DIY gel fuel fireplaces are being considered by more and more homeowners who prefer not to have a gas, electric propane or wood-burning fireplace. Gel fireplaces can produce the ambiance of gas and wood-burning fireplaces without producing the byproducts, odor, smoke, fumes and ashes. The fireplaces are available in a range of sizes and can be up and operating in about an hour.
Gel fuel fireplaces use a fuel made of an alcohol-based clear bio gel, which provides flames with a realistic crackling sound. The burn of the fuel is scent-free, clean and does not produce an odor. You can light one tank of fuel for a small fire, or ignite three cans simultaneously for a larger fire. The average can of fuel burns about three hours. The fuel is place behind decorative cement logs and lit. Partially used gel fuel containers can be used later.
Each tank generates about 3000 British Thermal Units (BTU) of heat. A BTU is a measurement of the heat output of an appliance. This type of fireplace is more efficient than gas or wood-burning fire places, because there is no heat lost up the chimney flue. The majority of the heat generated from gel fuel fireplaces is circulated in the space.
Choose a Setup
Research the variety of gel fireplace systems that are on the market. You can choose from hardwood, painted wood, stainless steel and other materials. The fireplace comes in an assortment of styles and can be mounted on the wall or freestanding. If you are short on space, choose from many of the corner models that are available. Gel fireplaces are a great alternative if you are looking to add flair and character to a room by bring an inoperable fireplace back to life.
Purchase a gel fireplace insert that will operate in a ventless chimney. Just close off the flue to the existing chimney and put the insert in place. This type of fireplace must be installed in a wood-burning fireplace that has a fireproof interior. Another alternative is a steel firebox that has a fireproofed interior. Since vent, chimney, gas or electrical hookups are not required, you can set the fireplace up practically any place you choose without having to spend a lot of time or money.
Gel fuel fireplaces are available with a decorative bookcases or mantels. You can also build your own mantel and make the design as simple or as elaborate as your imagination will allow. Add incense, candles or aroma oil wood scents to enhance the setting for a "real log" fire effect.
- Photo Credit fireplace image by askthegeek from Fotolia.com
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