1. Home /
  2. Frequently Asked Questions | Bioethanol Fires

Frequently Asked Questions | Bioethanol Fires


Do bioethanol fires actually produce any heat?
The amount of heat produced by a bioethanol fire is dependent on the amount of fuel being burned. Contact us to discuss each models capability and your heating requirements. Many people want a bioethanol fire simply to have a focal point in the room. Although long burners are popular, they will produce more heat, use more bioethanol and, consequently, cost more to run.
What is the fuel used in these fires?
Bioethanol/ecoethanol is an alcohol produced by fermenting sugarbeet and other plant vegetation. The alcohol is rendered undrinkable by denaturing it. Bioethanol is regarded as a sustainable and renewable fuel. There are different qualities of bioethanol fuel and, if you use a poor quality fuel, it will produce more smell and may put you off using your fire. We're not just saying this to get you to buy our Fanola Premium bioethanol fuel but as feedback that we have had from customers.
How much bioethanol does the fire use?
Each model will use a different amount of bioethanol so it's impossible to give a general answer. Most of our fires have an adjustable flame so bioethanol consumption and heat output can be adjusted. Contact us for running costs of specific models.
How efficient are the fires?
Because the fires aren't connected to the outside by a flue or chimney, all the heat produced is retained in the room giving an efficiency rating of at least 95%. A gas, coal or wood fire will lose a high percentage of the heat generated through the chimney or flue. Although this is a question that people regularly ask us, the type of room they want to use the fire in is often more relevant. Because the fires heat by convection rather than radiation, if a room has a high ceiling, the fire will tend to heat that space first before it heats the lower space.
What does it cost to run a fire?
Each model uses a different amount of bioethanol so contact us for details. However, as a guide, our standard 2.5 litre Direct Cheminee burners have a burn rate of .36 litres an hour. At around £40 for 20 litres, the fires cost about 72 pence an hour to run. This equates to about 24 pence per KW hour. At the moment, bioethanol fires aren't a cost effective way to heat a whole house but are great for providing additional heat, creating a focal point, adding a real fire in a room without a chimney or flue or creating a fire in a non traditional area of a room (e.g. the centre of a room). You also don't have all the maintenance and installation costs associated with wood, gas and coal and won't waste any time emptying or cleaning the fire.
Why choose a bioethanol fire?
The main advantages of our fires are their versatility. For many models, there are no installation costs as you don't need to fit a flue, pipe in gas or open a chimney. They aren't restricted to being sited on an outside wall or being placed on a chimney breast. The free standing fires can be sited anywhere in the room, apart from the obvious safety restrictions of being kept out of draughts, away from curtains and from busy areas where people tend to walk, etc. The combustion block fires sit in an existing hearth and can replace a tradititional fire without the need to be constantly attending the fire, cleaning the grate and keeping wood and coal stocks. Our comprehensive range of models means we can provide a fire for almost any setting.
Does the fire produce a real flame?
Yes! The fires produce real flames that dance and move. That might sound a bit poetic but the flame really is beautiful. It's actually a more gentle and relaxing flame than from other fires and completely different in nature than the forced flame from a gas fire. There's no smoke and mirrors as seen in some of the electric fires and our fires will always beat a fake electric fire hands down when it comes to visual appeal. We regularly get customers coming into the showroom who are quite sceptical about the concept of a bioethanol fire but, having seen the flames, nobody ever leaves disappointed.
How safe are the fires?
We only sell fires from the worlds most reputable manufacturers and all our fires are built to the highest safety standards and have been independently tested. We won't compromise on our customers safety or risk our reputation for the sake of a few extra sales. As with any naked flame, sensible safety precautions need to be taken when siting the fire and when children or pets are present. We will also advise you on room size requirements for the different models.
What problems can there be with bioethanol fires?
We only sell fires which have been fully independently tested and we wouldn't want to be responsible for selling anything which may be unsafe. We have seen fires from other suppliers that are poorly manufactured from cheap and light weight materials. The burner needs to be robust enough to handle the heat generated by the ethanol; the fire needs to be adequately insulated so it doesn't over heat the receiving wall on to which it is hung or the floor on which it is standing; a floor standing model also needs to be heavy enough, with its weight distributed correctly, so that it isn't easily knocked over. Most of our fires have specific filling routines to simplify this part of the process. You can find some really cheap fires on the internet but please be aware you may be compromising the safety of your family and your home.
Are the fireplaces guaranteed?
Yes, all our fires carry a 2 year manufacturers guarantee.
How do i light the fire?
For the standard burners, we provide a long lighter with each fire. You simply open the aperture with the tool and light it. If the room and, therefore, the bioethanol, is particularly cold, it may take a couple of attempts to light. This is because it's the vapours that burn rather than the liquid so there must be enough warmth in the fuel for some evaporation to take place. To extinguish the flames, simply close the burner and the flames will go out. Obviously, for the automatically controlled models, there are different ignition routines.
Will there be full instructions with the fire?
Each fire is supplied with a booklet showing you how to use your fire. For the bigger fires, we can send over PDF files before delivery of the installation and user manuals. Part of the beauty of the fires is their simplicity of use. If you have any other questions once you have received your fire, we will be more than happy to answer them by phone or email. As this technology is still relatively new, we are happy to help you get the most out of your fire.
How do you fill the fire?
The filling routine for a bioethanol fire is probably the most important aspect of the fire's safety. The Planika automatic fires all have automated filling systems with hose connections. Always ensure the fire is off and cool before filling. We highly recommend that you fill the fire before use rather than let it burn what was left over from last time and then refill it after a couple of hours. Always fill the fire through the dedicated filling hole and never through the flame trough. If you spill bioethanol while filling, always ensure that you dry the spillage and we recommend that you don't light it immediately. Never try to fill the fire while it is burning or where there is any other naked flame. We recommend that you treat bioethanol fuel with the same respect that you would give to petrol. We also recommend that you don't try to fill or light the fire while drunk!!!
How are the fires installed?
Although many of our fires need little or no installation, some do require different levels of installation. The Push Button and FireLine range of automatic fires by Planika all require electrical connections and some of the manual burners and combustion blocks can require some construction work. We are happy to work with your builders and advise them of the best way to do this. We can also, if required, arrange installation in certain areas of the UK.
If you have any more questions, please email us at info@bioethanolfires.co.uk or call us on 0161 929 1870.


Enter your email below to join our mailing list and receive all the latest information from bioethanolfires.co.uk