What Types of Flueless Fires Are There?
Do you live in a home that doesn’t have a chimney or space for a flue system, but still want a gas fire? Then, luckily, you can. Keep reading and we’ll tell you about the different types of flueless fire that are available for your home…
What is a flueless fire?
Flueless fires are gas heating appliances which - as their name suggests - don’t have a flue.
If you’re not sure what a flue is, it’s effectively a small pipe which is used to expel waste exhaust gases from a gas fire or other similar appliance.
As they don’t have a flue, flueless fires therefore don’t need to be connected to a flue system or chimney.
This makes them ideal for homes that either don’t have a chimney, or where the installation of a flue system or balanced flue isn’t feasible or practical.
How do flueless fires work?
Flueless fires may not have flues, but they still burn gas and produce exhaust gases.
So, how do they work exactly?
Flueless fires generally (but not always) produce two types of heat; radiant heat and convected heat.
These two heat types are generated in the following ways:
A flueless gas fire generates radiant heat by ‘pulling in’ cool air from the room in which the fire is located.
Once this air has been pulled into the fire, it is funnelled into the fire’s combustion chamber (the part where the gas flame burns). The cool air is used to feed the gas flame, generating heat. This heat is then radiated out into the room from the front of the fire.
As you would expect, feeding cool air into a gas flame doesn’t just generate heat, but also exhaust gases (which are created when the natural gas combusts).
These exhaust gases are fed into a catalytic converter, where the exhaust gases are ‘scrubbed’. This scrubbing process sees carbon monoxide transformed into carbon dioxide. This resulting carbon dioxide is only present in very small trace amounts that are harmless to health.
Once the exhaust gases have been through the catalytic conversion process, they are then released back into the room in which the fire is situated.
Many models of flueless fire also generate convected heat. They do this by pulling fresh air into the fire via a vent (the same vent that is used to supply the combustion chamber of the fire).
To create convected heat, this cool air is passed through a heat exchanger. As the cool air passes through the heat exchanger and heats up, it will rise up and out of the top of the fire. Thus, you end up with convected heat circulating back into your living room.
In these two ways, flueless fires are able to generate heat for your living room.
Note - you’ll find that some flueless fires only produce radiant heat and don’t feature a heat exchanger for producing convected heat. If in doubt, check the product description or contact us at: [email protected].
Are flueless fires safe?
The idea of exhaust gases circulating back into their living space can sound alarming to some people.
The reality is, however, that flueless fires are impeccably safe appliances.
Firstly, flueless fires are designed to burn extremely cleanly, thus they give off minimal exhaust gases in the first place.
Secondly, the catalytic converters fitted to flueless fires are extremely reliable.
Take for example Burley, which is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of flueless gas fires. They state that, “Burley has never had to replace a failed catalytic converter. It has also had catalytic converters on test for the equivalent of 30 years of use and subjected them to abuse and damage”.
Burley also states that they test their flueless fires without a catalytic converter in order to confirm that their fires will operate safely even without a converter in place.
For additional reassurance, flueless gas fires are typically fitted with oxygen depletion sensors. These sensors monitor the air quality of the room and will automatically shut the fire off if a drop in air quality is detected.
All in all, you should consider flueless fires to be as safe as any other gas appliance that you’ll find in your home.
Flueless gas fire installation requirements
Whilst you don’t need a chimney or flue system to install a flueless fire, there are a few installation requirements to bear in mind.
Firstly, when you choose a flueless fire, you’ll generally find that it can only be installed in a certain sized room. Put another way, you mustn't install a flueless fire in a room that is smaller than is recommended by the manufacturer.
Here at Direct Fireplaces, we provide this information within the product descriptions of our flueless fires:
The second installation requirement for flueless fires is that the room in which they are installed must have an air vent fitted on an exterior wall.
The air vent must provide 100 cm² of ventilation. It’s the job of this air vent to provide a minimum amount of ‘fresh air volume’. This is to replace the air that is being used by the flueless fire.
Note - it’s important that your flueless gas fire is installed by a Gas Safe Registered professional. For more information, read our guide to fireplace installer qualifications.
What are the benefits of flueless fires?
Flueless fires have a number of benefits beyond the obvious one; the fact they can be installed in homes without a chimney or flue system.
The additional benefits of flueless fires are detailed below.
Because of the way flueless fires function, they are incredibly efficient. In fact, in many cases, flueless gas fires can be 100% efficient.
As a result, flueless fires can be an excellent choice if you’re looking to minimise your energy bills.
Low running costs
Although the price of natural gas has risen in recent years, it still remains one of the more affordable fuel options (particularly when compared to electricity prices).
Ease of installation
Flueless fires have the obvious benefit of not requiring a chimney or flue system. However, this subsequently results in another benefit - they’re often far easier and quicker to install than other types of gas fire.
Plus, because flueless fires don’t require a chimney or flue system, they will regularly have lower installation costs compared to other types of fire.
Flexible installation options
In addition to being easy to install, flueless fires can offer you many more installation options than other types of gas fire.
For example, unlike balanced flue gas fires, flueless fires don’t have to be located on an external wall. It’s possible to install flueless fires on internal walls. So, as long as you choose a location that allows you to connect the fire to your home’s gas supply, flueless fires offer far more installation options.
What’s more, it’s also possible to buy flueless gas fires which run off LPG. These types of flueless fires are ideal for homes that aren’t connected to the mains gas network.
Broader range of styles
As flueless fires aren’t constrained by the need to connect to a chimney or flue system, they are available in a broader array of styles than other types of fires.
This makes flueless fires a great choice for people who want an unusual fire in their home.
The different types of flueless fire
There are three distinct types of flueless fire that you’ll find on sale here in the UK; inset flueless fires, wall-mounted flueless fires, and hole-in-the-wall flueless fires.
Below, you’ll find more information on each type, as well as some examples that are available to buy from Direct Fireplaces.
Inset flueless fires
We’ll kick things off with inset flueless fires. As the name suggests, an inset flueless fire sits within an inset - be that a cavity within a wall, or an existing fireplace.
As such, inset flueless fires closely resemble traditional fires. This makes them a great choice if you really want to create a traditional fireplace with a hearth and surround in your home, but don’t have a chimney or flue system.
Inset flueless fires vary in price, with models here at Direct Fireplaces being in the £630 to £800 price range (correct at the time of writing (February 2023), and subject to change).
The majority of inset flueless gas fires have a heat output of between 2.0kW and 2.9kW, however we do stock models with higher outputs, e.g. 4.0kW.
Below, you’ll find some of our most popular examples of inset flueless fires.
EkoFires 5510 Flueless Gas Fire
Over the last decade, EkoFires has developed a reputation for manufacturing highly-efficient, eco-friendly gas fires, and the 5510 is a perfect example of this.
Being 100% efficient and with a heat output of 2.3kW, the 5510 is a fire that’ll help heat up your living room without breaking the bank.
Aside from being highly practical, the 5510 is also highly attractive being available with a range of fascias in brass, steel or black, whilst the coal fuel bed adds another touch of realism.
Given the heat output of the 5510, it should only be installed in rooms that are of 27 m³ or bigger, along with a 100 cm² air vent installed in an external wall.
Burley Environ 4244 Flueless Gas Fire
The Environ 4244 from Burley is a timeless-looking fire that’s ideal for contemporary and traditional homes alike.
With its black finish, the Environ 4244 has a subtle and understated appearance that’ll complement a wide range of home decors.
It’s not all looks without substance, though. The Environ 4244 has a heat output of 2.5kW at 100% efficiency and provides radiant heat.
Control of the 4244 is made easier thanks to its remote control (however, it also features manual controls). For added versatility, this fire is available in an LPG version.
The 4244 requires a minimum room size of 30 m³ and also requires an air vent fitted within an exterior wall.
Wall-mounted flueless fires
Wall-mounted flueless fires are a highly-versatile choice, which have found favour among many homeowners as they not only look modern, but are easy to install.
Installation of wall-mounted flueless fires can be as simple as adding a mounting plate to a wall and then affixing the fire to the mounting plate (followed by connection to the gas supply).
Wall-mounted flueless fires vary in price, with the models here at Direct Fireplaces ranging from £520 to £1,650 (correct at the time of writing (February 2023), and subject to change).
EkoFires 5060 Black Glass Wall Mounted Flueless Gas Fire
With a compact shape and dimensions married to a sleek, glass visage, the EkoFires 5060 is the perfect way of creating an attractive focal point in your home.
The 5060 produces both radiant and convected heat up to 2kW - enough to ‘top up’ your home’s central heating. It does this at 100% efficiency.
For added versatility, the EkoFires 5060 is available in either a standard natural gas version or an LPG version.
This fire requires a minimum room size of 23 m² and an air vent of 100 cm².
EkoFires 5090 Wall Mounted Flueless Gas Fire with Stone Fascia
Providing an enchanting widescreen view, the EkoFires 5090 stands out from other fires thanks to its stunning real stone fascia.
The stone fascia - which is available as either granite or limestone - adds an elegant organic touch to the fire, perfectly complementing the glass front which provides an exceptional view of the flames.
The heat output of the EkoFires 5090 is 2.6kW, at an efficiency of 100%, with both radiant and convected heat emitted from the fire.
This fire requires a minimum room size of 30 m³ and the installation of an air vent on an external wall, providing 100 cm² of ventilation.
Hole-in-the-wall flueless fires
Hole-in-the-wall fires are so on trend right now - so if you don’t have a chimney or flue system - you’ll be glad to know you can be part of this trend with a hole-in-the-wall flueless fire.
Hole-in-the-wall flueless fires are available in a broad range of styles, sizes and dimensions, and can be installed in either hearth based traditional configurations, or higher up the wall to create an embedded fire.
Here at Direct Fireplaces, our hole-in-the-wall flueless fires sit at the £1,000+ price point, but for that money you’ll get a flueless fire that’s on the more powerful end of the spectrum (4kW+).
Below you’ll find two of our most popular hole-in-the-wall flueless fires.
Burley Acumen Flueless Hole-In-the-Wall Gas Fire
Available with either a black or chrome trim, the Acumen from Burley is a modern looking hole-in-the-wall flueless fire that’ll create a riveting focal point in any room.
The Acumen’s looks are further enhanced by a large viewing window and a realistic looking log fuel bed.
Putting out 4.2kW of heat, the Acumen generates far more heat than the majority of flueless fires currently on the market. Plus, it generates that heat with 100% efficiency. Win, win!
In terms of installation, the Burley Acumen requires a minimum room size of 50 m³, as well as an air vent installed in an exterior wall.
For added flexibility, the Acumen is available either as a traditional natural gas fire or LPG fire.
Burley Astute 4113 Hole-In-the-Wall Flueless Gas Fire
Featuring a large aperture, a beautiful glass front and a sleek and stylish black finish, the Burley Astute 4113 is the perfect flueless fire for contemporary homes.
The Astute 4113 is also one of the most powerful flueless gas fires on the market, with a heat output of 4kW. Naturally, this heat output is achieved with a 100% efficiency rate, making this fire a very affordable way of heating your living room.
It also provides both radiant and convected heat for maximum warmth and all round cosiness.
Should your home not be connected to the mains gas network, then it’s possible to buy the Burley Astute 4113 in an LPG version.
Flueless gas stoves
Did you know that it’s also possible to buy flueless gas stoves? Well, now you do!
Flueless gas stoves outwardly resemble traditional log burners, but instead are fuelled by natural gas. Like the flueless gas fires detailed above, flueless gas stoves can be used without a chimney or flue system.
You can shop flueless gas stoves on our sister website Direct Stoves
Buy the best, buy from Direct Fireplaces
If you want to buy the very best flueless fire for your home, then buy it from Direct Fireplaces.
It’s our mission to make buying fires online super simple. It’s for that reason that we offer one of the UK’s largest ranges of fires online, provide FREE mainland UK delivery, 14-day no hassle returns, and a range of finance options (including 0% interest over 12 months).
Shop flueless fires at Direct Fireplaces now
For more fire buying guides, advice and information, explore the Direct Fireplaces blog…