Ethanol Fireplaces Guidebook

When the weather starts to get colder, there is nothing better than turning on a fireplace to keep you warm. Because not all fireplaces are the same, it's important to know what will fit your lifestyle the best. This guidebook will give you a detailed look at Ethanol Fireplaces and help you find the perfect fireplace for your space. 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Why Buy an Ethanol Fireplace?

  • a. Clean Flames
    b. Low Cost of Installation
    c. Flexible Design
    d. Elegant and Modern Design
    e. Portability
    f. Maintenance and Ease of Use
    g. Eco-friendly Fuel

Some Drawbacks of Ethanol Fireplaces

  • a. No Sound or Ember
    b. Cool down Period
    c. High Consumption of Oxygen
    d. Flammable Fuel
    e. High Cost of Fuel
    f. Low Heat Output

 

Different Types of
Ethanol Fireplaces

a. Burners
b. Recessed Units
c. Tabletop Units
d. Freestanding Units
e. Wall Units

What is Ethanol Fuel?

Using an Ethanol Fireplace

a. Lighting an Ethanol Fireplace
b. Extinguishing an Ethanol Fireplace
c. Maintenance and Cleaning

Conclusion  

 

 

Introduction

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People know ethanol fireplaces by various names like ethanol heater, eco fireplace, and alcohol fireplace. The structure of this fireplace constitutes stainless steel made from efficient burner tray, top-quality protective screen, and cover or cowling. Carbon dioxide, steam, and heat are the only combustion by-products of ethanol heaters. This means that you will not require outdoor ventilation or a flue.

If you are looking for an efficient and economical fireplace, ethanol fireplaces will turn out to be the best choice for you. They are environmentally friendly and have better longevity in comparison to other fireplaces.
Bioethanol is the sole source that powers ethanol fireplaces. Itis clean burning and virtually odorless. This reason is why irritating smoke, ember or ash is absent when these fireplaces are running. Ethanol fireplaces are extremely easy to install. One of the main reasons why installation is so easy is because you will not need any utility connections, flues, or chimneys.

You should consider many factors when you are looking at how much heat your ethanol fireplace is producing. The size of the burner and the temperature of your room are a few things that you should take into consideration. A 1.5-liter burner is usually present in most ethanol heaters. These burners mostly have thermal outputs between the range of 2.0 and 2.5 kilowatts.

You will find significant differences between ethanol fireplaces and wood or gas burning stoves. Bioethanol fuels ethanol fireplaces to produce heat and flames. No flue or chimney is necessary due to the efficient nature of the fuel. As we mentioned before, you will not find soot or ash either.

There are two categories of ethanol fireplaces. They are either free standing or wall mounted. You can easily mount the fireplace on the wall without any hassle. Wall mounted fireplaces are quite similar to flat-screen televisions. You should always remember to maintain a safe distance from these fireplaces at all times. Curtains and other types of sheets are a few things that you should always keep away from wall-mounted fireplaces.

Installing freestanding fireplaces is easy as well. If you can place the ethanol burner in the fireplace, assembling the fireplace is simple. You are free to keep the fireplace wherever you want. However, always remember to place it on a surface that does not combust.  You should always prioritize safety whenever you are installing ethanol fireplaces or any other fireplace for that matter.

Ethanol fireplaces can run as long as 4 to 5 hours, sometimes even more. They shut down as soon as they run out of fuel. You can keep your fireplace running by pouring more ethanol before it cools off.

 

Why Buy an Ethanol Fireplace?

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Beating the beauty and ambiance of conventional fireplaces is a hard task when you have to choose from various other heating options. Watching the dancing flames at night while you are all cozy on your sofa or bed is something you would not want to trade anything else for. It surely is one of the best ways to spend a cold winter night.

However, you might change your view about these fireplaces once you listen to what people who own these fireplaces have to say about them. These owners face multiple problems like cleaning up ashes for hours, chopping wood, sensitive eyes, and numerous other things. All of these things are sure to make anyone reconsider buying a conventional fireplace.

Sure, they are beautiful and aesthetic, but, in the grand scheme of things they are not worth the investment. After all, who would want to perform the daunting task of chopping wood and cleaning ash off their floor, it is asking for too much.

A modern and portable ethanol fireplace is one of the best ways to increase the temperature of your room. It is environmentallyfriendly and does not require too much work to start up a fire. It is challenging to find state-of-the-art inventions that are as good as ethanol fireplaces, they might seem simple at first, but once you find out the scientific ingenuity behind their design, you will appreciate it very much.

Mentioned below are some benefits that make ethanol fireplaces the go-to option for most people when it comes to fireplaces.

Clean Flames

It is almost impossible for every house to have a chimney. You will have to go through a lot of complications and expenses to set up a conventional fireplace. An ethanol fireplace is an excellent alternative for people who are looking to avoid these hassles. As mentioned before, ethanol fireplaces are ventless because of the use of bio-ethanol.  The flames that this fireplace produces are extremely clean, and you will not find any ash or soot. You can quickly light up an ethanol fireplace without ventilation. 

A minor amount of carbon dioxide, water, and heat are the only emissions that this fireplace generates, which is significantly better than wood-burning stoves and other fireplaces.

Low Cost of Installation

The low installation cost of ethanol fireplaces is also one of the biggest reasons why people have begun to prefer themto other fireplaces. There are some versions of ethanol fireplaces that you merely have to hang on the wall or place over the floor or table. You will not need to embed them anywhere or slide them under a wall.

Therefore, when you think about it, you can even install the ethanol fireplace by yourself. All you will be essentially paying for in the end is the cost of the ethanol fireplace unit itself. Other wood-burning fireplaces are already expensive, to begin with; the expensive installation costs make them an unaffordable option for many people.

Additionally, ethanol fireplaces are low-maintenance in comparison to other wood-burning fireplaces, which require regular maintenance. Considering these factors, ethanol fireplaces are a cheaper and infinitely better option.

Flexible Design

One of the best things about ethanol burners is that they do not emit toxic and harmful substances. They use fuel cleanly and efficiently. This is why people who own ethanol heaters do not require stationary outlets, flue, or chimneys.

There are different designs, sizes and styles ethanol burners are available in nowadays. You will see different variations of these burners ranging from living room glass tables, portable fireplaces, and protective walled-in structures with protective glass panels. You will be excited to see the diverse range of ethanol heaters as soon as you lay your eyes on them.

Even the most meticulous individuals will be able to choose an ethanol burner that would match his or her requirements. You will be happy to find out that you can operate some ethanol burners by using a remote control.

You can turn them on and shut them off using these remote controls from a distance. You can even regulate and control the flames with the remote. This additional benefit will surely make anyone consider buying these burners. You can even connect some modern ethanol burner models to your smartphone. This is a good indicator that these burners have evolved remarkably with the passage of time; something that most other burners have failed to do.

People often add clean burners to the fireplace that they already have. This makes their burners efficient and reduces mess. This alone should be enough to convince anyone to get hold of an ethanol burner.

Ethanol burners do not require coals, logs, and wood, something that other traditional burners do require. Cleaning and maintaining these burners is exceptionally easy. You will only need to provide the burners with sufficient fuel. With so much flexibility, it is no wonder why ethanol burners are rising so quickly in popularity.

Elegant and Modern Design

Installing an ethanol fireplace in your home is a surefire way to add a touch of class and character to your home. You can do all of this without draining your bank account. You can add a lot of panache and flair to your house, especially if your house has an extremely simple look. These burners will add a personal touch that no other thing can possibly add.

As we discussed earlier, there are varying types of ethanol fireplaces. The different designs and shapes make sure that there is something for everyone to choose from, which is great.

If you live in a home that already has a lot of flair and character you can choose a simpler looking ethanol fireplace, this will only add to the house’s look instead of detracting from it. There are some apartments and rented houses where adding ethanol fireplaces are off limits.

Well, do not worry if you are stuck in this predicament as you can buy portable ethanol fireplaces as well. They are easy to carry and small enough to fit through a door. These portable ethanol fireplaces are equally efficient as any other ethanol fireplaces and make sure that you can reap its benefits without any problems.

Portability

Portability is one of the biggest advantages that ethanol fireplaces have. You are free to use these fireplaces inside as well as outside your home. You can set this fireplace in various places inside your house. Inside your living room, in your yard, on the patio, outside on the porch, are just some of the locations where you can keep your ethanol heaters. The use of bio-ethanol makes these burners extremely easy to use.

Maintenance and Ease of Use

Maintaining an ethanol fireplace is extremely convenient and easy. In comparison to traditional fireplaces, cleaning and maintaining ethanol heaters is remarkably easy. These burners are low maintenance and you will be hard-pressed to find a burner that is easier to maintain than this one.

One of the biggest problems that traditional fireplaces face when it comes to maintaining and cleaning is that they often get discolored or corroded after a few months. Ethanol fireplaces are durable and have unmatched quality. They do not corrode or lose their color for years, no matter how often you clean them.

Most freestanding ethanol fireplaces for not require installation. Some types of ethanol fireplaces do require installation; however, it is extremely easy. You will simply have to hang a wall-mounted fireplace on a bracket. You will find that installing burners that are complex to install is not as difficult as it may have seemed initially.

Since ethanol fireplaces do not emit soot or ash because of its clean burning fuel, they do not require regular maintenance. The maximum amount of maintenance you might need to do is two or three times per year. This means that ethanol fireplaces last longer than traditional burners.

Eco-friendly Fuel

Ethyl alcohol is another name that ethanol is known by. It is a non-toxic and extremely safe substance and is derived from corn, switch grass, and sugar cane. The use of ethyl alcohol as fuel ensures that there are no carbon dioxide emissions from these burners. You will not find any burner that is more environmentally friendly than this one.

Ethanol does produce an extremely small amount of carbon dioxide, but it is not harmful as it is significantly lesser than the amount of carbon dioxide in a human being’s breath. Additionally, ethyl alcohol is significantly safer than any petroleum based fuel used for fireplaces.

You will be able to enjoy high air quality in your room or indoor space, as ethyl alcohol does not threaten human health.  This is why most people who live in apartments prefer to have ethanol fireplaces as they do not have immediate sources of ventilation.

 

Some Drawbacks of Ethanol Fireplaces

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Even though ethanol fireplaces are better than most other forms of fireplaces, they do have some drawbacks. People are completely sold when they hear about the countless advantage and benefits that ethanol fireplaces have; however, it is important that you should know some of its drawbacks as well in order to completely understand how they work and how to use them safely.

No Sound or Ember

One of the main appeals of traditional fireplaces is the sound of wood burning. People also like the ember that wood burning fireplaces produce. These things that are sadly absent in ethanol fireplaces.

The clean burning fuel that is used in ethanol fireplaces makes sure that there is no soot or ash. Bio-ethanol also ensures that there is no smoke. Even though you will feel cozy and warm using ethanol fireplaces, you will miss a couple of trademark qualities that most wood burning fireplaces have.

Cool down Period

One of the biggest drawbacks of ethanol fireplaces is their high cooling down period. Most wood burning fireplaces cool down almost instantly. Ethanol fireplaces, on the other hand, take a considerable amount of time before they cool down. You will have to wait almost 40 to 45 minutes before reigniting the ethanol fireplace. Gas stoves and wood burning fireplace can be reignited within a few minutes.

Additionally, you cannot keep an ethanol fireplace running indefinitely. You will need to refuel the fireplace with bio-ethanol every 4 to 5 hours.

High Consumption of Oxygen

Ethanol flames require oxygen just like any fire. You might be surprised to see how much oxygen an ethanol fireplace consumes in a short period. High oxygen consumption is not as big an issue as it might seem, especially if the indoor space in your house is around or greater than 20 square meters. It is extremely important for your house to have proper ventilation to make sure that it has enough oxygen supply, especially if your house is anywhere below 20 square meters.

Flammable Fuel

One of the most critical complains that people have about ethanol fireplaces is that it uses flammable fuel. Sure, bio-ethanol is great in many other departments, it does not produce bad smell, and it is extremely clean, but its high flammability is probably its biggest downside.

Most traditional wood burning fireplaces use fuel that is not flammable. This makes them extremely safe, as wood does not have any serious risks. Ethanol, on the other hand, is extremely flammable, which is why we urge you to practice extreme caution when igniting fires in an ethanol fireplace.

You should be extremely cautious of fuel spills, clean them up as soon as you see them and always double check in case there are more spills. Spotting fuel spills is not easy as bio-ethanol is transparent and does not have any particular smell.
Always keep bio-ethanol away from the reach of pets and kids. We would also advise you to follow some precautionary measures we have given below such as:

  • Never try to ignite an already lit or hot fireplace
  • Use a long fireplace lighter to ignite the fuel
  • Instantly get rid of spilled bio-ethanol
  • Use a top quality funnel If you want to fill bio-ethanol safely

High Cost of Fuel

The fuel used in ethanol fireplaces is quite expensive in comparison to the fuel used in most wood burning fireplaces. The purpose of use and frequency of the fuel are a few factors that you should consider before buying fuel for your ethanol fireplace.
Ethanol is only available in liters; therefore, it would be wise to use the fuel that is especially prescribed for your ethanol burner. The prescription of fuel varies from burner to burner.

Low Heat Output

There are a few things that you should keep in mind before buying ethanol fireplaces. One of the most important things that you should know is that ethanol is not a primary heat source.  Ethanol fireplaces produce heat between 3,000 BTU TO 20,000 BTU, which is significantly low, especially when you compare it with other traditional wood burning fireplaces.

Fuel cost and low radiation of heat are some of the reasons why people do not consider ethanol as a primary source of heat.

However, ethanol is a great option for supplemental heat. Ethanol is great for complementing some heating systems, for example, gas stoves.

 

Different Types of Ethanol Fireplaces

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Ingenuity and modern science are two things that you will abundantly find in ethanol fireplaces. Never before was it so convenient to install a fireplace. The introduction of ethanol fireplaces brought about a revolution in fireplaces.

These fireplaces have different features and options that make them preferable over numerous other types of fireplaces. Sure ethanol fireplaces have a few downsides, but in the grand scheme of things, they are undoubtedly the best fireplace option you will find on the market.

You will find ethanol fireplaces in numerous residential and commercial settings. People are slowly becoming aware of how convenient they are. Therefore, it would not be surprising to see ethanol fireplaces overtaking traditional fireplaces in the near future.

There are a few different types of ethanol fireplaces. All of them have some features that make them unique. Let us discuss these different ethanol fireplace variations to see which one would be the right fit for you.

Burners

Ethanol burners are quite simple; they do not have fancy designs. These burners are designed to simply do their job, which is to provide maximum coziness. One of the best things about ethanol burners is how flexible they are. You can place them almost anywhere without any hassle. You can easily replace worn out burners or traditional wood burning fireplaces with an ethanol burner. Once you get creative, you will find endless possibilities for using an ethanol burner.

Recessed Units

You will find a few similarities between recessed units and wall units. What makes them different from wall fireplaces is that you have to install recessed units inside the wall instead of hanging them. Recessed units are great for adding a touch of class and elegance in your house.

Tabletop Units

One of the biggest reasons why people prefer to buy tabletop units is that they use the vent-less concept. Tabletop fireplaces are available in numerous designs, and you will be hard-pressed to find a design that you will not like. You can place tabletop ethanol fireplaces just about anywhere you want.  These units offer great flexibility, as they are easily portable as well.

Freestanding Units

If flexibility is what you are looking for in your ethanol fireplaces, freestanding units will prove to be the best option for you. You can place these fireplaces anywhere conveniently. Just make sure that you do not keep them in a walking path. Different finishes, sizes, and shapes of freestanding units are available to make sure that you are able to get one that would best suit your needs.

Wall Units

You will generally find wall units in various modern and sleek designs. You can install these wall units in a variety of different places. They are a perfect way to add character to your room. Hotels, condominiums, bedrooms, dining rooms, offices, and waiting rooms etc. are some of the few places where you can easily install wall fireplaces.
One of the best things about fireplaces that most people do not notice is that these fireplaces have relaxing and calming properties. Wall units would be perfect as they would most definitely be the first thing any visitor would lay their eyes on.

 

What is Ethanol Fuel?

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As we discussed earlier, ethanol fuel is also known as ethyl alcohol. You might be surprised to find out that gasoline is often blended with alcohol to power motor vehicles. However, the use of ethanol is not just simply restricted to motor vehicles; you can use it to fuel ethanol fireplaces as well. Most gasoline stations blend their fuel with ethyl alcohol. The fuel is ninety percent gasoline and ten percent ethyl alcohol.

You can extract ethanol from a variety of sources like barley, potatoes, sorghum, wheat, grain, and corn etc. Sweet sorghum and sugarcane are a few other crops that you can extract ethanol from as well. Ethanol production in the US is extremely high.

Midwest and Upper Mid West are some places where ethanol production is the greatest.  The reason behind this is that there is a steady supply of corn in these areas, which is one of the main ingredients from which ethanol is derived. Additionally, the livestock in these areas and the abundance of water are also a few reasons why ethyl alcohol production is high in these areas.

Dry grind plant is another word that many people use for ethanol plants. The workers make small particles of small kernels of corns by breaking them down thoroughly.  They grind these particles numerous times, and add enzymes and water to it. Enzymes are essential for the conversion of starches into sugar. Once the starch is ready for fermentation, it is further broken down into a mixture, which is also known as mash.

The workers separate the mash from the cookers to cool them down. Glucoamalyse is then introduced into the mash as it turns the liquid starch into sugar. The fermentation process is extremely lengthy and takes about 2 days, sometimes even more. Virtually every country present in the world is capable of producing its own Ethanol fuel. It is easily one of the most efficient and affordable sources of fuel out there. Nearly every country produces sugarcane, grain, and corn. This means that the production of ethanol fuel is significantly cheaper in comparison to the production of fossil fuel.

What makes ethanol fuel a significantly better option than other fuel sources is the fact that it does not damage the environment. You can avoid releasing a large amount of toxins in the environment if you substitute your regular automobile fuel with ethanol fuel.

 

Using an Ethanol Fireplace

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Surprisingly people often think that operating an ethanol fireplace is a difficult task. This could not be any further from the truth; this is because ethanol fireplaces are the easiest types of fireplaces to operate.

The artfully crafted designs of these fireplaces make sure that they are extremely easy to use. You can pick the most complex designs and you will find that it will be as easy to use as the next ethanol fireplace. Be it a residential property or a commercial one, ethanol fireplaces prove to be ideal units that can add significant character to almost any place. However, keep in mind that you should be extremely cautious when using an ethanol fireplace no matter how safe it is.  

Even though there are not any harmful elements or toxins that ethanol fireplaces emit, they do produce real flames. This is why you should be cautious and maintain a safe distance at all times. Also, make sure that there are not any flammable objects near the fireplace.

People often like to buy wall hanging fireplaces for their houses as they add a lot of character. However, it is important that you find out whether your walls are flammable or not. Hanging an ethanol fireplace on a flammable surface is a recipe for disaster.

Wonder board, stone, and brick are some materials that are not combustible and safe for ethanol fireplaces.

Lighting an Ethanol Fireplace

It would be wise to keep flammable objects at least 4 feet away from an ethanol fireplace. Curtains are prone to catch fire easily, so be extremely wary of them whenever you light up your ethanol fireplace. Mentioned below are a few tips that y ou should always follow when you light up your ethanol fireplace. 

  • You should always keep in mind that fuel always burns slowly in the beginning. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the flames to reach maximum height.  You can avoid drafts for ensuring longer burning time.
  • It is also extremely important that you maintain a safe distance between the fuel container and the fireplace. A distance of 1 meter or 40 inches would be the safest distance possible
  • Use a long lighter to light up the fuel. Using a matchstick or a small lighter is extremely dangerous and can injure you. An arm’s length distance would be the best distance to light up an ethanol fireplace.
  •  You would do no wrong by thoroughly reading the instruction manual for your burner. It is important that you follow everything in the manual.
  • Fill your ethanol burner with 2/3 ethanol fuel; this level is considered the safest.
  • Always remember to check if the snuffer tool is present in the burner or not. People often make the mistake of lighting their burners up with the snuffer tool still inside them. This can lead to accidents.
  • Make sure that the ethanol burner is neat and tidy from the outside as well as from the inside.

People often face the common problem where ethanol fuel spills. You can easily solve this problem by using 1-liter bottles of ethanol fuel to make sure that it does not spill and everything is clean.  You can also avoid spills by using funnels.
Whether it is interior use or it is exterior use, it is essential to know the exact purpose of use for ethanol fuel. If your purpose is to light fires in an ethanol burner, bio-ethanol will prove to be a great choice. Do not make the mistake of using bio-ethanol car fuel for your ethanol burners, as it is completely different from the bio-ethanol fuel that you use for burners.

Additionally, charcoal, wood, paper, gasoline, diesel, and petrol are among a few types of fuel that can be extremely dangerous for ethanol burners. Therefore, you should avoid them at all costs.

You will receive a comprehensive step-by-step guide for most top quality ethanol fireplaces. Therefore, it is essential that you follow the guide to ensure safety and light the burner without any problems.

Do not make the mistake of overfilling the burner as it could cause you a lot of trouble in extinguishing the flames. It might also spread the fire across the place where you have installed the burner, which is something that you should always avoid.

Extinguishing an Ethanol Fireplace

  • Do not make the mistake of pouring fuel in an already lit burner
  • Wait for your burner to cool down and extinguish before you try to refuel it. There are numerous incidents where a tiny flame is left that goes undetected, pouring fuel over it can cause a lot of damage.
  • Do not make the mistake of touching an ethanol fireplace while it is cooling down. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes before doing so.
  • Use the snuffer tools to make sure that the flames go out quickly. You should always double check to make sure that there isn’t any flame left
  • It would be wise to let the ethanol burner burn out by itself. Using a snuffer tool should always be a secondary option.
  • Lastly, it is extremely important that you are patient when extinguishing an ethanol fireplace.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Maintenance and cleaning are two of the most important things that are necessary for ethanol fireplaces or any other fireplaces for that matter. Maintaining and cleaning an ethanol fireplace is extremely easy. Follow the steps mentioned below to make sure that you are properly able to clean and maintain your ethanol fireplace.

  • Steel wool and scrubbing sponges are a couple of things that you should never use for cleaning an ethanol fireplace. You should avoid these things, as they would scratch the surface of the burner.
  • You can use a soft cloth to easily remove any marks on your fireplace. Dip the mixture in warm water and cleaner to ensure that your burner is neat and shiny.
  • You can clean the glass planes of the fireplace by using a glass cleaner.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean the exterior portion of the fireplace
  • Make sure that you comply with the regulations for disposing hazardous or waste materials when you empty ethanol containers
  • Use a clean dry cloth to clean up any spilled fuel, use a damp cloth after that to make sure that you scrub the fuel off completely.
  • It is important to wait for the fireplace to cool down before you start cleaning it.

Bio-ethanol is a clean burning fuel and the amount of cleaning required is extremely little. You will not have to worry about soot or ashes dirtying up the exterior and interior parts of the burner. It takes a minimum of 2 to 3 years for the burner to lose its color. You can use a 3M sponge to re-polish it, making sure that the fireplace maintains its color.

Maintaining and cleaning an ethanol fireplace does not take too much time. Therefore, it is important that you clean it thoroughly. By regular care, you can ensure that your ethanol burner keeps running for a long time.
You should always check to make sure that the ethanol fireplace you have bought is tested and checked. There are many low quality versions of ethanol fireplaces in the market that are poorly produced. Stay away from them.

 

Conclusion

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Overall, investing your money in a top-quality ethanol burner will prove to be a good buy. Ethanol burners have great longevity in comparison to other burners. Combine longevity with the numerous other advantages mentioned in this guide, ethanol burners are undoubtedly the best burners available these days.

This revolutionary invention was made with a lot of forethought and planning, which is why it is so efficient.

It offers unmatched flexibility as you can install it almost anywhere. There are different versions of ethanol fireplaces available in the market. They are designed especially to cater to the needs of different customers who have different expectations and different demands.

Ethanol fireplaces are considerably cheap, especially when you think of how little maintenance they require and how long they can run. Therefore, we would advise you to waste no time and get hold of one, you will not regret it.