Gel Fireplace Logs

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Logs for gel fuel burning fireplaces are not real wooden logs, nor the manufactured logs you see at home and garden centers. Rather, these logs are not meant to be burned; they are for decorative purposes only. Decorative logs for gel fireplaces are usually made from ceramic because this material is hard, durable, and tolerates heat very well.

Ceramic is the material from which heat-resistant pots, plates, vases, and other housewares are made. When exposed to heat, ceramic should not crack or break. However, the amount of heat is a determining factor, and if the heat is excessive, ceramic can break. Thus, ceramic logs are not designed for direct exposure to flames for an extended amount of time.

Gel Fireplace Logs and Fuel Canisters

The way gel fireplaces work is by placing an open can of gel fuel, with the paper label removed for safety, inside the belly of the fireplace. As these fireplaces are freestanding and ventless, there is no need to deal with chimneys, vents, or the like. Light the canister with a long match or lighter, and you have a strong and dependable flame that burns without smoke or toxic vapors and requires no ventilation.

The function of the decorative log is to hide the fuel canister, as cans of fuel don't appear particularly rustic. The log, carefully hand painted to appear natural, is made with enough height to completely obscure the fuel canister, which is placed behind it. Thus, to everyone's view, the log, set atop a rustic-looking grate, is spouting a flame, but in reality, the source of the flame is really the fuel canister.


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