Fireplaces sure are romantic. But what about flueless, gel-alcohol fireplaces?

Popular Mechanics senior editor Roy Berendsohn says the big advantage of these fireplaces is that they don't require a flue, so you can put them nearly anywhere in the house. In some cases, you can also retrofit an existing fireplace so that it will burn gel or liquid alcohol.
The downside? Unvented combustion, whether from a gas kitchen range, a gas-fired ventless fireplace, or even candles, releases pollutants­-small amounts of CO, CO2 , water vapor, and particulates-into the indoor air.
There is lots more to learn; check out Roy's column here:
What do you think? Anyone have one?

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2 of 8 comments
  • Kay Takash
    on Jan 10, 2015

    I had a gel fireplace insert installed within a blank kitchen wall when I moved into my home and I love it. I do use the gel, however, I purchased flickering lights-both a string of rice lights and a few larger ones-all plug in and I use the lights more. You still get the glow and the string lights on the floor of the insert look like burning embers. Hope this helps.

  • Lisadoll
    on Jan 10, 2015

    I have a corner fireplace in my home that was built in 1950. The chimneys are too short , causing a lot of smoking when burning wood. So, about 8 or 10 yrs ago , on QVC, I bought a faux log set up that has 3 places to rest alcohol gel-fuel cans. I LOVE IT! I just open the fireplace flue while burning the fuel, and odors ( or fumes) are not detectable. I buy the fuel on Amazon, and it's great... It even snap , crackle, and pops! I agree with what was said before: not as romantic as a real wood fire, but it is definitely cleaner burning. Wash down those walls in your wood burning fireplace room, and you'll see what I mean. Also. I have arm problems from years of working in the trades, and the wood buying, hauling, lugging, and, or chopping got ridiculous.... I LOVE that it comes to the door in a nice clean little case box! Also, I'm not sure that wood smoke is any safer than any other pollutant to breathe. No matter what you burn, the key is PROPER VENTILATION , FOR SURE!

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