Posted on July 01, 2014
There are two main types of high efficiency gas fires, open fronted or glass fronted.
Open fronted high efficiency gas fires are a new idea which was developed by nu flame in 2011 by creating a new double skinned convector box that retains the heat better than a normal hotbox or convector box, and a restriction plate on the flue outlet these are up to nearly 75% efficiency and are now available in inset or hole in the wall open fronted high efficiency versions.
The other type of fire is glass fronted, these can be up to 94% efficient in some cases, this is achieved by restricting the air intake through the front of the fire by putting a glass panel in front, this in turn reduces the heat loss out through the flue at the rear
The advantages of a glass front are clear with reduced running costs, the disadvantages are that the glass fronted fires usually loose a little depth due to the glass being located where the front row of coals would be and the look of the fire can be changed.
As with glass fronted appliances depending on where you are sitting and where the light is shining from reflections on the glass can cause it to be difficult to see the flame effect or even see into the fire
There is also more maintenance involved with glass fronted fires, as the glass will have to be removed regularly to remove markings and to avoid permanently staining
Some people decide that the saving made on running costs is worth the slight disadvantages that come with a glass fronted fires but personally I believe the open fronted fires look much better and it is worth loosing the 10% difference in the efficiency to gain the look and realism of an open fronted fire as the idea of a gas fire is to mimic the look of a real coal fire, but on the other hand the continuous increase in gas prices and the cost to the environment, the choice is yours to make.
With the new technology of efficiency plus, fires 75% Efficiency (open fronted) most people seem to be choosing these over glass fronted,
The initial purchase cost of glass fronted fires are generally more expensive than open fronted fires so that is something else to bear in mind prior to purchasing your new fire.