What is The Cheapest Fire to Run?

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What is The Cheapest Fire to Run?

When I hear the word fire I think of flames, smoke and heat but everyone has a different image in their mind. There are gas fires, log fires, bioethanol fires and coal fires. Anything that has a real flame is a fire no matter what fuel is used to make the flame. A fire powered by electric with flame effects, is a heater, it’s not really a fire…just saying! Now we’ve cleared that up let’s look at what is the cheapest FIRE to run.

In a Hurry? Jump to the Cheapest Fire to Run

What Gas Fires are Available?

Gas fires come in many different styles, from open-fronted to closed glass-fronted wood burner effects. They can use design features like artificial logs, artificial coals and even stones or pebbles. Gas fires are fed from either mains or fed from bottles.

Gas fires are vented via a chimney (Conventional flue) or if one is not present, via a fitted flue to the outside. (Balanced Flue).

What are the most efficient gas fires?

Glass-fronted gas fires are the most efficient fires. Containing as much energy as possible within the unit will make the fire more efficient.

What Log Fires are available?

There are two forms of log fires, open log fires (conventional fireplaces) and Wood/Log burners (enclosed glass-fronted fires. Containing energy within the burner makes these fires the most efficient log fires.

What are Multi-Fuel Fires?

Multi-fuel fires can burn a variety of fuels. Most commonly, coal or wood. Again, these fires can either be open or glass-fronted and glass-fronted multi-fuel fires are more efficient than open fires. However, whether they are the cheapest fire to run will be determined by the cost of the fuel.

What are Bioethanol Fires?

Bioethanol fires come in many different forms and styles, consisting of a simple receptacle that holds bioethanol fuel, which burns and produces heat. The Bioethanol fires are generally open fires but can have glass sides to protect people or objects from the flickering flames.

So, What is the Cheapest Fire to Run?

There are many different factors that can affect how much a fire could cost to run, from the fuel it uses to the environment the fire is in. To help give an average cost of running a fire, we’ve used data from real people burning real fires, calculating how many logs and how much coal or biofuel they’ve used. We’ve broken down the data to help give a cost per hour, for a fixed kilowatt fire.

Other Factors that Affect the Cost of Fires for Heating

Chucking logs on an open fire in a conventional fireplace is not the most efficient or the cheapest way of heating your house. Fires do, however, create a lovely warm, cosy ambiance and a focal point to a room.

Wood burning stoves, for example, are very efficient because they hold the heat behind glass within the stove, expelling the waste through a narrow flue.

Buying fuel in bulk can hugely reduce the cost of running a fire. Buying a few logs in a small bag at the local garage or supermarket can be an expensive way to fuel your fire. Equally, buying bioethanol fuel in bulk can also make these types of fires a whole lot cheaper to run.

Hopefully, with the data in this article, you can work out how much fuel you might need and therefore order larger loads of fuel and make your fire cheaper to run.

Ensuring a room gets hot enough is another factor that you may want to take into consideration. For example, a large room 7 m x 7 m with good insulation, may require an 8 kW fire. Whereas a 4 m x 4 m with good insulation may only require a 3 kW fire. you can calculate room requirements here

You may also have the fire on tick over, not running at full pelt all the time, this will not cost as much per hour

Cost of Running a Fire in 2021

Breaking all my rules, I have included the cost of running an electric heater for comparison purposes, and I know you will want to know!

Data collated using: 5p per kW for gas, logs at .50p per log, Bio fuel at £3 per litre, gas bottle 15 kg £42 (January 2021)

FireHeat OutputFuelRate of Burn per HourCost per Hour
Bio ethanol Fire3 kWBioethanol300 ml£0.90
Wood Burning Stove3 kWLogs2 Logs£1.00
Multi fuel Stove3 kWCoal500 grams£1.60
Gas Stove3 kWGas (mains)n/a15 pence
Open Gas Fire3 kWGas (mains)n/a15 pence
Gas Stove3 kWGas (bottled)n/a60 pence
Open Gas Fire3 kWGas (bottled)n/a60 pence
Electric Heater3 kWElectricn/a48 pence
      The Heat Chief