The beauty of an ethanol fireplace is enough for many people to simply turn on the flame and never wonder about the pros and cons of this type of fireplace. For others, they question if it’s safe and if it does anything else besides looking pretty. We’ve got all you need to know about the pros and cons of ethanol fireplaces.
Ethanol Fireplace Definition
If you aren’t quite sure about an ethanol fireplace, it’s a type of furnace that uses combined zones that put out heat with the combustion of fuel. You don’t need a chimney to use this type of fireplace. It uses real flames instead of fake ones. You can put it anywhere in a room. This type of fireplace works a lot like a candle. The only difference is that you place ethanol fuel with an alcohol base into the burner. You then light this. Most people love to place these in their home as a centerpiece decoration.
Pros Of Bio-Ethanol Fireplace
These unique, trendy structures are perfect in many people’s homes and offices. We’ve got a few pros of an ethanol fireplace.
No Damaging Soot
Many people get annoyed with traditional fireplaces as they clean leftover ash and soot. The soot gets on your walls and ceilings. An ethanol fireplace has a clean flame.
The liquid bio ethanol vaporizes without leaving soot and ashes.
Soot will only be seen in the places where the flame touches things. You don’t need a big fireplace tool kit to clean up this type of burning system.
Ease Of Use
A traditional fireplace takes a lot of maintenance. Many times you have to chop or buy wood then lug it inside. You fight with lighting it then you have to clean it. An ethanol fireplace is as easy to use as lighting a candle. You get out your trusty bottle of ethanol and pour it into the burner. You then light it and watch it ignite. The flames start to grow. It doesn’t get much easier.
Easy Fuel Storage
Wood for traditional fireplaces is often stored in a place where it can easily attract bugs or other animals. The fuel for ethanol fireplaces is usually bought in quarts.
Most ethanol fireplaces have a modern look making them popular for the aesthetics of a home. They are often the focal point in a room or patio. You can get a large piece or a smaller fireplace to create the perfect setting. This looks great and fits well in most rooms.
Most of the time and ethanol fireplace will not have any installation costs. The costs rack up when you decide to mount one on a wall or patio. It can also be a little expensive to buy a fireplace insert. A tabletop ethanol fireplace is easy to set or move anywhere.
Does Not Emit Dangerous Fumes
Burning wood can often emit dangerous fumes. These fumes include sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and polycyclic organic matter. Ethanol is clean so you might get a tiny bit of carbon dioxide and water is all. The amount isn’t enough to make a difference at all. More about emissions from bioethanol fireplaces here.
No Chimney Needed
The best news is that you don’t need a chimney to enjoy the luminous light of a fireplace. An ethanol fireplace is simple and easy to use. Think of it as a mobile fireplace that you can move wherever you want in your home. Put it outside on the patio or inside in the living area. The options are endless.
The Cons Of Bio Ethanol Fireplaces
An ethanol fireplace might be perfect for your home, but it’s important to take into account some of the cons of this type of fireplace.
Don’t Count On It For Heat
If you’re looking for a place to warm up after coming in from a snowy day, an ethanol fireplace isn’t your best best. They do give out a small amount of heat, but it won’t be enough to heat your home. What about a room? Yes. You can sit really close to them to get warm, but they are nothing like a true fireplace.
Read more about how to heat your room with a bioethanol fireplace here.
Don’t Take Safety For Granted
Many people invest in an ethanol fireplace thinking they can just walk away from it without worry. It is safer than an everyday fireplace, but there is always a level of caution when you are using fire. Think of it as a candle. Never leave a candle burning unattended for a period of time.
Cheap Models Will Throw You Off
You may think an ethanol fireplace that runs a few hundred dollars is the same as the type that runs a few thousand dollars. You would be wrong. Don’t let anyone talk you into going the cheapest route.
The safest fireplaces will be the ones that cost more.
This is because many times cutting costs means outsourcing and skimping on the quality of the materials. The welding may easily fall apart. One easy rule of thumb to remember is that go for a burner system that is not built on cups. If you spill ethanol that is then heated under the cup, the cup might be pushed out making the liquid ignite in the fire. The burner system would never allow this to happen.
They Love Oxygen
It’s a great thing to love oxygen, but this means your ethanol fireplace will consume the air you are breathing. The same goes for a candle burning or a traditional fireplace burning wood in your home. You must remember to put some fresh air into the room every now and then. Open a window or simply turn off the ethanol fireplace every few hours.
High Fuel Costs
Ethanol isn’t always cheap. It can be expensive to buy fuel. This is usually not a big deal as they are sold in quarts. If you’re using the fireplace all hours of the day, the fuel costs might be expensive as you rush to refill it.
Nevertheless is much less expensive than a traditional fireplace. Just $0.8 or lower per hour.
Fuel is not friendly for the tummy. Make sure it is always stored out of reach of any children or animals. Fuel is often fatal in liquid form. The good news is that ethanol evaporates quickly. If you have any leftover in the fireplace, it won’t last long.
Long Warm Up And Cool Down Period
It might take about 15 minutes for your ethanol fireplace to warm up. It’s just not the same type of quality that a wood flame provides. That beautiful ethanol flame looks great but doesn’t crackle and pop quickly like a true fire.
It’s important to always wait 45 minutes before you refill your fire when the ethanol burns out. You don’t want to ignite the whole bottle as you fill it up. The cooldown is slow for safety.
Before you ignite your fireplace, make sure there are no fuel spills. The problem is that ethanol has no odor and is clear so it’s easy for people to forget it will go up in flames.
A Fireplace Is A Fireplace
An ethanol fireplace is still a fireplace. You can’t treat it exactly like a candle. If you’re careless around a fireplace, there might be trouble. Don’t put your hand in the flames thinking it won’t burn. Don’t walk away for hours thinking you’re just fine.
It’s important that you take all of this information about ethanol fireplaces to make an informed decision for your family. There are so many pros and cons to every type of fireplace. An ethanol fireplace might be the perfect tool for your home, or you may prefer a traditional fireplace.
- No Damaging Soot
- Ease Of Use
- Easy Fuel Storage
- Good Looking
- Inexpensive Installation
- Does Not Emit Dangerous Fumes
- No Chimney Needed
- Increases room temperature by a good couple of degrees
- Don’t Count On It For Heat
- Don’t Take Safety For Granted
- Cheap Models Will Throw You Off
- They Love Oxygen
- Fuel Poisoning
- High Fuel Costs
- Long Warm Up And Cooldown Period
- Fuel Spills
- A Fireplace Is A Fireplace
What about you then…?
I choose ethanol fireplaces because of two things: luxury and convenience.
An ethanol fireplace provides a beautiful piece of useful decoration. There are many different types and brands to choose from. If you think an ethanol fireplace is right for you, the perfect type is out there just waiting to come home with you.