Gas Fire Heating
Gas fire heating comes in two forms in New Zealand- in the form of a fire place fuelled by gas or water heated via gas which then is pumped around the house to either underfloor heating or into heaters in different rooms; as central heating system.
Gas fires do have an advantage that no carrying of wood or cleaning off of ash is required. Many gas fires look very beautiful when they burn with the fire logs underneath and no ash.
Gas fires do not burn quite as hot as wood fires, which could lead to less heat in your home. The amount of heat in your home is still dependent on how much heat can be transferred to your home and is not lost in the chimney.
You might be able to secure funding towards your heating system in New Zealand. Check the below link for free to access your eligibility.
Types of gas:
There are several different types of gas that can be used. However, we found only some options that are from renewable resources: bio-methane (made from biogas), ethanol (made from alcohol), bio propane (bio- LPG). In our view these are the only gases that should be considered. Mining of gas is sometimes done with fracking, which requires a lot of water. Wastewater that is dumped contains harmful toxins. Further, fracking can cause small earthquakes (1).
Advantages of gas fires:
Gas fires have lower emissions than for example coal fires
No stacking, chopping, or carrying wood required
Heat via pushing a button. You can fall asleep on the couch and the thermostat on the fire will keep the fire going
Less maintenance than in wood fires
No wood storage required
The heat of a gas fire is near instant, with very little time to create the heat
Disadvantages of gas fires:
You will have to buy fuel
Potential malfunctions: blue flame means good (full combustion), yellow, orange and red flame means not a full combustion and could be based on the gas used a potential issue in the fireplace (2)
Wood fires are hotter than gas fires
No crackling of the wood, which could lead to a feeling of it not being a real fire
(1) Forbes; Consumer Tech; Quora; 'The Environmental and Social Impacts of Natural Gas Fracking'; 17.04.2017
(2) Elgas Australia; 'Blue Flame vs Yellow Flame vs Red Flames - Gas Flame Color'; Author: Eric Hahn; 01.11.2019