Traditionally, when people consider the available options for real burning fireplaces, they consider either a wood burning or gas fueled fireplace. I'd like to explore the third option; gel fireplaces. To highlight the characteristics of gel fueled fireplaces, I'll compare them to their wood burning counterpart. Most gas fueled fireplaces are used with the addition of wooden logs, so indirect comparisons could also be made in the following text. To make the comparison, I'll examine the topics of maintenance, versatility and style.
Maintenance and cleanliness are very important to homeowners. Gel fireplaces create either smoke nor ash, which are the primary concerns of ordinary fireplaces. This makes maintenance and cleaning very easy. Depending on the type of gel fireplace, you may only have to clean glass and wood components, like any other piece of furniture. Consult the manufacturer's literature or the many how-to sites available online for tips on caring for these materials. Gel fireplaces have fuel that comes in metallic cans, which are easy to replace. Wood burning fireplaces require the log to fully burn into ash, which can occasionally extend to the area immediately surrounding the fireplace. Ash usually spreads when logs are added and repositioned, or when fireplace tools are inserted and withdrawn from the fireplace. This leads to additional sweeping and vacuuming. Also, chimneys may require cleaning, as they become a fire hazard if a blockage occurs.
Wood burning fireplaces require ventilation, usually a chimney, and surrounding masonry. The masonry insulated the rest of the structure from the fire and provides a safe area for embers to fall and smoke to rise. Unfortunately, this requires them to be fixed in one spot of the home. Gel fuel is a very popular choice for both fixed and portable fireplaces. Portable fireplaces can be used indoors and outdoors. Also, they are virtual installation free. This makes gel fireplaces ideal for apartment residents looking to have the warmth of a real flame without going through any construction.
Personally, I love the look of a traditional red brick or darkly stained wooden mantel around a roaring flame. No one could claim that traditional fireplaces lack style or charm. Gel fireplaces have even been designed to imitate the look of regular fireplaces. This includes artificial logs and beautifully crafted mantles. However, gel fireplaces do allow for modern, even futuristic styles, to be implemented. Without a log and the resulting ash, the space inside the fireplace can be used in new ways to produce surprisingly new looks in home heating. This includes using more glass and less bulky fixtures, which creates a clean, minimalist look.