What is meant by a 'balanced flue' gas fire?
Gas fires with balanced flues mean that they can be installed in a home where there is no chimney and should not be confused with flueless gas fires. The balanced flue only works with glass-fronted gas fires which means that the flames and products of combustion are contained behind heat resistant glass, effectively making the appliance room-sealed so that carbon monoxide (CO) cannot escape and thus ensuring safer operation than an open fronted gas fire with a conventional flue.
Combustion air is supplied and combustion gases released generally via a short horizontal run of 'twin wall' flue pipe (aka concentric flue) from the back of the fire through the wall to the outside air and hence the use of the term 'balanced'. In some models this can be from the top part of the back of the appliance and is designed to dramatically increase the flame height and realism. There are strict regulations about where the balanced flue vent can be located to ensure safe distances from windows and doors to limit the danger from exhaust gases. Click here for downloads of regulations for England & Wales, Scotland, NI and ROI.
Generally speaking, the enclosed combustion system of balanced flue gas fires tends to make them more efficient since the incoming combustion air eventually becomes pre-heated after a few minutes and therefore very little energy is wasted. They are not affected to the same extent by atmospheric conditions and will also help eliminate draughts from colder air moving around the room. Gas fires with balanced flues can also often cost less to install than gas fires with conventional flues which will either need a new liner in an existing chimney or an entirely new chimney constructed from a prefabricated chimney system. Incidentally, it is not possible for a wood burning or multi fuel stove to have a balanced flue. To see some of The Stove Yard's balanced flue gas stoves, gas fires and fireplaces, including the contemporary designed Element4 collection, please click here.