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top 5 alternative fireplaces

5 Fireplace Alternatives That Get the Job Done

Are you tired of the hassle and environmental impact of a traditional wood-burning fireplace? Or maybe you live in a home or apartment without a chimney, making it impossible to install a traditional fireplace. If so, you might be interested in the growing trend of alternative fireplaces that offer both convenience and eco-friendliness.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to five alternative fireplace options that are environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and easy to install. From bioethanol and electric fireplaces to gel fuel, propane, and pellet stoves, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each to help you make the best choice for your home and lifestyle.

1. Electrical Fireplaces

One of the most popular traditional fire place alternatives are electric fireplaces, which is a great way to start our list with. Why the appeal? Electrical Fireplaces are easy to install, low-maintenance, and can be operated with a simple flip of a switch. Here are some key features and considerations to keep in mind when considering an electric fireplace:

Electric fireplaces have a number of advantages over traditional wood-burning or gas fireplaces, including low maintenance, easy installation, cost-effectiveness, customization, and safety. They do not require any cleaning, chimney maintenance, or fuel replenishment and can be installed almost anywhere in your home. 

Additionally, electric fireplaces come in a range of styles to suit your decor and are generally more affordable than other fireplace options. They also do not produce any flames, making them a safer option for homes with children and pets. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind, such as heat output, realism, and electricity cost. 

Electric fireplaces may not be suitable as a primary heat source and may not provide the same ambiance as a real wood-burning fire. Additionally, frequent use may increase your monthly electricity bill, so it is important to factor in the cost of electricity when considering an electric fireplace.


  • Easy to install and use
  • Low maintenance
  • Affordable
  • Safe for homes with children and pets
  • Customizable design options


  • Lower heat output compared to wood-burning or gas fireplaces
  • Less realistic ambiance
  • May increase electricity bill if used frequently

2. Bioethanol Fireplpaces

If you’re looking for a fireplace that’s environmentally friendly, easy to install and use, and requires no chimney or gas line, then a bioethanol fireplace may be just what you need. Bioethanol fireplaces are a popular alternative to traditional wood-burning and gas fireplaces, and for good reason. Here’s what you need to know about bioethanol fireplaces:

What is a Bioethanol Fireplace?

Bioethanol fireplaces use a renewable and sustainable fuel source – bioethanol – to create flames and provide warmth. Bioethanol is a liquid fuel made from plant materials such as corn, sugarcane, and potatoes. When bioethanol burns, it produces water vapor, carbon dioxide, and a small amount of carbon monoxide. This makes it a clean-burning fuel that produces no harmful emissions or pollutants, making it an environmentally friendly option.

Pros of Bioethanol Fireplaces:

  • No chimney or gas line required – bioethanol fireplaces can be installed anywhere without the need for a chimney or gas line. This makes them easy to install and move around as needed.
  • Easy to use – simply fill the bioethanol burner with fuel, light it with a lighter or match, and enjoy the flames.
  • Clean burning – bioethanol is a clean-burning fuel that produces no smoke, soot, or ash.
  • Eco-friendly – bioethanol is a renewable and sustainable fuel source that produces no harmful emissions or pollutants.
  • Aesthetically pleasing – bioethanol fireplaces come in a variety of designs and styles, making them a great addition to any home décor.

Cons of Bioethanol Fireplaces:

  • Limited heat output – most bioethanol fireplaces are not as effective at heating large spaces as traditional wood-burning or gas fireplaces, however, recent advancements has introduced some highly effective models that produce some incerdible heat, but are quite costly. 
  • Short burn time – the fuel tank in bioethanol fireplaces is typically small, so the burn time is limited. This means that you may need to refill the burner more often if you want to keep the flames going for an extended period.

3. Pellet Stoves

Pellet stoves are a type of fireplace alternative that burns compressed wood or biomass pellets to create heat. They are similar to traditional wood stoves, but are more efficient and produce less pollution. Here are some pros and cons of using a pellet stove:


  • Pellet stoves are more efficient than traditional wood stoves, as they use a hopper and automated auger to feed pellets into the fire, resulting in less waste and better fuel consumption.
  • They produce less smoke and ash than wood stoves, making them a more eco-friendly option.
  • Pellet stoves are easy to use, with many models featuring automatic ignition and temperature control.
  • Pellets are typically made from renewable sources, such as sawdust, wood chips, and other biomass materials.
  • Pellet stoves can provide a lot of heat, making them a good option for larger spaces or homes in colder climates.


  • Pellet stoves can be more expensive than other fireplace alternatives, both in terms of the unit itself and the ongoing cost of pellets.
  • They require electricity to operate, so if there is a power outage, the stove will not work.
  • Pellet stoves require regular maintenance, such as cleaning and changing the air filter, in order to run efficiently.
  • The hopper that holds the pellets can be large and bulky, taking up more space than other fireplace alternatives.
  • Some people may not like the noise of the auger feeding pellets into the fire, which can be a potential drawback.

4. Gel Fuel Fireplaces

Gel fuel fireplaces are very similar to the liquid bioethanl fireplaces and are growing in popularity. Gel fuel is a form of alcohol that is used to create a flame that burns cleanly, making it a popular choice for indoor fireplaces. Here are some pros and cons of gel fuel fireplaces:


  • Easy to install and use: Gel fuel fireplaces are very easy to install and use, and require no venting or special installation procedures.
  • Portable: Many gel fuel fireplaces are portable, so they can be moved from room to room as needed.
  • No mess: Gel fuel burns cleanly, without producing ash or smoke, so there is no need for cleanup after use.
  • Ambiance: Gel fuel fireplaces can provide a cozy and warm ambiance without the need for a traditional wood-burning fireplace.


  • Limited heat output: Gel fuel fireplaces are not a great option if you are looking for a primary heat source. They don’t produce as much heat as other types of fireplaces, making them better suited for supplemental heating.
  • Cost: Gel fuel can be expensive compared to other types of fuel, which can add up over time if you use your fireplace frequently.
  • Flames can be less realistic: While gel fuel fireplaces do provide a flame, the flame may not look as realistic as flames from other types of fireplaces.

In summary, gel fuel fireplaces are an easy and convenient option that can provide a cozy ambiance. However, they may not be the best choice if you are looking for a primary heat source or a more realistic flame.

5. Propane Fireplaces

What is a propane fireplace?

A propane fireplace is a type of gas fireplace that uses propane as its fuel source. Propane is a flammable gas that is often used for heating and cooking in residential and commercial settings. In a propane fireplace, the gas is burned to create heat and flames that simulate the look and feel of a traditional wood-burning fireplace.

How do propane fireplaces work?

Propane fireplaces are typically vented or vent-free. Vented models require a chimney or flue to vent the fumes outside, while vent-free models do not require any outside ventilation. Propane fireplaces also require a gas line to be installed in your home to supply the fuel.

What are the pros of propane fireplaces?

  • Easy to use: Propane fireplaces are generally very easy to use, with many models featuring remote controls or thermostats to adjust the temperature and flame height.
  • Efficient: Propane is a relatively efficient fuel source, meaning that propane fireplaces can provide heat with less waste than wood-burning fireplaces.
  • Clean: Propane fireplaces don’t produce the same amount of soot, ash, or smoke as wood-burning fireplaces, making them a cleaner option for your home.
  • Safe: Propane fireplaces don’t produce sparks or embers, making them a safer option for homes with children or pets.

What are the cons of propane fireplaces?

  • Cost: Propane is generally more expensive than natural gas or wood, so operating a propane fireplace can be more costly in the long run.
  • Installation: Installing a propane fireplace typically requires a gas line to be installed, which can be a more involved process than installing other types of fireplaces.
  • Maintenance: Like any gas appliance, propane fireplaces require regular maintenance to ensure safe and efficient operation.

What should I consider before installing a propane fireplace?

  • Fuel availability: Propane is not available everywhere, so it’s important to ensure that propane delivery is available in your area.
  • Local codes and regulations: Be sure to check your local building codes and regulations to ensure that propane fireplaces are permitted in your area.
  • Upfront costs: Propane fireplaces can be more expensive to install than other types of fireplaces, so it’s important to factor in the upfront costs when considering this option.

In Conclusion

While traditional fireplaces  are a classic option for creating warmth and ambiance in a home, which many of us have fond memories have, there are many alternative options available. Bioethanol fireplaces, electric fireplaces, gel fuel fireplaces, propane fireplaces, and pellet stoves all offer different benefits and drawbacks for homeowners to consider. Depending on your needs and priorities, one of these alternatives may be a more efficient, cost-effective, or eco-friendly choice for your home. By weighing the pros and cons of each option, you can find the perfect fireplace alternative to meet your needs and preferences.

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