Do Bio Ethanol Fireplaces Give Off Heat?

By now you would have heard all about the many benefits of bio ethanol fireplaces – easy to install, low maintenance and carbon neutral – it almost sounds too good to be true!  There’s one question on many people’s minds however:do bio ethanol fireplaces actually produce heat?

The short answer is yes!  Before you whip out that credit card however, be aware that the amount of heat produced will depend on many factors and some bio ethanol fireplaces have been designed purely for aesthetics rather than heat.  It’s important to do your research and make sure you select a fireplace that’s suitable for your room and heating needs.

Radiant Heat Explained

Firstly, keep in mind that bio ethanol fireplaces produce radiant heat and not circulated heat, as there are no fans built into the units to push the warm air around.  For this reason, they have been designed to heat a single room, and not an entire house.  Think of a bonfire – it is hotter near the fire than away from it, and bio ethanol fireplaces work in a similar way.  Initially, those near the fireplace will feel the heat the most, but after a while, a natural convection process will take place and the heat will radiant throughout the room and warm the entire space.

Heating Efficiency of Bio Ethanol Fireplaces

Because bio ethanol fireplaces don’t require any chimneys, flues or vents, the heat radiated is retained in the room, ensuring you stay warm and cosy.  Our fireplaces that feature our 1.5L burner have a thermal output of 3kW and will heat a room approximately 20m2 in size when on the highest heat setting.  For heating bigger areas, we also have fireplaces with multiple burners or larger burner openings.

Factors Affecting Heat Output

The amount of heat produced by a bio ethanol fireplace will depend on many factors, such as the ambient temperature in the room at the time, the size of the room, ceiling heights etc…

When searching for an appropriate bio ethanol fireplace, the first thing to determine is the size of the room you’re looking to heat, as the key to adequate heating is to match the fireplace with the space.  If you have high ceilings, an open plan area or live somewhere with particularly cold climate, you’ll need to select a fireplace designed for a room larger than yours in order to compensate for these factors.

Don’t be swayed by the size of the fireplace itself, what you ought to be looking at is the burner inside.  What determines the size of the flame, and therefore the amount of heat produced, is actually the size of the burner opening, or burner mouth.  Generally speaking, the larger the burner opening, the more intense the flame and heat output.  Be careful not to make the mistake of assuming that the size of the burner is linked to heat output - burner capacity merely indicates how much fuel the burner can hold, which determines burning time rather than heat.  Most burners are also adjustable and allow you to reduce the heat output if required – handy if you want to switch between using the fireplace for heating or aesthetics.  When used on a lower setting, these adjustable burners will produce a smaller flame, but will burn for longer before needing to be refuelled.

If in doubt, ask the manufacturer for the heat output of a unit before you buy it.  So long as you follow the above guidelines and select a unit that suits your needs and room size, you will be enjoying the warmth and ambience of an open fireplace in no time.