If you’re lucky enough to have a real fire and are happy to deal with the soot, ashes, and the hassle it takes to get it going in the first place then this article isn’t for you.
And to be honest, if you do have a real fire, we recommend you stick with it. You really can’t beat a real fire and it will naturally give off more heat than most ethanol fireplaces out there.
But not all of us have a real fireplace in our homes, and if you are sick of looking at an artificial-looking thing or if you don’t even have a fireplace and you would really love one, then this guide is for you.
First here’s quick rundown on what makes them such a great option to go for:
- They are ridiculously eco-friendly. In fact, they’re so eco-friendly that they are carbon neutral.
- They are non-toxic because they produce no smoke, odors, ash, or soot. All they produce is carbon dioxide and water and that’s carbon-neutral carbon dioxide.
- They look natural. Unlike electric fireplace simulated flames, or those that give off an unrealistic wispy looking smoke, or even gas fires, bioethanol fires give off a lovely soft dancing orange flame just like any real fire would. And that’s because they produce real flames.
- You can put one anywhere, you don’t need a chimney, flue or gas/electricity supply. This, of course, means you can even create a fireplace in a room that never had one without the huge hassle of installing a chimney or setting up a traditional fireplace.
We’ll now take a look at the best, most natural, easiest, and healthiest options out there.:
Reviews of Our Top Picks for the Best Ethanol Fireplaces
|Editor’s Award||Brand||Click Image to Read Review|
|Best Wall Mount Ethanol Fireplace||Anywhere Fireplace – Chelsea Model|
|Best Recessed Wall Mount Ethanol Fireplace||Regal Flame Elite Lenox Ventless Bio Ethanol Recessed or Wall Mounted Fireplace|
|Best Tabletop Fireplace||Regal Flame Avon Ventless Indoor Outdoor Fire Pit|
|Best Ethanol Fireplace|
|Regal Flame 18″ Ethanol Fireplace Grate Log Set with Burner Insert|
|Best Ethanol Fireplace Insert for an Existing Fireplace||Regal Flame Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert|
|Best Bio Ethanol Fireplace Grate Burner Insert||Ignis EBG1200 Grate Insert|
|Best Ethanol Fire Bowl||Regal Flame Indoor Outdoor Eden Ventless|
|Best Bio Ethanol Fuel||Regal Flame Prime Ventless Bio Ethanol Fireplace Fuel|
Helpful information in this guide:
- Ethanol Fireplace Reviews
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ethanol Fireplaces vs. Traditional Fireplaces
- Cost of Ownership
- Environmental Impact
- Tabletop Fireplaces vs. Wall Mount Fireplaces
- Do Bio Ethanol Fireplaces Produce Heat?
- Buying factors to Consider
- Care and Maintenance
Best Wall Mount Ethanol Fireplace: Anywhere Fireplace – Chelsea Model
Best Wall Mount Ethanol Fireplace
Wall mounted ones are perfect if you just have a flat wall and no existing fireplace.
That’s the great thing about ethanol fireplaces, they’re ventless and don’t require a chimney.
That means you can easily hang it on almost any flat wall and you’ll have an instant fireplace with real flames.
For looks, quality and price you can’t beat this one. It will create a beautiful warm and inviting focal point in any room and the stylish curved design creates a nice 3d effect that will give your fireplace a sense of depth. So it won’t look like you just hung a boring flat picture on your wall when it’s not lit.
Now let’s have a look at its heat output:
The Anywhere Fireplace produces between 4,000 and 8,500 BTU per hr.
The manufacturers state that it will heat a room up to 375 square feet – but just bear in mind that in reality, that’s not quite enough to heat a room fully by itself in winter.
That’s being said with will feel warm to sit by because it does produce feel flames. You will get natural flames that reach a height of approx 7″ – as real flames do. The flame dance just like any other real flames, so they will vary in height.
You can check our table to figure out how much of a difference this fireplace will actually make to heating your room.
What We Like:
- Hang It Anywhere | It’s light and so easy to hang with simple easy to follow instructions and all fixings are provided. Just be sure to avoid wood or wallpapered walls. Because, you know, it’s a fire. It gets hot.
- Soft Open Real Flame | You get a nice natural flame the height reaches approx 7″ as real flames do.
- Durable Brushed Stainless Steel Construction |The brushed stainless steel gives it an elegant look without compromising its durability.
- A Choice of Color Options |There’s a black or read option though we should point out they are not stainless steel, they are steel with a satin paint finish.
Buying Factors to Consider:
To be honest this could be a pro as much as a con and keep in mind that this isn’t specific to this fireplace.
Bio ethanol fireplaces, in general, have a low heat output compared to traditional fireplaces. So it’s not going to be effective as your only heat source but when you cozy up next to it you’ll be lovely and warm and it’s at least not going to overheat your room making you too uncomfortable to enjoy watching the flames.
At 27.5 x 5 x 19 inches it’s not going to swamp your wall but it’s plenty big enough to make an impact and create a lovely focal point in your room.
Check the latest price and color options for the Anywhere Fireplace – Chelsea Model on Amazon.
Best Recessed Wall Mount Ethanol Fireplace: Regal Flame Elite Lenox Ventless Bio Ethanol Recessed or Wall Mounted Fireplace
Best Recessed Wall Mount Ethanol Fireplace
This one doesn’t need to be recessed – it’s designed so it can just be hung directly on any wall.
But for maximum impact, the recessed look is the way to go – and the only requirement would be to create a shallow recess in your wall.
You don’t need an existing chimney or vent of any kind.
If you do choose to hang it, you can hang this fireplace on almost any wall, just remember it will stand out from the wall by 5.7″.
Compared to our previous choice, the Elite Lenox is much more powerful. It easily produces 18,000 BTUs which will comfortably warm a room of 1200 sq. ft.
It runs on three 1.5 liter adjustable burners which produce a natural dancing flame of between 12 and 14 inches. The surround is made from a high quality 430 stainless steel that won’t rust or corrode and it’s also stained resistant.
What We Like:
- No Installation Option | You can install/recess this fireplace but you don’t need to. Just remember it will stand out from the wall by 5.7″. You, of course, don’t need an existing chimney or vent of any kind.
- Good Heat Output | Bio ethanol fireplaces are not generally a realistic option to replace your central heating. They give off a gentle heat and are more suitable for creating a realistic flame, as well as an instant decorative focal point without the hassle. However, with an output of 18,000 BTUs, it will easily warm a room of 1200 sq. ft.
- Stainless Steel Construction | So it not only looks beautiful, it’s rust-resistant corrosion-resistant and, of course, stain-resistant.
Buying Factors to Consider:
At maximum capacity, the fuel will last approximately 4-6 hours (depending on the room temperature and climate).
Ethanol fireplaces cost more to run than traditional fireplaces and because this option has more than one burner will be a little on the fuel-hungry side. You can see the cost estimates in the Bio ethanol Fireplaces vs Traditional Fireplaces section below.
Check the latest price for the Regal Flame Elite Lenox Ventless Bio Ethanol Recessed or Wall Mounted Fireplace on Amazon.
Best Tabletop Fireplace: Regal Flame Avon Ventless Indoor Outdoor Fire Pit
Best Tabletop Fireplace
If you like the idea of a free-standing fireplace, one that can be admired 360°, or have an outdoor patio/space where you’d like to create a lovely focal point or even if you have a traditional fireplace/hole in the wall and no suitable chimney, vent or energy supply, then this one might just be for you.
Its simple elegant and ultra-modern style certainly has that wow factor. It’ll create an instant impact and because it’s a tabletop or free-standing ethanol fireplace it will give you maximum versatility for where and how you want to place it.
Place it in an existing open fireplace and it will create an instant natural fire – especially great if your fireplace doesn’t have a suitable chimney, vent, or power supply.
Alternatively, you can place it outside, where it will create a cozy indoor feel to your outdoor space, making a warm focal point for your patio or pool area.
And that’s what this one is all about – it’s more of a decorative piece than a source of serious heat. At 3,900 BTUs it’s not going to make you much difference on a cold winter’s day, but it will give off a gentle warmth. You can get a good idea of how much heat it would give off by looking at the table below.
What we love about the Avon Ventles is that it comes with a tall safety glass panel on each side.
This helps control the flames and protect them from external wind movement.
What’s more, the glass is removable which will give you a lovely natural look if you are planning on placing it in an existing fireplace.
And lastly, the Avon Ventless comes complete with a snuffer/damper to safely put out the flame immediately.
What We Like:
- Zero Installation required | Place it on any sturdy surface and you are good to go.
- Stainless Steel | So it will stay looking good. It’s rust-resistant corrosion-resistant and, of course, stain-resistant.
- Color Options | Prefer a black or white on to match your decor? These are not stainless steel, however, just painted steel.
- Indoor/Outdoors | It’ll make a lovely focal point for your yard or pool area but equally, you can create a beautiful instant fireplace indoors with or without an existing fireplace or suitable wall to hang it on.
Buying Factors to Consider:
It’s extremely versatile, you can place it on any stable table or floor but just remember it’s a real fire with glass sides.
Check the latest price and color options for the Regal Flame Avon Ventless Indoor Outdoor Fire Pit on Amazon.
Best Ethanol Fireplace Conversion Kit: Regal Flame 18″ Ethanol Fireplace Grate Log Set with Burner Insert
Best Ethanol Fireplace Conversion Kit
If you’d like to convert an existing traditional fireplace into a bio ethanol fireplace there are a few nice options that are open to you.
The first one we will look at will be this attractive birch log burning grate set that comes complete with a burner insert.
One of the things we love about this kit is that it’s completely portable, you can lift it in and out of the fireplace very easily, which makes it very convenient for cleaning. And, if you wish, you can also move between rooms.
The log grate is made from high-quality Stainless Steel which is durable, easy to clean, rustproof corrosion-resistant and stain-resistant.
It comes with set of 5 lightweight birch logs – designed specifically to fit in the grate. This means they are simple to assemble and will look natural.
The burner insert holds 1.5 liters of fuel, so the fire will burn for up to 6 hrs at full capacity.
Dimensions: 18″W x 4.7″D x 13.4″H
What We Like:
- It’s Portable | You can lift it in and out of the fireplace very easily which makes it very convenient for cleaning.
- Stainless Steel | Made from high-quality Stainless Steel so it’s durable, easy to clean, rustproof corrosion-resistant, and stain-resistant.
- Logs | A set of 5 lightweight birch logs are included in the kit, designed specifically to fit in the grate
Buying Factors to Consider:
Because the logs are set quite high over the burner you may have to turn up the setting by making sure the slot is open all the way and of course the flames will look taller when burned at maximum capacity.
Compared to other burners the heat output of this fire is not too bad at 6,000 BTUs. However, like all bio ethanol fires, it’s not super hot. You can check the table if you want to learn more about how much heat you will feel from this fireplace.
Check the latest price for the Regal Flame on Amazon.
Best Ethanol Fireplace Insert for an Existing Fireplace: Regal Flame Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert
Best Ethanol Fireplace Insert for an Existing an Fireplace
If you have an open fireplace without a suitable vent or chimney, or you simply don’t want the hassle and mess of setting up a traditional fire, or if you have a pit, chimenea or grate you can sink it into, you can create a stunning hassle-free real fire with the Regal Flame Bio Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert.
This is another good option for converting a traditional fireplace into a bio ethanol one.
Although it can stand on any stable surface (the bottom doesn’t get hot), to get the maximum impact from an insert you’re going to want to sink it into a recess, grate and maybe, if you want a more traditional look, add some ceramic pebbles or ceramic fire logs.
This one has a very sleek, understated, and minimalist style. Which means the flames will create a stunning focal point for you – without the design getting in the way.
Though it’s worth pointing out that although the open flame look is more natural and attractive than having a glass panel in front of it, depending on where you want to put it, for example, if wind movement is likely to be an issue, you might be better off going with the Regal Flame Avon Indoor Outdoor Tabletop Fireplace featured above.
Dimensions: The 1.5 liter ethanol fireplace burner insert is 11.8W x 4.9D x 3.2H”
What We Like:
- Built-in Damper/Snuffer | It features a slim metal panel that can be slid over the burner to safely put out the flames. Just use the damper tool, included, to close it.
- Stainless Steel | It’s easy to clean and will always look good because it’s rustproof corrosion-resistant and stain-resistant.
- Perfect for a Recess Surface | You are pretty much limited only by your imagination of how you want to use an insert. Fireplaces, pits, chimeneas, or a large bowl, etc are ideal for use with the Bio Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert.
- Versatile | It’s portable, suitable for a tabletop, or any already listed above, and can be used indoors or out. Just keep it away from flammable surfaces.
- Good Capacity | The burner insert holds 1.5 liters of fuel, so the fire will burn for up to 6 hrs at full capacity.
Buying Factors to Consider:
It looks good on its own but if you’re going to use it in an existing hole in the wall fireplace and you haven’t got a grate to sink it into, you might want to consider the Ignis EBG1200 Grate Insert instead.
Check the latest price for the Regal Flame Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert on Amazon.
Best Bio Ethanol Fireplace Grate Burner Insert: Ignis EBG1200 Grate Insert
Best Bio Ethanol Fireplace Grate Burner Insert
If you have an existing hole in the wall fireplace and you don’t have a suitable chimney, vent or even a fire grate, then the Ignis EBG1200 Grate Insert is another excellent solution to convert a traditional fireplace into a bio ethanol one.
The insert is available either with or without a grate but for instant impact, especially if you don’t have anything to sink a standard insert into, the grate burner really comes into its own as a stand-alone complete design.
Compared with other inserts out there, the 6,000 BTUs that this one puts out is pretty good. The burner holds 1.5 liters of fuel, so the fire will burn for up to 6 hrs at full capacity.
However, you should keep in mind, it’s not going to heat your room as much as a log burner or traditional real fire would.
If you want to get an idea of how much heat you’ll get from this fire see the table below.
That being said, if you have a large fireplace, and want some serious heat, there is an alternate, larger version that puts out a whopping 21,500 BTUs of heat and holds 8 liters of fuel. This is the one shown below.
Let’s take a look at its features.
What We Like:
- Zero Installation | Its neat stand-alone design means no need to disguise the sides. Simply place it in your hole in the wall fireplace and you’ll have an instant real fire in a sleek modern grate.
- Built-in Damper/Snuffer | It features a metal panel that slides over the burner to instantly put out the flames and it comes with a damper tool to close the lid.
- Stainless Steel Burner Insert | It’s easy to clean, rustproof, corrosion-resistant, and stain-resistant. The grate is good quality painted steel.
- Good Capacity | The Ignis EBG1200 version holds 1.5 liters of fuel, so the fire will burn for up to 6 hrs at full capacity.
Check the latest price for the Ignis EBG1200 Grate Insert on Amazon.
Best Ethanol Fire Bowl: Regal Flame Indoor Outdoor Eden Ventless
Best Ethanol Fire Bowl
If you’re looking for a cozy and decorative centerpiece for your coffee, dining or outdoor table, – something a little different and certainly more healthy than burning paraffin candles, the Regal Flame Eden Fire Bowl is the perfect choice.
There’s something especially calming about watching real flames and the Eden Fire Bowl is perfect for creating a lovely ambiance in your home or outdoor space.
As you’d expect, it’s more of a decorative piece than a heat source. Having said that 2,000 BTU’s for its size is pretty good. If you’re wondering what 2,000 BTU’s feels like, you can get an idea by looking at the table below.
Dimensions: The Regal Flame Eden Fire Bowl is 6.3″ x 6.3″ x 10.4″.
Let’s take a look at its features:
What We Like:
- Ideal For Repelling Mosquitos | Simply add 15 percent citronella oil to the bio ethanol fuel to keep those mosquitos at bay if you are using the fire bowl outside.
- More Color Options | Good choice of color options to complement your decor. The black and the stainless steel options are shown but this bowl also comes in a vibrant green or blue as well.
- Pebbles Included | Unlike other bio ethanol fireplaces out there you don’t need to make any additional purchases to complete the look. The kit comes complete with little pebbles.
- Damper Included |To immediately put out the flames, safely. Shown above.
- Good Flame Hight | With an 8 – 12″ flame hight, just like any real fire, it looks impressive and will create a lovely cozy atmosphere.
- Good Burn Time | For its size that is. It’ll burn for about 1 hr when filled to the maximum level.
Buying Factors to Consider:
The Glass isn’t thin or poor quality by any means, but be careful not to knock it or it could break.
It’s a little fiddly to set it up. It’s best to add the pebbles after the glass is in place, you just need to take your time adding the pebbles so they don’t fall into the center well.
Check the latest price and color options for the Regal Flame Indoor Outdoor Eden Ventless on Amazon.
Best Bio Ethanol Fuel: Regal Flame Prime Ventless Bio Ethanol Fireplace Fuel
Best Bio Ethanol fuel
Regal Flame ethanol fuel comes in quantities of 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36 or 48 liter bottles.
It gives a nice, clean, odorless burn and produces a lovely soft orange dancing flame.
Buying in bulk is not only better value but it cuts down the hassle of re-ordering.
The great thing about choosing a bio ethanol fireplace is that the only by-products it gives off are carbon dioxide and water.
It’s completely non-toxic so it goes without saying that you should only use ethanol fuel made specifically for these fireplaces.
Burning anything else could not only be extremely dangerous but could give off toxic fumes.
To give you an idea of how much burn time you’ll get, one bottle is going to burn for about 2 to 4 hrs depending on whether you use a higher or lower flame setting. Weather/air movement conditions will also affect the burn time.
Check the latest price for the Regal Flame Prime Ventless Bio Ethanol Fireplace Fuel on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are ethanol fireplaces really carbon neutral?
First of all bio ethanol is made from corn and sugarcane. They turn the sugar that they get from these plants into ethanol through a process called fermentation.
This is actually a really simple process and it’s nothing fancy at all. It’s the way that bread is made as well as alcohol. In fact, ethanol is the scientific word for alcohol. The bio part is simply referring to the fact that is is made from these plants.
And that’s important because making ethanol from these plants is what makes it carbon neutral.
All that means is the carbon dioxide released by burning the bio ethanol is actually originally from the air and these plants absorbed it while they grew. It’s a simple process. The plants take in carbon dioxide from the air and don’t produce any more than they took in.
The big thing to take away from this is that a bio ethanol fireplace doesn’t contribute to global warming.
Also, they look pretty amazing!
Are ethanol fireplaces healthier than wood burners?
However pleasant wood smoke smells, it has both short and long term serious health risks. Wood smoke is known to contain toxic compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein, and PAHs.
Older log burning stoves in particular release toxic gases and microscopic particles. Many studies have linked these particle levels to health problems such as asthma and bronchitis, and even deaths from heart attacks, strokes, heart and lung disease.
Newer models of wood burners should be EPA-certified, but even then EPA say “Today’s wood-burning appliances burn cleaner and produce less smoke inside and outside your home.” Note that’s not, no smoke.
There is a list of safety precautions you should follow and you’ll have to be vigilant watching out for darker smoke, or a smoldering fire which is neither safe nor efficient and that’s just to name just two.
Gas fireplaces are generally cleaner burning than traditional or wood-burning fireplaces although they do run the risk of releasing poisonous carbon monoxide.
Choosing a bio ethanol fireplace means you don’t have to worry about breathing in any airborne carcinogens.
That’s because it doesn’t produce any smoke, ash, soot, or any other toxins. What’s more, there are no odors. All it produces is carbon dioxide and water and that’s carbon-neutral carbon dioxide.
Bio ethanol fires are non toxic can’t say that enough.
Are ethanol fireplaces harder to maintain than standard types of fireplace?
Electric and gas fireplaces obviously need very little maintenance. Other than giving them a wipe down every now and then, you just switch them on and you’re ready to go.
Traditional fireplaces are high maintenance in terms of setting up and you’re going to have to learn the correct way to make the cleanest burning fire possible. You will also have to contend with smoke, ash, soot, and cinders every time your fire burns out.
Ethanol fireplaces are easy to run and maintain. You simply add bio ethanol fuel to the reservoir when it’s cool and light it with a long match or lighter. You put out the flames with a damper and give the appliance a wipe down with a damp cloth every now and then. The is no smoke, ash, soot, or cinders to clean up.
Bio ethanol fireplaces usually have ceramic wool inside the reservoir that helps the burning process. The wool will last on average 10,000 hours though you rarely have to change it and when you do your bio ethanol fireplace will run for another 10,000 hrs.
Are they as hot as a regular fire?
Bio ethanol fireplaces look natural because they produce a real flame so you get a real fire.
However, they don’t tend to give off as many flames over as larger an area as a traditional fire so they can’t compete heat-wise.
If you are considering using one of these fireplaces as the only source of heat in your home during cold weather, then an ethanol fireplace isn’t likely to be sufficient.
Generally speaking, however, they should be considered more as a decorative focal point than a source of heat.
Ethanol Fireplaces vs. Traditional Fireplaces
If you love the idea of a traditional fireplace, but were wondering if it would be better to go for a bio ethanol fireplace instead, then let me clear up the pros and cons of each in this handy little comparison section.
Let’s start with appearance.
Traditional fireplaces and log burning stoves can look amazing. They’re natural-looking and produce a lot of heat. Let’s face it, if you like the look of a traditional fireplace then any other similar type of fireplace is just trying to emulate that look.
That said, bio ethanol fireplaces do a really good job of that. For example, you can place a burner insert such as the Regal Flame Slim 12″ Bio Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert into a traditional masonry fireplace [click here to scroll to the review above].
The only downside to that is that you will need to disguise the appliance with ceramic fireproof logs or pebbles.
The Ignis EBG1200 Grate Insert comes with a grate included if you don’t have a grate to place an insert into. It will look neat and stylish but with a slightly more modern twist than the rustic look of a traditional fireplace, [click here to scroll to the review above].
The flames that a bio ethanol fireplace produces are real and as such they give off a lovely soft orange dancing flame which varies in height from around 3-4″ to 7-12″.
There is, it has to be said, a difference between the fire that a bio ethanol fireplace produces and a traditional real fire in that the bio ethanol fire is emitted from a fairly narrow slot or reservoir.
This does have a tendency to flatten the flames somewhat and of course, limit the surface area and so decreasing the depth of the fire.
However, bio ethanol fireplaces tend to have a sleek modern, minimalist design and as such the flames look natural in their setting.
So how do other types of fireplace compete?
There’s no doubt that the newest gas fires, depending on high-end you want to go, can look amazing and pretty natural. The logs or coal pieces are sometimes the only give-away that the fire is not a natural rustic traditional one.
They do, however, tend to also lack the depth of tradition one and getting a truly authentic look comes with a high price tag.
Electric fireplaces are usually just projections of simulated flames on a backdrop with artificial logs or coals that are lit up from within. They can’t really compete with a real flame. If you want to spend a lot of money, however, then you can get a pretty good simulation of a real fire like this one.
Bio ethanol fireplaces cost much less and for your money, you get a real flame.
Unlike other types of fireplaces, there is no noise distraction such as the hissing of gas, crackling wood or coal or the sound of an electric heating fan whirling away.
However pleasant wood smoke smells, it has both short and long term serious health risks. Wood smoke is known to contain toxic compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein, and PAHs. Older log burning stoves in particular release toxic gases and microscopic particles. Many studies have linked these particle levels to health problems such as asthma and bronchitis, and even deaths from heart attacks, strokes, heart and lung disease. Newer models of wood burners should be EPA-certified, but even then EPA say “Today’s wood-burning appliances burn cleaner and produce less smoke inside and outside your home.” Note that’s not, no smoke. There is a list of safety precautions you should follow and you’ll have to be vigilant watching out for darker smoke, or a smoldering fire which is neither safe nor efficient and that’s just to name just two.
Gas fireplaces are generally cleaner burning than traditional or wood-burning fireplaces although they do run the risk of releasing poisonous carbon monoxide.Choosing a bio ethanol fireplace means you don’t have to worry about breathing in any airborne carcinogens. That’s because it doesn’t produce any smoke, ash, soot or any other toxins. What’s more, there are no odors. All it produces is carbon dioxide and water and that’s carbon neutral carbon dioxide.
Bio ethanol fires are non toxic can’t say that enough.
Cost of Ownership
It is a little more costly to run a bio ethanol fireplace than a gas or electric one.
However, with a bio ethanol fireplace you don’t need any gas or electrical hookups and what’s more: At the end of the month, you’re not going to be shocked by your gas and electricity bill.
Because the fuel comes in liter bottles there are no hidden costs. This means you can see just how much you are using and in fact, one bottle of ethanol fuel will last on average between 2 – 4 hours depending on the flame setting and any external conditions such as wind movement, etc.
Of course, with bio ethanol fireplaces, no chimneys or vents are required either which cuts down on a lot of hassle.
And you’ve got to consider how much expense this will save you from not having to spend any extra money on setting up a fireplace.
With a bio ethanol fireplace, you just have the cost of buying the fireplace and its fuel.
Fossil fuel fireplaces such as those that use oil, coal, and gas, use non-renewable energy and as such, they have a significant detrimental effect on air pollution, health and the environment in general.
Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can use a renewable energy source, however, you need to make sure that the wood you use is specifically grown for firewood and is not a product of deforestation.
Even if you use firewood from a renewable source, however, it still will be a significant source of local air pollution, negatively impacting the health of yourself and those around you, as well as the local ecosystem – if you do go for a wood-burning stove you’ll definitely need a good air purifier.
If you’re concerned about looking after our beautiful planet, then a bio ethanol fireplace is your best choice. They are completely carbon neutral as explained in the previous section and of course, they are non toxic so a bio ethanol fireplace will look after your health.
Tabletop Fireplaces vs. Wall Mount Fireplaces
If you are looking to create a cozy focal point in your living space, wall mount ones look more traditional than tabletop ones.
They are just more natural-looking and simply look like a really good contemporary fireplace. You are also not as likely to trip over them as they’re up on the wall and out of the way so in that respect they are way safer.
You’re not going to be able to move a wall mount one to an outdoor area or between rooms.
Well, you can but only where you have fixings ready and of course, you’d still see the fixings on the wall where you left them. So if you want maximum versatility you might consider a tabletop one.
That said, if you change your living space around you can still change your mind about where you want to hang your wall mount fireplace. Just remember that you can hang it on any wall, but just be sure to avoid wood or wallpapered walls. Because, you know, it’s a fire. It gets hot.
Tabletop ones are really out there in terms of style and versatility. They are viewable 360 degrees. Which means you, in effect have a double-sided fireplace.
Tabletop ones are suitable for patio, yard or pool areas and can be placed on any stable surface. They make a lovely decorative focal point for outdoor dining. And they are super cozy to sit by outside on a not so warm evening.
Do Bio Ethanol Fireplaces Produce Heat?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. You can think of it as “heat units”.
We will take, for example, an average 12 feet x 18 feet room with a 10 feet high ceiling and average insulation. For a desired temperature of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit with no other heating source, here is roughly what you would need in BTU for each climate zone:
|CLIMATE ZONE 1||7,000 BTU per hr|
|CLIMATE ZONE 2||8,000 BTU per hr|
|CLIMATE ZONE 3||9,300 BTU per hr|
|CLIMATE ZONE 4||10,000 BTU per hr|
|CLIMATE ZONE 5||12,000 BTU per hr|
Don’t expect a bio ethanol fireplace of any kind to be super hot but it will feel cozy and warm for anyone sitting by it.
Buying factors to Consider
If you’re undecided as to which type to go for, here is a little guide to help you choose.
If you have an unused traditional fireplace, you can place an insert or insert with grate into the space thereby converting your existing fireplace into a healthy and environmentally friendly fireplace.
If you prefer a more modern, minimalist look, however, and don’t have an existing masonry fireplace but you still want your living space to have a natural-looking focal point then a wall-mounted or recessed bio ethanol fireplace would be ideal.
Larger freestanding or tabletop ones, on the whole, tend to look their best in an outdoor space or conservatory area.
Bio ethanol fire bowls are great for indoor and outdoor dining tables and coffee tables etc. and shouldn’t be regarded as a fireplace but more of a centerpiece.
All the best options are reviewed in detail in the sections above.
Stainless Steel – Each of the fireplaces reviewed in the above sections come with a stainless steel option. For durability and maintenance, you can’t really go wrong with stainless steal. It’s easy to clean, with a damp cloth. It’s rustproof, corrosion-resistant, stain-resistant and even pretty much scratch-resistant.
Paint Finished Steel – The finish is durable and tough, not likely to stain, rust, corrode or scratch. However, if it does scratch the scratch will show up more because of the silver steel underneath.
You don’t need to install a chimney, vent or any kind of power supply for a bio ethanol fireplace.
Recess and wall mounted bio ethanol fireplaces do require some set-up. Recess ones, in particular, may require preparing a hole in the wall to sink the fireplace into. The wall mount ones don’t require much set-up they just need to be mounted onto fixings in the wall.
Tabletop fireplaces require no setup because they don’t need to be attached to anything. You just set them on a stable surface like a table or something. All you have to do is refill them now and then, just like the other bio ethanol fireplaces, but with the tabletop ones it’s the only thing you could consider to be a kind of “setup.”
The heat output of bio ethanol fireplaces are generally low and they can rarely be relied on as your sole source of heat.
That said the Bio Flame Grate Kit which gives off 21,500 BTUs is pretty impressive heat-wise.
Alternatively, at 6,000 BTUs per Burner giving you a total of 24,000 BTUs the Xbeauty 66″ Ventless Built in Recessed Bio Ethanol Fireplace will easily warm up your living space.
Most other types of bio ethanol fireplaces, however, should be considered more as a decorative focal point.
Generally speaking the larger the burner capacity the longer and the hotter the fire will burn. For example, a 1.5 Liter burner will last up to 6 hours, whereas a smaller capacity one such as a 0.5 Liter burner will only last for up to 3 hrs.
Bio ethanol fireplaces come in a wide range of sizes to suit your space.
The tabletop ones don’t vary in size as much as the wall mount or recessed ones. That is because they tend to have a similar design, consisting of a rectangular burner encased in a base with glass on both the front and back. They often vary in size usually by only a few inches.
The recessed ones reviewed above have more variation in size. The larger the fireplace the more burners you get with it. They come in different shapes too. Some are long and narrow while some are more square-shaped, so there’s a good chance you find the right size to fit your wall.
Wall Mount ones also vary depending on their design. The one reviewed above is 27.5 x 5 x 19″ which doesn’t look too big or too small for its design.
The tabletop, inserts, and fire bowls are inexpensive, coming in at well under the $100 mark. The Ethanol Fireplace Grate Log Set with Burner Insert costs around $200. The wall mount ones are in the next price bracket averaging around $400 and the recessed ones cost anywhere between $100 and $600. The most expensive one mentioned in this article is the Bio Flame Grate Kit. However, at 29.7” long, it is particularly big for its type and maybe the best option to place in a larger traditional fireplace to gain maximum heat.
You can dress your burners and inserts using decorative ceramic pebbles or logs which are specifically designed to withstand the heat of a bio ethanol fire. Either choice will give you a softer more natural look than the bare stainless steel top.
Let’s take a look at a few examples.
If you want a decorative clean modern look then pebbles are the way to go. The Regal Flame 24 Piece Set of Light Weight Ceramic Fiber Pebbles comes in 3 different shades. The black (shown) grey and white (shown).
They are easy to arrange and adding more or fewer will change the overall look. They are completely safe and do not produce any ash, fibers or residue into the air.
These pebbles measure 2.3 inches. But you can get larger or smaller sizes. The great thing about them is that the cool quickly.
If you prefer a more rustic look, there are a variety of realistic-looking ceramic logs.
The Moda Flame 9 PC Petite Ceramic Wood Fireplace Log Set below left includes 6 logs and 3 pine cones. They range in size for between 4 inches to 9 inches. Alternatively, for a more burnt look, the Regal Flame 8 Piece Set below right includes 8 life-size logs ranging in size from 5.7 inches to 12.8 inches.
Care and Maintenance
Bio ethanol fireplaces are pretty easy to set up and maintain and they come with clear easy to follow instructions.
They all have a fuel reservoir. Just make sure you never fill it to more than ¾ full and that the fire is off and the fuel reservoir has cooled down for 15 minutes before trying to add more fuel. And of course, thoroughly clean up anything you spill.
When you light the fuel use only an extended lighter.
It goes without saying that you should NOT allow children or pets near the fireplace when it’s burning and the fireplace and fuel should only be handled by adults.
Use only ethanol fuel made specifically for these fireplaces. Don’t try burning anything else it could be extremely dangerous not to mention highly toxic.
You can get it here on Amazon.