How Much Does a Bioethanol Fireplace Cost? (2023)

Highlights

  • Bioethanol fireplaces cost between $700 to $1,400 to install.

  • Of the five types of bioethanol fireplaces, tabletop and burner inserts are less costly, while recessed fireplaces cost the most.

  • Expect to pay between $175 to $325 for the installation.

  • Avoid paying for the installation by choosing a tabletop, freestanding, wall-mounted, or burner insert fireplace.

  • It costs approximately $11 to run a bioethanol fireplace for four hours.

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Does the sound of someone drilling a chimney and ventilation system into your home make you rethink your desire for the cozy ambiance of a fireplace? A bioethanol fireplace is an inexpensive alternative to traditional fireplaces that are also easy to install. A few more perks—they don’t need chimneys, and can keep your home soot-free. Here’s what to know about the cost of a bioethanol fireplace.

What Is a Bioethanol Fireplace?

Bioethanol-burning fireplaces are an eco-friendly alternative to more traditional fireplaces. These fireplaces are easy to install, require no chimney or ventilation system, and—unlike gas or wood-burning fireplaces—bioethanol-burning fireplaces use renewable fuel to keep your home warm.

Bioethanol is made from biomass that’s derived from plant materials like corn, wheat, sugar crops, and barley. This fuel, called denatured alcohol, is fermented into grain alcohol and mixed with ingredients that make it safe to be used around people.

The end product is a fuel that burns more cleanly than your conventional fireplace, though it might not make as much heat in comparison.

What Is the Average Cost of a Bioethanol Fireplace?

Bioethanol fireplaces cost around $700 to $1,400 to install on average. The lowest cost for a bioethanol fireplace is a tabletop or burner insert, which has a starting cost of $100 uninstalled. The highest cost for a bioethanol fireplace is a recessed fireplace, which costs upwards of $2,500 for the supplies alone. Labor is an added $175 to $325.

Bioethanol Fireplace Cost Compared to Other Fireplace Types

How Much Does a Bioethanol Fireplace Cost? (1)

Photo: Olha / Adobe Stock

(Video) Do bioethanol fires produce heat?

You’ll find that bioethanol fireplaces cost less to install than other fireplace options, since you don’t need a gas line installed or a ventilation system, but bioethanol fuel is costlier. Here are a few important differences between bioethanol fireplaces and other fireplace types.

Bioethanol vs. Gas Fireplaces

Remember, bioethanol fireplaces cost between $700 to $1,400 in total. Compare that to gas fireplaces, which can range from $2,300 to $10,000. The cost of ductwork, the gas line installation, chimney repair, and the materials alone make for a higher cost if you go for a gas fireplace.

However, natural gas is much less expensive than ethanol in terms of performance. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, natural gas costs around $2.33 per GGE (roughly one liquid gallon) and ethanol costs around $2.70 per gallon. On top of that, natural gas burns for longer—saving you money over time—and poses less of a fire risk than bioethanol.

Bioethanol vs. Wood Fireplaces

Wood-burning fireplaces cost approximately $1,900 to $3,800, which is more than twice the cost of a bioethanol fireplace on average. You’ll also need to pay for the wood. A cord of wood costs $300 on average and will last you around eight to 12 weeks.

Bioethanol vs. Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces cost around $100 to $6,200 on average, making them costlier than bioethanol fireplaces as a whole. At the same time, electric fireplaces are also easy to install because they, like bioethanol fireplaces, don’t need ventilation or a chimney.

The downside to electric fireplaces is that their flames are artificial, which can affect that warm and cozy vibe you want in a living area. They also won’t run during a power outage, whereas bioethanol fireplaces will.

Bioethanol vs. Gel Fireplaces

A newer type of fireplace, gel fireplaces cost between $150 to $3,000 and don’t pose a spill risk. At the same time, you’ll end up paying more in the long run for a gel fireplace because gel fuel cans cost around $5 a can and only burn for around three hours per can.

How Much Does a Bioethanol Fireplace Cost by Type?

There are five types of bioethanol fireplaces that you can choose from for your installation. Here’s a look at the costs for the material only:

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MaterialCost
Tabletop bioethanol fireplace$50–$500
Wall-mounted bioethanol fireplace$100–$2,000
Bioethanol fireplace burner insert$200–$500
Freestanding bioethanol fireplace$400–$1,200
Recessed bioethanol fireplace$900–$2,500

Table-Top Bioethanol Fireplace

A table-top bioethanol fireplace costs around $50 to $500 and sits on—you guessed it—a table. This fireplace type is perfect for both indoor and outdoor settings, although you might want to choose another option if you have pets or young children, since table-top fireplaces emit heat and can be bumped into by excited pets or touched by curious hands.

Another thing to keep in mind is table-top bioethanol fireplaces tend to be small (some are even portable), so if you’re hoping to keep a large space warm, you’ll want a larger fireplace.

Wall-Mounted Bioethanol Fireplace

Wall-mounted bioethanol fireplaces cost between $100 to $1,200. This option is ideal for small spaces that don’t already have a fireplace, as they take up less room and don’t require a recessed area or tabletop for mounting.

Bioethanol Fireplace Burner Insert

A bioethanol burner insert installation costs around $200 to $500 and fits into an existing fireplace. This option requires a fireplace for installation and is usually easy to install with a fireplace insert kit, which fits inside your old fireplace.

Freestanding Bioethanol Fireplace

Freestanding bioethanol fireplaces cost between $400 to $1,800. If your home has the space, a freestanding bioethanol fireplace has the presence to be a wonderful focal point for your living room.

Recessed Bioethanol Fireplace

Recessed bioethanol fireplaces cost between $900 to $2,500. Size, design, and upgrades play major roles in the drastic price range. For example, a stainless-steel fireplace with tempered glass, remote-controlled adjustment features, and in-depth dimensions will fall at the higher end of the price point.

Bioethanol Fireplace Installation Cost

The labor cost to install a bioethanol fireplace can range from $175 to $325. However, you can skip the installation fees by opting for a tabletop, wall-mounted, or freestanding bioethanol fireplace. If you plan on installing a recessed model, you may want to hire a fireplace installer near you to do the job.

Bioethanol Fuel Cost

A liter of bioethanol costs $11 and burns for around four hours, making it cost around $2.75 per hour to keep your bioethanol fireplace running. For comparison, natural gas costs around $0.50 per hour, and propane costs around $1.60 per hour.

Bioethanol Fireplace Cost Factors

Budgeting for a new fireplace starts at breaking down all the parts that could influence the cost of your project. Here are a few factors that do exactly that:

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  • Fireplace dimensions: A fireplace with more depth and a longer length will cost more than a shallow fireplace.

  • Burner size: The burner size determines how much bioethanol can be added to your fireplace at a time, so more storage means a longer burn time.

  • Fireplace type: Table-top fireplaces cost significantly less than recessed fireplaces, so choose the fireplace type that best fits your budget.

  • Materials: Stainless steel fireplaces will cost hundreds more than other types of fireplace encasings.

  • Add-ons: An automatic or smart fireplace can operate with the touch of a smartphone. These fireplaces will cost more than a standard bioethanol fireplace, ranging from $500 to over $10,000.

  • Custom fireplace: A custom fireplace will have a higher starting price of $2,000 and can cost over $6,000 depending on the specifics.

  • Installation: If your fireplace requires a professional installer, add on $175 to $325 for the installation.

FAQs About Bioethanol Fireplaces

How much does it cost to run a bioethanol fireplace?

How much it costs you to run your bioethanol fireplace largely depends on how often you use it. Hypothetically speaking, if you run your fireplace for four hours a week year-round, you’ll go through one liter of biofuel per week. One liter of bioethanol fuel costs around $11, so multiply that by 52 weeks and you’ll spend about $570 per year to run the fireplace.

Can I DIY a bioethanol fireplace or do I need to hire a pro?

Most bioethanol fireplaces can be DIYed without the help of a local fireplace company. This is because you don’t need electricity, gas, vents, or a chimney. For a recessed unit, you may need a pro to install your fireplace, as these require experience with recessed walls.

(Video) Does a Bioethanol Fire produce Heat?

How do I get my bioethanol fireplace to run the longest?

A sneaky but important element to how long your new fireplace runs is choosing the right burner size. Avoid choosing a bioethanol fireplace with a small burner (less than two gallons) and opt for one that holds between two to four gallons for a longer burn time or else you’ll be stuck frequently refilling your fireplace.

Are bioethanol fireplaces safe?

Bioethanol fireplaces are safe when users follow the instructions and maintain the fireplace. Ethanol is flammable, however, and should be kept away from flammable surfaces, children, and pets.

FAQs

Is a bioethanol fire expensive to run? ›

Are bioethanol fires expensive to run? The short answer is no; bioethanol fires are not expensive to run compared to the cost of running wood or gas fires. However, the cost of running a bioethanol fire can vary depending on the cost of the fuel you use and how far open the box slider is during use (if applicable).

Is bioethanol cheaper than electricity? ›

On the other hand, it's true that running costs for bio ethanol fires are higher than electricity, and you can't turn off the heat, so you'll only really want to light biofuel during the cooler months. Swings and roundabouts.

How long does a Litre of bio ethanol burn for? ›

Typically, 1 litre of bioethanol fuel burns for around 3.5 to 4 hours (with the shutter fully open). Closing the fuel box lid halfway increases the burn duration, but reduces the heat output and the flame size.

Is bioethanol fire cheaper than central heating? ›

In comparison to the running costs of gas and wood burning fires, bio fuel fires are not expensive to run, and when compared with the operating costs of other fireplace types, bio fuel fires came out cheapest. However, the average running cost of any bioethanol fire can vary due to the 3 main factors of consumption.

What are the disadvantages of bioethanol? ›

The disadvantages of ethanol and other biofuels include the use of farmland for industrial corn and soy growth, rather than for food crops. Also, biofuels aren't meant for all vehicles, especially older vehicles. There is some resistance from the automotive industry when it comes to adding biofuels to the market.

Will a bioethanol fire heat a room? ›

Do bioethanol fires give off heat? Yes. The real flame provides a cosy atmosphere, but it also produces a comfortable toastiness for your room.

What are the pros and cons of bioethanol? ›

Pros and Cons Of Bioethanol Fires in the Home
  • No Smoke, Fumes, Or Fuss. Bioethanol only creates water vapor and a tiny bit of CO2 when it's burned, which means there isn't any soot, smell, or smoke. ...
  • No Mess. ...
  • Easy Installation. ...
  • Simple To Use. ...
  • Safety First. ...
  • Flammability. ...
  • Primary Heat Source. ...
  • Endurance.

Do you need a chimney for a bio ethanol fire? ›

No. Bioethanol fireplaces don't give off fumes or smoke, so you don't need a flue or a chimney. However, you can install a false flue to contribute to the traditional aesthetic of your fireplace.

Do bioethanol fires need ventilation? ›

Bioethanol fuels burn cleanly, leaving no residue, ash, smoke, or any of the mess associated with wood or coal-burning fires. As such, there's no need for fireplace venting. Bioethanol uses oxygen in the room to combust, emitting a small amount of carbon dioxide and some water vapour.

Do bioethanol fires smell? ›

Many people claim that biofuel is odourless, but many years of experience and customer feedback tells us that there is actually a mild but not unpleasant odour when burning the fuel.

Does bio ethanol fuel give off carbon monoxide? ›

Bioethanol doesn't create carbon monoxide, a dangerous, poisonous, odourless gas. However, if you're worried, install a carbon monoxide alarm in the same room as your bioethanol fireplace to set your mind at rest.

What is the cheapest fire to run? ›

Gas is typically cheaper than electricity. As we have already mentioned, gas fires also use less energy than an electric fire, too. So, they tend to be more economical to run.

How long do ethanol fireplaces last? ›

How long does it burn? In general, 1 liter of bioethanol fuel would last at least 4 hours on the maximum setting and up to 8 hours on minimum setting. Shutting the fireplace off early will preserve the rest of the fuel until you wish to light the fireplace again.

How warm is a bioethanol fireplace? ›

If you place a wood burner thermometer on a bioethanol fireplace, you'll find that it hits the temperature considered Best Operation for a wood burner (between 130ºC and 280ºC). At full burn, it reaches around 180ºC, which is plenty to warm a small-to-medium-sized room.

Do bioethanol fires look real? ›

Bioethanol fires provide the look of 'real' flames, have a lower (and adjustable) heat output and don't need a chimney.

How safe are bio ethanol fireplaces? ›

In conclusion, bioethanol fuel is a safe fuel to use, especially when compared to standard gas burning fireplaces and woodburning fireplaces. It emits no smoke or particles, just trace amounts of carbon dioxide that are no threat to you or your family.

Why is bioethanol bad for the environment? ›

Higher-ethanol blends still produce significant levels of air pollution, reduce fuel efficiency, jack up corn and other food prices, and have been treated with skepticism by some car manufacturers for the damage they do to engines.

What are the major hazards of ethanol? ›

► Exposure to Ethyl Alcohol can cause headache, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, and unconsciousness. It can also affect concentration and vision.

How do you extinguish a bioethanol fire? ›

Use a CO2, halon, or dry chemical extinguisher that is marked B, C, BC, or ABC. An alcohol-type or alcohol-resistant (ARF) foam may be used to effectively combat fuel ethanol fires.

What are the disadvantages of bio energy? ›

The main disadvantages of biomass energy are that it is expensive, requires a lot of space, it still releases greenhouse gases, it can have a negative impact on the surrounding environment, and it is inefficient in terms of how much energy it takes to create electricity.

Why is my bioethanol fire smoking? ›

Potential Reasons Bioethanol Fireplace Sets Off Smoke Alarm

That no stray household debris has accidentally fallen into the fuel box and is thus being burned and emitting smoke. Please wait for the biofire to return to room temperature before checking!

What is the difference between 1st generation bioethanol and 2nd generation bioethanol? ›

First-generation biofuels are produced from crops directly from the fields, such as cereals, maize, sugar beet and cane, and rapeseed. In Europe rapeseed oil is primarily used for biodiesel. Second-generation biofuels are produced from residual and waste products from, for example, industry and households.

Can you put a TV above a bioethanol fireplace? ›

Bioethanol is smoke-free

Bioethanol fuel doesn't create smoke, ash, or soot when burnt. This means a bioethanol fireplace under a TV poses no smoke risk to your equipment.

Can you toast marshmallows on a bio ethanol fire? ›

Can you cook over the flame created by bioethanol for example roasting marshmallows. Answer: Yes, you could roast marshmallows with it. It gives off a good flame.

Is an ethanol fireplace worth it? ›

Ethanol fireplaces do, in fact, provide heat. However, the energy source doesn't produce as much as a woodburning or gas fireplace. So, if you're looking for a major difference in warmth, an ethanol fireplace is probably not worth it.

Do bioethanol fires crackle? ›

Ethanol flames are widely known for being playful and lively. They are truly stunning and even have a unique 'crackle' sound when they burn. They create that traditional fireplace feel without all the drawbacks of burning wood.

Do ethanol fireplaces put out heat? ›

Ethanol fireplaces are very aesthetically pleasing, but they are also great at producing heat. There are many different models of burners which will have a larger or smaller flame, which will impact the heat output.

How do you refuel a bioethanol fireplace? ›

The filling of a manual burner is done by filling bioethanol directly into the burner. The fluid can often be directly injected into the fire opening or through a small limb next to it. We recommend to always use a funnel or pump to avoid spilling the bio ethanol fuel.

Is ethanol fireplace toxic? ›

Because ethanol fireplace fuel burns cleanly, there is no need for a chimney or vent. This makes ethanol fireplaces safer, as there are no toxic emissions or apparatus where carcinogens can build up over time causing an unhealthy condition or house fire.

Can bio ethanol explode? ›

While Bio Ethanol is not explosive, it is still highly flammable. Therefore filling and lighting the fireplace is where you want to be extra observant.

Which of the following is a disadvantage of using bio fuel? ›

Biofuel is less suitable for use in low temperatures. It is more likely to attract moisture than fossil diesel, which creates problems in cold weather. It also increases microbial growth in the engine that clogs the engine filters.

Should I avoid ethanol gas? ›

In automobiles, ethanol fuel won't do much harm to your car's engine. However, when you're using gas with ethanol mixture in your outdoor power equipment, like lawn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers and leaf blowers, you run the risk of engine damage and incurring costly repairs.

How can I heat my house cheaply? ›

The Top 10 Tips for Heating your Home in the cheapest way in 2022
  1. Position your furniture for minimum heat interference. ...
  2. Consider adding insulation. ...
  3. Invest in a terracotta heater. ...
  4. Consider your actions. ...
  5. Add a shelf to the space just above your radiator. ...
  6. Stop your chimney from causing draughts. ...
  7. Check your radiators.
21 Feb 2022

What is the cheapest way to heat a room? ›

Once you have made sure that heat loss from a room is kept to a minimum, gas central heating is generally your cheapest option. If that's not possible, then consider using an oil-filled heater for larger rooms or an electric heater for small areas if you're willing to use it in short bursts.

What size bioethanol fire do I need? ›

A bioethanol fire which burns 0.5 litre bioethanol in one hour uses 800 g oxygen. Therefore it is recommended that you in a room of approx 80 m 3 are using a bio fireplace with a consumption of 0.5 litre bioethanol or less pr.

Can you see ethanol fire in the dark? ›

Ethanol fires are nearly invisible and burn incredibly hot.

Is bioethanol more expensive than petrol? ›

A major disadvantage of fuel ethanol is its production cost, which is around 70 cents a litre compared with around 35 cents per litreat current world crude oil pricesfor unleaded petrol.

What type of fire is cheapest to run? ›

Gas is typically cheaper than electricity. As we have already mentioned, gas fires also use less energy than an electric fire, too. So, they tend to be more economical to run.

Are ethanol fireplaces economical? ›

A bio ethanol fireplace offers mess-free & simple heating that is cost-efficient and also environmentally-friendly.

Is bioethanol more energy efficient than petrol? ›

Lower-octane gasoline is blended with 10% ethanol to attain the standard 87 octane. Ethanol contains less energy per gallon than gasoline, to varying degrees, depending on the volume percentage of ethanol in the blend. Denatured ethanol (98% ethanol) contains about 30% less energy than gasoline per gallon.

Why are people against bioethanol? ›

Biogas is not sustainable

Burning manure-produced gas emits the same air contaminants as the combustion of fossil fuels. To make matters worse, the factory farms that produce the biomethane can emit harmful pollutants into the air and discharge nitrates into groundwater.

Do you need a flue for a bioethanol fires? ›

No. Bioethanol fireplaces don't give off fumes or smoke, so you don't need a flue or a chimney. However, you can install a false flue to contribute to the traditional aesthetic of your fireplace.

How warm are bioethanol fires? ›

However, what we can say is that an Imagin Bioethanol fireplace will heat an average sized living room by around 3 to 5 degrees. This is approximately the same as having an electric heater on a medium setting.

Which is cheaper fireplace for heating? ›

Comparatively, gas fireplaces are more efficient in heating overall than log sets. Log sets and gas fireplaces rely on natural gas or propane as a fuel source, and the difficulty in pinning down their operating cost can be blamed on the fluctuating prices of these two different fuel types.

What form of heating is cheapest? ›

Gas boiler

It's not as cost-effective without solar panels, but a gas boiler is still the cheapest way to heat your home – though that's set to change soon, with the cost of gas rising more than twice as quickly as electricity.

Do bioethanol fireplaces smell? ›

It depends on the type of bioethanol fuel you choose. High-quality bioethanol doesn't have a strong ethanol smell during combustion at all. However, some cheap products may emit a mild paint-like odour.

What is better electric or ethanol fireplace? ›

Unlike an electric fireplace, an ethanol fireplace produces real flames and also gives off heat. This is the main advantage an ethanol fireplace has over an electric fireplace as many homes do not appreciate the fake flames produced by the electric fireplace. Both fireplaces do not require any form of maintenance.

Why are biofuels not very popular? ›

"The feedstock inputs you need for biodiesel are more expensive than petroleum is," Jones Prather said. "On top of that, the processes for producing the fuel aren't yet efficient enough so that you can produce it very cheaply."

Which is a negative impact of the use of ethanol for energy? ›

Ethanol and ethanol-gasoline mixtures burn cleaner and have higher octane levels than gasoline that does not contain ethanol, but they also have higher evaporative emissions from fuel tanks and dispensing equipment. These evaporative emissions contribute to the formation of harmful, ground-level ozone and smog.

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