Ventless gel fireplaces use a gel like substance to produce combustion which in turn creates heating and flames. Unlike a gas model these can be installed by virtually anyone over the age of 18; since they don't require a gas line connection like ventless gas fireplaces. The gel fuel itself is similar to the stuff used in cans to keep food trays warm. However, these are designed to produce heat and burn longer to provide a realistic fireplace look. Over 10 different companies manufacture different types of ventless gel fireplace fuel to date and as the popularity of ventless fireplaces increase you can bet more will join on in the future.
One of the most interesting things about the gel fuel is it can mimic a real wood burning fire. It can actually produce the crackling and snapping sounds a naturally wood fire makes. Some ventless gel fireplace fuels can even produce the smell of different types of burning wood. These two features alone help simulate a more realistic fire. The amount of burning time varies between different types of fuel, usually between 3 to 6 hours; however this time is for the standard size fuel cans and no the extra large ones that can burn up to 10 hours; now that's a lot of time in front of your ventless fireplace!
You usually buy the cans in packs of 3, 6, or 12, but some places do sell them in packs of 36 or more. You'll get more for your money if you buy them in bulk; just make sure to always store your ventless gel fireplace fuel away from any flammable sources and in a dry non-humid area. If you don't finish using a fuel can you can re-cover it and use it again later; however it's not a good idea to remove the fuel can from the ventless fireplace until it's cool enough to touch. If you want to buy fuel or learn more about a ventless fireplace than see below for more information.