Times have changed and many American homeowners are getting smart about their heating options this Winter Season. Don’t let your parents fool you with one of those stories that begins with the cliché “Back in my days” statement. The truth is, in the past you would have to trudge through the blistering cold to gather fresh firewood for your home back in the day. Not anymore.
Advances in heating have helped many achieve a new level of comfort that others have yet to realize! Electric and Gel Fireplaces can provide warmth for your home as you open presents around the Christmas tree without causing any risk of smoke inhalation. But just how do these innovative centerpieces work? Here’s a little background information about gel fireplaces that will teach you everything you need to know!
How Gel Fireplaces Work
Gel fireplaces maintain the common qualities of a traditional fireplace by serving as a heat source, a visual stimulant, and natural gathering point for the family. A few crafty individuals sought to reinvent the wheel and make life that much easier by creating gel fireplaces. While these units produce real flames, they eliminate the need for cleanup, create an odorless burn, and no longer require you to purchase firewood!
How is this possible? Gel fireplaces feature ceramic firewood that illuminates to give off the glow of naturally burning wood. The flames feed off what is called “Firegel,” an alcohol based substance that takes the place of traditional firewood. Gel fireplaces either have a location to position gel canisters beneath the wood or they can be found with a special fire gel tank that holds the flammable substance.
What is Firegel or Gel Fuel?
Firegel, or gel fuel as it is commonly referred to, is created using an alcohol based and mixed with thickening agents that increase the burn. The two most common elements are isopropyl alcohol and polyacrylic acid (thickening agent). Isopropyl has been treated to be environmentally safe. We strongly advise against concocting your own fire gel. Although there are many recipes for fire gel available on the internet, it’s important to remember that error can result in serious harm and risk of damage to your home. Furthermore, insurance companies may not honor your Insurance Policy because the firegel used in your home was not approved by the ULC.
Firegels can vary slightly in relation to actual burn time, appearance of flame, sounds created by flame, and the efficiency of the burn. Generally speaking, the thicker the gel, the longer lasting the flame will be. On the other hand, a longer burn time is achieved in exchange for larger flames so you will have to find a medium that is suitable to your needs. Also consider the gel application that your fireplace will require. Try using thinner gels for fireplaces with built-in firegel canisters to allow easy transfer of liquids when refilling your fireplace!
Heating Capabilities of Gel Fuel
Each canister of gel fuel can produce up to 3,000 BTU’s of heating power! Many gel fireplaces allow up to 3 canisters per enclosure. 3 canisters X 3,000 BTU’s means nearly 9,000 BTU’s of heat from your gel fireplace. This exceeds normal electric fireplaces that top out around 3,000 BTU’s! Not only that, fire gel fireplaces emit REAL FLAMES, offering a natural ambiance that cannot be replaced by simulated flames! This eases concerns of those who enjoy the natural essence of a fire burning in the center of your home!
How Safe are Gel Fireplaces?
Gel Fireplaces are extremely safe and can prove be a better choice than natural fireplaces! Producers of fire gel must meet OSHA and EPA standards before being sold to the public. This ensures safety and sustainability of these home products. Extinguishing a stack of firewood can be difficult and dangerous. Have you ever tried putting out a smoldering flame only to find yourself dodging hot embers and attempting to keep logs from breaking apart? With gel fireplaces, all you have to do is use the snuffer that your fireplace came with to cut off the flow of oxygen and douse the fire! How’s that for simple!
In conclusion, gel fireplaces can be a clear winner for many who love the warmth of a natural fireplace and enjoy a no clean up necessary set up that allows you to do make better use of your time! Gel fireplaces are unlike any other heating source because they provide a natural and authentic ambiance than is unmatched. Traditional fireplace vents can create cold drafts in your home and allow valuable heat to seep out of your home. Gel fireplaces are vent less and help reduce electric costs by ensuring proper insulation of your home! See what styles and designs are out there by browsing some of these innovative new gel fireplaces!