What's the Most Efficient Way to Heat Your Home?
Energy efficiency is more of a priority for homeowners than ever before. With fuel costs set to rise, and stricter environmental legislation on the way, now is the time to look at the most efficient ways to heat your home. Keep reading and we’ll take you through all of the most efficient ways to keep your home warm this autumn and winter.
What is heating efficiency?
What do we actually mean when we talk about the most efficient ways to heat your home?
When we talk about heating efficiency, we are referring to energy efficiency - the amount of fuel (be it a solid fuel like wood or electricity) that is turned into usable heat for your home.
The way a heating appliance operates will affect how energy efficient it is. For example, an electric fire or heater is 100% efficient. This is because it uses 100% of the energy it receives to create heat.
Something like a wood burning stove will, at best, be about 87% efficient. This is because some of the energy from the wood is used up during the process of combustion.
However, you shouldn’t just look at energy efficiency ratings.
Yes, an electric fire may be 100% efficient, but there are multiple other factors you should take into account.
The cost of fuel and electricity
Energy efficiency is certainly important (after all, you don’t want your heating appliance to be wasting excessive amounts of fuel/energy), but you should also factor in the cost of the fuel/electricity itself.
Unfortunately, different energy sources/fuel types are measured in different units. Electricity and gas are typically measured in kWh, whereas fuels such as wood are measured in Kg and heating oil in litres.
This makes it difficult to directly compare the costs of each energy source.
Nevertheless, the good folks over at Nottingham Energy Partnership have created a really useful energy cost comparison table that you can access here.
At the risk of oversimplifying things, mains gas tends to be the cheapest source of energy. This is followed by electricity, seasoned wood and air source and ground source heat pumps (this may change depending on when you are reading it).
So, finding the most efficient way to heat your home comes down to finding a balance between the cost of the fuel source, and the efficiency of your heating appliance.
Appliance energy labels
Another thing to consider when choosing the most efficient way to heat your home, is the heating appliance’s energy rating.
It is now compulsory for a gas fire to have an energy label. This sets out a fire’s efficiency rating on a lettered scale from G to A. The closer to A that a gas fire scores, the more energy efficient it is.
How are energy labels calculated?
It is up to the manufacturer of a gas fire to calculate its efficiency. The Government has set out strict rules as to how the energy label is calculated, and the Office for Product Safety and Standards is tasked with checking that manufacturers adhere to these regulations.
Here at Direct Fireplaces, we include each fire’s energy label rating within the ‘Specifications’ section of the product’s description (as illustrated below):
Note that the energy label can be somewhat difficult to interpret without context. For example, the fireplace in the image above has an impressive efficiency of 83%, yet has been given an energy label with a rating of ‘D’.
This is because the energy label scheme wants manufacturers to produce heating appliances that are as close to 100% efficiency as possible. However, as we’ve seen, it’s difficult to achieve this with certain types of fireplace technology such as gas.
Note - to provide context, we tend to include both the energy label rating and the fireplace’s efficiency so that you get a clearer picture of the overall performance of the fire.
Fireplace Running Cost Calculator
To help you find that balance between fuel cost and efficiency, and choose between an electric or gas fireplace, we have created a Fireplace Running Cost Calculator.
Try it now - Fireplace Running Cost Calculator.
This calculator works in the following way:
- It takes the heat input of your fireplace (which is usually found on the product description of your chosen fireplace).
- Your estimated usage time in house (i.e. the length of time you’ll typically be running your fireplace for).
- The cost of your energy in pence per kilowatt (whether you use gas or electric, you should be able to find this on your latest electricity bill).
With these inputs, our calculator then uses the following formula to calculate the average running cost of your chosen fireplace:
Energy input in kW x the amount of time it is being used = kWh.
kWh x the cost of your energy per kilowatt / 100 = The average cost of running your fireplace in £0.00 format.
With this final figure, you’ll be able to easily compare how much each type of fireplace will cost to run on average.
Note - you will also need to factor in your daily standing charge as well as any fluctuations in your tariff which may be built into your agreement with your energy provider.
Upgrade your fireplace
Heating technology has progressed significantly in recent years, and you might be surprised how efficient modern fires are compared to the one you currently have in your home.
Luckily, you have plenty of options. Here at Direct Fireplaces we stock a wide range of electric fireplaces (remember, these are 100% efficient), as well as a number of high-efficiency gas fires (low cost energy source).
Below you’ll find our selections of the most efficient electric and gas fires on the market.
The best high-efficiency gas fireplaces
Below we’ve listed some of our most popular, high-efficiency gas fires. These are all models which will provide plenty of heat, with a minimal overall running cost.
There are in fact a number of different types of gas fireplace technology; each of which has its pros and cons. To find out more about these different types of gas fireplace technology, read our complete guide.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the best high-efficiency gas fireplaces.
Elgin & Hall Deepline HE Inset Gas Fire with Cast Stove Fascia
Just because a gas fire is highly efficient, doesn’t mean it has to sacrifice looks and style. The Elgin & Hall Deepline HE fire is a fantastic example of this.
It combines the aesthetics of a traditional stove with an efficiency of 87% and energy label of ‘C’. This all adds up to create the perfect fireplace for the style-conscious, green-aware homeowner. This fire will keep you toasty warm, whilst also keeping those fuel bills to a minimum.
Pureglow Chelsea Tall High Efficiency Gas Fire
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-range, no-compromise gas fire, then this is it. The Pureglow Chelsea can be built into an existing fireplace to create a bold and striking centrepiece in your living room.
The Pureglow Chelsea’s appeal doesn’t end there. It also has an impressive 4.8kW heat output at 83% efficiency. So, this’ll be one of the best ways of efficiently heating your home this winter.
It also comes complete with a remote control, so you control the fire from the comfort of your sofa.
Verine Midas High Efficiency Gas Fire
The Verine Midas is an elegant, glass-fronted high efficiency gas fire, which provides a warming 3.2kW heat output at 81.3% efficiency.
Thanks to its slimline design, the Midas can be fitted into nearly any chimney or flue, from class 1 chimneys to slimmer pre-cast flues.
The Midas is also available with a variety of trim options and trim colours. So, if you’re looking to achieve a particular look in your home, then the Verine Midas is a flexible choice.
Kinder Nevada Plus Gas Fire
Not everyone wants a glass front on their gas fire. If that’s you, then an open-fronted gas fire such as the Kinder Nevada Plus may be the best option for your home.
The Kinder Nevada has an output of 4.0kW which is more than enough to keep even large living rooms comfortably warm during the winter months. Whilst it only has an efficiency of 66.8%, this is the trade you make with an open front fire. On the other hand though, you do get to enjoy a more traditional open fire experience.
Aside from it’s fantastic function, the Nevada also has an elegant form, being traditionally styled and available in three different finish options; black, brass and silver.
The best electric fireplaces
If your home isn’t connected to the mains gas network (around 15% of homes in mainland UK aren’t), then another highly efficient way of heating your home is with an electric fireplace.
Electric fireplaces do not give off as much heat as gas fireplaces. An electric fireplace will generally have at most a 2kW heat output.
Nevertheless, electric fireplaces offer a highly-efficient way of heating your home. Remember, the best electric fireplaces can be 100% efficient. Plus, with new, smartphone-controlled fireplaces, it’s easier than ever to set a timer for your fire and save even more money.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the most popular electric fireplaces on the market right now.
Flamerite Luma 1200 Wall Mounted Electric Fire
The Flamerite Luma 1200 is a stylish, wall-mounted fire that’ll transform the look and feel of your room.
With a simple flat wall fix, a choice of colours (cream, white or grey) plus a panoramic three-sided burn area as well as a white pebble and glass bead fuel effect, this is a truly beautiful fireplace.
In terms of its heat output, the Flamerite Luma 1200 uses a thermostatically controlled fan heater which can achieve an output of between 0.7kW and 1.5kW. The fan heater blows directly out from above the flame effect, so will quickly warm up anyone sitting in front of it.
This fireplace can be controlled via a smartphone app, whereby you can set an adaptive seven-day timer as well as changing the fire’s LED flame effects.
Dimplex Detroit Freestanding Electric Fire
Do you live in a newly built home, or a home without a functioning chimney? Then a freestanding electric fire could be the answer to your home heating.
The Dimplex Detroit is just such a fireplace. Because it is freestanding, installation is as easy as lining it up flat against a wall and plugging it in!
It’s a small, yet stylish electric fire and comes complete with both real coals and white pebbles to help you achieve the look you want.
It also provides convected heat up to 2kW, so will be able to provide sufficient warmth for a room up to about 400 square feet in size.
Elgin & Hall Pryzm Arteon 1250 3SL Electric Inset Wall Fire
Media walls have quickly become one of the most popular interior design trends. They combine a stunning fireplace along with a large flat screen TV.
Provided you use a sufficiently impressive fireplace, your media wall can become the central feature of your home (and add value!). The Elgin & Hall Pryzm Arteon 1250 is exactly the sort of fireplace that’ll make your media wall stand out.
Designed to allow for one, two or three sided installation, the Arteon 1250 is available in three different sizes; 1000mm, 1250mm and 1500mm. Thanks to its panoramic design, you are able to really take in and admire the 5D flame effect, glowing ember effect and hand-painted log display.
The Arteon 1250 isn’t just about looks though. It’ll also help keep your home nice and warm thanks to its 1.5kW heat output, seven day programmable thermostat and remote control function.
Eclipse Brass Inset Electric Fire
If you prefer a more traditional-looking electric fire, then consider the Eclipse Brass Inset Electric Fire.
This is a simple, great-value electric fire that uses an atmospheric LED flame effect to give your living room a cosy, warm feel.
As well as being able to be fitted in a recess, the Eclipse also comes with a built in spacer which allows it to be fitted flat against a wall. The Eclipse also has a convection heater which will provide up to 2kW of heat.
Keep your home warm this winter with Direct Fireplaces
When the nights start drawing in and temperature drops, there’s nothing better than coming home to a warm fireplace. And, if that fireplace can be cheap to run, even better!
So, if you’re looking for an efficient way of keeping your home warm this winter, explore our range of high-efficiency fireplaces today.
Shop efficient fireplaces at Direct Fireplaces now
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