Monday 29 August 2011

New Fires From Flamerite

With the heating season fast approaching and the nights already getting colder and darker Flamerite have launched their new range of electric fires, designed to bring that warmth back into your home. These add to the already very successful and popular range of electric fires already produced by Flamerite.

Among these are their latest range of inset electric fires such as the iona and bailey, these boast an ultra slim inset depth of just 18mm!! Meaning these electric fires can be fitted into a surround on a flat wall with just a standard 25mm rebate...Amazing.

These electric fires boast the same solar flare flame effect that featured on the ever popular Flame Essence Decade. They have even managed to squeeze a 1.5kW heater into this fire meaning that not only is it stunning to look at, it will also keep you cosy in the winter.

Flamerite has also released the Payton Suite, this easy to install Portuguese Stone Effect suite is available floor standing or wall mounted without requiring any inset depth. Also boasting the LED Solar Flare effect that will last approximately 40,000 hours of non-stop running. To put that in persepective, you could purchase this fire, plug it in and turn it on and leave it for nearly four and a half years of constant operation before the LED lights give up the ghost. And because they're LED's the cost for running if for some 40,000 hours would only cost you £31.20 on average...Bargain!

Saturday 27 August 2011

Will my fire fit? Flat wall, chimneys and fireplace rebate explained

What is a Fireplace Surround Rebate?

Understanding the fireplace rebate you require is central to ensuring your fireplace will fit your required application.

Essentially all you need to work out is the depth needed to fully recess you fire against your flat wall or in your chimney recess.

If the fireplace is being fitted against a flat wall then the full depth of the fire needs to be recessed within the fire surround. However, if the fire surround is being fitted against a chimney then the depth of the fire can be recessed within the cavity of the chimney.

Rebate Explained:

The rebate is the distance from the back of the wall to the front of the panel. To work out the fire recess, you subtract the rebate by 20mm to accommodate the thickness of the panel. Hence 100mm rebate gives you 80mm fire recess depth (100mm -20mm for the back panel).

The below video helps explain everything with images and certainly should you get your head around what a Fireplace Rebate Is.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Gas safety week 2011

September 12th sees the launch of the first ever Gas Safety Week run by Gas Safe Register. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of gas safety in the home.Gas Safety Week aims to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.

By taking care of your gas appliances properly you are taking care of your home and your loved ones. Follow these top tips to help keep you and your family gas safe:

As part of Gas Safety Week we’re going around the country raising awareness of gas safety and giving out essential advice to help people keep safe in their homes. Many people buy gas appliances but we want to remind them that only a Gas Safe registered engineer should fit their appliance. We’re working with major gas appliance retailers B&Q and Comet to help raise awareness of gas safety and during Gas Safety Week we’ve got events taking place in some of their stores across the country. If you’re in the area why not pop by and see us:

Date Location
14th September

10am - 2pm

Coatbridge, ML5 4AN (B&Q)

Erdington, B35 7RD (B&Q)

Sutton, SM1 4RQ (B&Q)

Swansea, SA1 7DF (B&Q))

Isle of Man, IM2 2QT (B&Q)

15th September

10am - 2pm
Dundee, DD2 3PT (B&Q)

Meir Park, ST3 7QA (B&Q)

Plymouth, PL7 4TB (Comet)

Tottenham Vale, N15 4QD (Comet)

16th September

10am - 2pm
Trafford Park, M41 7LG (B&Q)

Enfield, EN1 1TH (Comet)

Rotherham, S60 1TG (Comet)

17th September

10am - 2pm
Durham, DH1 2HT (B&Q)

Grimsby, DN32 9AW (B&Q)

Gillingham, ME8 6BY (B&Q)

Cribbs Causeway, BS10 7TX (B&Q)

Kirkcaldy, KY2 6QL (Comet)

18th September

10am - 2pm
Bolton, BL1 2SL (B&Q)

Swindon, SN2 2DJ (B&Q)

Gas Safety Week will see national advertising and promotions across the whole country with organisations both small and large getting involved. If you or an organisation you work for would like to get involved there are plenty or ways to support Gas Safety Week. No matter how big or small your organisation we would love you to pledge your support of Gas Safety Week. We have created various tools for you to use to support the week and to help get the Gas Safe message out ther

Tuesday 23 August 2011

NPower joins the rise

npower has become the latest gas and electricity provider to increase its domestic prices with fixed rates for the next two years, blaming the decision on "world events [which] have pushed up prices".

From 1 October, the average dual fuel customer will see an increase of 37p per day. Single fuel customers will see a 15.7% rise in fees for gas and 7.2% for electricity.

Kevin Miles, chief commercial officer at RWE npower – which is part of the RWE group that owns npower – said: "I know it hurts everyone when we put up prices and I wish we didn’t have to.

“With reduced quantities of North Sea gas, we are now forced to buy energy on the volatile global wholesale market. World events have pushed up prices and we believe this trend will continue.

"In the UK we have also seen rising distribution and network charges, and further environmental costs but we have still managed to keep our increases lower than those announced by any other major supplier," referring to companies including British Gas, Eon and SSE.

Sunday 21 August 2011

The People Behind The Magic at Drugasar

Today Fires|Fireplace|Stoves is going dutch, no we're not splitting the lunch bill, we're going behind the scenes at Drugasar to see just who is responsible for creating such unqiuely designed fires.

Martyn Graat
Martyn Graat works as a designer at DRU. Aside from designing new products the translation of appealing ambient photography, showroom set-up and designing stands for trade fairs all fall under Graat's remit.

Jeroen van Dijk

Jeroen van Dijk is just one of the architects who serves as a product development sparring partner in the DRU focus group project. With his experience in design and consultation in the field of interiors and smallscale new builds, he comes into daily contact with consumers and their specific interior needs and wishes. Jeroen has regularly placed DRU stoves in his line of work.

‘We consciously work with DRU stoves as the possibilities in model, design, capacity and technique are highly diverse and revolutionary," says Van Dijk.

Roy Bertholet

2architecten came about towards the end of 2008 after a collaboration between Roy Bertholet and Björn Schoeberichts. Based in their office in Eindhoven they worked on a plethora of nationwide projects, ranging from renovations to a private clinic. Roy Berholet is also a sparring partner in the DRU focus groups project.

‘A stove takes its rightful place in your home. It invites you to come and sit by it. A practical advantage is also that you can quickly make the space cosy; which takes longer with underfloor heating or central heating", says Bertholet.

Friday 19 August 2011

Fire baskets or Wood burning Stoves - Style against Efficiency User Icon

Fire baskets and Wood burning Stoves are the two best sellers in the fireplace industry, ask any shop in town and they will tell you stoves and fire baskets out sell traditional fireplaces by a reasonable margin.

Fire baskets don’t generate as much heat as a wood burning stove, but they add a special touch to that old fireplace or you can put them in any corner of your living room to enhance the room’s decoration.

fire basket

Wood burning Stoves have a more traditional style and might not suit a room that has been decorated in a more contemporary way, but boy, they sure bang out the heat. Most stoves can burn wood for up to 10 hours without the need of refuelling and with the new airwash system they stay clean.

wood burning stoves

If your room has an alternative heating system, fire baskets are favourite. Imagine that romantic evening curled up in front of the fire and your favourite DVD, or friends round for supper, what could enhance the atmosphere more than a beautiful fire basket glowing in the corner. Fire baskets can also be a feature in the summer, just decorate with logs and pine combs.

So it is up to you decide know which one will suit your needs; fire baskets add a nice touch to any room but can cost a few extra pounds to run and don’t generate as much heat. On the other hand, wood burning stoves can run at a very low cost, generate up to 9kW of heating power not to mention they are also eco-friendly.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

DEFRA Approved Stoves on the Up

Shropshire-based Broseley Fires says it has seen a 65% increase in sales of its DEFRA approved wood burners over the last 12 months. Product Development Engineer, Tristan Johnston, explains: “The DEFRA regulations that allow approved wood-burning stoves to be used in smoke control areas have proved a real boost to us and we have launched a series of products meeting these strict regulations.

"This has been driven by technological developments that make wood burners easier to install and operate, especially alongside other energy-saving products."

One homeowner to discover the benefits of combining a wood-burning boiler stove with other eco-friendly technology is Joanne Shipp, who has cut her energy bills by two thirds after installing one of Broseley’s acclaimed eVolution 8 boiler stoves. Living in an area near Bristol without mains gas, Joanne was spending around £3000 a year to heat and provide hot water for her six-bedroom, three-storey, restored 17th-century stone farmhouse.

With no end in sight to rising fuel prices Joanne decided to look at more cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternatives and turned to Responsible Energy Management (REM) Ltd for help. The company specialises in helping homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint whilst cutting their energy costs. REM developed a complete system for Joanne, incorporating solar panels and a thermal store alongside the eVolution 8stove.

"The results have been really dramatic," says Joanne. "Although we still use & as a back-up, we expect to save around £2000 a year. We are particularly pleased with the new wood-burning boiler stove. It generates just enough heat to keep the downstairs comfortable and the stone walls also act as radiators, giving off heat long after the wood burner has gone out.

"The thermal store also ensures we always have plenty of hot water. It not only stores the energy from the wood burning stove and or the solar energy, but dissipates this energy to both the domestic hot water and the radiator heating system when required."

According to Denis Kerr of REM, a lot of older stoves can be very wasteful of heat but the latest models, when combined with technology such as solar panels and the very latest thermal stores, can be extremely effective.

"The arrival of products such as the eVolution 8 will mean that a lot more homes could soon be heated using a combination of fuel sources that do not rely on dwindling and expensive resources."

Monday 15 August 2011

Is our long love affair with the fireplace bad news for the planet?

Chris Bowlby examines Britain's attachment to the fireplace and its impact on the climate.

In the debate over how to reduce our carbon emissions, much is made of areas like transport and power generation. But energy use in the home – which also has a substantial impact on emissions – has received less attention in policy-making and public debate. And there may be good historical reasons for this.

Previous attempts to reduce our energy use at home reveal a fascinating mix of factors – from Victorian scare stories to the public’s deep-seated fear of the unknown – that make pushing through environmental changes such an arduous task.

Dr Stephen Mosley of Leeds Metropolitan University has researched widely in the history of air pollution in Britain, and one of his central themes is the intense British relationship with the domestic coal fire.

The noxious environment of Britain’s urban centres wasn’t just caused by industry, but also by domestic heating. Yet while factory chimneys became symbols of pollution, coal fires were little blamed. The ‘homely hearth’, notes Dr Mosley, was the centrepiece of most homes, “the hub around which family life revolved”. Or as a German diplomat put it in 1904: “The fireplace is the domestic altar before which, daily and hourly, he sacrifices to the household gods. This is why the English have never thought, and will never think, of relinquishing the fireplace.”

So just as today’s governments are reluctant to declare war on the car for environmental reasons, so Victorianand Edwardian governments, says Dr Mosley, “similarly feared the repercussions of passing legislation that interfered with the citizen’s freedom to enjoy the hugely popular institution of the open coal fire”.

Popular Victorian scientific theories simply reinforced our attachment to the fireplace. ‘Re-breathed air’ in occupied rooms was assumed by many to contain putrefying ‘animal refuse matter’, a kind of organic poison. The fireplace, with its brisk ventilation, was seen as an often include provision for a “woodburning stove”.

So we are left today with much housing stock that is highly energy inefficient, as small numbers of solar panels are stuck on draughty Victorian and Edwardian buildings. And many of their occupants remain reluctant to accept official advice on saving energy and using renewable sources – and question the science on which such advice is based.

Climate change campaigners now face similar challenges to those who led the crusade against coal fire pollution. A lesson from history, suggests Stephen Mosley, is that “persuasion doesn’t always work”. In the battle for what we might call hearths and minds, it is carbon more than cleaner energy that has truly fired the domestic imagination.

But it's not all bad news, while an open chimney can be drafty and help carry incredible amounts of heat out of the room and into the atmosphere, this doesnt meant we should block it off and just rely on central heating and replace it with a television (something that has become all too common), with High Efficiency gas fires (or even balanced flue is it's an outside wall) the amount of heat escaping is dramatically reduced while also reducing the cost of heating the home.

Saturday 13 August 2011

Beautiful fires, designed to allure

Choose a Verine fire and all your expectations will be fulfilled. Elegant, sophisticated and designed to perfection. Verine fires are all this and more. Crafted to not only captivate and beguile, they are built to the highest standards, are energy efficient and perform brilliantly.

Verine fires are built to last in our state-of-the-art UK manufacturing facility where our quality standards meet the most stringent demands.
That’s why Verine are able to offer an impressive 5 Year Guarantee on all gas fires. Every fire in the range features a Flame Supervision Device (FSD) which detects the presence of a flame, and in the absence of thatflame, prevents uncontrolled release of gas to the burner. For maximum safety each conventional flue model also includes an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) which shuts off the gas supply to the main burner in the unlikely event of a fault.

For over 45 years Verine have sold quality products and given quality service, elegance and innovation to the fireplace industry. Specially appointed retailers have been established nationally to display our products, install them and give expert advice to help you choose the correct appliance to suit your needs. We want you to get the maximum benefit from this expertise and therefore recommend you avoid purchasing any Verine product over the internet, especially from companies not located in your area who are unable to offer the highest levels of aftersales service.

From design stage to manufacture every effort is taken to produce an appliance that will
provide exceptional and continued standards of safety and performance. Every fire is assessed
and approved by leading independent organisations and rigorously checked by our Quality
Control department before leaving our state-of-the-art facility.

Fires such as the Da Vinci and Distinction offer a complete fireplace suite in stunning stone, while still offering an amazing 83% efficiency rating, while fires such as the Alpena, Midas and Quasar offer a stunning Verine fire for a standard size opening.
The range is topped off by the stunning Carmelo HE If you’re looking for extravagance combined with exceptional heatoutput then the Carmelo HE is the ideal gas fire for you. With a viewing area measuring 1145mm along with an enchanting flame picture this hole-in-the-wall fire is cer tainly a show-stopper, and with a heat output of 6.5kW and 75% net efficiency it provides exceptional performance too. What's more this fire can be installed almost anywhere in the home since it uses a balanced flue system with a choice of horizontal flue, ver tical flue or chimney conversion flue kits available to choose from. Both log and white stone fuel beds are supplied with every fire

Thursday 11 August 2011

Which Fire Is Best For Me?

When choosing a gas or wood-fired stove its capacity is a determining factor. Many people are unaware that an average living room space only requires 3 to 4 kilowatts (kW) to heat it. This is especially true in today's well-insulated homes and, given the fact that many homes already have central heating; the fire is often just used for additional heating.

Yet consumers often go for a too high a capacity, with the risk that they subsequently use the fire sparingly or can only burn at a low degree, otherwise it would become too hot for the room. With wood-fired stoves and heaters this results in poor combustion, blackened glass and high emissions. With gas fires, it particularly means you don't get to enjoy the lovely flame effect these fires have to offer.

Calculating the capacity needed to heat the space you have in mind is very easy. The graph shows the capacities indicated in kWs. The space to be heated is indicated in cubic metres (m3). The number of cubic metres is determined by multiplying the length, width and height of the space. You can then read the capacity you require at the intersection of one of the three lines. Which of these three lines you select depends on the degree to which your home is insulated.

Your home is:


  • Well insulated
  • Is double-glazed
  • Has floor and wall insulation


  • Is reasonably insulated
  • Has minimal double glazing
  • Has minimal floor and wall insulation


  • Poorly insulated
  • Has no double glazing
  • Has no floor and wall insulation

The image on the right shows the three situations, A being the red line, a well insulated, double glazed property, B is a reasonably well insulated property in orange and C is a poorly insulated property, perhaps similar to an older property in yellow.

As you can see that depending on room size the heat output required varies considerably, with the average 30m3 living space in a well insulated home only needing around 3kW.

Open and closed combustion

In addition to this, the choice between open or closed combustion is equally important. 'Open combustion' may lead you to think we are talking about an open fire, without a glass front, but this isn't the case. Open combustion is the name given to the system whereby air is extracted from the room in which the fire or heater is positioned, and where the flue gases are removed via a single flue.

What types of stoves are there?

Wood fires and stoves always have an open combustion system. It is important to know when choosing your wood fire or stove that good ventilation in the home is a prerequisite. When a home is well-ventilated you can always install a wood fire or stove. In exceptional circumstances, such as homes with a so-called 'Balance Ventilation System' there are fires and stoves with exterior air feeds. An increasing number of fires and stoves are equipped with such an exterior air feed, or offer this as extra. With this system the combustion air is extracted from outdoors. Please take into account that with a wood firer or, the flue must always go upwards, through the roof and outdoors, and must even reach above roof ridge height.

On the other hand with gas fires and stoves, there is the choice of closed combustion, whereby the requisite combustion air is directly extracted from outside and the flue gases are removed via the same flue. Such extraction can, in many cases, be simply fed through the outside wall or roof. This means you have more flexibility in the exact positioning of your fire. As the system extracts oxygen from outdoors and not from the room where the stove is placed, the system is also ideally suited to the modern, well-insulated and mechanically ventilated home. In the case of gas fires and, you will always be advised to opt for closed combustion. However, if you wish to connect a gas fire or stove to an existing chimney with a diameter of less than 150 mm, then open combustion may well be an option as this requires a smaller flue.

We hope this gives you at least a rough idea of what sort of fire you want and need. The next thing to do is to go online and have a look at what appliances are out there that suit your needs.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Gas Safe or CORGI?

It seems that many people are still not quite sure as to whether they needs a CORGI registered engineer to install their gas products in their home. So just to clarify the matter for those who are unsure as from the 1st of April 2009 Gas Safe Register Replaced CORGI, so you should not let anyone who claims to be CORGI registered work on your gas items in your home, and you shouldn't let anyone other then a Gas Safe Registered engineer carry out gas related work or surveying.

If you wish to find out whether a business or individual is Gas Safe registered and what work they are qualified to do then you can visit or you can call 0800 405 55 00.

Gas Safe Register installers or engineers will also carry with them their gas safe register engineer photo ID card. The Card has a picture of the engineer on the front with a unique license number, that you can quote over the phone or input on the website to ensure the engineer is the person they claim to be.

The front of the card will also have a start and expiry date and a security hologram. Please be aware that the back of the card also contains important information as it shows the type of work the engineer is qualified to do, these include gas fire, cooker, boiler installation etc. This is also a way to check that the engineers qualifications are up to date too.

Unsafe gas work may cause carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions, so it is of the utmost importance that a registered Gas Safe installer is involved with any gas work carried out in you home.

Gas Safe Register has also provided 5 top tips to help keep you and your family safe and these are as follows:

  1. Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer for any gas work in your home – and check their ID card.
  2. Make sure your gas appliances are safety checked and serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, or at least once a year.

  3. If you live in rented accommodation, your landlord must arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out a safety check every year on all gas appliances. You should be given a copy of the safety certificate before you move in or within 28 days of the safety check. If you don’t have this certificate, ask your landlord.
  4. Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm, which will alert you if dangerous levels are present in your home.
  5. If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak: turn off the gas at the meter, extinguish naked flames, open windows and leave the area. Seek medical advice if you feel unwell. Call the Gas Emergency Freephone number 0800 111 999.

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Students Leaving For University

First year students soon to be moving into university the new term by now and many are most likely adapting to independent living in rented accommodation for the very first time.

Without putting a dampener to all their new-found freedoms, it is imperative they understand the dangers that can occur from faulty or badly-installed appliances.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a potentially lethal gas which cannot be detected by the senses. It is a product of the combustion of organic matter under conditions of restricted oxygen supply, which prevents complete oxidation to carbon dioxide (CO2).

Each year in the UK, people die from acute CO poisoning caused by emissions from gas heaters. Many more suffer the symptoms of chronic poisoning including headaches, sickness and chest pains, which are easily misdiagnosed.

According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), last year 15 people died and 234 suffered major injuries from CO poisoning caused by gas appliances.

Prevention remains a vital public health issue, requiring public education on the safe operation of these appliances.

Common sources of carbon monoxide in the home include faulty central heating systems, gas appliances and fires. Blocked flues and chimneys mean the gas can’t escape and is inhaled by the unsuspecting individual.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, so it’s important to be aware of possible causes and how to minimise the risk of exposure by putting these safety tips into practice:
• Have any chimneys and flues checked regularly
• Make sure gas appliances and heating systems are inspected every year
• Fit audible carbon monoxide alarms – available from DIY stores
• Never run cars, motorbikes or lawnmowers in a closed garage.

People can prevent serious consequences by learning to spot the warning signs. CO poisoning may be a possibility if other people in the same home are suffering similar symptoms, or if they tend to disappear when a person goes away (for example on holiday).

Symptoms can also be seasonal (for example, people suffering from headaches during the winter when indoor heating is used more often).

Students, as well as many other vulnerable groups living in rented accommodation, must make sure their landlord has any gas appliance regularly maintained by a Gas Safe Register engineer and issue the tenant with a copy of the gas safety record following the annual safety check.

Young people can also ensure that they are protecting themselves by installing an audible carbon monoxide alarm. If it is a battery-operated device then they will need to test that the battery is working on a regular basis, just as you would with a smoke alarm.

Recently, there have been incidents where parents have found their children dead due to badly-installed appliances and a lack of understanding that not all installers are trained to fit all appliances.

Competent Gas Safe Registered installers must help to inform members of the public of the risks so that parents, offspring and their wider network of family and friends can be more aware of the dangers. The more people this message gets through to, the more lives will be saved.

In reality, gas safety may not be high on the list of importance for students when they move into their new home. But being clued up when they rent accommodation, and understanding their rights as tenants, could save their lives. According to Gas Safe Register, in April 2007, six Oxford University students narrowly escaped death as a potentially deadly CO leak was discovered in their student accommodation.

When the emergency services arrived, they found exceptionally high levels of the deadly gas in the property. Had it not been for their parent’s encouragement to fit an audible CO alarm in the house, these students could have lost their lives.

The alarm signalled, warning them of high levels of CO leaking from a gas cooker.

If a landlord refuses to service and safety check the gas appliances they have provided, they are breaking the law and the individual can ring the HSE and report them on 0845 345 0055.

CO poisoning can be fatal depending on the concentration inhaled, and can be confirmed by finding high levels in the blood.

Treatment includes making sure the patient is away from any source of the gas, providing basic life support as appropriate and giving oxygen before transferring the patient to hospital.

People who suffer mild poisoning invariably make a full recovery, but between 10 and 50% of those who are exposed to severe poisoning may suffer long-term problems.

There have been many TV campaigns highlighting the importance of installing a fire alarm, but not so many regarding CO alarms.

Gas Safe Register is the official body for gas safety in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Guernsey, and continues to campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using illegal installers – those who are not registered with Gas Safe.

Those who are registered can highlight the dangers by imparting knowledge to a customer who may well pass this information forward to another person – with an outcome of a life being saved.

Sunday 7 August 2011

New Suites From Drugasar

Freshly imported from Holland, Drugasar, famous for its stunningly contemporary hole in the wall gas fires have recently released the Cara and the Grace suites based around the incredible popular Global 70XT.

They have now launched a new model, the Global 40, this new member of the Global range is smallest of the range, it would now fit into a standard 18inch opening!
To completement this new fire and its size, Drugasar have also launched a range of surrounds to fit the Global 40, these surrounds are designed for homeowners wanting a luxury fireplace solution without paying the kind of prices one would pay for the likes of Montpellier or even perhaps other Drugasar Fires.

The Global 40 is the first inset fire with the optional Ceraglass interior. This highly polished, heat resistant glass reflects the flame and adds that extra feel of depth to the fire.
There is also the option for a natural stone interior for those looking for a more rustic look, designed for a conventional flue the Global 40 (subject to the condition of your chimney) can be installed without a costly flue liner.

Operated by remote control and available in either natural gas or LPG, the Global 40 is a stunning inset fire with a maximum heat output of 3.3kW

The surrounds available with the Global 40 include the Aura and the Eclipse. Both of these British made solid stone surrounds feature downlights for that added feel of quality, while the Aura Surround is more of a traditional feel with natural cream stome surround and hearth with a contrasting black back panel drawing attention to the fire in the centre. Even when the fire is off this surround looks stunning, the downlights illuminate the fire itself and help the fireplace surround return to its prime as the focal point of the room.

The Eclipse surround is a slightly more modern surround with a striking black granite surround and hearth and cream stone back panel, again complemented with the downlights drawing attention to the fire in the centre, with both of these surrounds coming in at just a touch under 48inch shelf width they are small enough to fit in some of the smaller living spaces without dominating.

These fires are set to appear on most retailers websites in the coming days and are sure to be "hot property" when the heating season arrives

Friday 5 August 2011

New From Europa. The Helmsley Suite

The latest range from leading manufacturer Europa is the Helmsley suite.
This 54inch wide suite features a gently arching headed and classical roman style detailing on the legs, while offering a very clean overall appearance means that this suite would not look out of place in either a contemporary or traditional setting.
Available as either a gas or electric suite allowing almost anyone to enjoy the Helmsley suite in their own home. The electric version features a 2kW fan heater as well as ultra low energy LEDs to control the flame effect meaning you can relax and enjoy the realistic flame effect without having to worry about how much it's running up your meter reading!
The gas version offers a maximum heat output of 3.8kW with the choice of traditional coal or contemporary pebble. Both the gas and electric suites have the option of a brass or a silver trim and fret to match existing fittings in your living space.
Both of these models feature a flush boxed profiled hearth with clean lines adds to the feel and flexibility of being put in either a contemporary or a traditional setting.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Planning a new kitchen? Cut your energy costs

If you think that installing loft-insulation, fitting double-glazing, or changing your heating and hot water systems sounds disruptive – you’re not the only one. Many people feel that it takes time and patience to install energy efficient measures in their home - time they don’t have.

At the Energy Saving Trust we’ve listened and realised that it is more cost-effective and less disruptive to incorporate energy efficient measures at the same time you are undergoing smaller refurbishment work on your home anyway. Whether it’s fitting a new kitchen or refurbishing a room for the arrival of a new baby, you’ll already be ready for the disruption and the cost that comes with such projects.

So we have produced a series of room-by-room guides introducing the benefits of incorporating energy saving measures whilst refurbishing a home.

The first guide from this series is for kitchen refurbishment and is designed to help you choose the right energy saving measures when building your new kitchen.

The kitchen guide is a sneak preview into the series of guides coming out soon including: a bathroom and living space refurbishment guide and a loft conversions and heating and hot water systems guide. These will become available later this year.

So if you’ve got your eye on a new kitchen suite – grab a guide and see how installing energy efficient measures in your home will save you money in the long-run!

Monday 1 August 2011

And now for the Chorus!

Everyone wants to create the ideal warm, inviting atmosphere for their home; what better way to achieve this than with the glow of an elegant fire? The stunning Chorus CF fire from Paragon is just what is needed to add a homely feel to a modern interior. The gas fire allows you to create a designer look with none of the mess and cleaning that comes with an open fireplace!

The beautiful Chorus is a deep and large fire so it produces an impressively tall flame with an attractive glow; a real eye-catcher! The fire comprises a glass fascia and realistic log-bed giving it the feel of an authentic fire with a modern twist. Installation is designed to be straightforward - it is available as a hole-in-the-wall installation and can be fitted into any standard chimney breast with either Class I or Class II flues. There is also no need for the chimney to be lined; saving you time and money.

As well as its striking good looks, the Chorus CF has much to offer in terms of efficiency. Fuelled by natural gas, and with an input of 5.5KW and output of 4.2KW of both radiated and convected heat, the fire achieves an unbelievably high efficiency of 84%; providing this stylish look at an affordable price. This modern fire is controlled by an infra-red remote control which lights the pilot light as well as the fire, not only saving energy and carbon emissions but making your life easier as well!

The curved glass fascia is almost completely unique amoung gas fires and looks stunning, bringing the fire into the room while also not sacrificing any important floorspace. The elegant curve of the fascia gives reference to smaller electric fires such as the Bemodern Orlando while also offering a more realistic fuel effect with real gas flames and a heat output that will happily heat even some of the more spacious living spaces.

The Paragon Chorus conventional flue gas fire is now on display for your viewing pleasure at the Fireplace Megastore at a price (which we're not allowed to disclose) that I'm sure exceptional value for money.