The main question being asked is ‘How do Catalytic Flueless gas fires work?’ This is easy to answer difficult to understand– Catalytic flueless gas fires work by having a sealed flame behind glass which forces the fumes to rise up through the fire and into a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is a honeycomb membrane which is impregnated with a catalyst chemical put simply this is a noble metal which speeds up reactions and allows modification of molecules into others with less energy. Any harmful chemicals are turned into CO2 which is completely harmless in the proportions of a room. It can also be so effective that it will also aid in cleaning out allergens in the air from your room as well as providing heat.
A lot of people and gas fitters are still wrongly cautions about catalytic gas fires and this is all to do with a very successful internal marketing campaign by British Gas after they lost the license to produce the engine from Lexus of America who own the technology patent. British Gas completed a full campaign and disallowed all fitters to install the fires as they owned a couple of fire manufactures including Matchless Fires who also wanted to produce flueless fires, knowing their market value and long term benefits. This was a Marketing marvel which has not yet subsided, this has caused a slower take up in the UK of Flueless models, but throughout the world they are the only fire which can be used in several states in America, Australia and are the largest selling fire in Japan, due to the size of homes and lack of flues.
From a safety point British Gas were wrong to stop their installers from fitting the products, like most gas fires, they are installed with an Oxygen depletion sensor, which measures the ratio of oxygen in the air and cuts the fire off should it fall below a safe limit (limited to a 1.5% difference from average oxygen content) they also have a Flame supervision device which shuts the gas off should the flame itself go out. They also have several safety benefits over conventional flue fires as the flues in these products can be susceptible to blockages or downdrafts which increase carbon monoxide into the home if not monitored and serviced on a yearly basis. They are so safe they have even been signed off to allow use in bedrooms and bathrooms, if you have a budget enough to create a high spec space then these are certainly the cherry on the metaphorical home cake.
All Flueless fires are designed as a supplement to your primary heating source, as burning Natural Gas produces a wet flame due to one of the products of combustion the primary heating will make certain that there is no condensation. Catalysts have been thoroughly tested and have a lifespan extending beyond 16,957 hours!!! This is equivalent to about 27 years average use (4 hours a day, 5 months of the year)!! The Catalyst also has a constant effectiveness; it is as good on day one as it is 6000 hours of use later.
Flueless fires over the years have won several awards most recently the House Beautiful Award in 2008 where a gold medal was awarded. Efficiency of Catalytic Flueless Gas Fires is set at a fixed 100% as these items require no flue to vent flue any gases stopping the availability draw up the flue. The only downfall of Catalytic flueless gas fires is that they require an Air vent in the room, although most home do have these, if you are not used to one.
A range of high efficiency flueless gas fires are available to purchase at a low price from the Fireplace Supermarket
Note: information correct as of January 2010 information provided from Advantica Technologies Limited for the Health and Safety Executive 2004 and also the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center.