Gas or electric fire – which to choose?
Gas fires always used to be the most popular choice among home owners as a source of heating in the main room of the house, now owners are faced with a choice, gas or electric?
This article reviews the two main choices of fireplaces in our homes, namely gas or electric fires. It assesses the merits of each and comes to a conclusion.
This question has been asked many times, which should I choose a gas or an electric fire? People have tended to simply go with what has been installed in their homes and stuck with it, now it seems times are changing. Gas is becoming less popular, expensive to run and harder to control. Let's have a look at the benefits of electric fires over gas:
- easier to control
- cheaper to run
- possible to have a flame effect only mode
- easier to install
Let's dissect a couple of these points. Firstly safety, Electric fires produce no carbon monoxide, they don't require a flu and are therefore much safer from potential carbon monoxide poisoning. Next, easier to install, most simple require a bracket to mount onto the wall or they sit on the hearth.
You can have an electric fire in flame only mode, this means no heat but a warming effect which costs very little to run. There are usually a couple (2 or 3) bulbs which are lit to maintain this flame only effect and these are usually halogen – steer clear of other types as they will cost more and won`t last as long.
Another major benefit of electric fires is that they can be place anywhere. Gas fires can only go where there is a supply of gas, and this was historically in the living room or lounge area. Now home owners are looking for heating options in other rooms as well. Dining rooms, conservatories even garages are being targeted and this is where electric fires come into their own, they can be placed anywhere where there is a plug socket nearby. Leads can be extended to as long as the owner wants and therefore any room is now suitable for this form of heating.
The advantages of gas must not be ignored to give a fair argument:
- nicer, real flames
- warmer overall
The two most noticeable advantages are that gas fires are quieter than electric as they don't have a fan effect to produce heat and the flames are obviously real and therefore a better effect.
Switching from gas to electric is what a great deal of people are now doing, this in itself has a cost as the current gas fire will need decommissioning and the supply to the fire capping off.
Considering the inherent advantages and disadvantages of the two types it would appear to be a battle between the ease of running/installing an electric fire and the more realistic/warmer characteristics of a gas fire. The choice of locations in which an electric fire can be placed gives it another advantage over the gas option, these can be placed anywhere near an electric plug socket. In a world where cost is king at the moment and everyone is trying to save as much as possible without sacrificing too much standard of living then the electric fire wins out but, it's like most things in life and down to personal preference but all things considered and looking at the fire Market it appears there is a trend towards electric fires, especially the wall mounted type.