How Does an Ethanol Fireplace Work?

how does an ethanol fireplace work like this one from NU-Flame

Before ethanol fireplaces, you had to make sure you purchased a home with an existing fireplace if you dreamed of cozy nights by the fire. Now, since scientists have figured out how to use biofuel for fireplaces, all you have to do to install a new and functional fireplace and set it in place. Possibly the most complex to-do item in this process is to install the mount, which is very similar to television wall mounts. If that sounds like you, and you’ve wondered to yourself “how does an ethanol fireplace work?”, this article is for you.

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Perhaps you’ve noticed them in beautiful homes you’ve visited of late, or maybe you spotted one in a high-end showroom. Either way, ethanol fireplaces are becoming more and more popular as consumers realize how effective and easy these fireplaces can be. Besides being stylish and modern, these fireplaces are affordable, especially when the alternative is installing a traditional fireplace in your home.

How Does an Ethanol Fireplace Work?

The concept of an ethanol fireplace is like the lanterns people use while camping: the kind where you turn the gas on and use a match to light the wick. They are also similar to gas stoves where you have to light the pilot light. The main difference is that ethanol fireplaces are safer and have no odor, unlike either of these examples. Instead of burning wood or natural gas like a traditional fireplace, these fireplaces burn ethanol.

Ethanol, also called bio-ethanol, is a renewable fuel. It is a biofuel because it is made of natural ingredients such as corn, potatoes, beetroots, wheat, and other plant materials. It is renewable because it is pure alcohol gas, and when it burns it releases only a trace amount of CO2, which is absorbed back into the environment. Since ethanol is a biofuel, these fireplaces burn clean and leave behind no pollution.

Ethanol is pure alcohol, and it cannot be sold untainted. Before manufacturers sell ethanol, they have to denature it. In this process they add an odorless but unpleasant flavor to keep people from ingesting the ethanol for its 100% alcohol content. When the ethanol burns, it leaves behind no harmful chemicals, and this means there isn’t a need for a vent or chimney. If you are using the fireplace in a smaller room, you might need to open a window for a few minutes after turning the fireplace off.

Are Ethanol Fireplaces Safe?

When considering how does an ethanol fireplace work, you want to make sure they work safely; and you’ll be pleased to know that ethanol fireplaces are safer than traditional options. The fuel is environmentally safe and burns clean. There isn’t even a need for a chimney because the smoke from the fire is minimal.

No harmful toxins or carcinogens burn off, and the fire is completely odorless. In addition, burning ethanol fuels has been thoroughly tested for over a decade to ensure the process is safe.

If you are concerned with the CO2 emitted from these fireplaces, don’t be. On average, after three hours of continuous burning, the fireplace will only produce the same amount of CO2 as two burning candles. In addition, all ethanol fireplaces come with a cooling damper tool, which allows you to control the strength of the fire and turn it off when you choose. Because there are no burning embers, the fire goes right out.

Will an Ethanol Fireplace Produce Heat?

When asking how does an ethanol fireplace work, you want to find out how much heat it will actually produce. Ethanol fires produce as much heat as fires created with wood. Because these fireplaces are ventless, all the heat produced from the fire stays in the room. In tests, ethanol fires produce up to 13,000 BTU or 3.5 kw/H of heat energy. This test was performed on ethanol fireplaces with one burner. Basically, this is enough heat to keep a 400 square foot room rather toasty.

Where Can I Use an Ethanol Fireplace?

You can use ethanol fireplaces virtually anywhere. There are mounted options you can use indoors on any sheetrock wall (avoid wood or siding walls), and smaller fireplaces you can set on a table or stand on the ground. While you can use these fireplaces outside, it will not produce as much heat as a typical gas heater because the heat generated is from hot air and not heat rays. Even still, having a trendy ethanol fireplace on the back patio is a very nice touch.

You can even place an ethanol fireplace in an existing traditional fireplace. Whether your current fireplace is unusable, or you just prefer the safe and environmentally friendly ethanol option, adding an ethanol fireplace is easy. It is always best to keep the fireplace open when using ethanol. These fireplaces produce a lot of heat, so if you are adding it to a smaller space, make sure and purchase a smaller unit. Typically you need a minimum space of 650 x 650 x 350 mm.

Where Can I Use an Ethanol Fireplace?

When considering the question how does an ethanol fireplace work, you need to know how to install it. Installing an ethanol fireplace is almost as easy as hanging a painting on the wall. There’s no flue or gas line, and most fireplaces come pre-assembled. You may have to slide the safety glass in place and insert the burner. If you choose a wall mounted fireplace, the most complicated thing you will have to do is install the wall mount. It will be very similar to the mounts used for televisions. If you purchase a free-standing unit, make sure it is safely 3 feet away from any furniture or other items.

How to Use an Ethanol Fireplace

Besides being easy to install, ethanol fireplaces are also very easy to use. Pour the ethanol gas into the burner and light it with a stove lighter. The ethanol gas can be purchased anywhere you buy home goods, including grocery stores, hardware stores, and even some convenience stores. Keep the oil in a dry area away from heat. As an extra precaution, keep it out of reach of children and where pets cannot get to it.

One of the best benefits of an ethanol fireplace is there no more ashes to clean. In fact, cleaning an ethanol fireplace could not be easier. To clean the fireplace, wait until it is cool and then take a wash cloth with warm water and wipe down the stainless steel. If your fireplace has wood pieces (for effect), remove them first. Make sure the unit is completely dry before using it after cleaning.

What Are Some Available Options for Ethanol Fireplaces?

No matter your style or space, there is an ethanol fireplace that is just right for you. These fireplaces can be hung on the wall, set on a table, or stand on the floor. You can even purchase an insert to sit inside of your existing traditional fireplace for a cleaner, safer burn. There are indoor and outdoor models available. Below are a few ethanol fireplaces that can be easily purchased online. Most of these options come uin different colors and styles to fit any home decor.

Moda Flame Vigo Tabletop Ethanol Fireplace

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This is a simple but modern tabletop fireplace that can be placed indoors or outdoors. It can even be set inside the hearth of an existing fireplace. This model generates 3,900 BTU with a 7? to 12? flame.

Chelsea Model Wall Mount Fireplace

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This sleek and slender ethanol fireplace is perfect for any home. The Chelsea model is easy to install and weighs just over 23 lbs. It has a clean and modern look with a black border. This model puts out approximately 5,000 BTU. For safety reasons, this fireplace should not be mounted on siding or wood.

Moda Flame Baza Ethanol Fireplace

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This model is a floor mount fireplace that is sterling silver with a modern feel. It contains tempered glass over four cylinder steel legs. This model produces 6,000 BTUs of heat, and will last up to eight hours. It contains a 1.5 liter dual layer burner. You can purchase this model from the following link.


So, if you’ve been asking, how does an ethanol fireplace work, you can see they work well to give consumers a less expensive, more environmentally safe, and sleek way to heat any room or outdoor area. So for added heat, or even just for the ambiance of a nice roaring fire, check out the above ethanol fireplaces for your space.