What Are Bioethanol Fires? Benefits and Everything You Need to Know

What are bioethanol fires? Image shows a modern fire suspended from the ceiling by a simple black flue

Looking for an alternative to traditional gas, log and electric fires? A bioethanol fire might just be the very thing you need. If you’ve never heard of a bioethanol fire, or if you’d like to learn more about what they are and the benefits they carry, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together the answers to all the most frequently asked questions about these incredible fires so you can decide if they are the right choice for you.  Let’s start at the very beginning:

What are bioethanol fires and how do they work?

As the name suggests, a bioethanol fire is an alternative source of real-flame heat that runs on bioethanol fuel as opposed to gas or logs. Bioethanol fuel is a natural, ethanol-based fuel produced from plants such as sugar cane or maize, and is, therefore, a much more eco-friendly alternative to traditional burning fuels.

Bioethanol fires work by simply pouring bioethanol fuel into the burner and lighting it, so it’s much more straightforward than you may have initially thought. The fuel will then burn for 4-5 hours or until extinguished, which is done by closing the lid and starving the flame of oxygen. The fire can then easily be topped up with more fuel once cooled (which takes 10-15 minutes) if you need the fire to burn for longer. 

What are the benefits of bioethanol fires?

Bioethanol fires carry a great many benefits as an alternative to traditional fire sources, but here are the main advantages:


The main and most obvious benefit of using a bioethanol fire is, of course, the fact that it is much more eco-friendly than a traditional fossil fuel fire. As the fuel is plant-based, the flames burn cleanly without releasing harmful substances into the air. 

No gas or electricity needed

As these fires run purely on bioethanol fuel, there is no need for any further power or fuel sources from gas and electricity, which helps to cut costs and keeps everything refreshingly simple.

Easy to install 

If you’ve looked through our range of bioethanol fires you may have noticed one key element of a traditional fireplace is missing: the flue. As the fuel burns cleanly and releases no smoke or fumes, there is actually no need for bioethanol fires to have a flue. This, in turn, makes them incredibly easy to install and much more flexible in terms of where they can be placed.

An outdoor bioethanol fire next to a bench seat - are bioethanol fires easy to install?

Stylish and contemporary

Due to the lack of restrictions on placement and design, bioethanol fires come in a huge range of sleek, stylish and contemporary designs. Perfect for anyone looking for something a little different for their home or garden, the contemporary styling of bioethanol fires are a breath of fresh air for modern interior design.

Efficient and adjustable

Bioethanol fires are able to heat large rooms efficiently and effectively, and the output can be adjusted in most indoor fire designs with the help of a slider on the fuel box (note, not all designs carry this feature). This can be placed fully open, half open or a ¼ open, which will affect how much fuel is burned and how long the fuel lasts, as well as the level of flame output. 

Are bioethanol fires expensive to run?

The short answer is no, bioethanol fires are not expensive to run when compared with the cost of running wood or gas fires. However, the cost of running a bioethanol fire can vary depending on the cost of the fuel you use and how far open the box slider is during use (if applicable). Bioethanol fuel costs, on average, around £2.50 per litre, though prices do vary across brands and sources, and a litre lasts an average of 3.5 hours with the box slider fully open, while it can last up to 5 hours or more with the slider only ¼ open.

The quality of the fuel can also affect costs and efficiency. Cheaper fuels do, of course, reduce running costs in the short term, though these fuels are often more flammable and therefore burn out more quickly, which actually increases running costs over time. A good compromise is to seek out good quality fuel and buy in bulk (if you plan on using your bioethanol fire regularly) as you can often find excellent discounts for bulk fuel purchases. 

Are bioethanol fires safe indoors?

Yes, you can buy specially-designed indoor bioethanol fires that are perfectly safe to use indoors. While bioethanol fires do produce carbon dioxide, this substance is only produced in small amounts and is a natural by-product of any real fire. What’s more, bioethanol fires are far safer to use indoors than traditional fires due to the fact that they don’t produce any smoke, ash or carcinogenic substances, so you’re not breathing in any of these nasties in your home.

are bioethanol fires safe indoors? Image shows a large indoor bioethanol fire surrounded by sofas

Of course, like any flammable fuel, care does need to be taken while handling bioethanol fuel and using the burner. All fires are only as safe as the procedures they are used with, so make sure you follow all instructions and guidelines to ensure you are filling and using your bioethanol fire correctly. 

How long does bioethanol fuel last?

The length that bioethanol fuel lasts varies on the settings in which you are burning the fuel. Usually, one litre of bioethanol fuel will last for 4 hours if it is burning on the maximum heat setting. However, if you burn the bioethanol fuel on a minimum setting then the fuel can burn for up to 8 hours. If you shut off the fire, then the fuel will preserve until you wish to light the fire again.

Do bioethanol fires give off heat?

Yes, bioethanol fires produce real-burning flames that give off plenty of heat, making them a fantastic, like-for-like alternative to traditional gas or log-burning fire for heating homes and gardens. No artificial flames or heat-free imitations here! 

Now you have everything you need to know about these amazing fires, you’re ready to choose your brand new bioethanol fire and wave goodbye to the restrictions and nasty emissions of gas and log fireplaces. Explore our range of indoor bioethanol fires and outdoor bioethanol fires here at Moonlight Design and discover showstopping, unique designs for your home or garden. 

Got more questions about bioethanol fireplaces? Give our team a call on 020 8925 8639 and we’ll help you with any enquiry.

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