5 Advantages of an Ethanol Fireplace, the Cozy, Low-Maintenance Amenity You Need This Winter

Curling up by the fire in winter is a dream anyone can make – even those of us who live in a house without a traditional fireplace. If your house was built without a brick hearth, don’t be afraid. You can still create the ideal winter scene in your home without breaking a wall (or breaking the bank). The solution? An ethanol fireplace.

An ethanol fireplace, also called a bio fireplace, can add warmth and a “wow” factor to a room without the hassle of burning wood and smoke.

“An ethanol fireplace is a much cleaner alternative to other gas or wood fires,” says Nate Bruen, franchisee and owner of Handyman Connection of Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

“Small amounts of water and carbon dioxide are the only by-products of burning ethanol,” explains Bruen. Ethanol is a liquid biofuel made by fermenting various crops such as corn or soybeans and is a renewable fuel.

Do you need more motivation? Here are some of the top reasons to have an ethanol fireplace.

1. No chimney

Photo by Planika Fires

A traditional fireplace, and even a gas fireplace, will need a chimney to release the smoke. An ethanol fireplace does not produce smoke, so it does not need a chimney, vent or hood to vent the smoke. That means you can put one practically anywhere in your home.

“They’re very inexpensive and environmentally friendly because the fuel source is renewable,” says Justin Orr, customer service manager at The Bio Flame, a manufacturer of ethanol fireplaces.

2. No need to be installed in the structure of your home

Photo by Krista + Home
Unlike traditional fireplaces that need to be built into your home, ethanol fireplaces are portable so you can place one in the bedroom, dining room, or living room.

“Compared to other types, ethanol fireplaces are incredibly easy to install,” says Bruen.

Orr says ethanol fireplaces don’t need vent or gas lines.

“This is ideal for condos, basements, or areas where it’s difficult or impossible to have vent or gas. That makes it easy to install even after the house is built, ”Orr says.

Since ethanol fireplaces are not permanent, they can be removed and reinstalled at any time or when moving.

3. Ethanol fireplaces will make you really warm

Photo by JWT Associates
Fireplaces are all about creating a warm, cozy environment and ethanol fireplaces deliver this. Ethanol fireplaces can heat up to 600 square feet of space, which is more than what conventional fireplaces can do. They also have playful, bright flames.

“They give off more heat than electric fireplaces and create a real flame that looks great compared to electric or gas fireplaces,” Orr says.

4. Ambience without smoke

Photo by Houzz
There is a reason why interior designers like to integrate ethanol fireplaces into rooms: They give the home a modern, sophisticated ambience with the full functionality of a fireplace. Ethanol fireplaces vary in size and design, with surfaces such as shiny steel, matt black or transparent glass. They can be an interior or exterior design element and can be placed on the floor or table or mounted on a wall.

Unlike the artificial flames of electric fireplaces, ethanol fireplaces create “a living, real flame that exceeds any homeowner’s expectations,” Orr says.

5. Ethanol fireplaces require little maintenance

Photo from The Elite Home

A traditional wood-burning fireplace involves the messy job of scraping out ashes and coals and disposing of the trash. Ethanol fireplaces do not require regular maintenance and will not lose color or corrode even after years of use.

“Ethanol is not only a highly efficient fuel, it also burns much cleaner,” says Bruen. “You don’t have to worry about smoke, ash or soot messing up your home.”

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