Before you buy!
Before you buy!
Where can I use a Biofire?
Our Biofires are designed to be used as SECONDARY heating source in a house or similar residential dwelling. They are not intended for use in commercial properties or vehicles. We are aware that some people have chosen to use a biofire in a range of other ways, including on barges, in marquees or various DIY projects. Whilst we cannot prevent customers from using a biofire in such ways, we would strongly urge you to remember that a bifore contains real flames, and should be treated with great care about where it is being positioned, and who may be within the vicinity of its real flames. Unfortunately we do not offer custom designs, or installation of a biofire.
How much heat will my Imaginfires biofuel fireplace generate?
Some people think that a bioethanol fireplace is purely decorative — this is not true. A bioethanol fireplace can warm your room to a comfortable, cosy temperature — offering controllable heat from a beautiful, real flame. However, buy a bioethanol fireplace suitable for your room’s size, and you’ll be very happy with your warm, cosy space.
How does Imaginfires bioethanol fireplace compare to other heaters?
In general, a bioethanol fireplace produces around 3kWh of heat. This is roughly equivalent to an electric radiator running at medium — perfect for taking the edge off the cold in the autumn and early winter.
In deepest winter, you may need to run your central heating and your biofire — but running both will mean that you don’t need to push your gas boiler so hard, which will help reduce your gas bills.
A bioethanol fireplace is perfect if you want to heat one room, not the whole house.
We love heating the living room with bioethanol and leaving the heating off in the rest of the home. That way, you really notice the toastiness in the living room when you return from making a cup of tea in the kitchen.
Biofire is an environmentally-friendly heating option
Bioethanol fuel provides a guilt-free flame — it’s carbon neutral and doesn’t pollute the air or damage the environment.
And, of course, with the spiralling price of gas and electricity, bioethanol puts you in control of your heating bills. You can rest assured that you’re using a green energy source that doesn’t pollute or damage the environment.
Many of our bioethanol fireplaces are portable, so you can use them outside. However, be aware that your bioethanol fuel is unlikely to last as long in windy conditions.
Bioethanol fireplaces are perfect for conservatories because you don’t need a flue or chimney to run your fire safely. Just fill your fireplace with bioethanol, light the flame, and enjoy a toasty warmth without the hassle or mess of burning wood or coal.
What is the running cost of a bio ethanol fireplace?
The cost of running your bioethanol fireplace depends entirely on the amount you use it and the size of the flame you demand for your burn.
Unlike gas, there are no standing charges for bioethanol — you purchase your bioethanol fuel as and when you need it. And unlike coal and wood-burners, no additional supplies are required, such as kindling, firelighters, and chimney sweeps.
The cost of bioethanol fuel is more stable than gas, wood, and coal
We’re living through particularly volatile times in terms of fuel prices, with gas and electricity skyrocketing, affecting the prices of almost every other commodity, including the cost of wood and coal. However, the price of bioethanol fuel has remained relatively stable, meaning that bioethanol is a very competitive option.
How much does 1 litre of bioethanol fuel cost (and how long does it last)?
You can pay as much as £7 for a single litre of bioethanol fuel, which should last around 4 hours of burning on full. All of our bioethanol fireplaces have slider control, which reduces the size of the flame — in turn, reducing the heat output. So, if you reduce the output by 50%, your litre of fuel will last considerably longer.
Buying bioethanol fuel in bulk reduces the costs considerably. For example, 12 bottles of ImagiFuel currently cost £44.99, which makes it £3.75 per litre.
So, if your litre burns for 4 hours, it costs 94p an hour.
For a direct comparison, check out our article comparing the cost of burning bioethanol fuel against wood and gas — you’ll find bioethanol very competitive.
What is a ventless fireplace?
A ventless biofuel fireplace is simply a fireplace that does not require a chimney, flue or any other venting duct. If you have a biofuel fireplace and some biofuel, then you have all you need to create a beautiful looking fire. Since no flue or chimney is needed, its much easier and cheaper to install than a more traditional gas or wood fireplace.
How does a bioethanol fire work?
Bio ethanol fireplaces (also known as biofires) don't require chimneys or flues as the fuel burns without producing smoke or soot. The bioethanol fuel is poured into our double lined stainless steel fuel box (any spillages must be wiped away before lighting) and lit with a firelighter. The flame height can be adjusted by opening or closing the fuel box slightly. Once finished simply slide the shutter over the opening in the fuel box to extinguish the flame. It's that easy !
Do I need a flue or chimney with a bioethanol fireplace?
Short answers are always nice, aren’t they? Do you need a flue or chimney with a bioethanol fireplace?
Therefore, one of the most significant benefits of bioethanol fireplaces is their versatility.
You’re no longer constrained to gas or electric fires if you don’t have a chimney. And you can use a beautiful bioethanol fireplace anywhere - a house, a flat, a home office, a garage - basically, wherever you want to enjoy a cosy, warming flame.
And it won’t cost you a fortune to install your biofire.
In fact, installation is as simple as unpacking your biofire, placing it in your desired spot, and lighting it. Warm and cosy in less than an hour.
Why don’t biofires need a flue or chimney?
It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? A real flame and no flue or chimney. But it’s true.
Burning wood and coal produces smoke, soot, ash, and a LOT of mess. And wood and coal burning are heavily associated with air pollution in urban areas.
On the other hand, bioethanol fuel burns cleanly without polluting the air inside or outside of your home. And this means you don’t need a flue or chimney with a bioethanol fireplace — better for the environment and better for you.
Can I get a false flue for my bioethanol fireplace?
Yes. We sell false flues that magnetically connect to the top of your biofire. The upper end of the flue curves to a right angle, making it look like your flue connects to the outside.
Of course, there’s no need for a flue with a biofire — but if you want that traditional woodburner look, complete it with a beautiful false flue.
What happens when you burn bioethanol?
Bioethanol needs oxygen to combust, so it burns some of the oxygen in the room. This is why we recommend ensuring your room is ventilated — keep your internal door open to ensure airflow, or open a window every couple of hours if it’s feeling stuffy.
While it sounds a bit worrying that your fire uses oxygen in the room, it’s precisely the same with any fire: wood, coal, or bioethanol — they all produce flames that use up oxygen from the room.
What emissions do you get from burning bioethanol?
We all know that wood and coal produce smoke, soot, and ash. These flames also send out tiny carcinogenic particles into the air, which can be health hazards, especially if you’re prone to respiratory problems.
However, the only emissions from burning bioethanol are:
- Carbon dioxide — about the same amount as burning two candles
- Water vapour — but you won’t notice it in the room.
That’s it. Just a little carbon dioxide and water vapour.
This makes bioethanol much safer and better for the environment than fossil fuels.
And your house plants will love it — they’ll absorb the carbon dioxide produced by your biofire and thrive!
Does bio ethanol fuel produce smoke or soot ?
Bioethanol fuel burns with 98% efficiency, so when used correctly it is very clean burning and therefore does not produce any smoke, soot or nasty residues.
So what does ethanol produce when burned? Nothing more than carbon dioxide and water. You should never observe any smoke or soot coming out of your bioethanol fireplace.
Potential Reasons Bioethanol Fireplace Sets Off Smoke Alarm
In the unlikely event that your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is triggered whilst using a biofire, please in the first instance always stop using the biofire and check the following:
- 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!
- That you are using high grade bioethanol fuel specifically developed for bioethanol fireplaces. Do not use any biofuel that does not clearly state it is formulated for use in bioethanol fireplaces. Also ensure it is at least 96% alcohol as this gives the cleanest and longest usage time.
- That there are no restrictions to the ethanol fuel burning fully and cleanly. In particular, never cover the opening of the fuelbox with any accessories or other obstructions. This may change the quality of the combustion of the fuel.
- That any accessories used on or inside the bio fire have been designed specifically for use in biofires. Whilst we recommend you only use accessories available through our website, we are aware that other products are available and have caused the triggering of some smoke/fire alarms.
What are the disadvantages of bioethanol?
As with any fuel, there are a few disadvantages of ethanol use that may be helpful to note. These include:
- Efficiency: Biofuel fires tend not to get as hot as their wood-burning alternatives. They are, however, much more environmentally friendly and often much more attractive.
- Cost: Biofuel is often a little more expensive than other fuels. However, its environmental and health credentials mean that many people are willing to pay a little extra. Remember to check our store regularly to see if we have any great offers on our bottles of bioethanol!
What are the risks of using ethanol?
Our biofires are built with your safety in mind. All fireplaces come with an instruction manual which we strongly advise you to read before using your biofire. Here’s two of the most important points for safe use of a biofire.
- The main risk is trying to refuel your fuel box when it is already hot! To ensure that your fireplace remains safe at all times, you should only refuel your burner when it has returned to room temperature. (this can take up to 30 minutes depending on how long it has been used for, the specific model and other room conditions).
- NEVER try to refuel a warm or hot fuel box with bioethanol.
Also, be sure to clean up any spillages created from filling the fuel box before lighting. As a colourless liquid, it can be difficult to see if you have spilled any fuel, something that could risk the ignition of an uncontrolled flame. Even though our biofuel bottles are specially designed to minimise spills, accidents do happen, so please check for spills before lighting.
Where can I use my bioethanol fireplace?
Bioethanol fireplaces are extremely versatile, offering the beauty and cosiness of a real flame in rooms otherwise unable to accommodate a real fire.
The most significant USP of a biofire? You don’t need a flue or a chimney. So, bioethanol fireplaces are suitable for:
- Houses without chimneys
- Flats and Apartments
- Outdoor spaces, such as patios and verandas
So, if your search for an additional source of heating has so far only resulted in options of bland or uninspiring gas or electric fireplaces, you may now like to also consider bioethanol burners, (sometimes also called bioethanol fireplace, or biofires) to elevate your living space.
Why don’t I need a flue for my biofire?
Many traditional wood- and coal-burning fireplaces offer cosiness and high heat outputs, but they also create a lot of mess and pollution that affects environmental air quality.
Additionally, when burning fossil fuels, you need a fully operational chimney or flue to ensure that any toxic gases and smoke are pushed out into the air outside rather than the room inside.
However, bioethanol fuel burns cleanly, producing:
- a little water vapour (but not enough to create condensation in your room),
- carbon dioxide (around the same amount as burning two candles), and
There are no installation costs or mess involved in burning bioethanol fuel in the correct type of fireplace. And if you feel that a flue would complete the look of your wood-burner-style biofire, include a dummy flue with your order.
You’ll receive your biofire delivered to your door — from there, all you need to do is remove the packaging and light it! Simple.
Can I hang a biofire on the wall?
Yes. We offer beautiful wall-mounted biofires that attach to most interior walls, and you don’t need special skills to hang your biofire — just use the provided kit (including screws and wallplugs) and get warm and cosy within an hour or so.
Obviously, if DIY isn’t your thing, you might want someone to help — but anyone who knows how to hang a picture will have the skills to install their wall-mounted biofire.
Just like any fire, you’ll need sufficient wall space and at least 1m clearance of flammable materials, such as fabrics, curtains, and other soft furnishings.
We always recommend using your bioethanol fireplace in a ventilated room, but clear of drafts that can blow the flame out or in random directions, causing a potential fire hazard.
Where can I put a free-standing bioethanol fireplace?
Free-standing fireplaces are often portable, meaning you can use them in practically any room of the house (although we don’t recommend bioethanol fires for small bedrooms). Just ensure that you place your fireplace in an area clear of combustible items, such as curtains and soft furnishings.
Free-standing biofires usually have a glass-fronted door containing the flame inside. However, the flame occasionally licks out of the vent at the top of the unit. So, leave 1m between the top of your fireplace and anything flammable, such as a shelf or a TV.
Does a bioethanol fireplace need a hearthstone?
No — you don’t need a hearth stone for your biofire.
Remember: your bioethanol fireplace produces a real flame, so place it on a secure floor and in a place where you can’t knock it over.
Never move (or refill) your biofire while it’s lit — always leave it to cool down before you move it (or refill it).
Like all real flames, biofires use oxygen to burn — so we recommend using your biofire in a well-ventilated room. Keep an internal door open if you don’t want to open a window.
Can I use a biofire outdoors?
Many of our customers do use their bioethanol fire outdoors, but please remember to position them well away from any flammable items, especially those models that have an open front. There may be an unexpected gust of wind that could cause a fire if the flame touches anything flammable!
Also whilst there is the same amount of heat generated by ethanol fires when used outdoors as indoors, the space being heated is obviously much larger and therefore the heat level will feel less than when used indoors.
So if being considered for outdoor purposes, usage of bioethanol fireplaces outdoors should be mainly used to create a nice relaxing vibe for your space.
Advantages of Using Bioethanol Fireplaces Outdoors
Remember that another advantage of biofires is that since there is no smoke, and no chimney required, our freestanding range can be easily moved between indoors and outdoors.
Also, at the end of a pleasant summer evening, there's none of the somewhat overwhelming strong smell of smoke on clothes that some other alternatives leave you with!
What advantages do Imaginfires products have over other manufacturers?
Our biofires are carefully designed by us, and are exclusive to imaginfires. Our bioethanol fuel boxes are manufactured from a very high grade stainless steel and double lined for additional safety and longevity. The closing mechanism on the fuel box is of a thickness and quality that most other fuel boxes simply do not have. They also have a high grade ceramic fibre lining which helps extend burn time and creates a consistent flame. Many other fuel boxes use a low grade ceramic which quickly wears out and is extremely difficult to replace. Our products are tested to the BS EN16647:2015 safety standard, and we work extremely closely with a cross-European team of Bioethanol Industry specialists to regularly review and improve the standard to keep up with the latest developments in the industry. We're not aware of any other UK company that does that!
How quickly can I expect to be using a bio ethanol fireplace when it arrives?
Unlike traditional open fires and wood- or coal-burning stoves, there’s usually no installation required with a biofire burner!.
A typical fossil fuel burner creates lots of smoke, ash, and soot, so these fireplaces must be installed according to safety regulations before you light them. However, bioethanol fireplaces, like the gorgeous Hampton Grey, are designed for use straight out of the box (or with minimal installation).
So, in most cases, you’re ready to go in less than an hour.
How do I install my biofire?
Most of our biofires require no assembly; they come fully built and ready to go. Some items may require simple assembly, such as sliding a glass panel into a slot or putting the fuel box into its housing.
Either way, these tasks are elementary and suitable for most people with no DIY skills.
Simply remove the packaging, read the safety instructions, and decide where to place your biofire. Fill the fuel box with bioethanol fuel, and - hey presto - it’s ready to light and enjoy.
Our biofires simply work straight out of the box (and bioethanol is much easier to light than wood or coal!)
Which biofires require installation?
Most of our bioethanol fireplaces work straight out of the box. This includes our woodburner-style fireplaces, freestanding fires, and fire baskets. Of course, always read the safety instructions to minimise the fire risk.
Always use high-quality bioethanol fuel in your biofire. Our premium quality low-odour bioethanol burns consistently, creating a comfortable, consistent heat with no bad smells.
Our wall-mounted biofires and fireplace suites require hanging on the wall before use. All wall-mounted units come with easy-read hanging instructions and all the fittings. You’ll need a drill to make holes in the wall.
Can I hang my wall-mounted biofire myself?
If you can hang a picture on the wall, you can mount your biofire. Very basic DIY skills are required, but we’ve designed our range of biofires with simplicity first.
We consider mounting a biofire a two-person job for best results. If you doubt your DIY skills, ask a friend or family member.
Are ethanol fireplaces any good?
A real fireplace adds instant cosiness and that comfortable, welcoming "hygge" to any room. But not all homes have chimneys and many buildings, such as flats or terraces, are unsuitable for flue installations. Either way, installing a real fire into your home can cost thousands — especially if you're having your chimney lined or a flue installed.
Bioethanol has transformed how we warm our homes because it's possible to "install" a beautiful bioethanol fireplace without a chimney or flue.
Because bioethanol is a clean-burning carbon-neutral fuel — easy and quick to install and enjoy. In fact, installation is simply a case of removing the packaging and placing your biofire in your chosen spot. Always read the easy-to-follow instructions, of course, to ensure safe use.
So, from a cost and convenience perspective, yes — bioethanol fireplaces are a fantastic choice. They are also seen as increasingly convenient way of heating a room with that real-flame pleasure.
What are the pros of a bioethanol fireplace?
It's always important to do your research when making an investment that enhances your home. So, we'll help answer some of your questions — starting with the benefits of bioethanol fireplaces.
- You don't need a chimney. They say there's no smoke without fire, but in the case of bioethanol, there's no smoke with fire!
- Installation is simple — no expensive technicians to hire! And you're not confined to a chimney breast — place your bioethanol fireplace wherever you like. Just make sure you follow the guidance that comes with your fireplace. But if you do want a flue to complete the look, look no further.
- Bioethanol burns cleanly, emitting none of the nasty chemicals or carcinogens associated with wood or coal burning. Burning bioethanol produces a little water vapour and around the same amount of carbon dioxide as two candles.
- Ethanol fires do not produce ash or soot, so there's no cleaning and very little maintenance, unlike wood or coal fires. The glass remains clean, so you'll always be able to enjoy the flame.
- Ethanol fires are easy. Floorstanding models are up and running within a few minutes of receiving them. Even wall-mounted biofires can be attached to your wall in an hour, using the included fixings (you'll need a drill!).
- Bioethanol fires produce controllable heat. Bioethanol fireplaces kick out a surprising amount of heat, but we don't recommend them as a replacement for your central heating - one fire won't heat your whole house. You can easily control the flame with the fuel box slider — much more controllable than wood or coal.
- Bioethanol fires produce around 3kW of heat - roughly the same as an electric fire on a medium setting. It depends on the size of the room you're heating and where you place it, but our Trustpilot reviews confirm how surprised (and thrilled) our customers are with the amount of heat their ImaginFires bioethanol fire produces.
- ImaginFires bioethanol fireplaces are beautiful pieces of furniture. Whether lit or unlit, your stylish ImaginFires product looks great, enhancing your living space with its great looks. We put a lot of thought into our range of biofires and have focused on developing styles we would love to have in our own homes.
What are the drawbacks of bioethanol fireplaces?
Of course, there are always some cons to consider when investing in your home. So, think about the potential drawbacks of biofires.
- Biofires are not designed to replace your central heating. If you want a heat source for constant use, we wouldn't suggest using a biofire — their primary purpose is a top-up heat source. Many of our customers run their central heating low (around 18ºC) with the radiator turned off in the room with the biofire, and use their bioethanol fireplace to heat their most used room. That way, you'll have a toasty living room (for example) while the rest of the house will remain tolerably warm. Why heat the whole home if you're only using one room?
- Biofires are not suitable for very small air-tight rooms. Bioethanol burns oxygen from the air to aid combustion, so you need to maintain some ventilation while using your fire. Keeping an internal door open, for example, will usually suffice. We don't recommend biofires for bedrooms. Other heating approaches may be more suitable.
- You need to top up your biofuel. While refilling your biofire is pretty straightforward, a litre of bioethanol lasts only 3 to 4 hours. While this is fine for an evening, you will also need to refill it if you burn it during the day. Never refill over a lit flame — wait until the flame has gone out entirely and the fuel box has cooled down.
Are bio ethanol fireplaces suitable for Timber frame houses?
Just like you’ll find roaring log fires in wood cabins in the mountains, bioethanol fireplaces are safe in timber-framed houses as long as you adhere to the appropriate safety measures.
If you fit a wall-mounted bioethanol fireplace, such as our popular Henley Black, you'll need to ensure the wall can easily take the weight of the fireplace and that the correct screws and plugs for your particular construction are used. If in doubt seek help from your local diy store or reputable local builder.
Are bioethanol fires safe?
Bioethanol fires are no different from wood or coal fires - you must practice caution when burning any fuel. Most people use a fireguard in front of a wood- or coal-burning fire to prevent hot embers from leaping out of the fire and onto your carpet but there are no embers with bioethanol fireplaces.
Does bioethanol burn cleanly?
There’s literally no chance of flying embers with bioethanol fires because the fuel is just a liquid and burns cleanly, leaving no soot, ash, or smoke. So, as long as you adhere to common-sense safety measures, a bioethanol fireplace is very safe.
For most efficient burning and maximum safety, avoid placing your fireplace near draughts and away from curtains - the fireplace does get hot to the touch!