Ethanol Fireplace Conversion - How Hard is It?

Ethanol Fireplace Conversion - How Hard is It?

Converting your old, dirty wood burning fireplace into an efficient ethanol fireplace is easier than ever before.  Nothing adds elegance to a room like a warm fire and enjoying time with loved ones around this welcoming glow can be the perfect way to spend those chilly winter nights.  

What is an Ethanol Fireplace

An unused fireplace is truly a waste and considering that it doesn't take much time to make the conversion to clean-burning ethanol fuel; more people are making the upgrade to bio-ethanol fireplaces than ever before. Ethanol is also called simple alcohol.  

This clear colorless liquid used to be produced primarily by fermenting sugars by yeasts but now more advanced petrochemical process exist that allow for impurities to be removed and better energy production.  

While Ethanol is the primary ingredient in many drinks it is also used as a fuel additive with the world largest ethanol producer Brazil known to add up to 25% ethanol into their gasoline mixtures. This amazing fuel has even powered rockets into space and is currently used by multiple rocket-powered racing aircraft. 

Bio-Blaze Design Table Ethanol Fireplace Insert

Advantages / Disadvantages of Ethanol Fireplaces

Ethanol fireplaces burn clean meaning that you will not have to contend with harmful smoke that can damage your window fixtures or leave your furniture smelling appalling.  Ethanol allows you to place supplemental heat where ever you desire and many units are portable, especially our tabletop fireplaces, or many are hung on the wall.

Ethanol fireplaces are easy to install; making them ideal for personal use and because they burn clean, they can be placed in small spaces such as hallways and bedrooms. Manufacturers have created units specially designed to convert your fireplace in minutes. 

Ethanol fireplaces can burn for hours and on average and you can expect to get 4 - 6 good hours of burn time out of your ethanol fireplace fuel.  This can be reduced if you burn at full strength the entire time. 

The main disadvantage of an ethanol fireplace is the fact that it is intended for supplemental heat. This means you will need some other form of heat to keep you ambient temperature comfortable.

Operating an Ethanol Fireplace

It is important to understand that ethanol fireplaces produce a real flame that must be treated as so. You should never be careless with fire, especially in your home.  The great news is an ethanol fireplace will never cause damage to your property if used correctly. 

The most common causes of ethanol started fires result from bad practices such as pouring ethanol fuel into the fireplace while the fire is already burning or spilling ethanol and trying to start the fireplace prior to cleaning up you’re the spillage.

Requirements for Conversion

Prior to making your conversion, you need to ensure that your fireplace is fully functioning with wood. Is your fireplace an open or closed design? Ethanol fireplaces work better in open fireplace scenarios as closed fireplaces can cause the ethanol to burn faster and the flames tend to get more uncontrollable. 

Inspect the interior of your fireplace to make sure that all interior non-flammable material is still in good shape and without holes or damaged.  Steel, stone, and plaster can be used to repair any non-flame retardant materials such as wood.

EB2100 - Ignis Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert

Take Your Measurements

You need to know the dimensions of your fireplace in order to get the perfect sized ethanol burner.  Never try to put a burner meant for larger fireplaces like the EB4800 Black - Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert (see image below) into a smaller space as it can cause significant damage.  The only exception to this is small wood burning locations that are specially designed to handle the added heat that will be produced from your ethanol burner.

EB4800 Black - Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert

Flexible vs Permanent

The final thing to consider is if you want your unit to be permanent or if you intend to switch back and forth between wood and ethanol depending on the season.  The later decision is common in areas where the winter gets extremely cold and the added heat and cost-saving benefits produced from burning wood is required.  In this scenario, a flexible ethanol fireplace conversion kit would give you the maximum usage from your investment. 

If you are lucky enough to avoid freezing weather where you live than a permanent ethanol solution is advised.  You are going to get all the benefits of a real fire without all of the mess and harmful carcinogens wood burning alternatives produce.

Ethanol Fireplace Conversion - Easier than Ever

Ethanol conversion has never been easier for the average consumer and for the first time in history, everyone has the ability to burn cleaner ethanol fuel as an alternative to traditional wood.  Now that you know how easy it is to convert to ethanol, you are ready to start living a healthier life today.

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