Gas fireplaces in Brisbane homes are becoming more popular than a traditional fireplace, despite it being a warm climate. Brisbane can have cold winters that require heating within the home. The installation of a fireplace in a Brisbane home is to offer energy efficient heating in winter and to add wow factor to a living space. A fireplace can be an unexpected style feature within the home.
When you think gas fireplaces, Brisbane is unlikely to be the first place you think of. With much of the year being lovely and warm, it’s not known as a city where it’s essential for a fireplace installation! However, electricity costs have soared over the years. This has been a catalyst for many homeowners to install an energy efficient and cost effective heating source for the home.
When purchasing a home with a fireplace, whether gas or traditional, it’s important for a pre-purchase inspection to take place before making an offer on a home. The installation of any gas appliance should require an additional inspection by a gas inspector to ensure it has been installed as per Australian standards and to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Ventilation and the correct installation of the flue are vital for the health of all who live in the home.
Sadly too many renovating TV shows have prompted DIY handymen to install appliances they don’t have a licence to install. The implications can be catastrophic. Here are some points to be aware of when purchasing a home in Brisbane with a gas fireplace or traditional fireplace.
Benefits of gas fireplaces in Brisbane
One of the benefits of a gas fireplace in a Brisbane home is its efficiency in warming the space, without the added energy costs. Gas is much less expensive than electricity.
Gas fireplaces are generally easier to keep clean than a chimney, although it does require an inspection every 1 to 2 years depending on how often it is used in winter.
Gas fireplaces can use natural gas or LPG. It depends on the brand and make of the gas fireplace on which gas you can use.
Before choosing a model of gas fireplace, you will need to check:
- What gas is available in your area – is there a natural gas line in your street that can be connected into or will you need LPG bottles? This will determine which gas fireplace to have installed.
- Is there room for the gas fireplace to be installed in the home and the right clearances for the flue?
- Does your gas fireplace need ventilation?
- Is the gas appliance certified for installation in Australia? Many overseas models of gas fireplaces require a different gas, and they also don’t meet the energy requirements in Australia. The gas fireplace should be safety tested and certified. It will have a label stating it has been tested and certified for installation within Australia. When in doubt, your licensed gas fitter will need to check the model before installing.
Gas fireplace installation
Before a gas fireplace is installed, it’s important to check your gas fitter has a current gas licence. For houses that have an installed gas fireplace, the homeowners should be able to supply a certificate of compliance for the installation of the appliance. In Brisbane, a metal plate with the date of installation, model number of the appliance and the licence number of the plumber who installed the appliance will be on the appliance itself or in the power meter box. This metal plate can give a new homeowner peace of mind that their gas fireplace was installed professionally.
What needs to be checked before purchasing a home with a gas fireplace in Brisbane
A licensed gas fitter who is generally a plumber with a gas endorsed license should inspect the existing gas fireplace. Their inspection will:
- Ensure the fireplace has been installed correctly.
- Ensure the fireplace has been tested and approved for installation in Australia.
- Check for gas leaks on piping and regulators.
- Check the correct piping has been used for installation. Gas installations have different pipe requirements than water pipe installations.
- Identify any possible issues that a homeowner would not be aware of.
A compliance certificate should be readily seen for the installation of the appliance.
Benefits of traditional fireplaces in Brisbane
A traditional fireplace in a Brisbane home is not a very common installation for older and modern homes. However, they aren’t a rarity as there are many Queenslander homes that have the traditional fireplace.
The biggest benefit of a traditional fireplace is the cost to heat the home. It’s very little compared to gas fireplaces and central heating systems.
There are drawbacks to a traditional fireplace in the home including the need for attention to keep the fire going. It will need to be stoked and restocked so the fire can continue throughout the night. It also requires maintenance and regular cleaning when the fireplace is not in use.
Traditional fireplaces should be inspected every two years – however, this is often an inspection that is neglected by homeowners unless they have a problem using their fireplace.
As part of a pre-purchase inspection, Action Property Inspections will inspect a chimney, providing they can get access to the roof where it is physically safe to do so. It’s important for a chimney to be inspected as part of your pre-purchase inspection as cracking can lead to a house fire due to heat transfer. A new homeowner can be unaware of this issue.
There can be more than meets the eye when inspecting a chimney, and there is a detailed checklist of what should be inspected during a pre-purchase inspection.
Choosing a home with a fireplace, whether gas or traditional, is an exciting aspect to a new home purchase if you’ve never had this type of heating in a home before. Chimneys and gas fireplaces are not usually the standard heating source within a Brisbane home, so it’s vitally important that they are part of a pre-purchase inspection. Action Property Inspections have been inspecting Brisbane homes for over 25 years. They know what to look for when inspecting your home.