Smokeless Fireplaces

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Smokeless fireplaces eschew problematic wood fires for alcohol-and-salt-fueled fires that burn in a clean and controlled manner. Wood fires are the old-fashioned way of enjoying a fire, and though they certainly are authentic and full of that pleasing, smoky smell, they can pose real problems to the environment, your home safety, and even your health.

Smoke from burning wood is full of carbon dioxide and soot. Its black appearance is indicative of exactly what it can do to your home's interiors--and even, on a smaller scale, your lungs. The fireplace chimney's purpose is to transport the smoke to outside your home, which it does. However, small amounts of ash and soot residues inevitably end up inside your home. For people with respiratory concerns, using the fireplace is not a healthy option.

Convenience with Smokeless Fireplaces

Smokeless fireplaces, on the other hand, are a healthy and clean alternative to the smoky, wood-fueled fireplace. These fireplaces are sometimes called "faux" fireplaces because they are portable and ventless, requiring no chimney at all. However, they do burn real fire. The difference is in the fuel that they use. Faux fireplaces use canisters of alcohol-based gel fuels that yield a clean, controlled, yet beautiful flame that can be lit as you would a candle, and easily extinguished with the use of a handy spring lid.

The fuel canisters can burn from two to three hours before emptying and are hidden behind realistic-looking, ceramic logs and grates for an authentic flavor. However, smokeless fireplaces require no ventilation because the fuel burns absolutely clean, leaving no gases, residues, or wastes, save a pure water vapor. Also, due to their light weight and ventless nature, they are conveniently portable and can be placed on any surface: against walls; on carpet, tile or linoleum; even on a wooden outdoor deck.

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