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A guide to choosing the correct flue for your fireplace

A fireplace flue is a pipe, duct or chimney feature that transports gases from a fireplace to the outside of a property. A flue is also known in the industry as a chimney flue or flue pipe. However, flues are not only used for fireplaces. Water boilers, generators, and furnaces also use flues to enable gases to escape in a safe and healthy manner. It is important to stay onside of gas flue regulations. This involves selecting the right type and most effective flue for the task.

The two main types of flue for fireplaces are conventional and balanced flues. Below, we outline the two major types and also consider the flueless options available.

Conventional flues

Conventional flues are often known as chimney flues. They operate using the principle that heat rises. As the heat is emitted from the fireplace, it will rise up the chimney, before being dispelled outdoors. Two main types of conventional flues are available: brick and stone (Class 1) and prefabricated (Class 2). Some modern houses have a pre-cast flue, but these only function with certain types of fires.

Brick and stone chimneys, such as seen on traditional houses, is one option. But in cases where there is no chimney available, a pre-fabricated flue is often the best option and can be installed by an experienced contractor. Most models are metal chimney flues or shorter pots, without the associated chimney stack. The best and most suitable option depends on the space available and preference of the customer.

Balanced flues

Balanced flues do not operate using the principle of naturally circulated air (i.e. rising heat). Instead, where a balanced flue is in operation, a fireplace system will be completely sealed off from the air inside the room it is installed in. Expelled gases from the fireplace will instead go directly down a fully-sealed pipe, before finally exiting the property by means of the balanced flue. The major benefit of this is that heating efficiency can actually be increased, since there is no direct impact from the immediate environment the fireplace is installed in. Another benefit is that the system is completely silent - ideal for getting more peace and quiet in the home.

The Fireplace Warehouse stock a wide range of balanced flue gas fires.

What about flueless options?

Some types of fireplaces do not require an air vent. A flueless gas fireplace model is ideal for situations where customers do not have an existing chimney, or want to limit the amount of building work required to keep costs low. Flueless gas fires work well because they have a catalytic converter inside to remove toxic fumes. In situations where gas is the preference over an electric fireplace, flueless fires are an excellent substitute. They have a real gas flame and are 100% efficient. Take a look at the latest flueless gas fire models.

Get advice on the ideal flue type for your home

When considering a new gas fireplace, it is important to be aware of the types of flue available, their benefits, and limitations. Households with classic brick or stone chimneys often have the pick of the bunch when it comes to fireplace models. But homes without a chimney can still benefit from a prefabricated metal flue. Balanced flues are another option, are completely silent, and give great fuel efficiency. The bottom line: ensure you speak with a fireplace specialist at Fireplace Warehouse to get more in-depth information about the best fireplace and flue for your individual circumstances.