16 Mar Bioethanol Fires
Real Fire Experience
When there is a chill in the air it’s a great idea is to snuggle in front of a nice warm fire. So if you want that real fire experience what are your choices?
Wood burners are still amazingly popular ,in fact more than one million UK households have them. However, people are looking for alternatives to wood burners due to environmental concerns. Beyond those is the difficulty in installing those fires, with flues and chimneys needed. These may breach planning regulations, annoy the neighbours, cost a lot or be plain ugly.
Not only that but some scientists believe traditional wood burners are more harmful than traffic pollution, that’s because wood burning produces particles tiny toxic particles that get into the lungs the blood and even the brain.
As if that wasn’t sufficient wood burners give off huge amounts of heat which isn’t very controllable, they are messy and time consuming. Finding the right fuel can be tricky, under new legislation using the wrong kind of wood is becoming illegal. Then you’ve got to transport it and store it.
Running costs can be comparable with gas at about 6p per kwh unless of course you can find free wood and dry it properly, (which is doubtful) in which case it is free.
If authenticity is really, really important and matters more than expense, and ease then a wood burner may still be the way to go – but your neighbours may not be your friends.
One alternative to burning logs is a flame effect gas fire. The flames can be turned on at the flick of a remote control meaning there’s no need to bend down to start the fire. Many gas fireplaces require chimney and a working flue as well as gas. Although there are some gas stoves that only need an air vent installed somewhere in the room.
The regulations associated with flame effect fires seem to get stricter every year. They are frowned upon as being an inefficient use of gas and gas itself is increasingly being rejected as a fuel because of its’ carbon dioxide emissions. Not only that they need to be regularly serviced. Because of the regulation you are not going to get massive flames leaping up the chimney – it is a far more subdued and subtle experience.
You do need either to be connected to mains gas or have a source of LPG, which means having a tank to store the LPG.
For some reason flame effect gas fires seem to be really expensive – think £2,000 before installation and the continual service costs. However in use they are the cheapest form of flame effect heating, pumping out maybe 5kw an hour for about 20p.
Bioethanol fires give a live flame created by burning ethanol. Ethanol is a fuel derived from the fermentation of crops and food waste. It is a renewable and a green product. The fires are suitable for a wider range of properties including rental homes, as they do not need a chimney or flue. You do still have to consider ventilation though.
They are the closest thing to a real fire and much greener and cleaner than gas They are perfect for customers who want a lovely fire without the hassle of wood burning or gas fireplaces. They avoid the expense of lining a chimney or the mess of cleaning it out
The fuel is about £2.50 a litre which will give you about 2.5 kw per hour for about £1.50. So it’s probably not a good idea as a prime heating source.
Unlike the other flame sources bioethanol burners can be very inexpensive to buy – starting at £60 and heading on upwards to several thousand pounds. You do tend to get more flames for less initial investment