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What Is a Gel Fireplace?

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  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2016
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A gel fireplace is an efficient way to heat your home, as well as add an attractive decorative item to the room. This type of fireplace uses alcohol gel fuel, which is a very clean burning, instead of wood. There are many reasons why someone would choose a gel fireplace over a more traditional wood fireplace or a pellet stove, but these fireplaces have disadvantages as well.

The advantages of gel fireplaces are numerous. They are portable. This means that you can easily move them to the areas that need additional heat. They do not require any sort of vent or chimney, and are considered one of the safer auxiliary heating sources. They also are very clean-burning, and leave behind no ashes and do not put out any smoke while burning.

Of course, there are drawbacks to using a gel fireplace as well. Their small size means that their best use is as an extra heat source rather than a primary heating system. The process of burning the alcohol gel also adds moisture to the air, increasing the humidity in the room. While this may not be a problem in the dry winter air of many locations, others may find it encourages mold growth.

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The costs of home heating increase every year, and many people are constantly looking for ways to reduce their utility bills. Fuel prices and availability vary from region to region. What makes economical sense in one place may not be available in another area. If you are interested in purchasing this type of fireplace for your home, there are some things to consider.

Will you use the gel fireplace as the sole heating source in your home, or as supplemental heat? As many people find out who have electric heat, having an alternative heating source is very handy. In many northern climates, ice storms make power outages a common occurrence during the winter. If you plan to use the gel furnace as your only heating source, however, some rooms may not get as comfortably warm as you would like.

Do you know how to install the fireplace yourself, or will you have to have help? Installation is only required if you are placing the gel fireplace in an existing fireplace. Otherwise, these fireplaces are considered portable.

Finally, consider how much the fuel will cost. No matter how much you enjoy your fireplace, if purchasing the gel is going to be a drain on your budget, consider a wood stove. While many people buy their wood and have it delivered, if money is tight you can probably find a place to collect the wood on your own. If not, many wood vendors will allow you to pick up the load of wood yourself for a discount. Even if you have to stack it yourself, it will still be a savings over the gel fuel.

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anon137002
Post 2

can i use gel fuel in a propane ventless fireplace? we haven't used the propane heater, because it doesn't work, but is it acceptable to use the gel fuel, or do i need a specific gel fuel fireplace? thanks!

anon135369
Post 1

Very good article. I like it.

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