Manual vs Electric Ethanol Burners

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Manual vs Electric Ethanol Burners

Ethanol burners are becoming more and more commonplace these days, but it is important to know the difference between the electronic variations and the manual ones. Each one has its own distinct advantages, but there has to be one that it is better than the other, right?

Generally speaking, electronic ethanol burners are often seen as one step up from their manual counterparts. There are automatic ethanol burners that you can control with a remote, a control panel, and even with a smartphone or a smart home system. Even better, these remote-controlled ethanol burners are as safe as ever thanks to the variety of safety sensors that have been implemented to keep users as safe as possible.

Introduced in 2005, these ethanol burners and fireplaces have made it possible to have a fireplace just about anywhere. Best of all, they have no venting, no hookups, no smoke or soot, nor any expensive maintenance.

Simply put, these ethanol burners are the next step in the ever-developing technology that is ethanol fireplace technology. With the incorporation of electronic controls, this makes ethanol fireplaces safer than ever and easier to operate.

What is the difference between the manual and electronic ethanol burners?

In the simplest terms possible, a manual ethanol burner is a stainless-steel container that is filled with bioethanol fuel. To start the fireplace, you need to use a long lighter to ignite the fuel. The point is that you have to adjust the flames manually and extinguishing the fire is done the same way.

With electronic, as stated previously, you can do all of that with a few taps. No more having to light the fuel manually; you can do it at a safe distance without any fuss or muss. It is easier than ever before to get a fire going with just about a passing thought.

Pros of Manual Ethanol Burners:

1. There are no necessary hookups and you can install them anywhere. 

    Because they do not require a hookup of any kind, you can truly put them anywhere you want. The only thing to keep in mind is if there are combustibles in the area and make sure that you select the right size burner for the room you intend to use it in. But as for physically placing them in the room, they can go anywhere.

    2. They are extremely affordable.

    Because ethanol burners have been around for quite some time, other manufacturers have had time to trim down production costs in order to make them more affordable to consumers. Any time money can be saved by the consumer, that is a very good thing.

    Cons of Manual Ethanol Burners:

    1. Manual Operation.

      As the name indicates, you have to do everything yourself. That makes it far more difficult to control things like flame height and makes the process of starting and extinguishing the flame a bit more difficult. While this might not be a big deal to some, the level of convenience just isn’t the same.

      2. There are less safety features.

        Though manual burners are pretty safe when you use the operating instructions and implement a bit of common sense, there are no fail safes in place. Having safety sensors and controls implemented into the design would make them safer and provide more peace of mind when using it.

        Pros of Electronic Ethanol Burners:

        1. More comprehensive control.

          As mentioned previously, it can be a bit more difficult to control the height of the flame when operating it manually. With the automatic ethanol burners that are out there today, it is easy to control the height and intensity of the flame.

          Standard models will have three different flame settings that will allow you to crank the heat up or turn it down based on the temperature in the room, allowing you to find the level of comfort that you desire with just a few quick taps.

          2. More control options.

            As stated previously, there are simply more options for you to control your automatic burner. This can be done via a remote control that comes with the unit, an app on your smartphone, or in conjunction with a smart home.

            You can turn the burner on and off, control flame height, and so much more. There are even some models that have Wi-Fi built in so that you can control them in a variety of different ways. This is about maximum ease.

            3. Safety first.

              Most automatic ethanol burners come with additional safety sensors, like a CO2 density alarm or an over-heat shutoff sensor, that keeps your home safe when you get distracted or forget to turn off the burner. That’s peace of mind.

              Cons of Electronic Ethanol Burners:

              1. Cost.

                The biggest drawback to electronic ethanol burners is that they are three or four times more expensive than standard manual burners. This is because there are more features, more accessibility, and they have been on the market for a shorter amount of time, so manufacturers have not had a chance to find more cost-effective ways to produce them.

                2. Manufacturing time.

                  The vast majority of electronic ethanol burners are made to order. This means that they take additional time to build; anywhere from three to eight weeks. If you are on a strict time schedule, you might not be able to wait the kind of time it takes to get an automatic ethanol burner constructed.

                  3. Electrical hookup is needed.

                    While this is not a massive inconvenience, the automatic ethanol burners do require an electrical power outlet to use. This is not a big deal in more modern homes as outlets are in greater abundance, but they may be an issue in older homes. They are not as “go anywhere” as their manual counterparts tend to be.

                    Ultimately, the choice is yours. Manual burners are cheaper but might not be as safe whereas automatic electronic burners have a lot more features but tend to cost a lot more. Knowing how much you use it and what you look for most will help you decide which one is best for you.

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                    • Catherine Sibi
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