Are you looking at upgrading the heating system in your home? Considering your options? Perhaps you’re wondering if changing to a gas fire will save you money. While the installation costs may be a little bit higher than the other heating solutions, the running costs will definitely save you money in the long run.
Gas fires are a popular heating option in New Zealand, they offer the visual appeal of a real fire combined with high efficiency, a large amount of heat and modern convenience. Not only do gas fires look great, they provide glowing warmth and the ambience of a real fires at the push of a button. Fireplace technology has advanced significantly in the last 20 years, gas fireplaces today look a lot better and function a lot more efficiently today. With the advance in technology comes with many more design options to suit each home.
There are several ways in which a gas fire can save you money
1. Type of fireplace:
There are three basic types of installation types; freestanding, inserts and inbuilt.
- Freestanding fireplaces work well when you have limited space and are easy to install, saving you on installation costs. The flue is exposed and the gas fitter installs it through the roof.
- Insert fireplaces slide the new gas fire into the existing fireplace you’d like to replace. This is great for homes that already have an existing fireplace, this will help you keep installation costs down.
- Inbuilt gas fireplaces are the most ambitious type, as you build the surround around the fire. These are sleek and contemporary, but may cost more to install.
2. Heat output:
Bigger fireplaces produce more heat, so it’s important to match the size of your fireplace to the size of your room. If your room is too big for the size of the fireplace, the gas fire won’t produce enough heat for the room. If the room is too small for the fireplace, the gas fire will produce too much heat for your room. The right size gas fire ensures you don’t spend too much to heat up your home. As a guide, you need 10kW of heat per 10 square metres, while this equation is simple you also need to factor in the insulation of your home and glazing of your windows. Layout can also save you money, if your dining room is next to your living room, you may consider a double-sided fireplace. Not only does this style look amazing, it splits the heat between two spaces.
3. Efficiency: The most common misconception about gas fires is that they are expensive to run. Natural gas is the cheapest form of energy, and installing an efficient gas fire to go with it can save you money in the long run.
Things to look for in more efficient gas fires:
- Star rating: lookout for a high star rating, the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit
- Glass-fronted fireplace: these are sealed units and are more efficient than an open-fronted unit. This means the warm air from the room can’t escape up the chimney
- Flue system/chimney: look for “direct vent systems” where the gas fires use a fan to bring air from outside into the firebox and expel the exhausts back out. These systems can make the gas fire 95% more efficient than an open-fronted gas fire
Work out your budget before you start the project. Having a budget for the unit, installation costs and finishes will help you manage the project a lot better.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all gas fires are designed and manufactured equally, there are a number of factors that influence how much gas is used to run the appliance. There are inefficient gas fires that cost a lot to run, and then there are advanced gas fireplaces that will surprise you with how little they cost to run.
Gas Fire Maintenance
Most notably, the best way to ensure your fireplace is running at the maximum efficiency is to service the fireplace regularly. Manufacturers’ guidelines suggest anywhere from once a year to once every two years. A service by a licensed gas fitter ensures your gas fire is still within the warranty and all the parts are still running at the recommended levels. It allows you to preemptively replace parts before they compromise the unit’s efficiency too much. This will definitely save you money in the long run.
Gas Fire in New Zealand
Geographical area is an important factor to consider when looking at the size of your unit. Due to the diverse nature of New Zealand’s geography, the country has been divided into 3 zones: warm, mild and cool. The zones determine the heating area of the individual units, meaning your unit size will depend on the size of your room and the location of your home.
Rinnai Gas Fire
Rinnai New Zealand design and manufacture the market-leading gas fires that are the most efficient and cost-effective, it’s hard to beat a Rinnai gas fire. Their range of gas fires ranges in efficiency from 77% to 86% when running on high. The natural gas running costs for running the appliances on low range from $0.32 to $0.67 per hour. If run on high, the running costs vary between $0.82 to $1.21 per hour.
Gas Fire Installation by Regency Plumbing
At Regency plumbing, we offer the full package to install your gas fire. We can build the surround, fit the fire, complete the electrical work and connect your TV. This will save you time and money, as you won’t need to engage with multiple trades to install your fireplace. We will also give you a quote for the entire project with no hidden costs. We are the recommended installers of most brands, including Rinnai, Real Fires, Heat N GLO and Regency.