Outdoor fireplaces has been a fad in the American homes since many families love to extend their living spaces outdoors. Hanging out in the living room has been “a thing in the past” as families use their backyards and patios as locations to lounge and relax.
Because of the cold weather, fireplaces or fire pits has become a part of the household, with some spending thousands of dollars for building and installation of fancy fireplaces while others take the more practical way of buying portable ones that are easily kept when not in use.
Since wood burning is abolished in many states because of its hazardous effects in the air we breathe as well as fire safety concerns, many homeowners opted for the use of gas, propane, and gel as fuels for their fireplaces/fire pits.
This article will tackle the use of gel fuel for outdoor fireplaces but before that, you should know its similarities and differences compared to the other two fuels.
What are the differences of these fuels?
Gel fuels are relatively inexpensive as it comes in cans that can last from 2.5 to 3 hours for a straight burn. Afterwards, you can reuse the can if you have not used up all the fuel. Generally it costs about less than $5, but you can save a lot more if you purchase in bulk.
When compared to propane and gas fuel alternatives, this is the cheapest and most hassle-free fuel to use especially if you are not using your fireplace on a daily or regular basis. A bulk that can save you bucks is the:
Real Flame Gel Fuel, 24-pack
- Made from gelled isopropyl alcohol
- Perfect for indoor and outdoor use
- 24 - 13 oz cans per case
The main con of using a gel-fueled fireplace is its inability to warm enough during really cold weathers. You can’t rely 100% on gel-fueled fireplaces for the entire winter, unless you already have an existing heating system, and that the gel-fireplace is used to support it.
You can use it alone during cooler months in small areas of your house, as it is a freestanding fireplace that you can move anywhere. It doesn’t need mad science assembly and it provides the flexibility and ease of use anywhere in the house. Vents or chimneys aren’t required because gel-fireplaces do not give off smoke or fumes.
Gas-fueled fire pits need to be installed in a fixed place and must be connected to your home’s gas line. If gas line is non-existent, then you have to create a new hub for it. Even if you have DIY know-how on gas installation, it is recommended to have your gas fuel installed by a professional as it might pose danger to your well-being. Gas fuel can save you a lot of money if you have a big fireplace installed permanently on your patio or backyard and if you are using it a lot.
Propane fuel is the best bet of campers and adventurers who are out in the woods or in their RVs. They are mostly the buyers of fireplaces powered by propane tanks because of its portability and amount of fuel.
Propane allows for hours of strong fire that can be used both for warming and cooking. Families who occasionally lounge in the backyard also use it for cold weathers.
What are the best Gel Outdoor Fireplaces?
SEI Black Arch Top Wall Mount Gel Fuel Fireplace
- The bruxton fireplace will Bring your 400 sq. ft. room up to the perfect temperature with its powerful heating element
- The LED technology not only provides you with a maintenance free fireplace but also offers the fireplace Glow with or without the heat
- Dimensions: 22 3/4"H x 22 13/16"W x 7 5/16"D - Firebox insert dimensions: 18"h x 18"W
This fireplace gives out a sophisticated look because of its black and gold finish that resembles a miniature fireplace. It has an attractive arch top and is finished in matte black with copper edges.
It is very handy and can be taken indoors or outdoors without the need for installation. It can also be hung on the wall as it has fiberglass insulation behind it to seal the heat from warming your wall. This fireplace has provisions for three cans of gel fuel; each can last up to three hours on a single burn. This is a wonderful and fast solution for areas with sudden chills all year round.
The Outdoor GreatRoom Company Apollo Round Base Gel-Fueled Tabletop Fire Pit
- Elegant and modern electric fireplace with 3D flame technology that is easily controlled with a remote control
- Fireplace features dual heat settings at 750W and 1500W
- 2 in 1 fireplace: wall-mounted & Free standing with stunning tempered glass panel heater
This fire pit resembles a lamp with durable, heat resistant glass surrounding the disk that holds the gel-fuel.
Its most distinguishable character is the Venturi flame technology that uses a propriety turbo disc combined with a glass cylinder to create a unique “spinning” effect, making it not only your source of warmth during the cold days, but also as an eye-catching centerpiece. This is also a commendable fire pit that has low fuel cost, easy to install, and comes in a reasonable purchase price.
Best Choice Products Oil Rubbed Bronze Gel Fuel Wall Mount Fireplace
- High-style, Contemporary Stainless Steel Bio-fuel Wall Mount Fireplace
- Ventless, needs no chimney, no gas or electrical hook-up
- Mounts on virtually any wall surface
The cheapest of the three but doesn’t sacrifice quality, this Best Choice Gel Fuel fireplace is your best source of warmth if you are in a budget. It is made of copper with modern wood grain finish making it a great accessory to add to your living room.
It doubles as a heater and as a classic centerpiece that can be hung on walls. It is great for rooms of any size and uses gel fuel for three straight hours on a single burn. It emits no smoke or sparks and is odorless but it crackles and snaps like a real wood burning to give you that realistic vibe.
Gel fueled fireplaces are cost effective, safe, and easy to use because it requires no installation. After purchase, all you need to do is place it at the center of the room or hang it onto a wall, light it using a gel-fuel can, and enjoy the warmth it provides. It is a no-fuss source of heat without lengthy and unsafe installation because it doesn’t require any gas connections.
It uses fuel that comes from a can that burns up to three hours straight. Any leftover fuel can still be used in the future, saving you more dollars. Gel fuels don’t require vents because it is alcohol-based; it doesn’t give off smoke and fumes. Like any other fire-inducing device, you should still take good care of your fireplace even though it is generally safe. The general rule is that fire shouldn’t be left unattended.