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Bioethanol fireplace: how it works, how much it heats and how much it consumes

Bioethanol is one of the best biofuels to use for home heating. But many wonder whether a bioethanol fireplace actually heats the environment or whether it is a more aesthetic than practical solution. Let's see below in the case of a bioethanol fireplace how it works and whether it can be convenient, taking into consideration costs, consumption and how much a bioethanol fireplace heats the environment.

Bioethanol fireplace: how it works and how much it consumes

When we examine a bioethanol fireplace, how it works is something we need to know in order to understand how the environment and the quality of bioethanol influence consumption. This is a very useful alternative for those who do not have the space or ability to install a flue, which is necessary for a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Before seeing the pros and cons of the installation, let's delve deeper into how the bioethanol fireplace works.

Functioning bioethanol fireplace

How does a bioethanol fireplace work? It is a small fireplace closed by a glass protection which has a container specially designed for the liquid fuel, bioethanol. The liquid is placed in a tank and, being alcohol-based, it tends to evaporate. The burner is usually made of steel and this type of fireplace is lit with a normal lighter.

Gradually the liquid burns, causing a flame to appear inside the fireplace which quickly heats the surrounding area. Bioethanol is not toxic and has the advantage of being produced through the use of natural elements: it is in fact denatured ethyl alcohol which is produced with a fermentation process of residues of vegetal origin, such as cereals, sugar beets and tubers.

How hot is a bioethanol fireplace?

The bioethanol fireplace heats with a medium-high capacity, the heat spreads quite rapidly especially in smaller rooms, avoiding heat loss from the chimney and generating around 3.5-4 kW/h. For example, a bioethanol fireplace heats a surface of between forty and fifty square meters in a short time, with an increase of approximately ten degrees every hour.

Bioethanol fireplace consumption

How much does a bioethanol fireplace consume from flame regulation? Generally speaking, we can say that with one liter of fuel you get an autonomy ranging from 4 to 7 hours. Bioethanol can be purchased on websites, on the sites of manufacturers, from biofireplace retailers and also in supermarkets in packs ranging from 5 to 50 litres.

Depending on how you purchase it, the price per liter can change significantly. Generally speaking, at the supermarket it costs around 3.20-3.50 per litre, for a 20-litre tank, while by ordering larger quantities on the internet you can spend around 105 euros for 25 litres, and the price can be significantly reduced in the case you purchase 50 liters for around 175 euros.

Bioethanol fireplace pros and cons

After seeing how the bioethanol fireplace works, how much it consumes and how much it can heat, let's analyze the pros and cons of this choice. Among the advantages we can list:

Cleanliness: as there is no formation of ash and soot, the fireplace and the surrounding area are always clean. Furthermore, bioethanol does not generate unpleasant odors, unless it is of very poor quality.

Aesthetics: one of the greatest strengths is the possibility of being installed in any area of the house, also fulfilling an ornamental as well as practical function. Furthermore, there are countless aesthetic solutions on the market, which allow different aesthetic solutions.

Economy: as it does not require a chimney and other building works, it does not require large investments. Maintenance and operating costs are also lower than traditional fireplaces and there are models on the market for every price range.

Homogeneous heat: the heat produced is distributed in a homogeneous and progressive manner, until it reaches a constant level.

Space requirement: positioning does not require large spaces and there are also very small models with minimal installation. Furthermore, a 5 liter tank of bioethanol takes up much less space than the equivalent amount of wood to be used with a traditional fireplace.

Sustainable fuel: bioethanol respects the environment and does not emit toxic fumes.

Given the advantages, let's review the disadvantages that a bioethanol fireplace presents compared to a traditional one:

Heating power: a bioethanol fireplace can heat much less when compared to a traditional fireplace or a stove. If the latter generates up to a maximum of 9 kW of heating power, a fireplace can reach no more than 4-5 kW.

Separate waste collection: a bioethanol fireplace is not compliant with burning other materials and requires separate waste collection. You cannot therefore throw paper or other combustible waste into the fireplace.

Air intake: the output of the bioethanol fireplace consists of steam and carbon dioxide. Although it is not particularly dangerous, it is advisable to place an air vent, a fan or a window nearby, so as to open it from time to time to change the air and restore the correct oxygen level.

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