What is an Ethanol Fireplace? - A Complete Guide - 2021

  • by Rhys
  • 11 min read

A bio ethanol fireplace offers mess-free & simple heating that is cost-efficient and also environmentally-friendly.

If you've never considered a freestanding ethanol fireplace in the past, this guide will give you the essential details.

It will acquaint you with the product specifics, key characteristics and how to make optimal use of your ethanol fireplace.

Let's get started.

 

 

What is an Ethanol Fireplace?

 

An ethanol fireplace, also known as an alcohol fireplace, is essentially a fireplace that uses ethanol as its fuel source. Ethanol fireplaces are still relatively new, which is why there are many questions to be asked.

Like a traditional fireplace, the combustion of a fuel source will generate heat; but using ethanol as a fuel source comes with many more advantages.

 

 

What is Ethanol or Bio-Ethanol?

 

Bioethanol is a liquid bio fuel produced through the fermentation of several different kinds of plants like corn or soybeans. The most distinctive characteristic of bioethanol is that it is a renewable fuel (unlike gasoline and other types of fossil fuels).

ethanol fireplace fuelWhat is bio ethanol

 

Bioethanol is clean burning and doesn't produce hazardous gases and toxic waste. 

As a result, ethanol fireplaces do not require chimneys or vents. They can be positioned where you wouldn't usually have a fireplace, such as a balcony or an apartment.

Because of these characteristics, a free standing ethanol fireplace is incredibly versatile and suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Freestanding bio ethanol fireplaces, wall mounted ethanol fireplaces and even hanging ethanol fireplaces typically have aesthetically pleasing and are known for their beautiful designs.

 

 

Ethanol Fireplaces Vs Traditional Fireplaces

 

Ethanol Fireplace

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How Does An Ethanol Fireplace Work?

 

Bioethanol fireplaces aren't as complicated as you think; they're pretty simple.

They don't require electrical connections or hard gas lines, and they use ethanol as their fuel source.

Ethanol fireplaces usually have two sections; a frame and a burner.

The frame is commonly constructed from stainless steel and tempered glass; it essentially holds the burner in position and largely determines the design and aesthetics of the fireplace.

The ethanol burner is a stainless steel vessel that houses the fireplaces' fuel.

How Do I Fill My Ethanol Fireplace?

 

Operate an ethanol fireplace by:

  1. Simply pouring ethanol into the stainless steel burner.
  2. Igniting the ethanol fireplace fuel with the appropriate lighting device. 

The ethanol combusts inside its stainless steel burner, generating heat, small amounts of steam and carbon dioxide. These fires are clean-burning; they do not produce harmful toxins either.

The ethanol fire will beautifully dance inside the tempered glass frame walls while also safely contained in the burner.

 ethanol fireplace

Need Help Choosing The Right Ethanol Fireplace?

Simply Take Our Quiz Below.

 

Benefits of Using Ethanol Fireplaces

You already have some ideas about the most significant advantages that ethanol fireplaces deliver. Let's take a deeper look at these features to help you understand the benefits of these fantastic products.

 

1. Quick & Easy Installation

Do Ethanol Fireplaces Need a Flue? & Do Bioethanol Fires Need Electricity?

As far as installation goes for ethanol fireplaces, it is straightforward.

You will not need any construction or renovations. Freestanding ethanol fireplaces do not require a chimney or a flue, gas lines or electrical cables, making them very quick to install.

You'll only need to unpack your brand new fireplaces, put them in position and enjoy.

Free standing ethanol fireplaces give you the luxury of design, simplicity and flexibility. They are the best choice of a fireplace for home indoor and outdoor use.

The fireplace's simple installation gives you the versatility of quickly relocating it like a piece of furniture. Move it from room to room, light up you ethanol fireplace indoor or take it outside for a garden party – it's really up to you.

Not only is an ethanol fireplace a stress-free addition to your home, but you will also have a designer item that's very flexible and capable of matching all of your lifestyle needs.

Let's quickly contrast this with the installation of a traditional wood fireplace.

A required chimney or a flue will have to be installed or serviced if they're not a part of your home. A "firebox" will also have to be built to house the fireplace (Wall mounted bio ethanol fireplace inserts will also need to be build into the house). These processes require the use of expensive materials, and you'll also need to hire an experienced contractor for the purpose.

The installation is more time-consuming, and it will also be costlier compared to using a brand new freestanding ethanol fireplace.

 

 

2. Beautiful Designs

 

Keeping you warm is just one feature of your freestanding ethanol fireplace. It also can transform your space and warm your heart with its glow of beauty. Bio ethanol fireplaces are simply beautiful, enhancing your area and even boosting the value of your property.

Your freestanding fireplace may have different finishes – transparent glass, shiny steel or matte black are some examples. On top of that, you have the choice of various elements and design specifics that enhance the fireplace's appeal even further.

Some bioethanol fires come equipped with optional protective fire screens, optional stainless steel log sets and protective covers, to name a few spectacular add-ons.

Ecosmart Fireplaces always include core accessories required for the safety, operation and maintenance of your freestanding ethanol fireplace. Some of these include a firelighter, lighting rod, and an ethanol jerry can.

  

3. Relocatable With Ease – Indoor & Outdoor

 

An ethanol fireplace is perfect for any occasion.

There are also many models that small enough and light enough to be portable ethanol fireplaces.

The item is versatile, suitable for both the lounge room and the backyard, ideal for aesthetics or warmth and perfect during either day or night. This product is built to suit your needs and give you the freedom and flexibility corresponding to your lifestyle preferences.

In your living room, the indoor ethanol fireplace will flicker and glow, creating a warm and cosy ambient space. All you have to do is light the fuel, relax and sink deep into your book.

Out the back, your friends and family will gather around to talk, laugh and share stories in the glow and warmth of your outdoor ethanol fireplace.

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4. Clean Burning – Are Ethanol Fireplaces Safe?

 

You may be somewhat concerned about burning bioethanol fuel inside your home.

While some concerns may be valid for regular fuels, bioethanol fireplaces are completely safe when used correctly.

Studies have shown consistently that the impact of burning ethanol on air quality doesn't even come close to the use of wood or gas fireplaces. The reason is simple – ethanol for fireplace burning doesn't combust in the same way other fuels do.

Burning ethanol fireplace fuel (alcohol) produces heat, steam and small amounts of CO2.

Your ethanol fireplace doesn't make any odours, ash or dangerous fumes; no harmful by-products are released, which is why the fireplace has a chimney-less design.

Let's compare the functioning of ethanol fires to the burning of wood, putting things in perspective.

Wood smoke contains toxic and harmful pollutants on top of those fine particles. These include benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Ethanol is safe and clean burning – no smoke - no soot – no ash – low odours. 

Base 40 ethanol fireplaceBase 40 ethanol fireplace

 

How Long Do Ethanol Fireplaces Burn?
 

Many factors can determine how long an ethanol fireplace will burn, including; bioethanol fuel type, ethanol burner capacity, ethanol burner design & shape, and external environment.

Quality ethanol fireplaces brands such as Ecosmart Fire have models that use approximately 4 to 1.5 litres of bioethanol fuel per hour.

Ethanol Fireplace Heat Output:

  • AB3 Ethanol Burner, a small-sized burner by Ecosmart Fire, holds 2.5L of bioethanol fuel, burns for 8 - 11 hours and generates 5800 BTU/h of heat.
ethanol burn time

 

  • AB8 Ethanol Burner, a medium-sized burner by Ecosmart Fire, holds 8L of bioethanol fuel, burns for 7 - 11 hours and generates 20433 BTU/h of heat.

  • XL900 Ethanol Burner, a large-sized burner by Ecosmart Fire, holds 9L of bioethanol fuel, burns for 8 - 13 hours and generates 15000 BTU/h of heat.

xl 900 ethanol fireplace

Are Ethanol Fireplaces Warm?

 

Ethanol fireplaces are very aesthetically pleasing, but they are also great at producing heat. There are many different models of burners which will have a larger or smaller flame, which will impact the heat output.

Let's check out some features below by comparing two popular fireplaces that use bio ethanol fireplace fuel.

Ethanol heaters are vent-less, meaning all the heat stays in the room rather than escaping up a flue like it would on other types of fireplaces. Increased heat retention means better fuel efficiency.

Ethanol fires will heat on average 20m2 - 60m2 depending on the model, 5000 – 20000 BTU's!

 

The Igloo Ethanol Designer Fireplace.

 

Ethanol Fireplace
  • Paired with the BK5 burner

  • Holds up to 5L of ethanol fuel

  • Heats on average 35M²

  • Burn time is 7 – 11 hours

  • Thermal output at 3.5kW/h

 

The Ghost Ethanol Designer Fireplace:

 Ghost Ethanol Fireplace

  • Paired with the AB3 burner

  • Holds up to 2.5L of ethanol fuel

  • Heats on average 20m ²

  • Burn time is 8 – 11 hours

  • Thermal output at 1.7kW/h

 

There are many other options to choose from; some can heat huge spaces of 110m3 or even more.

 

Are Ethanol Fireplaces Expensive to Run?

 

The cost of running an ethanol fireplace depends on the size of the burner and the external environment. On average, it costs as low as $1.50 per hour to operate an ethanol fireplace.

The average operating cost sits low-middle compared to other fuel sources.

  • Ethanol $2.0 / Hour
  • Wood $3.0 / Hour
  • Electric $2.0 / Hour
  • Gas $0.5 / Hour

 

Do Ethanol Fireplaces Smell?

That's a great question; there's no one simple answer to this. 

Any odours will vary depending on the ethanol fireplace fuel brand and the quality of the fuel.

Generally, ethanol fireplaces have a slight odour upon initial lighting, but it dissipates with time. There is also a low odour once the flame is extinguished, very similar to blowing out a candle.

Once an ethanol fireplace has been burning for a while, you can barely notice any odours produced.

Brands such as e-NRG Bioethanol fuel are of the highest quality and designed to produce the lowest odours.

What is The Best Ethanol Fireplace?

The best brand of ethanol fireplace is Ecosmart Fire. - See their collection here.

Why?

  • Committed to Safety
  • Recognised World Wide
  • Highest Quality Products
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Ultimate Fire Design Flexibility
  • Personalised Support

Ethanol Fireplace Options:

Build-in

  • Ethanol Fire Pit Kits
  • Ethanol Fireplace Grates (ethanol fireplace insert for existing fireplace).
  • Bio ethanol Burners
  • Ethanol Fireplace Insert

Freestanding

  • Ethanol Fire Pits
  • Ethanol Designer Fireplaces
  • Ethanol Fire Tables
  • Ethanol Accessories

Best Bio Ethanol Fireplace Practices

 

Are you convinced of the benefits already? Do you feel ready to make such a modern and functional addition to your home?

Before you move ahead and buy your brand new ethanol fireplace or fire table, let's examine a few valuable tips and specifics that will help you make the most of your brand new possession.

 

1. Always Use the Right Fuel

No matter how great and effective your new bio ethanol or alcohol fireplace is, you will not get optimal heat output without high-quality fuel.

Bioethanol fuel needs to have an alcohol reading of 96 per cent for optimal combustion. The most typical commercial fuel for Bioethanol Fireplaces Australia will have an alcohol reading of 96 to 99 per cent.

Lower alcohol content will make the burning inefficient, and it will also potentially bring down the heat output. Do look for quality as the heat output and the efficiency will be best. Cheap fuels can produce a somewhat unpleasant smell, and the burning will not be consistent.

 

2. Always Follow Manufacturers Operation & Safety Instructions.

It's essential to follow the manufactures instructions that will arrive alongside your brand new, modern ethanol fireplace. You'll be provided with safely operating instructions, clearance requirements, installation methods and other safety practices.

DIY ethanol fireplaces are not recommended, we need to the leave question "how to make an ethanol fireplace?" with the experts. However, for a ethanol fireplace DIY, always consult with your builder, licensed professional and the manufacturer.

 

 

How to Operate a Ethanol Fireplace

 

Lighting an Ethanol Fireplace:

 

  1. (Remember always to follow the manufactures instructions, these steps are a guide for ethanol fireplaces in Australia) 

  2. Inspect the burner to make sure it is clean and clear from foreign particles and isn't hot.

  3. Using the correct safety refuelling equipment, fill the burner to the desired amount without exceeding its max limit – (often indicated as a line or in manufacturers instructions)

  4. Place the jerry can at least 1500m from theburner before ignition.

  5. Using the appropriate lighting device, safely light the fireplace according to the operating manual.

  6. At first, the flame will be small and often blue. Give it around 20 minutes. It will slowly start reaching the optimum flame.

  7. After that initial period, you can adjust the flame according to your preferences.

  8. Your fuel storage area should not be within a hazardous distance from the fireplace! This is very important to prevent accidental combustion. It must be 1500mm away from a flame at all times.

You don't have to burn all the fuel inside the fireplace in one go. The beauty of bioethanol fireplaces is that you can extinguish the flame when you feel like it, preserving the rest of the fuel.

 

 

Extinguishing an Ethanol Fireplace:

 

  1. (Remember always to follow the manufactures instructions, these steps are a guide for ethanol fireplaces in Australia)

  2. The fireplace will often come with a lid/tool you can use to put out the flame.

  3. While using the correct utensils, place/slide the lid over the burner's opening until the flame goes out.

  4. Let the ethanol fireplace cool down completely, at least 1 hour.

  5. Do not pour additional fuel inside the burner until the burner has lowered to at least room temperature. 

Ethanol Fireplace Basic Maintenance:

  • Use a dry cloth to wipe up spilled fuel.
  • You can clean the exterior of the fireplace with a damp cloth.
  • The right kind of cleaner (glass cleaner, for example) can be utilised for the maintenance of the respective part of the fireplace
  • Steel wool is not appropriate for removing stains or some kind of build-up from your fireplace

Where to Buy Ethanol Fuel For Fireplaces?

We have many customer ask us" Where Can I Buy Bio Ethanol Fuel My Fireplace?".. You can simplify purchase e-NRG Ethanol Fuel through our website via the link here. We will ship the fuel free, directly to your door.

Please note: This isn't the same fuel for your bio ethanol fireplace from Bunnings. The brand of ethanol fireplace at Bunnings is not suitable for products that require e-NRG ethanol fuel. Ethanol Fireplace Fuel from Bunnings has a different quality. 

A Few Ethanol Fireplace Essentials

 

The same rules should be followed for an outdoor ethanol fireplace, but it's even more important to make sure you're doing everything correctly when you are in a small space.
 
As you've seen from the above section, there's nothing way too complex about the use of a bioethanol fireplace. You need to follow the logic and adhere to basic safety principles to enjoy the fireplace without any hazards.
 

Ethanol Fireplace Tips for Beginners: 

  • You should never pour additional ethanol fireplace fuel into an open flame and while the fireplace is working. While the recommendation is a logical one, some people will ignore the dangers of adding fuel to a free standing ethanol fireplace with an open flame.
  • It would help if you also refrained from attempting to move the fireplace while it is operational – the freestanding item will be way too hot to handle, and you risk getting severe burns.
  • Flammable materials and supplies should also be kept a reasonable distance away from a fireplace, at least 1500mm at all times.
  • Do not leave children unsupervised by the fireplace
  • You should never use gasoline or another kind of non-approved fuel in a bioethanol fireplace. Not only can such activities damage your fireplace beyond repair, but there will also be a higher risk of fire.
  • Do not place combustible items like paper or charcoal in the burner.
  • A bioethanol fireplace isn’t mean to be used for cooking food.

That's it! Knowing these essentials will be enough to use your fireplace optimally.

You're now faced with the task of choosing the right bioethanol fireplace for your home. We'll be more than happy to guide you through the process or answer questions you may have about these fantastic heating systems.

Reach out today for additional information, or check out our fantastic collection of ethanol fireplaces for Australia! We are the number one retailer for ethanol fireplaces Sydney & ethanol fireplaces Melbourne!
 
We also do our best to offer guidance and provide valuable suggestions in our blog. Check out the latest publications for some great recommendations, safety tips and buying ideas.

Please click here to see our Ethanol Fireplace Reviews.

Click here to see all Ethanol Fireplaces.

Read More:

Why Ethanol Fire Pits Are More Popular Than Gas Fire Pits.

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