A space formed by the chimney back, the chimney jambs and the chimney breast in which solid fuel is burned for the purpose of heating the room into which it opens. The relevant performance criteria for fireplaces and chimneys are covered in Building Code clauses B1 Structure, B2 Durability and C1 Outbreak of Fire.


Gas Heating and Fire


Ensure your gas heater is flued (exhaust fumes run outside): unflued gas heaters, such as stand alone units using gas bottles, emit toxic gases and water vapour

– adding moisture and dangerous fumes to the interior of your home.

Efficiency is important. Though gas heaters are the cleanest burning fossil fuel, some are more efficient than others so make sure yours is at the higher end of the scale. Ideally, look for condensing gas heaters. 

If you live in an area that has no gas supply, you can have large tanks that are delivered to you and changed out as required.

Decorative gas fireplaces are more for ambience and interior décor than for heating – as a general rule, their efficiency is at the lower end of the spectrum.

Gas heaters may need electricity to run, so they are often not a guarantee of heating in the event of power failure.

As with wood burners, you will need a building consent for a fixed gas heater to be installed and you must use a Registered Gasfitter. 

Gas heaters must be installed by a Registered Gasfitter and a Gas Certificate must be issued for the installation. Electrical work should be carried out by a Registered Electrician and, if required, an Electrical Certificate of Compliance issued.

Consumer magazine reports that gas heaters are comparatively expensive to run. Their findings are that woodburners are cheapest, then heat pumps.