How Does an Ethanol Fireplace Work?

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Ethanol Fireplace

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As an interior décor enthusiast, I’m always looking for some creative ways to keep my home warm and show it off when friends and family visit. I’ve heard about ethanol fireplaces, but I wasn’t sure if they worked as regular fireplaces. I decided to do my research on these fireplaces, and below is what I found. 

How does an ethanol fireplace work? Ethanol fireplaces have a burner that you pour the ethanol fluid and use a lighter to fire up the flames. The heat generated quickly warms an indoor living area.

An ethanol fire lasts for up to five hours, and the flames go away. However, you can add fuel to prolong the time the fire stays on. An ethanol fireplace is considered an eco-friendly option and works well for those who want low maintenance.

Read on to learn more about ethanol fireplace, and reasons why they are becoming popular,

Why is Ethanol an Excellent Option as a Fuel Source?


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Ethanol is a biofuel, which makes it a fantastic alternative to fossil fuels. The corn-made fuel allows you to replenish it, not to forget that it’s an eco-friendly choice. You don’t have to deal with the mess left by wood as its low maintenance. 

If you have respiratory problems, you can rest as ethanol doesn’t emit any fumes. You can enjoy a quiet evening without worrying about ashes or flying sparks. 

Types of Ethanol Fireplaces

You can find both electric and manual fireplaces. Electric fireplaces are not in contact with the biofuel. Also, the fuel used is in a reservoir, where the temperature is raised to allow the ethanol to evaporate into the burner. A spark system ignites these vapors in the fireplace. 

Electric fireplaces enable you to turn the flames on and off. You can also regulate the flame size using a remote control, a mobile app, or a smart home system. Moreover, these fireplaces have a microprocessor in the setup; this is to control the burning process. You can be sure of your safety that the furnaces have a sensor that puts out the flame in case of any anomalies like low oxygen or high temperatures. 

Where Can You Place an Ethanol Fireplace?

Apartment with ethanol fireplace

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One advantage of an ethanol fireplace is that it doesn’t need electricity or gas to function. You can place the fireplace on the wall if you need to save space. Some tabletop styles are small, which allows them to move them from one place to another.

Those looking for a sophisticated look that is different from the conventional fireplace will find the recessed styles unique. The best part is that you don’t need a chimney or vent, something that allows you to place in any room. Some ethanol fireplaces also work when you’re outdoors.

Safety Tips When Using Ethanol Fireplaces

Before you rush to use a bio fireplace, you need to take specific steps to get the most out of it. That ensures that you don’t compromise on safety and that the device stays in excellent condition. 

Some of these tips include:

Using the Correct Fuel

Pour the Fuel Correctly

Use a Long Candle Lighter

Always close the Fireplace

Refuel after a While

Do Not Place Anything Flammable Next to the Fireplace

How Do Ethanol Fireplaces Work?

How does an ethanol fireplace work? Ethanol fireplaces are not technical to operate. They have a holder that vary depending on the size of your fireplace. These holders keep the fuel. You can find the right bio-fuel from outdoor supply stores or home improvement stores.

After getting the fuel, use a funnel to fill the holding area to the fill line. Clean any accidental spills before lighting the fireplace. The next step is to use a long barbeque lighter, a long match, or a candle lighter to light the fireplace. Ensure that you’re at an arm’s length when lighting the fireplace. 

The fuel burns low at first, but after ten minutes, the flame will get to its optimal height. Stay away from drafts if you want an extended burning time. You’ll find that some ethanol fireplaces allow you to adjust them, while others do not. You can use the tool to reduce the flames or cover the opening with a lid to cut off oxygen.

Extinguishing the Fire

You can let the fuel burn out entirely if you have time, this ensures that you won’t have to deal with leftovers for the next time you need to use the fireplace.

Alternatively, you can use the snuffer tool to cover the opening; this will reduce the circulation of oxygen, which burns out the flames. Avoid touching the fireplace or refueling after extinguishing the fire. Wait for it to cool before refilling. 

Maintaining an Ethanol Fireplace

Ethanol fireplaces do not have moving parts or motors that need maintenance or repairs. Also, you don’t have to deal with ignitors or line connections as it isn’t gas supplied. However, ethanol burns clean, which means that the fireplaces need to be cleaned after use. 

Do not clean the fireplace while it’s hot or still running. Use a damp rag to wipe the fireplace down. Ensure that you remove any smudges, spills, or dust. Check if the mounting is sturdy and stable when cleaning as you don’t want it to loosen while you’re cleaning. 

Use soap and warm water to remove any marks. If you’re using a stainless steel ethanol fireplace, you can use a creamy stainless steel cleaner.

Remember that your burner is exposed to different elements like heat and varying temperatures, which can all cause discoloration. You may notice the burner turning black and slightly yellow after some time. Make sure that you thoroughly clean the burner every month. 

Avoid using scrubbing sponges or chemicals to clean the fireplace as this could damage the fireplace. Do not submerge the burner under water. Keep your maintenance limited to avoid destroying your stove. Get a quality stainless steel polisher. 

Common FAQs on Ethanol Fireplaces

Some of the common questions about ethanol fireplaces include:

Do ethanol Fireplaces Produce Heat?

How simple are Ethanol Fireplaces to Install?

Is Bioethanol Eco-friendly?

Final Thoughts

How does an ethanol fireplace work? We hope you now have an idea about how this biofuel fireplace works. Ethanol fireplaces are modern and provide a relaxed and elegant look to your house. What’s more, these fireplaces heat up to 40sqm efficiently. The eco-friendly alternative to wood doesn’t smell or smoke.

You’ll love how simple it is to use and operate, not to mention the costs you’ll have saved than installing a real chimney. Be sure to exercise caution when operating it, and always read the manufacturer’s manual before using ethanol fireplaces.

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