2021 Ethanol Fireplace Guide: Benefits Styles, Pics, Safety

In the last decade, ethanol fireplaces have been on the rise as a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fireplaces. They burn cleaner, produce less smoke and are generally more efficient. In addition to that, they come in a variety of styles and designs to fit any room.

Ethanol fireplaces use ethanol as fuel instead of gas or wood logs. The ethanol is poured into a metal container at the bottom of the fireplace which heats up and burns creating a flame.

There are many reasons why I love my ethanol fireplace:

One of the main reasons is that it helps keep my home warm this winter. It has a heat output of 2,500 BTUs, which is pretty impressive.

It also has a strong flame that helps to mimic the look of natural fire in the fireplace without the mess.

Another reason I love my ethanol fireplace is that it doesn’t need any kind of chimney or venting to work properly. It’s perfect for when you want to save space in your house because you don’t have to worry about risking an additional hole in your roof or walls by installing a chimney.

The best part about this type of fireplace is that it doesn’t produce any smoke or soot at all!

How Does An Ethanol Fireplace Work?

A bio-ethanol fireplace is a simple one and works kind of like a candle. It works by burning alcohol-based ethanol fuel.

So, a user simply needs to put fuel in this ethanol burner container to get started. The next step is to light it up with the help of a long lighter. An ethanol fireplace can be turned off anytime. The user needs to just close the burner totally.

Many people think that ethanol and gel fireplaces are almost the same, but there are many differences between the two. The primary component of gel and ethanol fuel is the same – it is alcohol.

When you start an ethanol fireplace, it takes around 15 minutes to warm up or till the flames reach their full potential.

Gel fireplaces light up in just 30 seconds. There is a difference in the flame size as well.

In the case of gel fireplaces, the flames are thicker and much gathered. In ethanol fireplaces, the flame is bright, scattered and quite playful or is often referred to as dancing flame.

In the case of the bioethanol fireplace, the pourable liquid is used for refilling the burner pan.

On the other hand, ready-to-use canisters are set inside the fireplace. When these are empty they are disposed of.

Benefits of Ethanol Fireplaces

Ethanol Fireplace Work

  1. Portability: It is possible to utilize an ethanol fireplace both indoors and outdoors because they are often portable. You can install your fireplace almost anywhere in the house, whether it’s outside on the pool, on the porch, or on a wall mount inside. It will be an effective source of heat.
  2. Ease of Use and Maintenance: Ethanol fireplaces are extremely simple to operate and maintain. This type of fireplace doesn’t produce any harmful particles or gases, and they don’t leave any hard-to-clean charcoal behind that might stain and corrode your fireplace. Your ethanol fireplace is sure to serve you for many years to come because the flames generated from ethanol fireplaces are nearly emission-free and leave no residue behind.
  3. Modern and Elegant Design: Ethanol fireplaces are available in a variety of forms, styles, and sizes, ranging from enclosed structures with protective glass panels to spherical and portable fireplaces, as well as living room glass tables with built-in fires. The variety of designs alone will pique your interest. Overall, the design and size range of ethanol fireplaces is sufficient to fulfil the needs of even the most discerning customers. Apart from this, many of the newer versions of ethanol fireplaces come with remote controls that allow users to manage the flames’ brightness and size, as well as the amount of heat they provide.
  4. Cheap Installation Costs: Another significant advantage of ethanol fireplaces is their inexpensive cost of installation. Most of the ethanol fireplaces you will see would be self-contained, meaning they can sit on a table or the floor without having to be slid into your wall or embedded anyplace. As a result, all you would be paying for is the ethanol fireplace unit, and you’re ready to go with some fuel.
  5. Flexible Design: Ethanol fireplaces come in a variety of styles and sizes, ranging from walled-in fireplaces to portable and even spherical fireplaces. You will find a huge collection of ethanol fireplaces to choose from.
  6. Clean Flames: Ethanol fireplaces burn incredibly cleanly and do not require a chimney. In enclosed environments, they are usually safe to burn, whereas a traditional wood-burning fireplace or stove may spew poisons and chemicals that are toxic or fatal. As these fireplaces are used via bioethanol fuel, most ethanol fireplaces are ventless. There is no soot, smoke, or ash formed when the fuel is burned. Due to the bio-ethanol fuel, the flames are incredibly clean, allowing the ethanol fireplace to be ignited quickly and easily without the need for a vent.
  7. Eco-Friendly Fuel: Bioethanol is derived from plants such as corn, sugarcane and switchgrass, and it is completely safe to consume. Ethanol does not emit any harmful emissions that endanger human health, so you can rest assured that the air quality in your home will be excellent. Furthermore, the amount of carbon dioxide released by ethanol is significantly lower than that emitted by most petroleum-based fuels.

Cons of Ethanol Fireplaces

  1. No Embers or Sound: The sound and embers of a wood-burning stove are two features that many people enjoy. Ethanol fires, on the other hand, lack these vivid characteristics. This is generally because of the bio-ethanol fuel used in the ethanol fireplace. Bioethanol does not produce any kind of smoke, ash, or soot. The flame that a bioethanol fireplace produces is nonetheless wonderfully vivid and comfortable, even if there are no embers or genuine sound.
  2. Required Cool Down Period: To securely refill your ethanol fireplace, you must wait for a “cool down” period. The “cool down” period is generally 45 minutes to 1 hour. So, before refueling a bioethanol fire that has gone out, you have to wait for at least 1 hour.
  3. There’s High Oxygen Consumption: As with any fire, oxygen is essential for a flame to survive. An ethanol fireplace uses a high amount of oxygen from the surrounding space where the fireplace is installed. While this won’t be a problem if the room is bigger than 20 sq. meters, but if the space in the room is smaller, it is critical to have fresh air coming in from a vent or open window on a consistent basis.
  4. The Fuel is Flammable: Ethanol fireplaces are used with bio-ethanol fuel and this fuel is highly flammable. Hence, you have to handle this fireplace very carefully while using it.
  5. Expensive Fuel Costs: Bio-ethanol fuel is generally a bit expensive. These fuels are normally sold in liters. Therefore, use the fuel carefully and utilize only the prescribed fuel for your burner.
  6. Relatively Low Heat Output: Ethanol is rarely used as a primary source of heat. An ethanol fireplace produces a heat output of 3,000-20,000 BTU. Because of the limited heat radiation and the high cost of fuel, they are not regarded as primary heat sources.

Installation Styles

How to use an Ethanol Fireplace

Ethanol fireplaces have some moving parts. Since ethanol is clean burning it does not need much maintenance as well. As there are no hazardous fumes or hazardous materials emitted or fireplace smoke, the fireplace does not need fueling. It is easily installed in any space where the ethanol flames do not reach flammable materials.


Ethanol burners are straightforward, with no elaborate designs. These burners are simple and easy to use and they are just used to generate maximal heat output.


Recessed fireplaces are embedded in the wall rather than being fixed on the wall to provide an unrivaled level of style and elegance.


A wall-mounted modern ethanol fireplace is modern and classy in design. These types of fireplaces are the perfect solution for offices, restaurants, waiting rooms, etc.


Tabletop ethanol fireplaces generally use the vent-less concept which makes them one of the best fireplaces. These types of fireplaces provide a lot of versatility and a wide range of options on where to use them.


Freestanding ethanol fireplace can be easily set up conveniently anywhere in the room. This type of fireplace comes in a wide range of sizes, finishes, and shapes.

How to use an Ethanol Fireplace?

  1. Lighting it:

To light an ethanol fireplace, simply pour bioethanol fuel into the burner and light it. Thereafter the fuel will continue to burn for 4-5 hours or until it is extinguished by sealing the lid and denying it oxygen. If you need to extend the fire’s burn time, simply add extra fuel after it has cooled.

  1. Extinguishing your Fireplace:

Bioethanol should be burned out naturally, but if necessary, you should use the metal closing rod to pull/push the sliding mechanism over to extinguish the fire before it’s done. You will also soon get an idea on hours of burn time if you have used it earlier.

  1. Refilling the burner:

The method for filling bioethanol varies depending on the manufacturer and type of bio fireplace. Allow at least 15 minutes for the burner to cool down completely before refilling. You should always consult the owner’s manual for refilling your fireplace if you have not done this before. If the handbook does not specify how the filling should be done, you should contact the manufacturer or dealer. Do not take risks because it will not just damage it but increase the risk as well.

  1. Cleaning and Maintenance Requirements:

Cleaning and maintaining ethanol fireplaces is a simple procedure. All you have to do is keep it full of ethanol and give it a good cleaning every now and then. Make sure your ethanol fireplace is switched off and cooled down before cleaning it. Clean the burner with warm water and soap. Before reinstalling it and refilling the reservoir, dry it with a cloth and allow it to completely get air dry.

Ethanol Fireplace Safety

When using any kind of fireplace, safety factors should never be ignored. Bioethanol fireplaces should be set up on a flat, stable, and horizontal surface. It should be kept away from any combustible materials or even gas lines. Since ethanol burns cleanly, determining whether the flame is still ignited can be difficult. Hence, it’s always best to inspect everything twice before moving or refueling an ethanol fireplace.

Safety During Igniting:

To ignite your fireplace, use a long match or lighter. This is vital because your fireplace can catch fire in a flash, causing you to burn your hands. The fire should be placed in a place where there is no possibility of the wind moving the flames into flammable goods and materials, as this could cause the fire to spread. Keep all flammable items away from the fireplace and have a fire extinguisher handy at all times.

Bioethanol fuel should never be overfilled into the steel burner box. It’s important that you only put fuel up to the maximum mark on the burner box.

A bio-ethanol fireplace should never be moved while it is burning. This is a crucial point to remember since any spilled ethanol might start a much larger fire, putting your property and yourself in danger.

Biofuel comes in squeezable bottles, reducing the risk of leakage. Pouring the biofuel should be done with a funnel. This allows for a more precise filling of the burner box and less spillage.

You should never utilize the fireplace for any kind of cooking purpose. Be sure to keep the burner free of combustible materials such as charcoal, wood, and paper. To ensure a safe distance, it is always advisable to keep combustible materials away from the fireplace.


Do Ethanol Fireplaces Require a Flue?

No, these fireplaces do not need flue or any type of venting system along with a chimney. This is because they do not emit harmful emissions as any wood-burning fireplace does. This is how these are different from traditional fireplaces.

Do Bioethanol Fires Require Electricity?

Bioethanol fires do not require to be plugged in for producing heat. Thus, this is the perfect fireplace for outdoor use or when a family needs fire when moving around.

Do Ethanol Fireplaces Smell?

No, there is no smell when ethanol burns. However, in its raw state, there is a smell of alcohol and it also can have a slight odor. The odor is quite like that we get from a candle when it is put out.

A bioethanol fireplace comes in a modern design and is perfect for those who do not wish to have a traditional wood fireplace installed at home. Your indoor space gets a new look and charm but always take care of safety precautions when using any fireplace.

These days there are many alternatives to traditional fireplaces, and an ethanol fireplace is one of the best types of these fireplaces.

An Ethanol fireplace is also known as a bio fireplace which is a kind of fireplace that has combined zones of heat generation. There is a technological process of combustion of fuel. Bioethanol fireplaces do not need a chimney, and they provide the real flame. These fireplaces can be installed in any room as an ethanol fireplace is a ventless fireplace.

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.


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