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Ethanol Fireplaces Guide for Beginners

It can be hard to be eco-friendly in our day-to-day lives.

After all, it’s not necessarily practical for all of us to swap out to electric unicycles or electric scooters.

But we could all be more environmentally friendly in the act of staying warm and that’s why we’ve put together this ethanol fireplaces guide.

What Is An Ethanol Fireplace?

An ethanol fireplace is a fireplace which uses ethanol (derived from corn and sugarcane) as a fuel.

When ethanol burns, the byproducts are completely carbon neutral and thus, an ethanol fireplace is an eco-friendly alternative to other kinds of fire. 

freestanding ethanol fireplace with logs

The are other considerations you ought to take into account when using an ethanol fireplace:

  • Appearance. There are wide choices of ethanol fireplaces and you don’t have to miss out on the traditional look of a fireplace because you use ethanol (in fact, you can use ceramic replica logs if you like).
  • Safety. Ethanol burns cleanly and thus, there is no threat to your safety from either fumes or carbon monoxide build up.
  • The cost to buy. Of course, like any other product there are variations in cost but you can often find an ethanol fireplace for as little as $100 and after that, the sky’s the limit depending on your needs. 
  • The cost of ownership. You have to buy bottled ethanol when you use an ethanol fireplace that means you know the cost of using it upfront and better still, you don’t need to install a chimney or other kind of vent, which can save a lot of money.
  • The noise. Ethanol fireplaces are silent and can be used in any situation to avoid noise pollution.
  • The heat output. As with other forms of fire, ethanol fireplaces are graded in terms of the BTU (British Thermal Unit) output, as long as you buy one sufficient to your needs, the heat is no different than that from any other fireplace. 

What To Know About Buying An Ethanol Fireplace?

OK, if you think you’d like to buy an ethanol fireplace the first thing you should know is that you can usually convert an existing fireplace by just popping an ethanol burning insert into it. 

That’s another plus point for the environment as it doesn’t involve large amounts of waste.

Otherwise, you will need to consider whether you want to install a fireplace as an insert, in a recess, or on a wall or use a freestanding or table mounted ethanol fireplace. 

recessed ethanol fireplace

They are all solid choices for heat output and the decision should really be about what works best in the space you have. 

On the subject of heat output, it’s very important to check the BTU output on an ethanol fireplace as many are designed to be decorative more than warming. 

The good news is that there’s almost no setup required once you have an ethanol fireplace because they burn clean, they don’t need any installation beyond that required to put them in place and there’s no need for a chimney or vent. 

How Do You Care For An Ethanol Fireplace?

Caring for an ethanol fireplace is very straightforward and you shouldn’t have any problems making sure that your investment in one lasts for a long time. 

Firstly, you should follow all the manufacturer’s instructions as they can be unique to the fire that you have purchased. 

Then ensure that you never fill the fuel reservoir to more than 75% full as this will stop spills. 

wall ethanol fireplace

Also, never add fuel while it is burning or within 15 minutes of running out – you don’t want the fuel to catch fire in your hands. 

Use an extended lighter to get the flames going.

And never use any other fuel except bioethanol, that’s just asking for trouble. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that this is as much of a fire as any other fireplace and children and pets should never be allowed to go near the fire when it is in operation. 

Final Thoughts On Ethanol Fireplaces

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our ethanol fireplaces guide and that it’s helped you understand the benefits of these non-polluting ways to get warm.

If you did, then you may also appreciate our guide to the best patio heaters, which are also a great way to stay warm outdoors.