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Old 03-22-2009, 08:58 PM
 
Location: At the local Wawa
538 posts, read 2,245,819 times
Reputation: 447

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Anyone here install a Sunjel fireplace in their home? I've been looking at them online, and they have gotten good reviews from most of the people on amazon website. These are fireplaces that take up to 3 canisters of gel that burn and do not need to be vented.

Do they look real? I have always wanted a fireplace, but we found the perfect home that did not have a fireplace. We are looking for ambiance from the fireplace, not necessarily heat output (I realize that they don't put out much heat). We live in a rural area that has no natural gas and we cannot afford to install a real wood or gas fireplace.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:11 PM
 
Location: At the local Wawa
538 posts, read 2,245,819 times
Reputation: 447
bump
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,536,988 times
Reputation: 9580
I'm confused.

I just don't get the point of Sungels or any gel fireplaces. Sure, you can put them anywhere, even embed them in a wall. Sure they can look really pretty - for a while. Real-looking with no heat output required? What if your power goes out - on what will you depend for heat? What will you use to cook? How can you get the cans of gel if they stop making them or the price gets silly? How much oxygen do they use up in an unvented room?

My mother had an electric fireplace that 'looked real', even had the fake crackling that 'sounded real', and had a minimal radiant heat output. She used it every weekend for about three months, and after that the thrill was gone. It did make a nice liquor cabinet, though.

We have a cast-iron stove with stovepipe that goes up thru the roof; the area around the stove is bricked and fireproofed. the pipe is properly inserted and metal-flanged, then sealed to prevent leaks. Since I am the Firestarter in the family (also known as an arsonist in the big city! ) DH often comes to me and says, "How 'bout a fire?" 10 minutes later we have a rip-roarer, 30 minutes after that we have a firebox full of big glowing embers that keeps a 1700 sq foot house at 80 deg all night and morning. We can bake in the coals, cook on top, even roast marshmallows if we open up the front. Much better than a BIG fireplace, where a lot of the heat goes up the chimney, and even with the damper closed, cold can rush down when the wind's just right. I bought a steel bucket that fits right under the lip of the firebox, and just shovel out the ash into the bucket, then put it in the compost pile. We have a built-on 'wood box' with an 'outside' door and an 'inside' door; load the wood from the woodpile into the outside door, close and slide the catch, then go inside and - poof! dry wood, right next to the stove behind the inside door. Saves on going out to the woodpile in the snow.

I just don't understand ambiance without compensatory productivity. For that, you can put a cheap DVD on and have a 'fire' on the TV or computer screen, and spend far less. Why spend the money?

I hope you find someone who can tell you what you need to know about the gel fireplaces, though; if that's what you really want. They ARE pretty, but strike me like wall art - nice to have around to add character to a room, but not really necessary. Good luck!
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,719 posts, read 45,824,484 times
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Yeah, the gel "fireplace" is what I would call "all hat no cattle". I guess if you want the "ambieance" of a fireplace and can't spring for a "real" wood stove, if they are not too expensive, go ahead and get one.

I guess if you don't have any place to put the cattle, and like the hat, go on and wear it.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:30 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 12,074,468 times
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Thumbs down Don't do it !

DON'T DO IT ! Those things put deadly carbon monoxide into the air that you breath. Get a freaking lava lamp instead. If you buy one of those vent less fireplaces that burn a real flame you will have to keep windows open or you will be sorry. When you get a headache and start to feel nauseated remember that rickers tried to warn you !
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:34 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,171 times
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Actually rickers is mistaken. Ventless fireplaces release carbon Dioxide which is the same thing that comes out of your own mouth when you exhale. You do NOT need to have your window open, etc. I live in a coop apt in NYC and I have one from Real Flame. It's a smaller model, cost about 100 dollars and I keep it in my bedroom. Of course, Id rather a real fireplace...but that's hardly feasible at this point. The gels can get pricey...but I dont use mine all the time and I like the overall look it adds to my room...its cozier than a fireplace dvd cause its there even when it not in use. Sometimes I even burn wood scented incense at the same time I have it lit. SO cozy.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 12,074,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamera View Post
Actually rickers is mistaken. Ventless fireplaces release carbon Dioxide which is the same thing that comes out of your own mouth when you exhale.
Actually rickers is NOT mistaken. Those things do put out CO (carbon monoxide) they also produce CO2 (carbon dioxide) Both are toxic gases.
There are lots of health horror stories relating to the use of vent-less fireplaces. It's your choice to use them or not but I certainly would not use one without a widow open at least a little bit. I have had serious carbon monoxide poisoning before and it is no fun.

Last edited by Rickers; 09-29-2009 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Jefferson County
380 posts, read 1,013,204 times
Reputation: 103
I'm with SCGranny on this one. If you're going to put money out for a fireplace look-alike, buy a nice looking jotul, vermont castings or soapstone woodstove. Any of these can be vented via triple wall stainless flue or if you are just a bit industrious you can poor a footing and lay a masonry chimney (it's really not difficult and not too expensive.) You can buy a few sheets of durock and some tile, slate or stone and make a nice heat shield on your walls & floor. Then you can buy the little bundle of firewood at the convenience store if you just want ambiance or you can get enough wood for a little stack outside your house in case you are without power for a few days.
Money & time well spent.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,543 posts, read 55,469,830 times
Reputation: 32286
CO2 is not a toxic gas. We exhale it with every breath we take. If it was toxic, it would kill us or make us sick. Sheesh. CO2 is no more toxic than nitrogen gas.

There are commonly available meters and alarms that will let you know when there is carbon monoxide in the air. Using one of those when there are unvented appliances is sensible.

FWIW, a candle gives off more carbon monoxide than any appliance that uses alcohol as a fuel.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:09 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,587,197 times
Reputation: 16866
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickers View Post
Actually rickers is NOT mistaken.
Actually you ARE mistaken. The ventless fireplaces are designed so you do NOT have to open a window or door while in operation. In order to be sold and approved they need to have an O2 sensor which checks the O2 content of the room and shuts the appliance off if it drops below a set level (which is WAY under what a person would be able to fell or detect.) Yes it checks O2 not CO or CO2, those are produced by the burning of the O2, so if the O2 levels are low, then something is wrong. The modern design is such that with a high O2 burn rate the other elements are almost totally burned and the levels of CO and CO2 are drastically reduced. So much so that the bureaucratic mess that we call the UL and other licensing agencies list them for use without open windows, doors, or vented to the outside.
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