By the early 20th century, gas fires were no longer exclusive to the upper class: they were commonly found in domestic and commercial properties in the UK. They experienced another boom in popularity when, in the 1950s, Flavel radiant gas fires were invented. These models are still available today and are responsible for heating millions of UK homes.
What is a radiant gas fire?
Radiant gas fires contain ceramic components that conduct heat from the hot box and fire bed. They use the same basic components as 1950s radiant fires (heating ceramic plates and fibres), only with superior visuals and technology.
Modern radiant appliances can maintain high heat levels even when the gas supply is lowered because ceramic has excellent heat retention properties. They will stay warm even once the gas has been entirely switched off.
You can purchase radiant gas fires for various kinds of chimneys and flues, including traditional brick-built, pre-cast and pre-fabricated flues (however we would advise you speak to a gas safe fitter before you purchase a radiant gas fire and show them the installation information of the fire to make sure it will be suitable for your home).
Features and Benefits
Radiant fires allow you to heat your home quicker while consuming less energy. By warming objects directly, they experience minimal heat loss due to air circulation. Plus, once you turn off your appliance, the ceramic plates will still heat your room as they cool down.
Modern radiant fires come equipped with advanced safety features. For example, all modern Flavel radiant gas fires have an Airwatch System. If the flame is extinguished via a blockage or error, the system will detect this and immediately cut off the gas supply.
Ease of Installation
Modern gas fires emit no smoke, and waste gases are vented outside via a flue. All gas fireplaces, including radiant ones, require a gas line connection. If there is already an existing gas line in the installation area, connecting the unit to it is straightforward.
Freestanding units, like all radiant fires, are therefore generally easier to install, as they require minimal setup and can be placed in an appropriate location without extensive modifications. However, built-in units like living flame gas fires may need more installation work, including fitting the unit into an existing fireplace or constructing a new enclosure within the back panel.
How efficient are radiant gas fires?
High-efficiency radiant gas fires have anywhere between 80-90% efficiency. Unlike traditional convection heaters that warm the surrounding air, radiant gas fires emit infrared radiation that heats objects and surfaces in their vicinity. This results in a more immediate and focused warmth, similar to the sun's heat on a cold day.
How does a radiant gas fire work?
Radiant gas fires work by heating a ceramic plate within the fire bed. The hot box, lined with ceramic fibres, sends out energy rays that are converted into heat.