Outdoor Ethanol Fireplaces
Since ancient times, the hearth has been identified with family, love, and home. Long associated with feelings of security and belonging, whether inside or out, the fireside is a symbol we continue to seek out as an addition to our personal spaces. With its dry heat and inviting glow, the fire invites one to stop, ponder, engage and relax. In the modern age this association has extended far beyond the original wood fireplace to evocative modern fireplaces and fire pits. Whether you are nestled up to a wood burning fire pit out-doors, a freestanding ultra-modern ethanol fireplace in a minimalist urban apartment, or any of a variety of wall mounted fireplaces, you will find yourself enjoying the same emotional response. Perhaps Henry Daniel Thoreau stated the value of an outdoor fire best when he stated,
“The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.”
Whether you associate fires with outdoor camping, cuddling in a mountain cabin with snow falling silently outside, or with nights spent hanging stockings beside the fire with smells of roasting turkey and baking pies wafting through the air, you no doubt have experienced the feelings of warmth and security so long associated with the hearth. In modern times, many of us have become distanced from the time-honored space around the fire due to the costs associated with including a chimney in homes and the pollution home fires add to our air. However, luckily, modern innovation has offered us new ways to enjoy the physical warmth and emotional comfort that we find when gathered around a blazing fire with innovative options fuel options like ethanol fireplaces and creative designs like two-sided and freestanding fireplaces.
As early as the 1900’s modern man made a move away from heating the home with wood fires. At the time that central heating became an option, people began moving away from the time intensive labor of chopping wood and struggling to light the evening fire. With options for heating the home, the iconic hearth became more of a design element than a necessary source of heat. Use of the fireplace as a design element ignited the imagination of designers leading to a wide variety of options in the size, shape, and material used in the construction of the modern fireplace. Today, you will find these iconic architectural design elements moving out of doors with increasing frequency.
Why Add a Fire Element to Your Outdoor Space?
Fire is a stunning and captivating element. It evokes feelings of safety, elicits moments of relaxation, and offers warmth both physically and emotionally. As social animals, humans are drawn to this element, which is often associated with food and family. However, if you are interested in fire as a design element, you may also wish to consider its relationship to the idea of feng shui.
Feng shui, is an ancient practice focusing on balance. It is often used in design to create harmony and encourage the free flow of energy within a space. What, does this have to do with outdoor space, you may wonder where one would assume energy is free flowing. Well, according to the principles of feng shui, even in an open space there is need for balance. This balance can be encouraged using the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Adding a fire element to your outdoor space may be the final piece needed to bring about balance.
Even if you have no interest in the art of feng shui, you will recognize the romance that emanates from the glow of a fire as well as the practicality of extending the use of your outdoor space. Adding a fire element to your outdoor space increases visibility late into the evening with a gentle glow inviting moments of shared intimacy. Adding the heat from an outdoor fireplace allows you to spend more time in this often-underused space.
How much more inviting is the glow of a fire than the ever-present illumination of an electric bulb? Cast back to the meaningful conversations of your life. You will likely find that many more moments of intimacy occurred in the half-light of a fire whether thrown off by a fireplace, candle, or campfire than in the bright glare of electric lights. Adding an outdoor fireplace allows you to extend your living space beyond the traditional square footage of enclosed space. At a time where homes are becoming smaller, using your outdoors as extended living space is broadly appealing and is cost efficient.
Why Choose an Ethanol Fireplace?
If you are considering adding a fire element to your outdoor space, you will want to understand your options. Clearly, you can go the traditional route of burning wood. Depending upon your needs, this can be as simple as a fire pit in a cleared space or as elaborate as a grand permanent fireplace. However, you may find the idea of spending hours dodging the shifting plumes of smoke associated with an open fire pit undesirable. Using traditional wood burning fireplaces and firepits also require either cutting and storing wood or buying it and add greatly to the pollution cast off into the environment. Because of the pollution, there are often prohibitions placed on burning wood in populated cities.
You can also create a permanent outdoor fire element for your natural gas fireplace or fire pit. As natural gas requires the installation of a line from the tank containing the fuel, this is an inflexible option. Just like a wood burning fireplace, this option requires that you establish and maintain a fixed space for your fire. This option requires commitment to a design element and frequent inspection to maintain safety. If you are not convinced that you want to make this level of commitment, you can still have your outdoor fireplace. We will discuss your options with a movable ethanol fireplace later.
Many aren’t aware of the benefits of the ethanol fireplace. If you have never used ethanol for heat, you may not realize the superiority of these modern fireplaces. Unlike the traditional wood fire, the ethanol fireplace requires no flue or chimney. Using the biofuel ethanol, modern ethanol fireplaces require no means of exhaust. Produced from corn and soybeans, when ethanol burns it produces no ash, soot, or smoke. Casting off only a small amount of water and carbon dioxide, ethanol produces clean dry heat and can be used indoors or out. Ethanol fireplaces provide an economic low pollution option to more traditional fireplaces.
Unlike fireplaces and fire pits burning natural gas or propane, ethanol fireplaces require no fuel line. Natural gas and propane fireplaces and fire pits require the installation of a line from a tank on one’s property to the desired location, be that fireplace or pit. This line is both costly and requires frequent inspection. Although cleaner burning than wood or coal, natural gas is a non-sustainable fossil fuel with a pungent odor. Due to this disadvantage, one’s fireside smores can end up smelling, and unfortunately tasting, like burning gas.
How, you may ask, is the ethanol fireplace different. Rather than running a gas line, as you would for natural gas or propane, you will buy single liter containers of ethanol for use in your ethanol fireplace. Using a funnel, you will fill the tank on your fireplace. The amount of time your fireplace or fire pit will run depends upon the model and the heat setting you use. However, you can expect several hours of enjoyment from your ethanol fireplace without having to refill the tank. It is advised that you allow approximately 15 minutes for your fireplace to cool prior to refilling the unit.
What Type of Ethanol Fireplace Fits Your Outdoor Style?
Once you have chosen to use an ethanol fireplace in your outdoor space, you will want to consider your design choices. Modern innovation makes it possible for you to find just the right ethanol fireplace to fit your unique style. Ethanol fireplaces come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and styles. Whether you are looking for a long low ribbon fireplace to offset a space or a small sculptural piece that can add modern flare to your outdoor tabletop, you will find an option to fit your personal style.
Wall Mounted Ethanol Fireplaces
For those interested in adding a permanent design touch to an outdoor living space, there are traditional and non-traditional looking wall mounted ethanol fireplaces. Set in a wall, like a traditional fireplace, these fireplaces have no need for venting or gas line installation. Wall mounted outdoor ethanol fireplaces allow you the advantages of a more traditional wall mounted outdoor fireplace with less cost. Allow the fire, or “nature’s TV,” to add an engaging focal point to your outdoor space and increase your property value.
You can surround these unique fireplaces with design elements of your choice. Set the fireplace of your choice in stone for a rustic look. Surround your fireplace with poured concrete, rustic wood, or rolled metal for a one of a kind design element that fits your style whether minimalist, traditional, or elegantly artistic. Surround your fireplace with a half-wall of novel design for a modern or otherworldly feel. Indeed, with these innovative fireplaces, you are only limited by your imagination. Styles are available in variety of sizes and shapes, there is a wall mounted ethanol fireplace designed to fit your style and warm your heart.
Adventurous Two-Sided Style
Free standing or wall mounted two-sided fireplaces are a stunning way to add heat and design to any outdoor space. Free-standing models, of course, offer more adventure than a wall mounted fireplace as they can be easily relocated. If you are prone to decorative whims, you may want to try a free-standing option that allows you to redefine your space at will. However, mounted or free-standing, these unique fireplaces are guaranteed to improve the wow factor of your outdoor space and heat both sides of your defined hearth.
Imagine your outdoor space divided into an eating area on one side and an informal seating area on the other side of a blazing fire. Guests will find twice as much space to spread out and enjoy the warm glow of your two-sided fireplace. Give your cocktail party twice the space with a two-sided fireplace while allowing your guest freedom to move in a stunning outdoor space. Avoid the issues of having indoor gatherings by adding warmth and light to an outdoor space. Increase the use of your outdoor space by adding an element of light and warmth that can be moved with ease.
Use these unique clean burning pieces on your outdoor bar, atop a stone wall, or as the centerpiece at your next cookout. Available in a variety of sizes and styles, table-top ethanol fireplaces add a touch of warmth to any space. Shaped like circles, cylinders, rectangles, squares, cubes, or freeform sculptures these variable sized design pieces offer real heat and engaging focus to any outdoor setting.
Size and ease of use make these ethanol fireplaces an ideal design accent. Use one to bring light and warmth to your backyard gathering. Add a table-top fireplace to your child’s backyard camping expedition as an ideal way to roast smores with ease. Or use strategically placed table-top fireplaces to light an evening wedding reception for an added pop of romance. Used individually, or in groupings these versatile easy to use fireplaces bring a soft romantic touch to any outdoor situation and allow your creativity to shine.