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Fireplace Supermarket FAQ - Fires, Fireplaces & Stoves

Below are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) but if you don't see the answers you are looking for, then simply email our sales team directly using the "About Us" section above, who will be only too happy to help.

Product Questions

Q. How do I calculate the running costs of a gas fire or gas stove?

A. To work out the running costs, simply multiply the gas consumption figures (heat inputs) by the cost per kWh given on your gas bill.

Q. How do I work out the efficiency of a gas fire or gas stove?

A. Simply divide the maximum heat output by the maximum gas consumption (heat input).

Q. Should I wait for goods to arrive before commencing any building work?

A. Firstly, we would always recommend that you should have a survey carried out by a Gas Safe registered gas installer, HETAS installer or qualified NICEIC electrician (whichever is applicable to the goods you intend to purchase) to check and certify the compatibility of your chimney, flue, property and or circumstances prior to purchase to avoid disappointment. We would also recommend that you should wait until you have the goods purchased, onsite, in your possession to take accurate measurements from before proceeding to carry out any building work or create any apertures in the wall to avoid potential costly mistakes being made, as manufacturers reserve the right to alter products or specifications without any prior notice as required.

Q. Do I need to have my fire serviced regularly?

A. It is highly recommended by The Health & Safety Executive, Gas Safety Register, British Gas, and Manufacturers of all gas appliances that they be serviced every 12 months.

Q. How do I decide which gas fire or stove to buy to heat my room?

A. As a rough guide only, measure the room and multiply the height x width x depth (in metres), and divide this by 14 and it will provide you with the average heating requirements for the room in KW’s. Although this method is dependant on the number of windows, construction, insulation, furnishings and any double glazing in the room. We therefore strongly recommend that all gas, electric fires or stoves shown on our website be used as a supplementary form of heating and not as a sole source of heat in any room.

Q. If I don’t have mains gas can I still have a gas fire?

A. Yes you can. Most of the manufacturers products we offer are available to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a gas supplied in either bottle or storage tank form kept outside in the garden and filled up when required by a local supplier.

Q. What’s the difference between “outset” and “inset” gas fires?

A. Outset fires sit on the hearth outside of the fireplace opening and inset fires sit inside the fireplace opening just behind the hearth.

Q. What type of control facility do you offer for operating gas or electric fires?

A. We offer a choice of control features on gas fires from different manufacturers from kneeling down to operate the fire manually, standing upright close to the fire using a top slide control or state of the art remote control operated from the comfort of your armchair. With electric fires there is a choice of either manual control whilst standing upright or hand held remote control dependant on the manufacturer of the fire.

Q. Are living flame gas fires expensive to run and will all the heat go up the chimney?

A. Significant improvements have been made with regard to this type of fire since its inception many years ago. Today living flame gas fires are far more efficient than they used to be with lower running costs and improved heat outputs into the room than ever before. Although some gas fires may be more efficient and provide more heat than others dependant on whether they have a convector or heat exchanger built into the fire.

Q. Can I have a hole in the wall gas fire installed without a hearth?

A. Yes there are certain manufacturers of gas fires that have had their appliances specifically tested and approved to be installed without the requirement of installing a floor mounted hearth. However strict installation guide lines must be adhered to including minimum distances from the floor which may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. We therefore strongly advise that you check the technical requirements for installation of any such appliances in detail before proceeding to purchase them from our website.

Q. Is it possible to change my fire front on my Baxi gas back boiler?

A. If your Baxi fire and back boiler were installed after 1980 it may be possible to replace your fire front for a newer model. However if the fire & boiler is an earlier model then unfortunately it is unlikely you will be able to replace the fire front on its own without buying a new boiler at the same time. Visit Baxi at for more detailed information on the compatibility of renewal fronts with existing boilers.

Q. Is it possible to install a deep rather than shallow fire into an existing precast flue?

A. Deeper gas fires are available for class 2 precast flues, but as most precast flues are shallow you will more than likely require a fire surround with a maximum rebate of 3” or equivalent spacer kit to accommodate the depth of your chosen fire. Although if you are still in doubt then consult a professional Gas Safe Registered installer and or Gas Safety Register installer who should be able to visit your home, to carry out a full site survey. Advising you of your options based on your circumstances before making any purchase from our website.

Q. How do I find out which gas fire is suitable for my home?

A. Simply click on the heading that says “Technical” at the top of this page, this will then provide you with information on all flue options available. Once you have selected the option which fits your home and circumstances, you will be able to search our vast range of fires to find the most suitable fire for you.

Q. Are flue less fires safe and efficient?

A. Although the concept is relatively new in this country, fixed flueless gas fires have a long established history in Japan (where there are 40 million), the United States (approximately 20 million) and Australia. Fixed flueless gas fires give a combination of convenience, efficiency and safety which flued fires can never equal. We have entered an era of spiralling gas prices, gas shortages and global warming. It is short sighted to continue wasting energy at such a rate when there is an alternative product which is superior to flued fires in so many ways. Most of the heat from an open flued gas fire or solid fuel fire goes straight up the chimney. By comparison 100% of the heat generated by a flueless gas fire goes to heating the room. Tests commissioned by one manufacturer compared a 2.5kW flueless gas fire, to a typical 6kW inset flued gas fire (quoted efficiency 59%), a decorative flued gas fire and a 2kW electric fire. These tests showed that the flueless gas fire produced over 3 times more heat per kilowatt than the flued gas fire and over 12 times more heat than the decorative gas fire. In other words the flued gas fire lost over 70% of the heat up the chimney and the decorative fire lost over 90%. If the 15 million flued gas fires in Britain were replaced by flueless fires, the country would save around 23,500,000,000 kilowatts of gas every year (costing £1,600,000,000) which in turn would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 4,200,000 tonnes every year.

Q. What is the average size of fireplace opening required to install an inset gas or electric fire?

A. The most common size of fireplace openings in the UK is 16” wide x 22” high. Most gas and electric fires are designed to fit into this size of fireplace opening subject to any depth restrictions. However most manufacturers either have a shallow or deep version of their fires or a spacer kit to decrease the fire depth by making it semi inset or fully outset in the case of electric fires or flue less gas fires.

Q. Do gas fires produce any soot and if so how can I clean my fire?

A. Most gas fires with a fuel effect be it coals, pebbles, logs or driftwood will produce some levels of carbon soot over time which is produced when the flame impinges on the fuel of the fire i.e. the coals. The best way to clean the fuel is to lay it all out on a piece of paper, then gently take each piece and softly brush it over with a clean, dry, paint brush. This will remove most surface layers of soot, then simply consult your instruction manual for the appliance which should show you how to re-lay the fuel on your fire. Please note fuels like pebbles or beige coloured fire backs on fires which are light in colour will show up soot deposits more easily and sooner than that of a coal effect fire with a black background. This may be something you want to consider before making any purchase from our website.

Q. What is an oxygen depletion system or (ODS) on a gas fire?

A. Most modern gas appliances are fitted with an (ODS) oxygen depletion sensor also known as an (ASD) atmosphere sensing device or oxypilot. These monitor the oxygen levels in a rooms atmosphere and shuts off the gas to the burner in the event of the flue becoming blocked or if there is poor ventilation.

Q. Do I need to fit an air vent in my room with a gas fire or stove?

A. The need for an air vent will depend on the amount of gas the appliance uses i.e. the maximum Kilowatt heat input figure, size of room and size of fire opening. Although whilst there are a lot of gas appliances that are under 7Kw heat input which do not require a vent, we strongly recommend that you consult the technical details of the specific appliance you require before purchasing it from this website.

Q. What choice of electric fires is there available?

A. Electric fires have moved on considerably over the years from the old bar fires. Now there are types that can be hearth mounted, inset into the wall off the floor or flat wall fixed using a suitable rebated surround or spacer kit. Then there are two types of flame picture to choose from the traditional spinner which has been greatly improved or state of the art ribbon flame technology. On most models there is the option of choosing flame effect only or heated air of up to 2Kw or even a cool air setting for the summer. Some even have the added luxury of a thermostat and variable dimmer that allows you to change the brightness of the flame picture. We even have the option of remote control from the comfort of your armchair on selected models with fuel effects ranging from coals, logs, pebbles, driftwood, lava rock and marbles. So whether you want a blazing traditional or sleek contemporary look of fire, the choice is yours. There is also an increasing usage of low voltage LED bulbs in electric fires, which helps reduce the energy being used and they also tend to last a lot longer than normal bulbs..

Q. How much does an electric fire cost to run?

A. Based on electricity costing approximately 6.5 pence per kilowatt hour, with the heater on it will cost around 1.3 pence per hour. Although if you just have the flame effect turned on it would be between 0.5 and 0.9 pence per hour. These figures are supplied only as a guide and are subject to change at any time based on a mains supply with quarterly bill.

Q. How long is the cable on an electric fire?

A. Most electric fires come with a 2 metre length cable with a moulded plug on the end. If a longer cable is required then you will need the services of a qualified electrician and under no circumstances should you attempt to extend the standard cable supplied.

Q. Are wood or multi fuel stoves economical?

A. Yes very much so. Cast iron stoves offer tremendous value for money when compared with other forms of home heating. Some stove manufacturers provide stoves with efficiencies in excess of 70% compared with only 15% for open fires.

Q. Are wood and multi fuel stoves easy to light and control?

A. Yes, stoves are generally quite easy to light with dry kindling and newspaper. Once lit simple air vents can be turned to control the intensity of the blaze and amount of heat.

Q. Are stoves available in different sizes with varying heat outputs?

A. Stoves can come in all shapes, sizes and finishes. We offer a vast range with different heat outputs, so regardless of how big or small your room is there should be a stove to suit you.

Q. What is a rebate?

A. Most fireplace surrounds have a rebate, which is the difference between the outside and inside leg return. It is the distance from the face of the back panel to the wall behind. Fire Surround rebates can occasionally be increased to allow for a deeper fire to be installed in to flat wall or shallow flue situation.

Q. What is a slabbed hearth and or a slabbed back panel?

A. A slabbed hearth and or back panel is the commonly known term/name for hearths & back panels when used with solid fuel fireplaces. Unlike a hearth or back panel for use with a gas fire which are usually a 1 piece construction without any joins. A hearth or back panel for use with solid fuel must be made in sections with expansion joints to avoiding the material cracking during the heating up and cooling down process. The hearth and back panel will also have a concrete support under or behind the material be it tiles, granite or marble to give additional support and insulation as well. When solid fuel hearths and backs are manufactured they are what is commonly known as slabbed up in manufacture.

General Questions

Q. Could you send me brochures on your products?

A. Unfortunately due to the vast range of products we offer and the sheer number of enquiries we receive daily it is not practical, economical and doesn't help our commitment to improving our Carbon Footprint for us to send out brochures. However we have provided links to all our suppliers under the heading “Brochures & Manufacturers” at the bottom of this page. There you will find both telephone numbers and links to the respective manufacturers websites of products shown on our website, where you will be able to request brochures to be sent directly to you or in some instances you may also be able to download brochures directly.

Q. Do you have a showroom?

A. Unfortunately we do not have a showroom you can visit as our website is effectively our showroom, helping to keep our overheads under control to enable us to pass on the vast savings to our customers.

Q. Do you have a secure server?

A. We have a fully secure payment environment where your credit / debit card transaction is fully protected. (View our privacy policy at the bottom of this page).

Q. What happens if my order is declined when I enter my details?

A. One of the most common reasons may be that your billing address does not match your details held with your credit / debit card company. Please check that your billing address is the same as the one shown on your statements. If you are still experiencing problems you can either speak to your card company or email our sales team for further help.

Q. What is my security pin code?

A. Your security pin code is the last 3 digits on the reverse of your credit/debit card on the signature strip which is unique to you.

Q. What is an issue number?

A. Your issue number is on the front of your debit card which you will be asked to insert when proceeding with your order on our secure payment section.

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