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Things You Should Know About Making Gel Fires

Making fire from gel? You might be raising brows and feeling skeptical. However, this new type of fireplace offers practical and simple heating solution for homes without venting. And the best part: it's your most prudent choice. A gel fireplace could be your next best buy, especially when it comes to function and decoration. Wondering how these fires are made? Let the pros guide you through the basics.

Gel fireplaces, and the secret to their warmth

These special furnaces use a special alcohol gel, usually bought in individual canisters, to create fire. The flames burn instantly and are very clean--no smoke and toxic fumes. In order to light up the furnace, the alcohol is placed in a flame-proof container (or its can), and is lit. Heat exudes from the furnace, which can be as small as a tabletop furnace pot with pebbles, or a tailor-made installation on your wall.

A traditional gel fuel is usually contained in 500ml cans, and can be conveniently installed in the fire. Each produces about 1kW of heat, boosting the fireplace to give an ample amount of 3kW to the setting. Surprisingly, this heat is almost equal to the same warmth an electric heater produces.

Inside, the cans produce a 25cm flame at most, with an amber-orange color that sparks instantly upon lighting. If your furnace has a flame spread, you can create a wonderful illusion of fire across the base. A can of gel fuel can burn around an hour or more in its full capacity.

Gel fuel flames produce stable, steady flames that do not flicker. However, it is important to purchase fuel from trusted sources, as low-quality gel fuels will result less heat and may even damage your furnace. How to check? Cheaper gel fuels produce a hint of blue flames.

The advantages of gel fireplaces

Choosing a gel fireplace over your conventional heating offers many benefits. For one, it does not require a flue and demands less maintenance than other forms of fireplaces. Other positive points include:

Inexpensive. Gel furnaces are cost-effective. There are many easy-to-install models in the market that needs no aid from professionals. If you're an avid DIY enthusiast, you can conveniently integrate this furnace in your home. Custom-made gel furnaces, on the other hand, are comparatively cheaper when set against gas and wood fueled furnaces.

Efficiency. No chimneys, no vents, no worries! None of the heat escapes the room, so that means you make use of the fire the fuel produces. This is a smart choice, compared to the traditional fireplace which only gives off 60% of the heat.

Decorative. Other than the many designs available in the market, you have the freedom to install a gel fireplace in many ways you like. There are free standing furnaces, corner fireplaces and even table inserts to decorate small spaces!

Environment-friendly. The clean nature of the gel-fueled flame makes you an advocate of Mother Nature. No harmful smoke. No irritating odor. No chemical fumes. It’s wise to choose a safe heating solution not only for your family, but for the environment as well.

Looking for gel fireplaces? Visit our store and discover a vast array of products to suit your needs!

How to Create an Outdoor Living Room

For those lucky buggers who reside in the warm and dry climates, an outdoor living area can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. It’s a way to bring the inside out and extend the comfort of your home to the great outdoors. Some only reach as far as the front porch, but others occupy an entire backyard space. Regardless, if you’ve got a big empty patio or outside area, consider turning it into an outdoor living room! Here are some easy tips and ideas to get you started.

1) Outdoor Fabrics

The key to a successful outdoor living room is using the right fabrics. You can’t have chairs and pillows upholstered in silks or leather, they just won’t stand up to the elements. Make sure your furniture and pillows are covered in proper exterior fabrics, ones that are water, fade, and mold resistant.

2) Rust Resistance

You can’t use the same furniture as you would inside. Any frame or structures should be made from rust-free metals, wood that has been properly sealed for outdoor use, or solid acrylics. These material will stand the test of time and the environment.

3) Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace is one of the best ways to create the look and feel of a living room. The warmth of the flames and the glow that illuminates the space just can’t be replicated with anything else. There are tons of different models to choose from and you can buy an electric fireplace to fit your setting.

4) Plush Pillows

Big, plus, and super comfy pillows are the way to go. And not just throw pillows, either. Make sure the cushions on your outdoor chairs and sofas are thick and comfortable. It will make the experience that much better.

5) Rug

An outdoor rug can really tie everything together so it doesn’t look like you just placed about a few pieces of furniture on your patio. A rug creates a frame, a center focus for everything to gather around. And, just like the rest of your fabrics, make sure your rug is of exterior quality, too.

6) Storage

For those inevitable rainy days, make sure to have a large plastic tote nearby to toss your pillows and accessories into. They come in all sorts of colors and styles so try and match it to your outdoor design. Place it behind the sofa and make it a part of the décor.

7) Blankets

Nights can be a little chilly sometimes but it doesn’t mean we want to pack up and head inside. A nice, quiet evening in front of the outdoor fireplace wouldn’t be complete without a soft blanket to cover up with.

Pros & Cons of Electric Fireplaces

Unfortunately, we can’t all have the luxury of a fancy, wood burning fireplace. But there’s always the option of electric units! Electric fireplaces are a great alternative heat source that has more flexibility in terms of placement and safety. But, like anything in this world, there’s positives and negatives. So, to set your mind at ease and lay it all out, here are the pros and cons of electric fireplaces.


Cons


1) Not a Real Flame
Yes, it’s true. Electric fireplaces use a simulated image of flames using lights and a screen. Some are quite realistic, though. This could be considered a con or not, it really depends on the individual.


2) Requires Electric Source
Unlike some natural gas and bio-fuel burners, electric fireplaces are limited to the availability of an electric outlet. They require to be plugged in order to be used which poses a problem during power outages, a time when an alternative heat source would be needed.


Pros


1) Alternative Heat Source
If you’ve got a room or two in your home that just always seems cold, then an electric fireplace may be a great option. Areas such as basements, spare rooms, and even older homes tend to be colder and slightly drafty. Having that backup really helps.


2) Safety
There’s just no competition when you’re comparing the safety of a wood burning fireplace to that of an electric one. No flames, no emissions, and no threat to children. The electric fireplace will never get hot enough to inflict any serious burns, either. Win, win!


3) Portability
One of the great things about an electric fireplace is its ability to be moved, event he burner inserts, if need be. But this feature mainly applies to the portable, freestanding units. Often, they come installed in a mock fireplace mantle or a TV unit. Move it from room to room to benefit from the extra heat source or enjoy from the comfort of your bed as well as your couch.


4) No Venting Required
This pro makes electric fireplaces the ideal alternative heat source for rental homes, small spaces, basement units, or condos. No venting required means that your electric fireplace can be used without the hassle of opening up walls or installing a venting system like a chimney.


Obviously, an electric fireplace will never replace real burning flames. But the option is there for anyone who’d love the features of a fireplace without the mess that comes with having one. Check out some great models here that you can order right online!

5 Things You Need to Know About Ethanol Fireplaces

There’s a big misconception that bio-ethanol fireplaces are no different than that of any other gas fireplace. But this couldn’t be more untrue. Bio-ethanol fireplaces are in a category all its own and really can’t be compared to any other type. In addition, ethanol fireplaces offer so much more for todays consumer and is one of the best choices among fireplace options today. Here’s why.


1) Environmentally Friendly
In today’s world it’s all about going green, reducing your carbon footprint, and reducing environmental impacts in any way we can. Having a wood burning fireplace is nice, but think about how much wood it will burn each year. Bio-ethanol fireplaces burn pure ethanol liquid gas which leaves zero emissions and has the smallest impact on the environment than any other source of heat.


2) More Efficient
How much square footage a fireplace can heat up depends on the size of the unit and the volume of the burning source. But it is clear then ethanol fireplaces burn more efficiently than that of a wood burning one. You can see those results in a comparison of kilowatts of heat per hour burned. A wood fireplace that heats at an average of 8-10 KW/Hr is the same as an ethanol one which heats 12 KW/Hr.


3) No Mess
Because ethanol fireplaces don’t require wood or other material to burn, there’s no mess left behind to clean up. The liquid gas completely evaporates as it burns and only a quick clean up every now an then to remove left over residue is required, which is a lot better than maintaining an ash producing fireplace and chimney stack.


4) Ventless
With a traditional wood burning fireplace you need proper clearance in the room to allow for a hearth and a safe burning zone. You also have to have a chimney and proper venting which has to be inspected on a regular basis. With an ethanol fireplace you don’t’ need any of that. They require zero venting because the fuel burns clean. No emissions, no CO2 risks, no smoke, and no mess. The other beauty of this feature is that you can take your ethanol fireplace insert with you if you move.


5) Cost Efficient
In terms of cost comparisons, a bio-ethanol fireplace is less expensive over time than that of a conventional wood burning fireplace. The unit may cost more but the fuel costs pennies compared to the price of wood and then maintenance costs involved with keeping up a wood burning fireplace.


So, with all of these features and benefits, why wouldn’t you opt for the more environmentally friendly and costs efficient fireplace choice? Check out some great models here and find the best ethanol fireplace for your home.

Things You Should Know About Ethanol Fireplaces

At the rise of climate change and other natural phenomena, a new standard has taken a toll over the building industry. Innovators are now leaning towards energy efficient options with reduced carbon footprints, as a way to protect the environment, yet still allowing consumers to enjoy the luxury of living they pay for. Fireplaces, which once raised brows due to its high gas emissions and poor energy performance, are now redesigned into new alternatives that will keep homes warm and cozy, without the impracticality of wood burning, and the unhealthy use of gas.

One of the modern fireplace innovations is the ethanol fireplace. Essentially, it is an ethanol-run heating unit that is comprised of a burner, a cover, and a protective screen. Simple, straightforward, this versatile fireplace is perfect for consumers whose homes lack of vents and flues. Aesthetically, ethanol fireplaces are beautiful, with its minimalist and contemporary look. It fits most interiors and can easily blend into any aesthetics, if chosen wisely.

Ethanol fireplaces come in different designs, and are commonly divided into these types:

  1. Burners. These are the common types of ethanol fireplaces. Made of stainless steel, burners possess a tray that regulates the fire while storing the fuel. You can see this type in square and round types, but there are also corner designs available in the market.
  2. Freestanding. These ethanol fireplaces are self-supporting units which can either be installed on a table or hung on the wall.
  3. Inserts. Smaller boxes of fireplaces which are recessed into the walls, seamlessly infused into the interior.
  4. Retrofit. These special units are constructed to fit inside an already-existing opening, often resembling grates.

Due to its aesthetic adaptability and energy efficiency, many consumers are lured to buying this kind of fireplace. However, is it for you? Let's take a look at the pros and cons of this unique fireplace and discover if it fits the bill.

The Benefits of an Ethanol Fireplace

There's no need for a chimney! The simple construction of ethanol fireplaces requires no vents, all thanks to the nature of its fuel. This in return, minimizes heat loss. Many designs offer portability, so you can gain much freedom whenever you want to move a unit. Installation is fairly easy as well; a fireplace can easily be done by one's self, cutting down the installation costs.

On environmental aspects, an ethanol fireplace offers a safer hearth than other fireplace options. It produces no fumes and smoke, efficiently maximizing renewable resources for fuel. It requires no electricity in order to operate, although some models have special features that shuts off the furnace when not in use.

Aesthetically, ethanol fireplaces are beautiful ornaments. Install it on a tabletop or inside the living room for a relaxing, cozy setting. Or place it upon freestanding corners to illuminate blank spaces. Efficient, tasteful and very versatile, an ethanol fireplace will be a great addition to your home.

Little Known Drawbacks of an Ethanol Fireplace

Ethanol fireplaces are not all-perfect. If you're looking to buy this option, you must be aware that it has a flaws. One of which, is its limited BTU output, which makes it less ideal as your home's primary heat source. You won't hear any crackling of fire for that nostalgic factor, and despite not requiring vents, a ventilation system is very much needed. Lastly, you may be required to refuel often, due to its limited heat.

Still Convinced an Ethanol Fireplace is for You?

Congratulations. After seeing the pros and cons of this appliance, you have made a firm decision to go with an ethanol fireplace. You’re just in luck—we’re the prime source for ventless fireplaces, and we’ve got you covered in all of your needs! View our store for many ethanol fireplace options!

Ways to Decorate Your Rental Home

You don’t need permission from your landlord to pull off these amazing décor ideas!


It’s true; renting your home really limits the ways you can make the space your own. Most rental agreements state that you cannot paint or add wallpaper, move walls, change the flooring, or install a fireplace. But you don’t have to do any of those things to revamp your boring rental property. All you need is to think outside the box. This list of décor ideas is landlord approved and sure to give your house or apartment a total makeover.


1) Flooring
Most rental properties come equipped with your very own drab grey carpet or outdated vinyl flooring. Of course, it never matches your décor and furniture. So what can you do? Go on the hunt for the biggest area rugs you can find with colors and prints to go along with your own personal tastes. Throw them down in the living room and bedrooms for instant new floor that can roll up and go with your when you move.


2) Walls
No, you most likely can’t paint your walls that deep red you love so much. But you can get creative with some fabrics. Purchase yourself some gorgeous fabric, light in weight, in addition to a few curtain rods. Hanging a few rods only requires some small screw holes which is usually acceptable by any rental owner. But hanging some color popping fabric on the rods will be the best thing you ever learned. Use this technique on a full wall behind the sofa or media unit to create an instant focal wall.


3) Fireplace
We know, we know. Installing a fireplace is a big no-no in a rental property. But who said anything about installing it? With modern technology, anyone can enjoy the warmth of a fireplace without having to cut a hole in the wall or even installing venting. Electric fireplaces provide the option of adding a gorgeous new piece of furniture to a space and all you have to do is plug it in. Take it one step further and build yourself a removable fireplace surround and insert an ethanol fireplace burner. The unit burns pure ethanol gas and require zero venting.


4) Small Tweaks
Of course, your landlord would probably evict you if you started tearing down walls to open up a space. But if you get creative and make small changes that can easily be put back, without a trace, then what’s to stop you from enjoying the space while you’re renting it? Take some doors off of their hinges to open up adjoining rooms like the dining or living areas to create a more open flow. Just remember to keep the hinges in a safe place so you can pop the doors back on before you move out.


There are tons of great ideas to level up the décor in your rental home, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. But after doing some of these techniques to your interior spaces, the ideas are sure to pour in. Get creative, take a weekend and turn your home into one you can be proud to share.