Anybody familiar with vent free fireplace that runs oncans of sterno : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Anybody familiar with vent free fireplace that runs on cans of sterno? I went to a fireplace store over the weekend that had an add in the paper for wood-burning stoves. They had a few vent free fireplaces for ~$1000 that could be used in a condo.

It runs on cans of sterno or alcohol gel. Is any body familiar with this type of heat and have any comments ?

I have searched some of the threads and can't find anything on this topic, if I missed a thread I apologize

Thanks, Bill

-- bill goumas (, October 19, 1999


Hmmm, I don't know about vent-free fireplaces, but sounds pretty expensive.

I'd probably go for either a kerosene heater ($120) or maybe a heater "top" for a propane bottle. ($30). Get 3 or 4 propane bottles - 5 gals or so each, and it'll heat up a room pretty nicely. You can also hook the propane to a camp stove ($40) or even a camp lantern.

Anyway, they're considerably less expensive - and totally portable.

Just a thought.


-- Jollyprez (, October 19, 1999.

Hey. I have an idea for you!!

I was recently at a farm supply store looking for this and that (smile) and I ran across the neatest thing that might be right up your alley. They were free standing, ventless, PROPANE fireplaces?.

They were about 4 inches thick, and ran off either the 20 or 40 pound propane bottles. Unlike campstoves and top heaters, there is reduced danger of co2 buildup. Also, and maybe the neatest thing, is that they are PORTABLE and can be Hung on the wall!

I will make a special point of going there today to get the brand, model number and such if you would like. Just email me. (The address is real :))

The name of the store is Tractor Supply Company. (And i'll be darned if they don't have some of the NEATEST things there... I ought to just go in and hand them my wallet... that way i could shop without having to worry about making change! :))

-- DavePrime (, October 19, 1999.

Sorry about the "neat" thing.

It has been a VERY long day so far.... :)

(When i get tired, sometimes my vocabulary reverts back to my childhood.....)

-- DavePrime (, October 19, 1999.

Hey Dave,

Don't even bother to go over there, it's all right here...

tractor supply heaters

Cool.. they got lots of good stuff!

-- @ (@@@.@), October 19, 1999.


I don't think you even have to spend $1000. They got a real nice one for $399. I might just get one of those puppies myself.

-- @ (@@@.@), October 19, 1999.

I have one of these $399 jobs. Let me give you some advise. It's cute. And if you just want cute and a small amount of temporary heat - these are okay. The downside is the cost of the fuel. A 24 can case costs about $60 and the shipping is about $12 because of the weight. It takes at least 2 cans to make a decent fire and these last just under 2.5 hours burn time. By my calculations that's $6 per fire for 2.5 hours. Not the most economical way to go.

-- Flicker (I', October 19, 1999.

sounds decorative more than functional. what is wrong with a good old kerosene heater? or how about the texas fire frame to boost the efficiency of an existing fireplace?

-- tt (, October 19, 1999.

I'd be very cautious about putting a non-vented heater which uses a poisonous chemical, burns it, and doesn't let the exhaust out, into my living area. Propane is relatively cheap, the heaters are too, and God made us to breathe good clean air, not toxic poisons. In our state, unvented heaters are against the codes for bedrooms, because the sleepers won't know when they're not getting enough oxygen. Be very careful--just because someone sells it doesn't mean it's safe.

-- Ann M. (, October 19, 1999.

Radiant Propane space heaters are good way to go. They are made for indoor use and are mounted onto the propane bottle. Mine cost $100.00 plus $35.00 for a 7 gal bottle. You should have a window cracked when using especially in todays airtight homes. Got mine at Graingers.

-- Mark Hillyard (, October 19, 1999.

Be weary of the propane wall heaters, a friend got one and went through a 20lb bottle in about 6 days, not very good gas mileage. For any propane appliance, install a 'big red' cutoff valve and shut the gas off when not in use, letting the pilot light burn uses more gas than you would expect, however, be careful that the gas is not turned on without lighting the pilot..... (Boom!!!)

-- BH (, October 19, 1999.

Never used one but have looked them over at the lumber yard. They seem to be for "atmosphere" and not for practical heating. It appears to me that they would be cost prohibitive when you consider that you have to use2-3 cans of the fuel.

I agree that the catalytic type propane heaters that fit on propane bottles would fill the bill. Don't get a salamander - a heater that just burns the gas in an open flame without a catalyst. They will produce a tremendous amount of moisture in your house, and after awhile your walls will literally be dripping with water. Uses up fuel faster also.


-- gene (, October 19, 1999.

Have off the wall question. Can you use Sterno can in a electric oven (Power off of course) to bake with? Your thoughts & ideas would be appreciated.

-- Judy (, October 19, 1999.

I am thinking about getting one for my business for looks not heat.They have them for 350.00 400.00 in the Spiegel catalog.They use cleaqn burning alcohol based gel fuel.24 cans are 59.00. I figure burn the fuel at times and shove candles in it for looks other times.I would not buy one for y2k.Infact thats why I have put it off,400 for possably a few mo of cozy work atmosfear .NOT

-- Y2KME1 (y2kme1@HOTMAIL.COM), October 19, 1999.

A can of sterno?

The only question here you want to BE warm or feel cozy?

-- eubie (, October 19, 1999.

If you're getting one for looks, not heat -- get an electric one. It's done with lights and is quite safe.

If you need the heat, the ventless propane heaters are about the best thing, unless you want to drill holes in your wall for a vented model. The good heaters have many safety features -- including an oxygen sensor that will shut off the heater if O2 levels fall -- as well as a thermostat.

The propane tank-top radiant heaters (with the little round elements, 1-3 of them, that screw onto the tank) need good ventilation. And they don't put out that much heat. (Coleman has a catalytic version of a tank-top that's better, but you still need a little ventilation with any ventless heater.)

I have all of these heaters -- and a propane central furnace.

BTW, 6 days on a 20 lb tanks isn't too bad if the weather's cold. That's less than 1 gallon/day. Our big furnace (80,000 BTU) can use more than 4 gallons/day when it's really cold, so a ventless heater (20,000 BTU) at 1 gallon/day should be expected. Propane's 55 cents/gallon around here -- cheap heat.

-- Dean -- from (almost) Duh Moines (, October 19, 1999.

We also have two wall-mounted, ventless propane space heaters. A roast-em toastem 30,000 BTU unit for the livingroom (179.00) and adjacent rooms and a smaller unit for the kitchen (109.00). They feed off our main propane tank, same as our furnace. They are 99% efficient, odorless, and have a built in oxygen sensor that automatically shuts off the unit if O2 level in the room drops too low. Installation cost us $50.00, a couple of beers(afterward), several bowls of chili, and was frequently interupted by the football game, but was definitly worth it. And the cats love 'em.

-- Sam Mcgee (, October 19, 1999.

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