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Choosing the right fuel type (wood, gas, electric)

Choosing the right fuel type (wood, gas, electric)

December 17th at 12:00am

Choosing the right fuel type (wood, gas, electric)

If you’re in the market for a warm and cosy new fire, before you start shopping around for a product that catches your eye, you should first have an understanding of the required heat output needed to keep your room at the ideal temperature.

Different rooms require different levels of heat to create a warm atmosphere, which means you need to select an appropriate fuel type to ensure your room isn’t too cold — or too hot!

However, we’re aware that many prospective buyers choosing their first fire won’t know where to begin when it comes to calculating how much heat their room will need, and which fuel type will be best for the job.

That’s why we've put together this blog — to explain how to calculate the heat requirement of a room, and what fuel type will be your best choice.

What determines the heat requirement of a room?


A good place to start is with the size of the room. Large rooms will require a fire that can kick out more heat, while smaller rooms can be kept warm by a fire with a lower heat output. When calculating the size of your room, don’t forget to include ceiling height, as well as the obvious length and width.


Windows also play an important factor in the temperature of your room. Modern double or even triple glazed windows do a much better job at holding in heat than older, single glazed windows. So if you’re in a period property with older windows, it’s likely you’ll need a more powerful fire.


The type of walls in your property also impacts heat insulation. Cavity walls tend to do a better job at holding in heat, and keeping out damp, compared to a solid wall — so be sure to check what type of walls you're working with.

Online tool:

Once you’ve considered the above factors we recommend using this online heat output calculator, which will provide you with a guideline kilowatt requirement for your room. Remember however, this tool is very much a guide only — because if your room has very poor insulation, it might recommend a kilowatt number that doesn’t exist in a product on the electrical fire market! That’s why it’s always best to speak to an expert who can recommend alternatives to electric fires, such as those we’ve outlined below.

What fuel types are available?


If you have a room that requires a lot of heat, a wood burning fire will likely be your best option. Wood burning fires have the highest potential for heat output, plus modern wood burners can also be energy-efficient. They're enjoyed by a loyal fan base due to the cosy atmosphere they create, and the task of keeping the flames fed with high-quality wood is all part of the soothing ritual.

There's numerous wood burining fires to choose from on our website, but we've highlighted two below that each have a unique look.


For rooms that require a moderate amount of heat, such as large rooms but with double glazing and cavity walls, the best option will likely be a gas burner. Gas burners are still capable of emitting a lot of heat, but fall just short of their wood-burning cousins. Gas fires however require less work than wood fires to keep them going, as they don't need to be topped up with fuel, so they're a better choice for those who just want to kick back and relax. 

We've picked out two below with excellent fire displays that closely resemble the original wood burning effect.


If your room is very well insulated and/or small, then an electric fire will be the option for you. Electric fires generally go up to 2kW, so are ideal for creating a cosy background heat. Alternatively, many buyers opt for an electric fire purely for aestheitc purposes, as they create a fantastic focal point with their weide-ranging lighting display options.

We've highlighted two of our favourites below.

Two elegant electric fires

eReflex 135R inset Onyx Avanti 150RW
Don't forget to think about your lifestyle

As a final point of consideration, think about what fuel type — and the amount of work each requires — will best suit your lifestyle. While you might have a poorly insulated large room that requires a lot of heat, simply selecting a wood burner isn't necessarily the way to go if you're not the type to enjoy feeding the fire and maintaining a steady store of wood. If you don't keep the fire going, you won't reap the benefits in heat output. If this applies to you, then gas will be the better option. Similarly, if you're after more of a focal point, and aren't as concerned with heat generation, then electric fires will be your best bet — as they have more features and options.

If you found the above information helpful, we encourage you to visit our blog section for similar content, and follow us on Instagram,  Facebook and Pinterest.

If you would like to contact us directly to discuss your dream project please call 020 8540 8387