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Ventless Fireplaces: Your Questions Answered

An Introduction to Alcohol Gel Ventless Fireplaces

Many people are surprised by the concept of a ventless fireplace. No need for a chimney, flue, or ventilation system? It sounds almost too good to be true.

There are always questions - lots of questions. So, we decided to take some of the most common queries and answer them all in one place! We hope you find this post useful, and we encourage you to get in contact with us if you would like to learn more.

What does “ventless” fireplace mean?
“Ventless” means that the fireplace doesn’t require venting of any kind - no flue, no chimney, and no exhaust system, if it’s placed in a properly sized room with a supply of fresh air.

How is it possible to have a ventless fireplace? How does it work?
HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplaces don’t need any venting because they use clean-burning alcohol gel cartridges. Unlike wood- and gas-burning fireplaces, our alcohol gel does not give off any harmful emissions, so nothing needs to be filtered out of the room. Because of this, our ventless fireplaces are also more eco-friendly than other types of fireplaces.

What’s in the alcohol gel?
It is a proprietary, nontoxic isopropyl alcohol gel. It’s similar to hospital-grade hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, or chafing dish fuel.

What does the alcohol gel emit?
When lit, the alcohol gel gives off mostly water vapor and carbon dioxide - just like human breath. There are trace amounts of carbon monoxide: only 16 ppm (parts per million), which is well below the 250 ppm maximum. Alcohol gel is far cleaner than wood- or gas-burning fireplaces, has no odor, and requires no clean up.

Does the alcohol gel smell?
Occasionally on fuel extinguishing, there will be some smell of gas. Compared to ethanol and natural gas fireplaces, our alcohol gel emits the least smell.

How are the alcohol gel cartridges installed?
In a word, easily. Each HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplace has a custom-sized cartridge holder, into which you place your cartridge(s). From there, you simply remove the cap from the cartridge, light the exposed gel with a long butane lighter, and close and lock the rigid mesh screen door.

How long does each cartridge last?
Like a log, our alcohol gel produces a lively, orange flame and has a similar lifespan: about 2-3 hours. Room size and airflow can have an impact on the fire’s burn time. This is perfect for a typical evening relaxing in your living room. For hotels, bars, and businesses, it means you’re only spending money on fuel during your earning hours. And after all, who doesn’t love sitting at the bar when there’s a crackling fire burning?

Can I extinguish a cartridge?
Yes! Our alcohol gel cartridges will burn out naturally, but if you want to extinguish them, simply place a provided snuffer plate over the flame.

Can I relight the cartridges after I’ve extinguished them?
If alcohol gel remains, it can be relit with your long butane lighter. That said, we’ve found that the fire burns longer and higher when the cartridge is used entirely in one sitting.

How does HearthCabinet’s alcohol gel compare to ethanol fuels?
Our isopropyl alcohol gel is comparable to ethanol in both burn time and emissions released. However, our alcohol gel crackles like a wood-burning fire, and we believe it’s far safer than liquid fuel. While you need to transfer and pour liquid fuel, we provide our alcohol gel in pre-filled, single-use cartridges. This proprietary alcohol gel cartridge system is a key reason why HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplaces are the only ventless fireplaces approved for use in NYC by the Fire Department and Department of Buildings.

Can I use another form of fuel in a HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplace?
No. HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplaces were designed with a proprietary gel fuel cartridge system, which ensures safe use. You may use our Summer Candles with Candle Holder, but the use of any other fuel would void the warranty, would not be approved for use in NYC, and could present serious health and safety risks.

How much do the alcohol gel cartridges cost?
HearthCabinet customers pay $7.99 per cartridge, shipping included. Cartridges come in cases of 8 and can be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the US. Ordering information will be provided to you with the purchase of your HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplace.

Can I heat my home with a HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplace?
No. Although our ventless fireplaces provide a lovely ambient heat, they are not meant to be a heating source.

Can I cook with or roast marshmallows over a HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplace?
No. Though we love s’mores as much as you do, to ensure safe use, foreign objects must be kept outside of the fireplace, and the door must be closed and locked at all times. If the cartridges or fireplace are used other than as directed in our Safe Use document, that would void the warranty, would not be approved for use in NYC, and could present serious health and safety risks.

Are HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplaces hard to install?
No, they’re easy to put in place. All you need to do is move the fireplace into the position you want and secure it. Many different styles are available, as well as custom designs.


Do you have a question that we didn’t cover here? Check out our extensive FAQ page, or ask us in the comments! You can also fill out our contact form, or call us at (212) 242-1485. We’d be happy to answer your questions or schedule an appointment for you to see our luxury models in person at our flagship Manhattan showroom in Chelsea.

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Published on by Hearth Staff.