An ethanol fireplace as a heating solution is gaining popularity as it is safe, environmentally friendly, non-polluting and odorless. It is considered as a contemporary, less cumbersome and aesthetically more appealing alternative to old heating fireplace. Despite the energy cost associated with the technology, they are preferred as they fuel is readily available and it emits pleasant, moderate warmth and leaves no trace of ash. It is also easy to operate.
Ethanol – The Fuel
The fireplace uses ethanol as fuel which is also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol. It is a highly flammable and mildly toxic compound in nature. When used as a home heating fuel it is treated to eliminate the toxicity and improves its properties to make it safe, eco friendly, and odorless.
Cost Effectiveness of Ethanol Fireplaces
The significant factor associated with an ethanol fireplace is the running cost. When considering this type of heating system, keep in mind that ethanol is the main source of heat. The quantity used determines the amount of heat output and should also be factored along with the size of the fireplace.
Other indirect costs involved with ethanol fireplaces include storage and handling of flammable liquids. As a result of operating the heating system, the house or room requires efficient ventilation to allow effective supply of fresh air.
This mainly depends on the type or brand of ethanol used in the fireplace. There are high-end products that are expensive and others that are affordable. Consider the size of the burner as well as this also has an effect on the amount of ethanol to use at each point. Large sized burners are valuable as they produce sufficient heat for a room, however they cost more per hour to operate.
When compared to other heating alternatives such as gas, the same sized ethanol fireplace may cost approximately 20 times more.
Benefits of Ethanol Fireplaces
The main feature of the heating system is tied to its environmental benefits. Ethanol burns quietly and does not emit dirty smoke, ash or debris. It is easy to maintain and operate which saves time and it is less cumbersome compared to other heating alternatives.
Environmental Friendly Ethanol Fuel
Ethanol emits small quantities of carbon dioxide into the air as its primary waste alongside water. It is considered an eco-friendly fuel as it is a source of renewable energy which is available from common products such as corn, sugar cane and potatoes. It takes a shorter time and cost to grow these crops compared to growing wood logs. Use of these crops does not interfere with forest cover which also preserves the level of oxygen in the air.
There are some risks associated with ethanol fireplaces. As they are commonly ventless, this means that carbon dioxide produced from combustion is released into the room. Another concern is that ethanol might not burn completely in poorly ventilated rooms. As a result, a high amount of carbon dioxide might be released into the house which can be dangerous to the occupants.