Ventless Gel Fireplaces
If you have heard of bio ethanol fireplaces, then you already be familiar with the idea of ventless fireplaces. A synthetic flame is burned inside or outside the house. There is no need for ventilation, as no smoke or by-products are being produced. The difference with gel fireplaces is that the fuel that is used is gel instead of ethanol. Let’s go over some of the things to consider when thinking about gel fireplaces.
Gel fireplaces operate by using a special type of gel as their fuel source. The fire that is produced is not real, so it is considered a ‘faux fireplace’. This means that the fireplace does not require any ventilation, and does not need to be hooked up to a chimney. There are ceramic logs in the fireplace so that it gives the appearance of the traditional stove model. The gel comes in cans, and three of them can be burned at once.
Are gel fireplaces easy to work with?
If you have just purchased a gel fireplace, you will, of course, need to know how to install it. Luckily, these fireplaces can be installed fairly easily. If you are having trouble following the directions, consult a professional before proceeding. The same goes for if you are trying to convert your existing fireplace to a gel model. It can be done, but should not be attempted by yourself if you are unsure.
How much heat is produced?
A gel fireplace will not be producing as much heat as a traditional stove would have. However, gel fuel will produce approximately the same amount of heat as bio ethanol. The amount of space that it heats is ideal for small to mid-sized homes. Every can of fuel that you add to the fireplace will last for 2 – 3 hours. If the fire starts to go out, you simply add another can.
How does gel differ from bioethanol?
Ethanol fireplaces are fueled by bioethanol, while gel models use a gel fuel source. These fuel sources are different materials, which makes a big difference. A bioethanol fireplace has only one burner, which makes it more flexible to work with. Another difference is that gel tends to burn for only 3 hours, while ethanol burns for 5-8 hours. This means that you will need to use more gel to produce the same effect as if you were using ethanol.
Overall, bio ethanol tends to be a safer option. If you have children or are simply safety conscious, this might be the better choice for you. However, you might simply enjoy the look of fireplaces that use gel fuel. If you have a bio ethanol fireplace, under no circumstances can you use gel fuel to operate it. The two cannot be mixed, as this is a safety issue.
Gel fuel will typically burn for about 3 hours and is considered to be very safe. Seeing as these fireplaces are not producing real flames, there is a reduced chance of being burned. The outside of the fireplace will not be hot to the touch unless you get too close to the heat vent. As well, this fireplace will not be giving off any toxic fumes, or ashes. You do not need to worry about your house filling with smoke or gasses that will make you ill.
This type of flame cannot be regulated, so it is more dangerous than using bio ethanol. Some people choose to use gel fuel outside, so it is safer than being in an indoor enclosed area. You should always be careful.
Even though gel fireplaces are a fairly new invention, they seem to be holding up quite well in the market. People are attracted to the clean and environmentally-friendly way that they operate. You do not need to worry about venting away the smoke and by-products. Their easy installation is an added bonus. People do not have to deal with ventilation and chimneys when they purchase their gel fireplace. Overall, it is a cheap alternative for heat, but it is highly flammable, and should be handled with caution.
- Catherine Sibi