Bioethanol Q&A

Fireplace to burn ethanol. What to look for when making a change?

A fireplace is a beautiful thing in any home. But what good is a traditional fireplace that can no longer be used? Letting a beautiful, once-functional fireplace go to waste is a source of regret for many homeowners.

That’s why we frequently get inquiries about the possibility of converting an old-school fireplace into one that burns bioethanol fuel. For many customers, we are able to convert their existing wood-burning fireplace into an ethanol unit. However, there are certain criteria required for this to work.


Criteria For Fireplace Conversion

Before you can have your fireplace converted, there are a few things you will need to check.

Is your existing fireplace fully functional?

If your existing traditional fireplace currently works, and you can burn wood in it safely, more than likely, having it converted is an option. However, if your wood-burning fireplace is not fully functional, there may be some maintenance or repair work required before it can be converted to a bioethanol fireplace. If the wood-burning fireplace has been out of commission for some time, you will also need to:

Check that the interior of the stove does not contain any flammable materials.

Any flammable materials, such as decorative wood, must be removed and replaced with non-flammable material, like plaster, steel, or stone.

Is your existing fireplace enclosed or open?

If you have a fireplace or stove that is enclosed, or typically burns wood with a closed door, your until isn’t going to function as well, or as safely, when burning ethanol.

However, there are still options for converting such a fireplace. For instance, you may be able to burn bioethanol fuel in such a fireplace if you leave the door open while the fire is going.


A Few More Considerations

While the above criteria are essential for a fireplace conversion, the following questions, although not necessarily mandatory, are worth considering.

  1. Is your existing fireplace a good size?

    If you want to convert your fireplace to bioethanol, the optimum size is approximately 650 mm x 650 mm x 350 mm. However, typically, most fireplaces that are still functioning as wood-burners can still be converted, because they are all built to burn at very high temperatures.

  2. What size is the fireplace room?

    If the room is too small, you may find that you will need a smaller ethanol fireplace than anticipated. When a room is around 20 square meters or smaller, you will probably require a fireplace that produces only around 2 kilowatts of heat (more about ethanol fireplace heating here). Anything producing more heat than that might cause regular overheating.

Permanent vs Flexible

When it comes to fireplace conversions, there are permanent and flexible options available. If you have a fireplace that cannot safely burn wood anymore, you may still be able to have a seamless conversion with the aid of a CI burner. While some work will be required in this scenario, having a CI burner plate installed into the bottom of a fireplace will give you a practical, permanent solution.

For a more flexible option, you can have a temporary OF Wide burner installed in the base of the fireplace. These burners allow you to burn bioethanol in a former wood fireplace, but they are easily removed so that you can still go back to wood burning, should you desire.

As you can see, converting your traditional fireplace to a bioethanol burner is easier than you may have thought. When you’re ready to get started and we’ll help you decide what conversion option will work best for your particular fireplace.

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