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5 Types of Fireplaces For Apartments and Homes Without Chimneys

5 Types of Fireplaces For Apartments and Homes Without Chimneys

Have you been dreaming about a fireplace but your home doesn't have a chimney for it?

Modern ventless fireplaces, the perfect solution if you want to have a fireplace in your house, apartment, or a condo without a chimney.

These vent-free fireplaces provide a convenient, low-cost alternative to traditional fireplaces. They are easier to install and easier to maintain.

If you are looking for a completely vent-free fireplace solution, you have 5 options:

5 Types of Chimney-Free Fireplaces:

1. Electric Fireplaces
2. Water Vapor Fireplaces
3. Ethanol Fireplaces
4. Ventless Gas Fireplaces
5. Gel Fireplaces

The type of fireplace you choose will depend on your design preferences, the limitations of your space, and your budget.

Electric and water vapor fireplaces create a flame imitation, while ethanol and gas fireplaces produce real flames.

Let's take a closer look:

1. Electric Fireplaces

Modern Flames "Landscape Pro Multi" 3-Sided Smart Electric Fireplace
In photo: Modern Flames "Landscape Pro Multi" 3-Sided Smart Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces are not "real" fireplaces in the sense that there is no actual fire. The flame imitation is created by energy-efficient LED lights. Most electric fireplaces come with a built-in electric heater providing not only the ambiance of the fireplace but also some supplemental heat.

Why choose electric:

    • No maintenance
    • Affordable
    • Heat can be turned off for summer use
    • Easy installation 
    • Safe for children and pets - stays cool to the touch

Click here to see our Electric Fireplace Collection.

2. Water Vapor Fireplaces

Faber E-Matrix 39" Built-in 3-Sided Vapor Fireplace
In photo: Faber E-Matrix 39" Built-in 3-Sided Vapor Fireplace

Water vapor fireplaces create a realistic, 3-dimensional flame imitation without any actual fire. They use water to create a very fine mist that reflects the light and looks like a flame.

These fireplaces run on electricity and tap water, and are very efficient. Many homeowners and designers choose water vapor fireplaces for their projects because of their safety and how easy they are to customize.

Why choose water vapor:

    • The most realistic 3D flame imitation
    • Many installation and customization options  
    • Possible to create a fireplace of any length
    • Safe for children and pets - stays cool to the touch

Click here to see our Water Vapor Fireplace Collection.

3. Ethanol Fireplaces

EcoSmart Fire Cosmo 50 Rectangular Fire Pit Table
In photo: EcoSmart Fire Cosmo 50 Rectangular Fire Pit Table

Ethanol fireplaces are vent-free fireplaces with real flames. The flame is created through burning clean alcohol-based fuel. The fuel is sold separately and comes in liquid form.

The operation is simple: pour fuel into the burner and light it up with a long lighter. They can be installed anywhere and come in many different shapes and sizes.

Why choose ethanol:

    • Real flame without any smoke or smell
    • Can be installed in places impossible for other fireplaces
    • Many installation and customization options
    • Free standing models available

Click here to see our Ethanol Fireplace Collection.

4. Ventless Gas Fireplaces

Ventless Gas Fireplaces
In photo: Empire Boulevard 60" Linear Vent-Free Gas Fireplace

Do gas fireplaces need chimneys?

Yes, traditional gas fireplaces typically require a chimney or a vent to safely expel the byproducts of combustion (like carbon monoxide) outside the home. However, there are ventless or vent-free gas fireplace options available that do not require a chimney or external venting.

These models are designed to burn very efficiently, minimizing the production of harmful byproducts to a level considered safe for indoor air, according to certain standards and regulations.

It's important to note that ventless fireplaces are subject to local building codes and regulations, and they are not allowed in some areas due to concerns about indoor air quality. Always consult with a professional and check local codes before installing a gas fireplace. 

Why choose ventless gas:

    • Real flame without any smoke or smell
    • Consistent gas supply - no need to refuel
    • Produce lots of heat - a great backup heat source

Click here to see our Ventless Gas Fireplace Collection.

5. Gel Fireplaces

Anywhere Fireplace Sag Harbor Table Top Gel Fireplace
In photo: Anywhere Fireplace Sag Harbor Table Top Gel Fireplace

Gel fireplaces are similar to ethanol fireplaces. They also produce real flame and run on alcohol-based fuel. The difference is that this fuel is in gel form and is sold in cans.

Gel fireplaces are becoming less popular and the category itself is shrinking, but there are still some models available. They're largely being replaced by ethanol fireplaces.

Click here to see our Gel Fireplace Collection.

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If you want to find a perfect fireplace to match your style and needs, we can help you with that. Just give us a call or shoot us an email

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Previous article Ventless Gas Fireplaces: Complete Buying Guide
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Dyann - March 27, 2023

Hi, Arlene.

Your concern seems like it needs a more thorough answer from our Customer Service team. Please send us an email via or give us a call (1-866-713-2399) so we can help you better!

Arlene Gioia - March 27, 2023

Help. Old Majestic . Was wood and was converted to gas. Live in condo. No feedback or help from owners. Spent money on estimates.

Chimney Masonry Grand Prairie - June 6, 2022

Thank you for sharing this informative article about chimneys. I hope there are a lot of chimney contractors that could read this and be guided accordingly.

Anastasia - December 1, 2020

Hi David, somebody from our customer service team will be in touch with you shortly.

david reiselt - December 1, 2020

hi im looking for a insert for my fireplace having a hard time with your phone service found one just have a few questions

Merlyn Sheng - October 2, 2020

Great Content.I have read your blog and found it very useful. Thank you for sharing this informative content.

The Ryse Condo

Kyle - December 10, 2016

Thank you for this article! It helped me understand what my fireplace options are far for my new house without a chimney.

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