For a variety of reasons, traditional wood burning fireplaces are becoming less popular or simply aren’t available to everyone living in Manhattan. However, there are certainly alternatives that can satisfy the primal lust for fire and warm your apartment on those cold winter nights.
Most of my clients that intend to purchase or rent an apartment have a well defined “wish list.” One item on that list that often requires compromise is the wood burning fireplace. For various reasons, many apartments in the West Village’s historic housing stock lack this coveted amenity. Restrictions in insurance policies, modern renovations that divide floorplans leaving some units without fireplaces, and costly retrogrades leave many apartment dwellers without a working fireplace. Many consumers are familiar with the electric fireplace, but there is a far better alternative. The ventless gel fireplace, such as those serviced by Real Flame, are an affordable, environmentally friendly alternative for those who seek warmth and charm in their historic homes. The available models range from modern to classic and their flame and heat production of 3,000 BTU are comparable to what you would expect from wood burning fireplaces, without the environmental and health issues. While they’re burning, they look incredibly similar to “the real thing.” The fire is created by the burning of a flammable gel in a metal can which produces the familiar crackling and heat that you would expect. Additionally, the fireplaces are generally not permanently affixed to your apartment and thus can be brought with you should you move. The cost of the fireplaces generally range from $250 to $1,0000 depending on your design and quality of construction. The gel cans cost approximately $2.70 a piece (if you shop around online) and last approximately three hours.
Ventless gel fireplaces are a viable alternative to their wood burning brethren and offer some apartment dwellers with the only way to satisfy their fireplace desires. They also offer the added bonus of promoting environmental sustainability while avoiding the unnecessary pollution caused by traditional word burning models.
- Love affair with fireplace cools with health concerns (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Wood Fireplace Alternatives (apartmenttherapy.com)
- NYT Observes – Wood Burning Falling Out Of Favor (treehugger.com)