Frequently Asked Questions - Bio Ethanol Fireplaces

What is a bio ethanol fuel?

Bio ethanol fuel is specifically produced alcohol that comes from renewable raw materials. These materials are things like beetroots, sugar, corn, wheat, and potatoes – naturally renewable materials. This fuel burns cleanly and releases no harmful emissions into the atmosphere. The only major by-products of bio ethanol fuel are CO2, water vapor, and heat. That makes it completely clean and far better for the environment than other fuels.

Bio Ethanol Fireplace

What is a bioethanol fireplace?

These are innovative alternatives to the traditional fireplaces that are more often than not gas or electric variations. These fireplaces are powered by the bio ethanol fuel and are far easier to install and use. They also require no gas connection or chimney for a super easy installation, they produce no ash or toxic fumes and they are 100% heat efficient. That makes them super versatile to use and capable of being used literally anywhere.

What is the difference between bio ethanol fuel and gel?

Fireplaces that run on gel fuel or gel fuel fireplace have almost completely been replaced by cleaner and more efficient bio fuel versions. Gels are a thicker substance and they can leave some residue in the cans. Bio ethanol is a completely clean liquid that uses a different type of container. This requires little to no maintenance and they burn equally as long with a nice orange flame. Bio ethanol simply burns longer and cleaner than the gel counterparts.

What are the emissions involved?

The emissions given off by bio ethanol fuel is almost completely comprised of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and water vapor. The amount of the CO2 emission that comes from an ethanol flame is comparable to that of two medium-sized candles which are very little. The emitted components are negligible in just about any quantity. The other hazardous substances of combustion are stockoxide, monoxide, and aldehyde and are not released until they hit a combustion temperature of 700C. Given that the temperature of bio fireplaces is 400C or under, this is not a concern.

Is bio ethanol fuel expensive?

This is ultimately dependent on how much and how long you burn the bio fuel. If you use it daily for many hours, it could be more costly than other types of fireplaces. Generally speaking, you can get three to five hours out of a regular container. It is up to you to decide if it is economical to use bio ethanol fuel fireplaces that often as the costs can build over frequent usage.

Is a flue needed to use a bio ethanol fire?

Generally speaking, no. Bio fireplaces run on bio ethanol fuel. It burns cleanly and produces only heat, carbon dioxide and vapor. Because of the clean combustion process as well as the fact that there are no toxic fumes, you won’t need a flue. Bio ethanol fireplaces are carbon neutral because of the use of bio ethanol. The CO2 that is emitted when burning the bio ethanol was first absorbed by plants, which were then turned into food waste and used to produce that bio fuel.

Are the fires tested?

All of Soothing Company's products are tested within the care of each of the manufacturers for safety of use. Most have been tested by leading international bodies when it comes to the certification of safety and quality for services, products, and management systems.

Are bio ethanol fires safe?

If you use the instructions that are found in your user manual, common sense and caution is exercised, then yes, there is little to no risk in using a bio ethanol fireplace. It is important to keep in mind that bio ethanol fires produce a real flame, so you should always use extra care and attention whenever using them. It could be potentially dangerous to spill fuel, overfill, throw something in the flame, and so on. For these reasons, you should make sure that you are using care when filling up the fuel. If you have any questions about safety, feel free to reach out to us using their "Chat with us" feature on this website.

Are bio ethanol fires safe for children?

Again, this is real fire we are talking about, but yes they are safe as it gets. It is definitely not recommended to put a bio ethanol fire out when small children are around unless it is out of their reach and there is no risk of them being burned. To ensure that you have extra protection from the flame, make sure to purchase a glass fireplace screen and put it in front of your fireplace. There is also the option of purchasing a wall-mounted fireplace to keep that flame out of the reach of children even when they are unsupervised.

Can I use a flat TV above a fireplace?

Eco-Feu Montreal 2-Sided Biofuel FireplaceThough it is not recommended that you keep them within inches of one another, it is totally fine to use flat screen televisions above the ethanol fireplaces. You will definitely need to check whether or not your fire is “closed’ at the top to assess suitability of the entire situation. There are some units that are wall-hanging units with an open top and have a glass panel on the front; these are definitely not suitable to be put underneath a TV. Since heat rises, it could damage your television. Make sure there is a thick, non-flammable material between the top of the fire and the TV – or a heat absorbing “shelf” – to ensure that your television remains safe above the source of the flame.

How do you install a bio ethanol fireplace?

There are freestanding versions which do not need installing at all. You just place it where you want it to go and fill it up. It is important to note that it needs to be placed in a position that is secure and stable as its burning liquid fuel. If you do wall mount the fireplace, you would hang it on the wall like a picture frame or heavy mirror, using screws and screw plugs provided. Just make sure that it is level and that the screws and wall-plugs are the right size. Make sure that the wall it is mounted is able to support the weight and if necessary, strengthen the spot by adding support to the back.

Do I have to ventilate the room when the fire is on?

Because the bio ethanol fireplace burns clean, unlike gas or wood-burning fireplaces, there is no need for a chimney or flue in that room. But it is important to note that the bio ethanol fires will consume some of the oxygen in the room, so fresh air needs to be let in once in a while. If the room gets stuffy or feels too hot, leading to discomfort or headaches, open a window or leave a door ajar to improve the overall air circulation.

Will a bio ethanol fire heat an entire room?

Your typical bio ethanol fireplaces will be burning at about 3-3.5 kWh of heat in each room. Soothing Company fireplaces aren’t made for heating purposes only; they are also decorative products. Regardless, whenever you use the fireplace, you will get a pleasant and delightfully warming experience. It should be remembered that fire cannot replace conventional heating methods. Using the fire may produce pleasant warmth in the room, but this can also depend on things like ceiling height, size of the room and the air flow in that room. If you have a working flue or open chimney, you will automatically lose 60-70% of the heat emitted by the flame through the chimney. If you want to retain that heat, you need to block the chimney to keep 100% of that heat in the room. Again: these flames are not meant to replace conventional heating methods, so keep that in mind.

Can I use bio ethanol as a BBQ lighting fluid?

This is absolutely not recommended. Use it for its intended purpose: fueling your bio ethanol fireplace. That is its only intended use so don’t try it with anything else.

Can I use a “sponge” or “ceramic wool” to extend burning times?

It is definitely not recommended that you use an accessory that goes inside the container. Aside from the fact that other accessories have been found to not work, there is the possibility and risk of cinders that glow of the base of the fire when the flame goes out. If this happens and you are going to refill your fire, it could be very dangerous as pouring the fuel in could reignite it quickly, causing catastrophic results. Make sure that you always check for cinders before replacing your bio ethanol fireplace or burner.

How can I clean the lid of bio container and small burner from any possible fragrance oil stains?

It is important that if you spill any of the oil on the outside of the fragrance diffuser reservoirs, that you do not leave it to dry on the lid. If the stains are of a minor variety, use hot water and dish washing liquid to clean it. If the stains are older and more persistent than the others, clean the lid by soaking it in hot and soapy water and then clean the stained areas with the rough side of a dish washing sponge or gently scratching it with a sharp tool.

What things should never be done?

Do not spill the fuel when filling the fuel box. If it happens, you have to meticulously remove the fuel. The fireplace should not be lit until the spilled fuel has dried completely. You should also never to up the fuel box of a burning or hot fireplace. This can lead to the fuel igniting rapidly so make sure that the flames are extinguished properly and that the box has cooled.

Does Soothing Company guarantee their fires?

They do! They offer a standard 12-month manufacturer’s guarantee for each and every one of their burners and fireplaces unless otherwise specified. They are so confident in their products, that they produce the highest quality and that you will be pleased with them. They believe in the highest standard of customer service possible. They work diligently to provide products that are free from manufacturer’s faults in appearance or performance.

In the event that a product develops a fault within 12 months of delivery, you can let us know in writing within 48 hours of noticing it. Provide a picture and description of the fault and the manufacturer will either repair the part or replace it entirely. If the item is not available any longer, you will be offered a replacement option that falls within a similar price bracket. They believe in providing the utmost customer satisfaction and will go above and beyond to achieve it. Please note that misuse of your fireplace (like overfilling it with fuel, putting the wrong fuel in or using a higher percentage than is recommended) will void the guarantee and you will no longer be eligible for a replacement.

Are there any building regulations or legal requirements regarding bio ethanol fires?

There are no legal regulations from government bodies or anywhere else for decorative fireplaces that run on alcohol. Bio ethanol fireplaces have to be installed in a non-combustible chamber that follows standard building regulations. Soothing Company closely monitors the topic of bio fire regulations and does their best to ensure that their products are up to any current recommended or required standards.

Each of their products are lab tested and most of them use the Small Burner, which has received a TUV certification as completely safe to use according to the instructions provided. As stated previously, exercising common sense and caution is recommended whenever using bio ethanol fires. These are real flames that we are talking about and they should never be left unattended. You will only ever need a window as a ventilation source in a room with an ethanol-run fireplace; open that window if it gets too hot or stuffy in that room.

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