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What is a bioethanol fire?

As a safer, cleaner and more eco-friendly heating solution, bioethanol stoves are on the rise. Looking to find out more? We're here to help.

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Hamlet Solution 5 Widescreen shown in Straw colourwayHamlet Solution Bioethanol is available in many colours , Hamlet Solution 5 Widescreen shown in Straw colourway

What is a bioethanol stove?

For those looking for a modern heating solution that looks like a traditional wood burner, without needing to meet the additional steps, costs and regulations for installation, a bioethanol stove is the answer. From where to purchase the fuel to how to use the stove, read our useful guide below.

What is bioethanol fuel?

A bioethanol stove works by burning bioethanol which is a colourless liquid alcohol. The liquid is produced from the fermentation of sugars from the waste by-product of corn and wheat crops, and so unlike other fuel types, it doesn’t emit smoke or fumes meaning it is a cleaner heating solution for both homes and the environment.

How long does a bioethanol fire burn for?

Our Hamlet Solution 5 Bioethanol stoves have a burner tray of 1 litre(max), which when completely filled, can burn for 4 to 5 hours. The flame size and burn rate can be easily adjusted to slow the time down by reducing the size of the opening of the closure plate with the closing rod supplied with the stove. The smaller the opening, the smaller the flame and so the longer the burn time.

How to light a Bioethanol stove

How does a bioethanol stove work?

A bioethanol stove is simple to use and can be unboxed, lit and enjoyed in just a few steps. Once your stove arrives, unbox it and follow the set up instructions. Our Hamlet Solution Bioethanol stoves come with two types of fixings so in the interest of child safety the stove can be fixed either to a wall or the floor depending on where you want to position your stove.

Once it is safely positioned you simply pour the bioethanol liquid into the burner tray (we include a 1 litre container as a starting point with all our bioethanol stoves), light it using a gas lighter, control the size of the flame with the closing rod supplied with your stove, close the door and then start enjoying the flickering flames. 

A close look at the bioethanol burner

Does a bioethanol fire require installation?

No, it isn't necessary. As bioethanol fires don’t emit fumes or smoke, they don’t need a flue or system to vent to the outdoors which a traditional wood burner or multi fuel stove would need to allow the by-products to escape. You therefore don’t need to pay for the materials or the cost of installation, saving you time and money.

However, if you want to create the full wood burner aesthetic, you can always purchase an optional top flue collar so that you can add a ‘dummy flue’ to the top of the bioethanol fire to create that traditional look.

Can I use a bioethanol fire in any room?

As long as you heed the advice of the manual about placing the stove on a stable, level surface that can support around 40kg of weight, but also not postiioned too close to combustible materials, you can place it in pretty much any room.

Bioethanol fires are for indoor use only, so they should not be used in the garden. It is also not recommended to use it in a room such as kitchens or bathrooms, or any room where there is much water.

For best practice, we recommend using a bioethanol fire in a ventilated room with a volume of at least 25 cubic metres or more. However, we’d ideally avoid a room with a strong draught as this will negatively impact the typical burn time of the fire.

Where can I buy bioethanol?

Bioethanol can be purchased from a variety of locations such as garden centres, hardware stores, stove stockists and online. The fuel is available in a variety of purities, usually between 95% and 100%, higher purity is generally associated with a higher price. We don't don't feel that there is a need choose one brand over another because of higher purity or otherwise.

Can I use a bioethanol stove in a smoke-controlled zone?

Yes, as bioethanol stoves don’t emit smoke or fumes they are not subject to emissions regulations surrounding wood burning stove.  You can use them if you live in smoke-controlled zone without fear of incurring a fine.

Unboxing the Hamlet Solution Bioethanol Stove

Are bioethanol fires expensive?

Our Hamlet 5 Solution Bioethanol stoves are modelled on our classic Hamlet Solution multi fuel stoves but are at a more affordable price point. In addition, you will save money overall as there is no cost for installation or materials.

Is a bioethanol fire as hot as a wood burner?

Bioethanol fires produce around 2.5kW of heat, compared to a standard wood burner of multi fuel stove which offers around a 4kW heat output and upwards. So it is fair to say that a bioethanol fire cannot compete with a 4.9kW wood burner in terms of heat output, but on the other hand, bioethanol stoves are cheaper to buy with no installation and none of the regular maintainance costs of a wood burner.

However, a bioethanol stove offers a similar amount of heat to some gas fires-  typically around 2.5kW  - and more than a standard electric fire at around 1.2kW.

We do hope this guide has been helpful! If you are planning to move ahead with installing a stove, always speak to a qualified installer who will be able to advise on the best options for you. Find your nearest Arada stove retailer here.

Looking for additional ways to spruce up your garden this summer? Find out how to create the perfect garden for socialising and discover our full collection of outdoor heating products.

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Posted by Alexandra Newell
11th June, 2024.

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