Guide to Bioethanol Fireplace Running Costs

Bellow we explain how to calculate bioethanol fireplace running costs. The company selling the fireplace should be able to quote a tray capacity, the heat output and the running time eg when the fuel will run out. With that information you can calculate the bioethanol fireplace running costs.

Bioethanol Fireplace Running Costs

These fires do give off heat, as they have a live flame, however they should only be considered as a secondary heat source, adding supplemental heat to the room they are used in. Overall, bioethanol fires are decorative. They are for homes where there is no chimney or gas and you still want a living flame in the room for effect.

Bioethanol Fireplace Running Costs Explained

The calculation depends on the information that is quoted, presumably the manufacturer has done some tests and will quote figures. This is a difficult one as it depends on a number of factors.To make the example I have used an average of a p 1ltr fuel bottle at £4.

The factors that affect the running costs

  • The capacity of the burner tray.
  • The width or area of the burner slot.
  • The heat output rating of the burner tray.

I recently saw a company advertising different burners online as below.

  1. 200mm wide, 2kw output, 0.4 ltr capacity and 3 hours burn time.
  2. 340mm wide, 3kw output, 1.2 ltr capacity and 3 hours burn time.
  3. 600mm wide, 4kw output, 2 ltr capacity and 3 hours burn time.
  4. 1000mm wide, 6kw output, 3 ltr capacity and 3 hours burn time.

All of these burners were advertised with ceramic sponge wool fitted to the burner. The ceramic wool sponge reduces the capacity of the tray and helps to keep the costs down. Read the guide to using bioethanol fireplace ceramic sponge

What are the Running Costs for these Bioethanol Fires

The running costs of the bioethanol fireplaces shown above are calculated below are based on the £4/liter of fuel, you can buy bioethanol fuel cheaper in bulk and from various suppliers but for this example, £4 is just for ease of calculating.

#1 – This is a small bioethanol burner with moderate heat, in a well insulated home with central heating 2kw secondary heat is probably OK, similar to a small radiator. The costs would be : (0.4 x £4)/3 = £0.53/hour or 27p/kw

#2 – This is a medium sized bioethanol burner with more heat output than #1. The costs would be :  (1.2 x £4)/3 = £1.60/hour or 53p/kw

#3 – This is a long bioethanol ribbon flame burner with a large flame. The costs would be : £2.67 per hour or 67p/kw

#4 – This is a very long bioethanol burner with a large flame and 6kw of heat. The costs would be : £4/hour or 67p/kw

As you can see the wider, longer and more powerful the fire the faster the fuel is burned. When deciding which burner to buy consider the heat you require eg do you desire lots of heat and therefore you will need a bigger fireplace and the running costs will be greater. Or is it just decorative and therefore a smaller fire will generate some heat at lower running costs.

Some Extra Points to Consider

On a manual burner, with a sliding lid it may be possible to partially close the lid and reduce the flame and in turn reducing the heat and costs. Also, it is worth noting the running costs of a manual bioethanol burner (as shown in the examples above) will be higher than an expensive remote control bioethanol burner. This is due to the way the remote control burners are designed and the way they burn the fuel. The last time I checked remote control burners start from around £3000.

Before buying a bio-ethanol fireplace ask yourself questions and make sure you know your requirements, that way you will buy the correct type of fire.

  • Installation requirements?
  • Does the fire need to be portable?
  • What heat output do you need?
  • Safety considerations?
  • Ventilation?
  • Type of you will use?
  • Design style?

Read our technical guides to bioethanol fireplaces listed below for more help choosing a bioethanol fireplace for your home. The best advice is to read the manufacturers installation and operation instructions before you start handling the fuel or using the fire.

Styles of Bio-Ethanol Fireplace

Check out the different styles of bioethanol fireplaces below.

Bio-Ethanol Fireplace Technical Pages

Read our technical guides listed below for more help choosing an bioethanol fireplace for your home. The best advice is to read the manufacturers installation  and operation instructions before you start handling the fuel or using the fire.