Ethanol Fireplaces - Alternative for Wood Fireplaces? 
Posted in: Architecture
On February 22, 2022

We are in the middle of winter, it gets dark early and the temperatures are freezing. Perfect time, then, to light up your home fireplace. But what do those without a chimney do? Don’t worry, there are now solutions for these people too. In recent years, many alternatives to the conventional wood-burning fireplace have appeared on the market.

Ethanol fireplaces in particular have become increasingly popular. What does an ethanol fireplace mean and for whom is the investment worthwhile? We will answer these questions in this article!

What is an ethanol fireplace?

Ethanol Fireplaces


One thing first. Ethanol fireplaces are not a primary source of heat, because they are mainly for decoration. They do spread a little warmth and create a cosy atmosphere in the room, but as a primary heat source they are too weak. 

In the ethanol fireplace, there are stainless steel burn cans or other boxes that are filled with bioethanol. This is then ignited and flames are created. These are real flames, not like those of electric fireplaces, for example. 

Ethanol fireplaces are available as free-standing, flexible versions, but also as built-in versions. 

Many ethanol fireplace owners also place wooden dummies in front of the fireplace to give the impression of a real wood fire.

What you must bear in mind when operating an ethanol fireplace

Ethanol Fireplaces


If you have small children or pets at home, you should avoid using an ethanol fireplace altogether. In addition, a fireplace with bio fuel never belongs in the bedroom. If you use it in living rooms, you must ensure that there is sufficient ventilation. Ethanol fireplaces are therefore more suitable for outdoor areas than for indoor rooms.

Placing the fireplace

Only place the fireplace where there is no wood or paper nearby. In the case of wall-mounted fireplaces, you must seek advice beforehand so that the safety distances can be observed.

Filling the ethanol fireplace

Ethanol Fireplaces


Refilling an ethanol fireplace should not be underestimated. Never refill ethanol when the fireplace is still burning or hot. The operating instructions should state how long the fireplace must cool down before refilling is no longer dangerous. Also note in advance how much bioethanol will actually fit into the fire tray. Never fill it with more and do not leave the bioethanol next to the fireplace, but close it again immediately.

Lighting the fire

When lighting the fire, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and do not get too close. Only use the fuel specified in the instructions for use.

What are the characteristics of an ethanol fireplace? 

An ethanol fireplace has several positive features that we would like to highlight in this section. 

For one thing, you don’t need a chimney or even a house, because ethanol fireplaces can also be used without a chimney and placed in rented flats. 

Furthermore, no soot is formed when burning bioethanol and no smoke is produced. Ethanol fireplaces are therefore much easier to maintain than wooden fireplaces. 

Ethanol fireplaces also have the advantage that they can be flexibly transported and placed anywhere in the room. People who like to move rooms or move frequently will get their money’s worth here. 

Also, no dangerous gases are produced when bioethanol is burned, only water and carbon dioxide, and in very small quantities. 

In addition, the application is very simple, you only have to go to the nearest DIY store, buy bioethanol there and pour it into a burner. Within a few seconds, a beautiful fire spectacle develops and you can spend the evening comfortably by the ethanol fireplace.

What are the disadvantages of an ethanol fireplace?

Ethanol Fireplaces


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However, an ethanol fireplace does not only have advantages. The disadvantages should not go unmentioned either. 

As already mentioned, the fireplaces cannot be used as a primary heat source, as you would not be able to heat a room with its heating power alone. However, if you use another heat source such as a heater, the heat is perfectly sufficient even for cold winter days. 

In addition, it can happen that unpleasant odours arise when burning bioethanol. Here, care should be taken to ensure that there is sufficient ventilation. 

Furthermore, you must always make sure that you are dealing with real flames and that you do not keep adding ethanol unmolested. This can be dangerous and should of course be avoided. Even if the burner is still warm, you should wait until it cools down. Otherwise, the bioethanol could deflagrate. However, if you approach the matter with common sense, an ethanol fireplace is very safe.

Is it worth the investment? 

It depends on what your requirements are. For example, if you live in a flat and do not want to do without the cosy atmosphere of a fireplace, you can benefit from an ethanol fireplace. Those who move frequently or like to rearrange their interior will also be happy with an ethanol fireplace. However, those who are looking for a primary heat source will not be well advised to invest in an ethanol fireplace.

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