Bio-Ethanol Fires

Everywhere I go these days I see Bio-Ethanol Fires….. so are they a good idea for your new home?

Well all the publicity says they are a renewable resource that produces a ‘living flame’.  As Ethanol (we used to call it methylated spirits) burns cleanly with no toxic byproducts these heaters can be used in a room without a flue.

Well before you go down the Bio-Ethanol heater route here are some things to consider.

It’s Not a Main Heat Source

While a Bio Ethanol fire does give out heat, it’s not enough to heat out your house like a traditional Wood Heater. About the most you can expect is around 2 kW (the equivalent of a small fan heater).

Water Vapour

One of the combustion products is water. For each litre of fuel it produces almost 1/10th of a litre of water vapour. That can mean more condensation on the windows, and even mould in cold corners.

Oxygen Consumption

Although there are no fumes like a traditional fire it consumes the oxygen in the air. So make sure you get some fresh (colder) air into the room.


Some points about the Fire Risk:

  • You are storing a highly flammable liquid and pouring it in a heater in your living room.
  • You should never fill the heater while its burning or even when the burner is hot.
  • It is still a naked flame. Make sure children are kept well away from it.


Although there are some cheap Bio- Ethanol Heaters I wouldn’t feel all that safe with a cut price unit. If you get a quality heater you could be paying a lot of extra money for that flame effect.


Heating is just one of the topics included

in the Pre-Start/Selection Guide?