If you installed a gas fireplace in the last ten years, chances are it was a Heat & Glo 550 TRSi. The 550 gas fireplaces became the market leader, installed in homes and developments, and chosen by home owners, architects and designers alike.
The popularity of these units was driven by their looks, and performance. But above all the reliability of the Heat & Glo brand was second to none. Professionals and homeowners alike were confident that the balanced flue technology wouldn’t compromise air quality; that the installation would be straight forward and the unit would function reliably for years after installation, with minimal maintenance.
This year, Heat & Glo are releasing a new generation 550, and from all reports its set to become the go to choice in gas fireplaces for the next ten years.
2018 Release Gas Fireplaces
Enter the X-Series. This new range takes everything that was great about the 550 and improves on it. As Product Manager at Jetmaster Heat & Glo, Ashley Stride says “The new X-Series fires are sleeker, smarter and hotter”.
The X-Series consists of three models currently, the 3X, 5X and flagship SLR-X. A fourth model, the 6X, is being released mid-year. The 3X is the smallest unit in the range, but doesn’t scrimp on technology or features, its just gives you more installation options in smaller spaces. The 5X is the next generation model of the 550TRSi, perfectly suited to Australian homes in size, looks and installation flexibility. Then there is the flagship model, the SLR-X. This is a seriously beautiful fire – all the technology, all the features and a wide landscape look.
So let’s run through the product improvements built into the X-Series. The 550 was always valued for making installation easy - it had a range of installation options and accessories which made it right for lots of different spaces. The X-Series has been built with the same philosophy. The key update is that the units are even shallower, making this range its even more flexible in terms of installation options.
The way the units fit into the wall has been redesigned so that the fire appears closer. This perspective is enhanced changes to the fire design & trim design. The fire appears much larger with more burning logs and is enhanced on the 3X and 5X models with LED lit embers. The trim is a lower profile, that provides the units with a more streamlined look. The trim options on the three models currently available – the 3X, 5X and SLR-X look fantastic installed.
Inside the units there are three internal finish options available. You can choose between the standard black, non-reflective combustion chamber which is standard on all models, or there is the option to choose from a fade resistant black glass interior, or stainless steel reflective panels. Our favourite? Definitely the black glass interior – it gives just the right amount of extra depth to the fire when its alight, and looks equally good when its off.
So what about the fire itself? Heat & Glo have always been renowned for building units that are innovative and effective, and the X-Series is no different. On top of their industry benchmark balanced flue technology which is so good for indoor air quality, they’ve added the Intellifire Plus ignition system, which sounds impressive, but also adds a lot of value. Put simply, Heat & Glo’s development of Intellifire ignition means the old pilot light that used to run burning gas 24/7, 365 days is a thing of the past. Intellifire Plus means that you only use gas when you turn the fire on.
Add to that improved heat output, a multi-function remote and the very impressive LED ember bed lights, and you’ve got the fireplace we all want to spend winter lounging in front of.
In terms of individual models in the range, here are the stand out features, model by model, as they do vary slightly.
Features of the 3X Heat & Glo
As we mentioned earlier, the 3X despite being the smallest model in the new range still features all of the great technology that is hallmark of the X-Series. The 3X is supplied with the firescreen front and low profile trim. The 3X will appeal to people looking for a gas fireplace to heat a smaller 4 to 6 square area.
Features of the 5X Heat & Glo
The 5X is where you really see the X-Series styling differences come to the fore. There are two face options – the Firescreen front or the Clean Face Front. The Clean Face Front really minimizes any trim around the fire unit, and the result is a very sleek, dramatic looking fire. Our pick is the clean face front with logs. Like the 550 before it, the 5X comfortably heats a 6-8 square space, which makes it ideal for many open plan homes.
Features of the SLR-X Heat & Glo
Then we get to the SLR-X. The first big difference is the shape, it’s a really wide, elegant landscape shape; markedly different to the just off square 3X and 5X. The width of the fire is emphasized by the clean, sleek lines of the Clean Face Front trim. As a result, the fire just appears to float. If you are looking at an SLR-X there’s just one very big decision to be made – are you going to choose logs, pebbles or driftwood?
Being the flagship model, all of the technology and features are onboard as standard. The SLR-X is recommended for the same size space as a 5X, 6 to 8 squares, but with its improved heat output may work in bigger areas.
We saw the new X-Series on display at the Jetmaster Heat & Glo showroom in Richmond. They have all four models on display, including the 6X which isn’t coming out until later in the year.
We asked Ron Bernecich what the customer response has been to the new range, ‘Even before we turn the fires on people are interested, they just look so contemporary and stylish.’
So if 2018 is your year to buy a gas fireplace, head down to Jetmaster Heat & Glo to see the new X-Series on display.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wish list of products, then be sure to check out our Jetmaster Heat & Glo product range.
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