1. What are bio ethanol fireplaces?
Bio ethanol fireplaces are an innovative alternative to traditional, electric and gas fireplaces. Powered by bio ethanol fuel, they are easy to install and use, require no chimney or gas connection, produce no toxic fumes or ash and are 100% heat efficient. This means that anyone can enjoy a warming fireplace literally anywhere they wish.
2. What exactly is bio ethanol fuel?
Bio ethanol 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.
3. What are the emissions?
Emissions are composed 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. The other components emitted are negligible in quantity well under any limits. Other hazardous substances of combustion such as monoxide, stockoxide and aldehyde are not released until the combustion temperature of 700°C; the temperature of bio fireplaces is under 400°C.
4. What is the difference between gel and bio ethanol fuel?
Fireplaces running on gel fuel have now nearly been replaced by more efficient and cleaner bio fuel versions. Gel is a thicker substance and leaves some residue in the cans, whereas bio ethanol is a clean liquid used in a different type of container. As such, it requires no maintenance and burns equally long with a nice orange flame.
5. Do I need a flue to use a bio ethanol 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 bio ethanol fires are carbon neutral because they use bio ethanol. The CO2 emitted when burning bio ethanol was first absorbed by plants, which were then transformed into food waste and used to produce bio fuel,
6. 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/h, but the cost will strictly depend on the way you use your fire, the amount of fuel you buy and the size of your fuel container. Our regular fireplace container will burn for about 3 to 5 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 (£1.67-£2/h), so you need to decide whether it is economy or occasional use that is your priority before purchasing fuel.
7. Are bio ethanol fires safe?
Yes, if used according to instructions found in your user manual and treated with common sense and caution, there is no risk in using bio ethanol 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, so careful handling when filling up is absolutely crucial. For more information and safety advice, click here.
8. Are they safe for children?
As safe as a real fire can be. It is not recommended to put a bio ethanol fire on when small children are around, unless it is outside their reach and there is no risk of burning. Older children will learn quickly that the fire surround and parts are hot and as long as they are not left unsupervised, there is no risk in using the fire with them present. To ensure extra protection from the flame, you may want to purchase a glass fireplace 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 they are supervised.
9. Do you test your fires?
All of our products are tested in laboratories for safety of use and most of them have been tested by TÜV Rheinland, the leading international body for the certification of safety and quality for products, services and management systems.
10. How do you install a bio ethanol 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 placed 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 screws and screw plugs provided in the fireplace set. No installation whatsoever, just make sure it is levelled and use the right size wall-plugs and screws provided 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) and if necessary strengthen it by adding support at the back.
10. 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 either the fireplace (lining the top of the recess with solid fireproof material) or 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.
11. Will a bio ethanol fire heat the room?
When bio alcohol fireplaces are burning, there is about 3-3.5 kWh of heat produced in the room. Our fireplaces are not designed purely for heating purposes but mainly as decorative products; nevertheless, when you use the fireplace, you will enjoy a delightful and pleasant warmth. Please be aware that bio ethanol fires are not heating devices and the fire cannot replace conventional heating. Most people observe noticeable pleasant warmth when using the fire, but this 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 (even if it is not tested or certified), you will lose 60-80% of the heat emitted by the flame through the chimney. To retain the heat, you will need to block your chimney and then 100% of heat produced will stay in the room. Just to give you an idea - an average electric fire will produce about 2kW of heat, while a standard wall-hanging of freestanding bio fire will produce 3kW of heat (on full opening).
12. 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 bio ethanol fireplace. That being said, 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, simply open a window for a few minutes and leave the door ajar to improve air circulation.
13. 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. Beside the fact that we have not found any accessories that actually work, the first and most important risk is the possibility of small cinders still glowing at the base of the fire when the flame has already gone out on the surface. If this happens and you are 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 bio ethanol fireplace or burner.
14. Can I use bio ethanol as a BBQ lighting liquid?
We do not recommend using our Bio Ethanol Fuel for any other purpose than the desired one: fuelling your fireplace.
15. What must I never do?
• Do not spill any fuel when filling the fuel box. If this does happen, remove the fuel meticulously. The fireplace should not be lit until the spilled fuel has completely dried.
• Never top up the fuel box of a burning or hot fireplace. If the fuel box has to be topped up, make sure that the flames are properly extinguished and the box has cooled.
16. How can I clean the lid of Small Burner and Bio Container from any possible Fragrance Oil stains?
If you spill any oil outside the Fragrance Diffuser reservoirs, try not to leave it to dry up on the lid. If 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 and then slowly but firmly cleaning the stained areas with 'rough' side of a dishwashing sponge or gently scratching it off with a sharp tool.
17. Are there any legal requirements or building regulations regarding bio ethanol fires?
In principle, there are no legal regulations from the government bodies or elsewhere for decorative fireplaces that run on alcohol. Bio ethanol fires have to be installed in a non-combustible chamber following standard building regulations. In the European Union, some work is currently being carried out in order to establish a European Safety Standard for bio fires. The EU standard is not a mandatory regulation but it will bring more awareness and create a set of rules for manufacturers to follow. We are closely monitoring the topic of bio fire regulations and doing our best so our products are up-to-date with safety standards. Our products are laboratory tested and most of them use our Small Burner, which has received a TÜV certification as safe to use according to the instructions. Do keep in mind that you must exercise caution and common sense when using bio ethanol fires, so the flame should never be left unattended. The only ventilation you should have in the room with an ethanol-run fireplace is a window, which you can open if it gets too hot.
18. Do you guarantee your fires?
Yes, we offer a standard 12 months manufacturer's guarantee for all of our fireplaces and burners (unless otherwise specified on the product description page), excluding accessories and ex-display items. We are confident that the products we supply are of a very high quality and that you will be very pleased with them. We also believe in providing the highest standard of customer service and products free from manufacturer's faults in performance or appearance.
If a product develops a fault within 12 months of delivery, please let us know in writing (within 48 h of noticing it), providing a picture and description of the fault, and we will either repair it or replace it. In case the same item is not available anymore, you will be offered 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 with a higher percentage of alcohol than stated on our website) will void your guarantee and you will not be eligible for a replacement.