Woodburner to Bioethanol: Redesign and Convert Your Fireplace
5 mins to read

Woodburner to Bioethanol: Redesign and Convert Your Fireplace

# Biofires

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Looking to redesign your fireplace? 

Fed up with the smoke and soot you get from burning logs? 

Want a more eco-friendly solution to keep your living room warm?

Converting your log burner into a bio-ethanol fireplace is the solution! And the good news is that it's easy and cost-effective to do. No need to call on a professional to sort it out for you.

Here's how to convert your open fire into an ethanol fireplace in six easy steps.

Still not sure if a bioethanol fireplace is the right choice for your home? Here's our article examining the pros and cons of a biofire vs a woodburner.

Step one: Block your chimney

Black chimneys sticking out of brown roofs

Bioethanol fuel is clean-burning, so you don't need a chimney to carry away soot, smoke, and other harmful emissions. We recommend blocking your chimney to ensure the heat from your bioethanol fireplace stays in the room and doesn't escape up the chimney.

You can block a chimney permanently or temporarily. If you're confident that you won't use your chimney again, a professional will be able to do this for you by installing a made-to-measure damper. 

There are also temporary solutions like inflatable chimney balloons, draught guards, or fitting a piece of plywood. The benefit of these options is that you can remove them if you want to go back to a log-burning fire or sell your home.

Important note: While you don't need a chimney for a biofire, it's still important to have good ventilation. A lot of houses have built in ventilation via fresh-air ducts in patio doors and window, or from internal doors allowing air to be moved from to room, but if your room  is ‘sealed’ completely and there’s no natural route for fresh air, then just slightly open a window in between re-fueling the biofire.  (each 1 litre of bio fuel will give approximately 4 hours of use).

Step two: Remove the front glass (optional)

Two kids watching fireplace with front glass

If your log-burning fireplace has a front glass panel, we recommend removing it so you can make the most of the heat that will come off your brand-new bioethanol fireplace. This will also ensure your bioethanol fireplace gets the oxygen it needs to burn at optimal capacity.

If you have children or pets or are concerned about safety, many bioethanol fireplaces come with their own safety glass guards. It's also important to remember that biofires don't produce dangerous embers like log-burning fires do. It is still a real flame of course, so please treat it as you would any live flame.

For example, keep children and pets away from the flames and be careful that there are no draughts that may blow the flame in an unpredictable way.  

Step three: Clean your fireplace

Dusty vacuum cleaner in an empty room

If you regularly burn logs, it's likely that your fireplace will be dirty, plus blocking the chimney may have dislodged a lot of soot. It's time to give it a good clean!

When your fireplace is cool, start by removing any leftover logs, then use a brush to sweep away any ash and debris. You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any leftover remains.

Next, get a bucket of soapy water and a cloth to wipe down the inside of the fireplace. If there are any particularly stubborn stains, mix three tablespoons of washing-up liquid with 260g of baking soda to form a paste. Apply to dirty areas, leave for five minutes, then scrub off.  Ensure the fireplace is then dried fully.  

Make sure you're wearing an apron or old clothes, as this step can get messy!

Step four: Measure your fireplace

The next step is to measure your fireplace so you know how big your ethanol fireplace conversion kit needs to be to fill the space.

It might be that you need to remove the grate and ashpan to make space for your new biofire.

Step five: Buy a bioethanol fireplace insert

Black bioethanol fireplace insert in a converted fireplace

Now it's time for the fun part! You need to choose your bioethanol fireplace insert. A fireplace insert is designed to be inserted into an existing fireplace space. 

We offer a wide range of bioethanol fireplace inserts in a variety of designs, colours, and styles. Whether you want something traditional and rustic, or sleek and modern, you'll find the perfect insert for your needs and unique style.

You're not restricted to a fireplace insert if you prefer something more grandiose. Some of our larger biofires also look stunning in bigger spaces.

You can also buy ceramic pebbles and logs to enhance the look and feel of your brand-new fireplace. The pebbles are perfect for adding a touch of zen to any room!

Not sure which bioethanol fireplace is right for your home? Our friendly team is always more than happy to make some recommendations.

Step six: Install your bioethanol fireplace

The final step to convert your open fire into an ethanol fireplace? Installation. And the good news is that you can be up and running in as little as five minutes.

Just take your bioethanol fireplace out of the packaging, gently slide it into your existing fireplace space, and you're done!

As a bioethanol fireplace doesn't need a chimney, flue, or to be plugged into the mains or a gas mainline, you can even move it around your home. For example, if you're in the garden, you can take it outside to create light and heat on a cool summer evening!

Top tips for an efficient ethanol fireplace conversion

Black and white dog lying in front of a black bioethanol fireplace

As you can see, converting an open fire into an ethanol fireplace is easier than you think!

Here are some additional hints to optimise the process and make sure your new bioethanol fireplace is safe and fully functional:

  • If you're using ceramic logs and pebbles, it's important to keep the opening of your fuel box clear – place them around the fuel box rather than over it
  • A bioethanol fire doesn't need a hearth as no heat is generated at the bottom of the fireplace, but you may choose to have one to create a rustic and cosy atmosphere
  • Want to enhance the experience even more? A scented bioethanol fuel fills your room with a gentle aroma – choose from sweet vanilla or fresh forest (and there’s  even a limited edition Christmas scent in Winter). If you’d rather have a biofuel with a lower odour, then our Low Odour Bioethanol Fuel is extremely popular). 
  • While installing an ethanol fireplace is easy to do, if you are in doubt or have any issues about your ethanol fireplace conversion, we recommend contacting a professional 

Positive review for an Imaginfires product recently purchased

And there you have it, converting a traditional wood-burning fireplace into an ethanol fireplace in six simple steps! 

We hope you enjoy your brand-new converted bioethanol fireplace and that it brings you many days and nights of cosy warmth.