Why Do Ventless Fireplaces Smell?

Either you have experienced this or someone else has and told you about it. You went to light your ventless fireplace and it smelled, or your friend told you a similar story. So now you are wondering, why do ventless fireplaces smell? They are ventless they are not supposed to smell. Well you are right they are not supposed to smell. There are a few reasons you may notice an odor though. So let’s go over what may be the cause.

The Finish

If you have a new ventless fireplace or fire pit and you decide to use it for the first time. You may smell something once it starts to get warm. That is not the fuel being used, it sometimes can be the finished used for your firebox area where your flames are. This smell will typically disappear after a short time. If it is too strong and fireplace is located inside open a window or turn on an air cleaner until smell dissipates. 

It's The Alcohol!

If you have chosen a ventless fireplace that uses an alcohol based fuel supply, you may notice a smell. Not while you are burning typically, but when you first open a gel can. It is similar to when you open a rubbing alcohol bottle. The smell will go away after the fireplace is lit. You may also notice a faint smell when it comes to ethanol as well before you light it as well. It is nothing that is harmful, but it is not recommended to make a habit of inhaling the smell.

Are You Using LP or Natural Gas

There are some ventless gas fireplaces on the market that do use LP or Natural Gas. If you have one of these and you notice a smell, there may be a little more cause for concern. If you have tried to used your ignition with no success, your gas is still coming out. You will need to shut the gas off to your fireplace until fixed. Unless your model allows for manual lighting as well.

If it is not in use and you are smelling something, you may have a leak and that is something that will need to be checked out. You can sometimes even get a slight smell with LP if your tank is running low, it is just a way to tell you it is time for a refill.

So those are the main reasons that you may notice a smell with your ventless fireplace. Also just as a safety precaution, make sure anything flammable is not kept anywhere need the fireplace. Since some items too close can ignite or melt also causing a smell or problems you don’t want. Never use anything for fuel that is not recommended for your fireplace.

Final Note

Most of all common sense, if there is a smell that will not go away there may be a problem. So always make sure a professional handles the job and also take the time to read through your owner’s manual.

Vernon Scott

Vernon is the founder of this cool ( read HOT! ) website. He's superbly experienced on heating technologies as well as having clear ideas about modern heating appliances. Vernon has called him " I am a hot ( this time read COOL! ) guy!"

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