How do ethanol fireplaces work?
When meeting new customers who are suprised by the new possibilities that ethanol fireplaces provide, I face the most basic question; How does ethanol fireplaces actually work?. Even though an actual product demonstration would answer the question, I’ll try and answer the question with ink in this short article.
The concept of an ethanol fireplace is a bit different from what we know in relation to gas or woodburning stoves. Ethanol fireplaces utilize bioethanol as a source of heat and flames. As a result of the fuel, no chimney is needed – and no soot or ashes is omitted when using the product. The flames are clean, and the fireplaces require little venting, if any (is the room smaller than 20 sq. m. you will need to open the window after some time, if the room is larger – you’ll be fine).
Installing the fireplace
Before actually using the fireplace, it has to be installed. As an ethanol fireplace require no flue, the installation is quite simple.
The ethanol fireplaces are available in two different categories, wall-mounted or freestanding (bespoke solutions are made, but a professional will usually handle the installation)
Wallmounted fireplaces are easily hung on a wall mount that comes with the fireplace. The wallmount is in many cases the exact same as we know from flat screen tv’s. Usually a safety distance of 1 m. is required with a special attention to curtains. (for more information on the installation of wallmounted fireplaces, read this post)
The freestanding fireplaces are the simplest model to install. Assembling the product is in most cases just a matter of placing the bioethanol burner inside the fireplace, and place the fireplace where you wish to use it. You don’t need to put anything underneath the fireplace, and it can stand on wooden floors without any safety issues. A safety distance of 1 m. also applies here.
Lighting the fireplace
Once the fireplace is mounted, you simply pour denatured bioethanol into the burner of the fireplace, and light it with a stove lighter. After a few seconds, nice and yellow flames will appear. As the burner and the fuel increases in temperature, the flames will be more prominent.
The fireplace produce a insignificant amount of CO2 and water (it’s that clean). The CO2 is easily handled with a window opened in a couple of minutes.
Heating the room
As the fireplace burns, it naturally creates some heat which is distributed into the room. The heat output is around 2.5-3.5 kW, which is the equivalent of a radiator, or half the amount of a woodburning stove (depending on how much wood is burned). The fireplaces can heat around 3-40 sq. meters without any problems.
The fireplaces burn around 4-5 hours and shut down fast when the fuel runs out. If you still want flames once the fireplace is extinguished, you can pour ethanol into the burner again once it has cooled off (typically takes 5-15 minutes).
If the fireplace is burning and you are about to go outside or to bed, you can shut it off by closing the lid. Once the flames are unable to consume oxygen, it shuts off. The excess ethanol will stay in the burner for next time. (Tip: If you want to light the fireplace again another day, it is a good idea to give it some extra fuel – in effect it becomes a lot easier to ignite, and you increase the burning time)
This is simply put the basics of an ethanol fireplace, and it explains how an ethanol fireplace works. If this has created a new set of questions, I suggest that you browse around on the blog, or contact us.