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FAQ

Fuel prices compared

We’ve calculated the rates charged for different ways of heating your home. In the past our calculations have included fixed charges such as connection fees, annual rentals for larger LPG cylinders, and the per-day charges that used to be known as “line charges”.This year we’ve decided to exclude these fixed charges because the energy supplied may also be used for cooking – and also because virtually all Kiwi households have to pay a fixed daily charge for the electricity that provides their lighting.

Costs are for providing one kilowatt of heat per hour. They do not include fixed charges (see below). Firewood is pine and its costs are from our November 2012 survey of firewood prices. Electricity and natural gas prices are from Powerswitch. Other costs are from pricing data collected during February 2013. GST is included.

Gas LPG

Gas Bottles at Home – how does it work?

Good things always come in pairs, so we deliver a Home Pack of two 45kg bottles to your place. Most gas appliances can be connected to our bottles, mounted to the outside of your house. Each gas installation needs a gas fitting certificate issued by a craftsman gasfitter before the gas can be turned on and is available for use.

When one gas bottle empties, your regulator should automatically switch to the next bottle.  Give us a bell or order onlinewhen that happens and we’ll replace the empty bottle toot sweet.

Click here to see legal minimum clearances required when positioning two 45kg Contact Rockgas LPG bottles.

If you think bottled gas might be a go, it's important that you choose a good site for your setup. We can help you do this as well as recommend a certified gasfitter. Also, you need to ensure that your site is able to support the regular delivery of our 45kg gas bottles before ordering bottled gas. Click here to see the few safety non-negotiables you'll need to consider.

Wood

Choose the best fire

There are many factors to consider when installing a Metro wood fire in your home and ensuring you select the correct size and model for your home and heating requirements is key. The right Metro wood fire with correct operation and good dry fuel will provide you years of warmth and trouble-free heating.

1. Check your property size to confirm whether you’re in a clean air zone or not

If your property ‘land size’ is less than 2 hectares, you can only install a clean air model. If your property ‘land size’ is 2 hectares or greater, you can choose to install either a dedicated LTD (rural) model or a clean air approved model.

2. Check with your local council for the airshed/emission requirements for your area

The National Environmental Standard permits a maximum of 1.5 grams of particulates per kilogram of fuel burnt with a minimum heating efficiency of 65%. Some councils have more stringent emission requirements than this. For example, Central Otago Air Shed 1 is restricted to 0.7 grams and Canterbury is restricted to 1 gram.

3. Choose the correct size Metro fire which will provide the best heat for your home

Choosing the correct sized Metro fire for the space you are wanting to heat is very important. A model that is too large for the space you are heating will have to be turned down, which reduces efficiency, creates more emissions and produces contaminants (unburnt) which can damage the firebox and flue system.

Measure the area (m2) you wish to heat and compare it to the heating area icon shown with each model. Homes with a high stud, lack of insulation or the installation of a wetback or heat transfer system may require more heating capacity. Your Metro specialist or installer can provide further assistance in choosing the best size Metro fire.

4. Select the best location in your home for your new Metro fire

The location of your fire will determine how well it heats your home. Your Metro fire can be freestanding, insert or built-in. Determine the best location for your fire to ensure the specified clearances, floor protector requirements, flue installation, and optimum heat distribution are achieved. Your Metro specialist or certified installer will be more than happy to visit your home and advise on the best model and installation location for your home heating needs.

5. Have your Metro fire installed by a registered or approved installer

We recommend your Metro fire should always be installed by a registered or approved installer and must be installed to the manufacturers’ detailed specifications. Your Metro specialist or certified installer can also help manage the council permit process from consent application through to completed installation.

Radiant or Convection heat - What's the difference?

Wood fires release their heat through a combination of heat radiation, which heats objects, and convection which heats the air. The amount of each varies with some models being predominantly one type or the other.

Choosing the correct sized Metro fire and how it will heat the space you are wanting to heat is very important. A model that is too large for the space you are heating will have to be turned down, which reduces efficiency, creates more emissions and produces unburnt contaminants (from incomplete combustion) which over time can damage the firebox and flue system if left unchecked.

Choose a suitable model for your homes size, age and the area you are wanting to heat. If you have a medium sized well-insulated home in a region that experiences a mild winter climate, then 10kW of heat should be adequate. A larger house, or the same-sized but less well insulated and draughty house, particularly in a colder climate, will require more heat output. In non-open plan houses there's no point overheating the lounge or space the fire is in while the rest of the house stays cold. Installation of a heat-transfer system will utilise the excess heat at ceiling level and distribute it to other parts of your home. This warm air then circulates to create a dry, healthy environment throughout your home from just one heat source - your Metro fire.

Measure the area (m2) you wish to heat and compare it to the heating area icon shown with each model Metro. Homes with a high stud, lack of insulation or the installation of a wetback or heat transfer system may require more heating capacity. Your Metro specialist/installer can provide further assistance in choosing the best size Metro fire.

Convection heat

Convection wood fires draw in air from floor level, that then gets heated and rises away from the fire into the room. This cyclic convection air-current means that the hottest air in the room rises up to the ceiling with the warmer air remaining in the lower part of your room. Convection fires are best suited for insulated homes with standard height ceilings. They heat more evenly throughout the home by eliminating the localised intensity of a radiant wood fire and operate with cooler cabinet surfaces.

Radiant heat

Radiant wood fires release heat into the room by ‘radiating’ an infrared heat directly from the outer surfaces of the appliance onto any object in close proximity. This results in more heat being retained lower in the room. Ideal for older less insulated (or draughty) homes, and homes with high ceilings or large open plan areas. All radiant models can also be used for cooking on as well as heating.

Convection heat vs Radiant heat

Why would my fire start smoking into the room?

The chimney may need to be swept. If the chimney has been swept and the fire is smoking, check that the sweep has reassemblied the flue system and fire correctly. Check that the Cowl and Bird protection is clean and clear. Check that the flue is not obstructed, eg. bird nest or other obstruction. Check that the Fires Damper is fully open. Make sure you have enough flue for the correct up-draft (draw) ofthe fire. If you have made alterations to the home or there has been further development in the area, eg new home or increase in nearby tree height, this can effect the up-draft of the fire. Make sure you are producing enough heat ro get the firebox and gather hot, if not the fire will not draw properly and smoke will issue into the room.

ESCEA

How do I convert mega joules per hour (MJ/H) into gas consumption?

The chimney may need to be swept. If the chimney has been swept and the fire is smoking, check that the sweep has reassemblied the flue system and fire correctly. Check that the Cowl and Bird protection is clean and clear. Check that the flue is not obstructed, eg. bird nest or other obstruction. Check that the Fires Damper is fully open. Make sure you have enough flue for the correct up-draft (draw) ofthe fire. If you have made alterations to the home or there has been further development in the area, eg new home or increase in nearby tree height, this can effect the up-draft of the fire. Make sure you are producing enough heat ro get the firebox and gather hot, if not the fire will not draw properly and smoke will issue into the room.

How much gas will an Escea fireplace use?

The chimney may need to be swept. If the chimney has been swept and the fire is smoking, check that the sweep has reassemblied the flue system and fire correctly. Check that the Cowl and Bird protection is clean and clear. Check that the flue is not obstructed, eg. bird nest or other obstruction. Check that the Fires Damper is fully open. Make sure you have enough flue for the correct up-draft (draw) ofthe fire. If you have made alterations to the home or there has been further development in the area, eg new home or increase in nearby tree height, this can effect the up-draft of the fire. Make sure you are producing enough heat ro get the firebox and gather hot, if not the fire will not draw properly and smoke will issue into the room.

How efficient are Escea fires?

The chimney may need to be swept. If the chimney has been swept and the fire is smoking, check that the sweep has reassemblied the flue system and fire correctly. Check that the Cowl and Bird protection is clean and clear. Check that the flue is not obstructed, eg. bird nest or other obstruction. Check that the Fires Damper is fully open. Make sure you have enough flue for the correct up-draft (draw) ofthe fire. If you have made alterations to the home or there has been further development in the area, eg new home or increase in nearby tree height, this can effect the up-draft of the fire. Make sure you are producing enough heat ro get the firebox and gather hot, if not the fire will not draw properly and smoke will issue into the room.