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Real fire place vs gas insert

(12 Posts)
MarciaBlaine Fri 03-Nov-17 20:30:33

We are currently looking at whether to open up an old fireplace and use it as is/ get a log burner (I believe this to be possible) or whether to get a “fake” has insert. I am a sucker for a real fire, love the smell, poking the logs etc, but have only ever had one in holiday accommodation. I am not sure if the faff, heat, mess etc is worth it Day to day. Some of the gas ones look fairly realistic, but not sure If I am fooling myself it will be as nice as a real fire.

SoNouveau Fri 03-Nov-17 20:43:01

I love a log fire but they're a bore to keep on top of, all those baskets full of dirty logs and nasty spiders in your sitting room.
Keep real fire for the garden and get a fake one, you can put pots of smelly twiggy things and perfumed sticks in the hearth.
Unless you have a muscly, well toned DH, then it might be worth the faff just to watch him chopping the logs as it were.

MarciaBlaine Fri 03-Nov-17 20:51:52

Well I am lacking in forestry for my own logs, was thinking I’d have to order them in. <<eyes dh disappointedly>>

PortlyWino Sat 04-Nov-17 22:55:44


tittysprinkles Sun 05-Nov-17 06:43:58

We have a gas fire but it looks just like a log burner. It's great, turns on instantly and knocks out a good amount of heat giving the room a cosy feeling. You just don't get the lovely wood smell or crackle of the real thing. But you also don't have to traipse up the garden to get logs in the cold and wet. Log burners also aren't great for atmospheric pollution particularly in built up areas so overall we're really pleased with gas.

MrsJamin Sun 05-Nov-17 06:48:09

Yes please don't get a wood fire burner, the air pollution they are all creating because people are putting them back into homes is leading to deaths, quite literally it is a silent killer.

another20 Sun 05-Nov-17 17:02:04

MrsJ - do log burners create the same level of air pollution as open fires?

Are gas log burners expensive or more expensive than a gas open fire effect?

borntobequiet Sun 05-Nov-17 18:06:06

One of the nicest and cosiest fires I ever had was a gas fire that looked like a coal fire.
Nicer still was the log burner I had in my last house. I loved it - but if I was late home from work I would have an early night rather than take the time to light it plus the hour or so it took to get to optimum temperature. They are more work so it depends if you think one is worth it.
BTW an open fire is as much hassle but vastly less efficient, you are throwing money away (up the chimney).

MrsJamin Mon 06-Nov-17 06:51:30

@another20 wood burning stoves are more efficient than open fires, but still very different to running a gas boiler and radiators etc. They both give off a lot of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. King's College London found that during a period of very high air pollution, domestic wood burning contributed half the toxic emissions in some areas of the city. Its a middle class problem and not something that is widely known. We've got rid of fireplaces in our home and opted for under floor heating instead, a lot healthier and more efficient.

whiskyowl Mon 06-Nov-17 08:07:14

It depends a lot on the kind of stove you buy. There are cleaner-burning stoves, which release a lot less in the way of particulate matter and pollution, than cheaper versions. Burning properly seasoned wood that has been fully dried is also important. Open fires are much, much more polluting than pretty much any stove, and they leave an open chimney which will make your room freezing cold in winter.

Bluntness100 Mon 06-Nov-17 08:16:51

I’d always go for a real one, but in this order

Wood/multi fuel burner
Fake fire
Open fire

An open fire is really inefficient. A log burner chucks out a load of heat and is lovely in the evening in winter, a fake fire really doesn’t compare.

In terms of maintenance you need to get your chimney swept annually, have some place to store your logs outside, and if it’s multi fuel,,just buy smokeless coal as well as your logs. Cleaning and emptying is easy, uou just empty the ash tray into a bin bag, job done. Give the glass a wipe over.

Even in smoke controlled zones wood/multi fuel burners are acceptable, lots of choice, in fact most current ones, it’s fine.

another20 Mon 06-Nov-17 08:51:50

We have an open fire - rarely use it - high days and holidays. So it just sits there drawing the heat out of my home. I should block it. I have seen gas fires that I didnt know were not real in the past - but not loads of heat. I remember when it was all the rage to get gas fake fires - and even with remote control the novelty wore off and they were rarely turned on.

I wouldnt use a stove for water or heating - purely aesthetic - so might look at a gas stove?

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