Are Ethanol Fireplaces Really Worth it?
We have heard this question a lot. While we would love to scream “yes” at the top of our lungs, that wouldn’t be fair. To some people, ethanol fireplaces are worth more than their weight in gold. To others, however, they aren’t. Although we can’t decide whether an ethanol fireplace is worth it for you, specifically, we can help you decide. In order to do so, it’s important to look at your objectives and the overall importance of a fireplace for you. So, to answer the question (for yourself), here are some things to ponder:
What is the main reason you would like a fireplace?
- Heat. Ethanol fireplaces do, in fact, provide heat. However, the energy source doesn’t produce as much as a woodburning or gas fireplace. So, if you’re looking for a major difference in warmth, an ethanol fireplace is probably not worth it. If, however, you’re looking for a subtle difference in temperature, then it may be worth considering.
- Ambiance. Ethanol fireplaces are best known for the ambiance they create. Sleek linear fire ribbons are extremely popular in contemporary spaces. With an ethanol fireplace, the ambiance of a genuine fire can be achieved with plenty of freedom for design choices without cumbersome chimneys, fuel lines, or any other attachments. So, if the ambiance is what you are seeking, we would say an ethanol fireplace is worth it.
- Eco-Minded. Ethanol fireplaces are eco-friendly and will reduce your carbon footprint. There are, however, other eco-friendly fireplace alternatives available. While this can be taken into consideration, we feel that other factors along with the clean burn will decipher worth for you.
How often will you use your fireplace?
When comparing types of fireplace solutions, ethanol fireplace fuel is slightly more expensive than alternatives. However, there are no installation costs or ongoing maintenance costs. No chimney to repair, no ventilation to install – except for building the fireplace’s surround there are no costs in preparing or installing an ethanol fireplace.
So, we think the amount of time that you use the fireplace will easily paint a picture as to the worth of an ethanol fireplace. In most cases, when compared, this technology saves many thousands of dollars. With no maintenance over time, more cost savings are had for the life of the fireplace. To judge worthiness, we suggest looking at all initial and ongoing costs of the fireplace solutions you are considering. Then, estimate the amount of time you believe the fireplace would be used over a five-year period. Once you have both figures, simply divide the cost by your estimated time of use. This calculation will better compare worthiness versus looking at fuel costs alone, which doesn’t paint the whole picture.
The last point to consider is that ethanol fireplaces are more efficient. With no vent or chimney for heat to escape, all the warmth from the fireplace stays in the space – so, you’re not paying to heat outer space.
Is an ethanol fireplace really worth it yet?
How important is the convenience of the fireplace?
While ethanol fireplaces are much more convenient to operate than wood-burning models, they are not as convenient as flipping the switch of a gas fireplace. Ethanol fireplaces us a liquid biofuel that needs to be refilled manually. Because there are no big fuel tanks or fuel lines, the fuel must be poured into the burner. If you are looking to flip the switch for an instant fire, then bio ethanol fireplaces probably aren’t worth it. If, though, the value of no installation costs and no ongoing maintenance costs outweigh this issue, then it might just be worth it for you.
Do you have concerns about an open flame?
Ethanol fireplaces, as you probably already know by now, are ventless. Therefore, to function, they need to be exposed to oxygen, as it is not available through a vent or chimney. So, an ethanol fireplace will always have an exposed flame when alit. Ethanol fires burn in a controlled setting and are confined to the ethanol burner. When used and installed properly, even with an exposed flame that are safer than any other fireplace solution. Still, however, some customers with children or pets have concerns about a fireplace that isn’t fully enclosed. So, if you are looking for a fireplace completely behind glass, then an ethanol fireplace won’t be worth it for you. If, however, the benefit of keeping all the heat because of no vent is more beneficial, we would encourage you to look at bio ethanol closer, because it may be worth it.
So, what do you think? Is an ethanol fireplace really worth it?
We hope that these questions help you to answer your larger question of “Is an ethanol fireplace really worth it?”. If you are still unsure, please feel free to reach out to the IGNIS fireplace professionals who will gladly answer any questions you have and help you decide what is best based on your specific objectives, environment, or any other condition relative to your decision.
In addition to our blog posts, the IGNIS Knowledgebase may help to answer so of your questions, too.
Still trying to decide if ethanol fireplaces are really worth it? Here's a little more help:
A Guide to Ethanol Fueled Fireplaces: Bio Brains.
So, you’re in the market for a fireplace, and you have heard about ethanol fueled fireplaces. These modern fireplaces have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they offer a clean and efficient way to add warmth and ambiance to any room. Ethanol fueled fireplaces are not only environmentally friendly, but they also provide an elegant and contemporary design element to any décor. However, with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Fear not, for this ultimate guide will provide you with everything you need to know about ethanol fueled fireplaces. From how they work, to the different types available, to safety tips and maintenance requirements, this guide will cover it all. So, sit back, grab a cup of cocoa, and let’s explore the world of ethanol fueled fireplaces together.
Advantages of Ethanol Fueled Fireplaces
One of the main advantages of ethanol fueled fireplaces is their environmental friendliness. Unlike traditional fireplaces, which burn wood and emit harmful pollutants into the air, ethanol fireplaces use a renewable and clean-burning fuel source. This means that they produce no smoke, soot, or ash, making them a great option for those with allergies or respiratory issues. They also require no chimney or venting, which makes them easy to install and maintain.
Another advantage of ethanol fueled fireplaces is their versatility. They come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from small tabletop models to large wall-mounted units. They can be used indoors or outdoors, and they can be easily moved from room to room. And because they don’t require a chimney, they can be installed in places where traditional fireplaces can’t, such as apartments and condos.
Finally, ethanol fueled fireplaces offer a unique and modern design element to any space. They come in a variety of shapes and finishes, from sleek stainless steel to rustic wood. They can be used as a focal point in a room, or as a subtle accent piece. Either way, they add warmth and style to any home.
How Ethanol Fueled Fireplaces Work
Ethanol fueled fireplaces work by burning bioethanol fuel, which is a renewable and sustainable source of energy made from plant materials such as corn and sugarcane. The fuel is poured into a reservoir inside the fireplace, which is then lit with a lighter or a match. The flame burns cleanly and produces no smoke, soot, or ash.
One important thing to note is that ethanol fueled fireplaces do not produce as much heat as traditional fireplaces. They are primarily used for ambiance rather than warmth. However, some models do come with adjustable heat settings, which allow you to control the level of warmth produced.
Types of Ethanol Fueled Fireplaces
There are several different types of ethanol fueled fireplaces to choose from, each with its own unique features and benefits.
- Tabletop Fireplaces
Tabletop fireplaces are small, portable units that can be placed on a table or other flat surface. They are perfect for adding ambience to a small space, such as a bedroom or office. They come in a variety of styles, from minimalist glass models to rustic wood-burning designs.
Wall-mounted fireplaces are designed to be mounted on a wall, much like a flat-screen TV. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, from small rectangular models to large curved designs. They are a great option for those who want to add a fireplace to a room without taking up any floor space.
Insert fireplaces are designed to be installed into an existing fireplace opening. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, and they can be used to convert a traditional wood-burning fireplace into an ethanol fueled one. This is a great option for those who want to upgrade their existing fireplace without having to do a complete renovation.
Freestanding fireplaces are standalone units that can be placed anywhere in a room. They come in a variety of styles, from minimalist cylindrical designs to traditional wood-burning stoves. They are a great option for those who want the flexibility to move their fireplace from room to room.
Choosing the Right Ethanol Fueled Fireplace for Your Home
When choosing an ethanol fueled fireplace for your home, there are several factors to consider. The first is the size of the unit. You’ll want to make sure that the fireplace is the right size for the room it will be placed in. You’ll also want to consider the style and design of the unit, as well as the materials it is made from.
Another important factor to consider is the heat output of the fireplace. While ethanol fueled fireplaces are primarily used for ambience, some models do come with adjustable heat settings. If you’re looking for a fireplace that will produce a significant amount of heat, you’ll want to look for a model with a higher BTU rating.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the safety features of the fireplace. Look for models that come with safety sensors and automatic shut-off features to prevent accidents. You’ll also want to make sure that the fireplace is installed correctly and that any flammable materials are kept a safe distance away from the unit.
Installation and Maintenance of Ethanol Fueled Fireplaces
Installation of an ethanol fueled fireplace is relatively easy, as they do not require a chimney or venting. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that the unit is installed correctly and safely. You may want to consider hiring a professional to install the fireplace for you, especially if you are not comfortable working with gas or electrical connections.
Maintenance of an ethanol fueled fireplace is also relatively easy. The fuel reservoir should be cleaned regularly to prevent buildup of debris or residue. The burner should be cleaned with a soft cloth to remove any dust or debris. And the fireplace should be inspected regularly to ensure that all components are functioning properly.
Safety Precautions for Ethanol Fueled Fireplaces
While ethanol fueled fireplaces are generally safe, it is important to follow some basic safety precautions to prevent accidents. These include:
1. Never add fuel to a fireplace that is still hot or has not been completely extinguished.
2. Keep flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, and rugs a safe distance away from the fireplace.
3. Do not touch the fireplace while it is burning or immediately after it has been extinguished, as the surface may still be hot.
4. Make sure that the room is well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide.
Most Common Questions about Ethanol Fueled Fireplaces
Yes, ethanol fueled fireplaces are generally safe when used correctly and installed properly. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to take basic safety precautions to prevent accidents.
Ethanol fueled fireplaces are primarily used for ambience rather than warmth, but some models do come with adjustable heat settings. The heat output of a fireplace is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units), with higher BTU ratings producing more heat.
- How do I clean an ethanol fueled fireplace?
The fuel reservoir should be cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of debris or residue. The burner should be cleaned with a soft cloth to remove any dust or debris. And the fireplace should be inspected regularly to ensure that all components are functioning properly.
Ethanol fueled fireplaces offer a modern and environmentally friendly way to add warmth and ambiance to any home. With a wide range of styles and sizes to choose from, there is sure to be a model that fits your needs and preferences. By following basic safety precautions and maintenance requirements, you can enjoy the warmth and beauty of an ethanol fueled fireplace for years to come.