Does an ethanol fireplace actually give off heat? You may be surprised by how many times we are asked this, but it’s a fair question if you have no experience at all with ethanol fuel or this kind of fireplace. After all, no one wants to install a fireplace that isn’t actually going to keep them warm.
The basic answer to the above question is, yes, ethanol burning fireplaces do give off heat. However, most people are implying more than this when they ask the question. Potential customers usually want to know how much heat is given off from this kind of fireplace, and if such fireplaces can adequately heat their homes. Let’s take an in-depth look at ethanol fireplaces and how they heat in order to better answer these questions.
How Much Heat Is Produced?
When you have a traditional wood-burning stove or fireplace in your home, you can expect to get around 6-9 kilowatts of heat from the average unit.
Typically, this is way more heat than most people need, since 1 kilowatt of heat is enough to keep a space of around 220 square feet feeling warm and toasty.
So, in comparison to a traditional one, how much heat will you get from an ethanol fireplace? As with a wood-burning fireplace, you will find that the amount of heat produced is dependent somewhat on the individual unit. However, most ethanol units tend to produce between 2.5 and 3.5 kilowatts of heat each time that you run them. As you can see, this level of heat means that, unless you are planning to heat your entire home with one unit, the ethanol fireplace should suffice for most homeowners.
What About Heat Distribution?
Another difference between a traditional fireplace and one that burns ethanol fuel is the way the heat is distributed.
A traditional fireplace or woodstove will take some time to heat up after you start the fire, and, as such, it will take a little while for your home to get warm. These units will create powerful wafts of heat, but these rays of hot air can be inconsistent, or even too hot for comfort.
With an ethanol fireplace, you will get the heat as soon as you light the fire… always.
You will also find a more consistent, comfortable distribution of heat from an ethanol fireplace than you will from a traditional one.
Where To Use An Ethanol Fireplace?
With little to no exception, an ethanol fireplace can be used pretty much anywhere in your home.
Unlike a traditional fireplace, it does not require a flue or a chimney, which means you can have it installed pretty much anywhere you want.
The only thing you may need to consider is how much airflow is available in the room in question. You don’t want a draft, but you do want a room with some space and natural air movement, as ethanol uses oxygen in the room to burn.
Why not add a small ethanol fireplace to your conservatory? Since these rooms are usually warmed by the sun, they are often disused during the winter months. But with the addition of a small ethanol burning unit, you could enjoy your conservatory all year long.
Holiday homes, like shared cottages, are another place you may want to use an ethanol fireplace. Never worry about shivering all night when you vacation in a place that’s a little too cold. You could even take a portable ethanol unit with you on holiday to use in a rental cabin or chalet and never once have to think about chopping wood or clearing ash from the hearth.
In conclusion, an ethanol fireplace offers many advantages over a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Producing enough heat to work as a supplementary heat source in your home, or to completely heat an unheated area, like a conservatory or small holiday cottage, an ethanol unit could both keep you warm and save you money. Ethanol fireplace heat output is generating around 2.5 to 3.5 kilowatts and can warm a space of up to 700 square feet with consistent, even heat distribution. Further, these fireplaces can be used just about anywhere you could imagine!
Q1: Building sunroom that will be close to 450 sqft. You say ~1kW per 220 square feet… Can bioethanol heat up my room in a sufficient way?
A1: 1 kW is given that the room temperature is normal (around 70 °F). Ethanol fire would be a supplemental heating option if you leave in a colder climate.
Q2: I have a 50 square feet living room. I do have central heating for winter. I would only use it on chilly spring, summer, or autumn days. Would the bioethanol heating be suitable for my needs?
A2: Yes. It’s perfect because this type of fireplace increases the temperature by a good couple of degrees. It’s perfect for summer and autumn days.
Q3: Cost of heating my room with bioethanol?
A3: Usually $0.8 or lower per hour of burning when it’s half-open.