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Who doesn’t love curling up next to a warm fire during the colder months? Fireplaces can add warmth, comfort, and style by creating a focal point in your living room or bedroom. Enjoying the warmth of a real fire no longer means you have to have a traditional chimney on your home. If you don’t have a chimney but still want a fireplace to sit around and cozy up next to, a balanced flue fireplace is what you’re looking for. Homeowners can choose from a range of contemporary gas fireplaces as a modern replacement for traditional fireplaces. It’s important to understand how balanced flue fireplaces work and what kind of advantages they have before installing one.

How do balanced flue fireplaces work?

Balanced flue gas fires, also called closed combustion gas fires, are contemporary gas fireplaces that are efficient and stylish. They are glass-fronted and are installed with a twin-walled pipe that vents directly to the outside. Fresh air is pulled from the outside of your home for combustion through the outer pipe, while the inner pipe is used to remove the waste gases and vents them outside.

If you’re worried about how the flue pipe will look from the exterior of your home, there’s more good news. You can install the twin-walled pipe to exit either horizontally or vertically through a wall or roof, depending on where you’re putting your fireplace. You don’t have to build an eyesore of a big flue pipe that wraps around the side of your property. It can be completely hidden from the interior and the exterior portion is essentially just a small vent known as an exit terminal. Vertical terminals that are installed through the roof are completely sealed and weatherproofed.

What’s the difference between a balanced flue and a conventional flue?

Conventional flues rely on the air from the outside pulling up air from the room through the chimney to take the combustion gasses and smoke away from the fireplace. Balanced flues supply air to the source of combustion (either a boiler or a stove) through the twin-walled pipe. The combustion source does not require pulling air from the room. The closed glass front on balanced flue fireplaces means the outside air doesn’t leak into the room and the heat from the fire doesn’t get lost up the fireplace, making balanced flue fireplaces much more efficient to use.

Because hot and cold gasses are running through the same pipe, the outside surface of balanced flues is cooler than conventional flues. This same exchange of hot and cold gasses means it isn’t necessary to run the flue pipe as high as conventional flues. Conventional flues need to rise high above the roof so the expelled air is at least 600mm above the roof. This isn’t required for balanced flues. Instead, you can run the pipe through any external wall and have it terminate horizontally, vertically, or vertically offset.

What are the benefits of balanced flue fireplaces?

One of the biggest benefits is that you can build a balanced flue fireplace almost anywhere in your home, and you have options for how to install it. You can make it look like a traditional fireplace and build a false chimney breast for both aesthetic and practical reasons; it adds a focal point to the room and also completely hides the twin-walled pipe.

If you’re looking for a more modern finish, you can opt to have your fireplace built as a hole in the wall or as a room divider. Since your balanced flue fireplace has no chimney size restrictions to worry about, they are available in a wide selection of sizes. We offer a number of different ranges, including:

Regardless of which style you choose to install, you can make your balanced flue fireplace look authentic with natural stone finishes, realistic log displays, and stones and pebbles. Your new balanced flue fireplace will look elegant and stylish no matter where it’s placed in your home.

Another main benefit of balanced flue fireplaces is the level of comfort and efficiency. Traditional fireplaces and open gas fireplaces are drafty and lose a lot of heat up the chimney, whereas balanced flue gas fires have the closed glass front. They keep much more heat in and keep drafts out, making your space warmer and more comfortable. Balanced flue fireplaces also have excellent efficiency ratings because of their closed combustion system and don’t deplete the oxygen levels in your home like an open gas fireplace would.

Open gas fireplaces disperse more energy into the atmosphere because of the combustion process; the air is pulled from inside the room as well as from the chimney. This can also pose a risk of carbon monoxide entering your home, but with a balanced flue, that risk is completely removed. Instead, balanced flue gas fires’ closed combustion system wastes a very small amount of energy to generate heat.

Can a conventional flue be converted in a balanced flue?

For those who are enticed by the efficiency and compactness of a balanced flue but have a conventional flue and chimney in their home, it is possible to convert your chimney. Before diving into this project, ensure your new balanced flue fireplace will be compatible, as not all products have been tested for conversions.

When converting to a balanced flue, the inner pipe needs to be connected to a chimney liner that runs the entire length of the chimney. This will then connect to a special cowl that safely vents waste gas to the outside. Clean air is vented through a separate vent lower down in the cowl which is drawn into the fireplace. This is what allows your conventional flue to be used as a balanced flue.

Interested in our Fireplaces?

As each project is individual we would recommend that you give us a call on 020 8892 1488 to fully discuss your specific set of requirements. Alternatively if you prefer to fill in your phone number below we would be happy to give you a call.

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Call us today on020 8892 1488 to discuss your requirements.


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Today’s modern balanced flue gas fireplaces can provide the best of both worlds: complementary style, ambiance, energy-saving features, and an effective source of home heat.

October 2019


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