Gel fuel fireplaces offer you a chance to have a cozy fire without the mess of traditional wood-burning fireplaces. They also allow you to install fireplaces where you would not normally think of putting traditional fireplaces, such as in patios and on walls.
Gel fuel is relatively inexpensive, and most cans can last about three hours for a straight burn. You do not have to continue burning the fire for three hours and can reuse the can if you have not used up all the fuel.
Buying in bulk makes it even cheaper.
While many manufacturers tout the warmth factor, you cannot rely on just gel fuel fires to get you through a cold winter. These fires can help augment the heating that you already have and add to the coziness of a room. You can turn down your thermostat somewhat if you wish, but the rest of the house will get a bit chilly.
Gel fuel fireplaces are freestanding, and you can put them in any room. There is not much installation or assembly required, and you can move them from room to room, giving you the flexibility to have a fireplace wherever you want. This is an appealing option for homes or small spaces where you cannot or don't want to make permanent changes.
Gel fuel fireplaces can generally be used outdoors as well. Find out the specifications for a fireplace before you buy it to know if that particular model is suitable for outdoors.
In most cases, they are safe for use in a protected outdoor area such as a porch or covered patio.
Some models are small and easily portable so they can be carried indoors or out.
Gel fuel fireplaces do not require vents or chimneys because the gel fuel is alcohol based and does not give off smoke or fumes.
There are no ashes, either, so these fireplaces do not require the same maintenance as traditional fireplaces.
Some gel fuel fireplace models can be installed on walls. This is a big boon if you are living in a home with limited space. This also lets you put a fireplace where you normally would not think of installing one.
A Word of Caution
- While gel fuel fireplaces have many advantages, don't forget that a fire should never be unattended.
- Make sure that your wall installations are securely fastened and that the freestanding models are placed firmly on the floor and not in danger of tipping over.
- Exercise care when using outdoors.
- Although you might be tempted to place TVs on top, don't. There is a danger of tip-overs, and mantels can become somewhat warm, especially around the front edge. Electronic equipment and heat do not mix.