How Long Does Fireplace Gel Fuel Last?

How Long Does Fireplace Gel Fuel Last? Using it Correctly

What is a gel fuel fireplace? This type of fireplace uses canisters of alcohol-based gels as sources of fuel. They can be used both indoors and outdoors. So, typically how long does a gel fuel last? This is important if you are trying to look at the fireplace’s reliability.

The location of the fireplace affects the rate of consumption. For instance, outdoors, on a windy day, the gel will be used up faster. Let us look at it when in normal indoor conditions. You can expect a 13oz can to last you around 3 hours. A 7oz can of gel fuel lasts up to 1 and ½ hours. The average ranges from one hour to three hours depending on the type and make of the fireplace.

Does Gel Fuel Go Bad?

Just like any other product gelled fuel has an expiry date. However, the gel fuels can be used for much longer if you store them properly. The storage room should be heated much like a utility room or a basement.

How Much Heat Does A Gel Fireplace Give Off?

A typical can of gel fuel can produce up to 3,000 British Thermal Units (Btus) of heat. For more Btus, you can burn several cans at once. Therefore burning 3 cans gives a heat output of 9,000 Btus. 

In comparison to a wood-burning fireplace, it produces 20,000 to 40,000 Btus. A gas fireplace on the other hand will give you 8,500 to 60,000 Btus. 

Yes, gel fuel fireplaces produce less heat compared to gas or wood fireplaces. However, there is minimal loss of heat because there is no chimney; there is no daft that can pull warm air out through the chimney.

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A gel fuel fireplace can raise the indoor temperatures of a room up to 1O Degrees Fahrenheit. This applies when using 3 cans of gel fuel at a go. 

The gel fuel fireplace is not very effective when it comes to outdoors.  The heat will be enough if people are seated close together in a patio or garden. Overall, the heat benefit of a gel fuel fireplace is much smaller than that of a wood-burning fireplace outdoors.

Can You Relight Gel Fuel?

Yes, you can relight gel fuel if you have the right instructions. Do not blow the fire but rather snuff it out. Blowing it out can cause a burning gel to jump onto flammable surfaces. This is done by covering the can with a lid until it snuffs out. The gel will continue melting inside since the can is hot. So, do not remove the lid to avoid the gel evaporating. You can now save and use it later.

How about relighting the gel fireplace. Simply uncover then use a spoon to scoop out the crusty residue that would have formed. Stir the gel for a uniform mixture, clean the spoon and proceed to relight the gel fuel. You can do this over and over and re-use your fuel. 

Check for appliances that come with a magnetic fire smother to help in putting out the fire easily. 

Safety Tips With Gel Fuel Fireplaces

Gel fuel fireplaces are safe to use anywhere; indoors or outdoors. However, there are a few important tips to always have in your mind. These include;

  • Never leave burning gel fuel unattended.
  • Freestand gel fuel fireplaces should be placed on flat ground levels or tables to avoid tipping over.
  • Caution should be taken when using gel fuel fireplaces outdoors. Do not burn during windy seasons, rainy or snowing times. 
  • Gel fuel should be burnt in its original container. Do not try to refill a gel fuel container or add more from another container.
  • Gel fuel containers should be placed in appropriate locations inside the fireplace unit.
  • Do not place gel fuel fireplaces near flammable materials.
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How To Dispose Of Gel Fuel

The fuel is usually packed in metal containers with a quick-release lid. Just like other products that contain alcohol, such fuels are a danger to bodies of water. Groundwater, well water, and sewer systems are also included in this category. The fuel should therefore be disposed of properly to avoid it coming in contact with the environment. Here are steps for you to follow on disposing of the gel fuel containers;

  1. Remove the empty or partially full container from the fireplace appliance. If you are still in possession of the lid, please cover the can and tightly seal it.
  2. Place the gelled fuel container in a bag and roll the top before sealing it with tape. This will prevent fuel from leaking out of the bag. 
  3. Dispose of the bag in the home’s outdoor trash can for pick up.


Gel fuel is one of the safest fuels to use in a fireplace. There are many types of gel fuel appliances that can be used in your home. However, take the necessary precautions to avoid accidents. Some of the fireplaces can be moved around with ease thus the reason to consider the flexibility of gel fuel fireplaces. Also, use as directed by the manufacturer.

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