Above all, please be safe and read operating instructions carefully before operation.
Let's explain the options here:
WOOD / PALLET FIRES create great heat that no other fire can compare with, which in an old cold home or large area this is a great advantage. The biggest disadvantage with a wood fire is the logistics of firewood, stacking it when the truck dumps a load in the drive, or having to go and get another basket load from the shed on that cold wet day. Then theres the mess to clean up afterwards. The requirement for a chimney to consider. Also most wood fires don’t offer much of a viewing window to actually see much of the flame. But if heat is your primary objective, then a wood fire or pallet fire must be considered.
GAS FIRES do create a more visual flame, but gas (Natural gas or LPG) is a fossil fuel, so when burnt it does give off carbon monoxide, which is incredibly poisonous to the human. This means a flue and external venting is required, which can be limiting on fire placement and costly if a multi levelled area or in the middle of the lounge for example. The design of a modern gas fire has come a long way, and they are now seen to dominate much of the New Zealand market because once installed you can just push a button to have it operate. The biggest disadvantage we see with Gas, is that there is often a large difference between the cost of the fire and the cost of the install. Also the amount of heat the fire is rated to put out vs the amount of heat the fire actually puts into the room, or the fires efficiency can often be kept quiet. When you consider an open gas fire, the efficiency can be as low as 15%, meaning only 15% of the heat generated is coming into the room, and the other 85% is lost out of the flue. Something to look at more closely if you are shopping around anyway. The gas fire salesman will not tell you the downsides.
BIOFUEL FIRES are relatively new to the New Zealand market, so not often considered mostly due to lack of information or knowledge from architects and designers, but we are working on that! A BioFuel fire is an open and very visual flame, so creates great ambience while also being 100% heat efficient. Also with NO flue or external venting required, the install of this option can be minimal or even no install required at all. In all honesty, if you are shopping around at fire options, and your house is modern with features such as double glazed windows or well insulated, then I do think it is hard to look past. The biggest disadvantage with the Bio Ethanol fires is that most do need to be manually filled at the beginning of operation, which is not difficult, but for some it can be a hassle which we understand, but allow us to demonstrate how simple this is when you visit.
Have a look at our product range or our supplier's websites to discover the perfect fire for your home or outdoor area.