Frequently Asked Questions
What are bioethanol fireplaces?
Bioethanol fireplaces are an innovative alternative to traditional, electric and gas fireplaces. Powered by bioethanol fuel, they are easy to install and use, require no chimney or gas connection. Moreover, they produce no toxic fumes or ash and are 100% heat efficient. This means that anyone can enjoy a warming fireplace literally anywhere they wish.
What exactly is bioethanol fuel?
Bioethanol fuel is specially produced and denatured alcohol derived from raw renewable materials such as sugar beetroots, corn, potatoes and wheat. It burns cleanly and releases no harmful emissions as the only major by-products are water vapour, CO2 and heat.
What are the emissions?
Emissions consist almost completely of water vapour and CO2 (carbon dioxide). The amount of the CO2 emission from an ethanol flame is comparable to that of two medium-sized candles. Other components are negligible in quantity, well under any limits. Combustion can create other hazardous substances such as monoxide, nitric oxide and aldehyde only when the fire burns at a temperature of 700°C. The temperature of bio fireplaces is under 400°C.
What is the difference between gel and bioethanol fuel?
All retailers have discontinued gel fuel and replaced it with more efficient and cleaner bio fuel versions. Gel is a thicker substance and leaves some residue in the cans, whereas bioethanol is a clean liquid that you need to use in a different type of container. As such, it requires no maintenance and burns equally long with a nice orange flame.
Do I need a flue to use a bioethanol fire?
No. Bio fires run on bio ethanol fuel, which burns cleanly, producing only heat, vapour and carbon dioxide. With such a clean combustion process and no toxic fumes whatsoever, you simply don’t need a flue. All bioethanol fires are carbon neutral because they use bio ethanol. The CO2 that burning bioethanol produces, comes from the plants that the producers transformed into food waste to make bio fuel.
Is it expensive?
No, not really, although if you were to use it daily for many hours it will work out more costly than other types of fireplaces. The basic estimate is £1.45/h (when buying our Winter Pack – 18 bottles), but the cost will strictly depend on the way you use your fire and the size of your fuel container. Our regular fireplace container will burn for about 3 to 6 hours (depending on the model) on 1-1.3 L of fuel. If you buy small amounts of fuel, your cost price will increase significantly. Therefore, you need to decide whether it is economy or occasional use that is your priority before purchasing fuel.
Are bioethanol fires safe?
Yes, if you use them according to instructions that you can find in your user manual and treat them with common sense and caution. There is no risk in using bioethanol fireplaces in any average size room or outdoors. However, do keep in mind that bio ethanol fires produce a real flame, requiring extra care and attention. Spilling fuel, overfilling, throwing something in the flame, etc., could be potentially dangerous. You must be careful while filling it up. This is absolutely crucial. For more information and safety advice, click here.
Are they safe for children?
As safe as a real fire can be. We do not recommend to put a fire on when small children are around, unless it is outside their reach. Older children will learn quickly that the fire surround and parts are hot. As long as they are not left unsupervised, there is no risk in using the fire with them present. To ensure extra protection, you may purchase a glass screen and place it in front of your fireplace. Another option is purchasing a wall-mounted fireplace to keep the flame out of children’s reach even when unsupervised.
Do you test your fires?
We test all our burners in laboratories for safety of use and most of them have the TÜV Rheinland certificate, which is the highest international certification for safety and quality of products, services and management systems.
How do you install a bioethanol fire?
If it’s freestanding, you don’t install it at all, just place it where you need it and fill it up. As it’s burning liquid fuel, it needs to be stable and in a secure position. If the fireplace is wall mounted, you hang it on the wall like a heavy mirror or a picture frame, using the screws and screw plugs in the fireplace set. Just make sure to level it and use the right size wall-plugs and screws which come with your fireplace. You need to make sure that the wall you use to hang your fire on is going to stand its weight. This will differ from one model to another, but normally is between 10-27kg. If necessary strengthen it by adding support at the back.
Can I use a flat TV above a fireplace?
Yes, many of our fireplaces are safe to use with flat TV screens. You need to check whether your fire is “closed” at the top to assess suitability. Some new wall-hanging units are open at the top and have a glass panel at the front. They are NOT suitable to be put underneath a TV because all the heat goes up, so it would damage your TV. If the distance between the fireplace and the TV is fairly small, you should recess the fireplace. You can do this by lining the top of the recess with solid fireproof material. Alternatively, you can recess the TV, making a sort of a heat absorbing “shelf” between the fire and the TV. Always make sure that there is a thick, non-flammable material between the top of the fire and the TV.
Will a bioethanol fire heat the room?
When bio alcohol fireplaces are burning, there produce about 3-3.5 kWh of heat. We do not design our fireplaces for pure heating purposes but mainly as decorative products. Nevertheless, when you use the fireplace, you will enjoy a delightful and pleasant warmth. However, bioethanol fires are not heating devices and they cannot replace conventional heating. The warmth also depends on the air flow in your room, the size of the room and ceiling height. If you have an open chimney and a working flue, you will lose 60-80% of the heat through the chimney. To retain the heat, you will need to block your chimney and then 100% of the heat will stay in the room. Just to give you an idea, an average electric fire will produce about 2kW of heat. Instead, a standard wall-hanging of freestanding bio fire will produce 3kW of heat (on full opening).
Do I have to ventilate the room when the fire is on?
Unlike gas or wood-burning fireplaces, there is no need for a flue or chimney in a room with a bioethanol fireplace. Bio ethanol fires consume some of the oxygen in the room, which means that fresh air needs to be let in once in a while. If the air in the room gets stuffy, the room feels too hot or you experience any headaches or discomfort. In this case, simply open a window for a few minutes and leave the door ajar to improve air circulation.
Can I use “ceramic wool” or “sponge” to extend the burning time?
We do not recommend the use of any accessory which goes inside the container. In fact, we have not found any accessories that actually work. Besides, the risk is that small cinders could still glow at the base when the flame has already gone out. If this happens while refilling your fire, it could potentially be very dangerous as the pouring fuel could quickly reignite. In any case, ALWAYS check for cinders when refilling your bioethanol fireplace or burner.
Can I use bioethanol as a BBQ lighting liquid?
We do not recommend using our Bioethanol Fuel for any other purpose than fuelling your fireplace.
What must I never do?
- Do not spill any fuel when filling the fuel box. If this does happen, remove the fuel meticulously. You must not light the fireplace until the fuel that you spilled has completely dried.
- Never top up the fuel box of a burning or hot fireplace. If the fuel box needs topping up, make sure to extinguish the flames properly. Also, check that the box has cooled.
How can I clean the lid of Small Burner and Bio Container from any possible Fragrance Oil stains?
If you spill oil outside the Fragrance Diffuser reservoirs, try not to leave it to dry up on the lid. When the stains are minor, just use hot water and dishwashing liquid. If stains are older and more persistent, you can clean the lid by soaking it in hot (even boiling) soapy water. Then slowly but firmly clean the stained areas with the ‘rough’ side of a dishwashing sponge. Alternatively, you can scratch it off gently with a sharp tool.
Are there any legal requirements or building regulations regarding bioethanol fires?
There are no legal regulations from government bodies or elsewhere for decorative bioethanol fireplaces. They must be installed in a non-combustible chamber following standard building regulations. In the EU, some are working to establish a European Safety Standard for bioethanol fires. The EU standard is not a mandatory regulation. However, it’ll bring more awareness and create rules for manufacturers to follow. We are closely monitoring the topic of bio fire regulations. We are doing our best so our products are up-to-date with safety standards. We tested our burners in laboratories. They all have a TÜV certification as safe to use according to the instructions. You must exercise caution and common sense when using bio ethanol fires, so you should never leave the flame unattended. The only ventilation you should have in the room with an ethanol-run fireplace is a window. You can open it if it gets too hot.
Do you guarantee your fires?
We offer a standard 12-month guarantee for all our fireplaces and burners (unless otherwise specified on the product description page). Excluding accessories and ex-display items. Our products are high quality and you’ll be pleased. We believe in providing products free from faults in performance or appearance.
If a product develops a fault within 12 months of delivery, please let us know promptly in writing. You’ll need to provide a picture and a description of the fault. We’ll replace it unless you misused it. In case the same item is no longer available, we’ll offer a replacement option within a similar price bracket. Please note that misusing your fireplace (i.e. overfilling it with fuel or using the wrong fuel, or placing it in the wrong setting – exposed to drafts) will void your guarantee and you will not be eligible for a replacement.