there are newer models designed to offer cleaner air without using so much energy. They are also brilliant alternatives to wood burners, giving you that realistic fire without driving up your energy bills. While most models require flue or chimneys, you can always install one without a flue. Hence, with this guide, you will make the best choice for your home and build the most eco-friendly gas fireplace possible with more value for your money

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