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. 

The pros:

  • 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.

The Cons:

  • 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.  
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