Bioethanol fireplaces are a more niche type of fireplace and only burn liquid bioethanol fuel.
However, they come with a range of advantages of other types of fireplaces such as being able to enjoy a real fire indoors with minimal venting requirements, being easy to use and creating minimal mess.
Like other types of fireplaces and stoves, there will be a cost to purchase and run a bioethanol fireplace.
The purchase cost of a bioethanol fireplace can vary between type, make and model, and while running costs can be similar, they can still vary depending on heat output and whether the fireplace requires an electrical power supply.
Bioethanol fireplaces can cost anywhere between $25 (£20) and $10,000 (£9,000) or more to purchase. Smaller, tabletop bioethanol fireplaces can cost $50 (£44) on average, while freestanding models can cost $300 (£260) on average and high-end recessed models may cost $2,000 (£1,750).
A bioethanol fireplace will typically cost $2.50 (£2.20) per hour to run, based on a one litre bottle of bioethanol fuel lasting around 3-4 hours. Automatic bioethanol fireplace models may also have associated electrical energy costs to run.
Our own bioethanol fireplace is an insert model designed for use within existing open fireplaces. We buy in the bio fuel used to run this fireplace.
We discuss in more detail below the purchase costs you can expect between the different types of bioethanol fireplaces, including manual and automatic, their running costs, and how much our own manual bioethanol fireplace costs to buy and run.
How Much A Bioethanol Fireplace Costs
There can be a wide range of purchase costs for a bioethanol fireplace, ranging from $25 (£20) for the smallest and cheapest of tabletop models, all the way up to $10,000 (£9,000) or more for larger high-end models with bespoke insert designs from premium brands.
The type of bioethanol fireplace can affect their purchase cost, and these types can include:
- Wall mounted
Expect smaller, tabletop bioethanol fireplaces to be at the lowest end of the purchase cost price range, with recessed models typically being the most expensive.
Freestanding, wall mounted and insert models fall within the middle of the overall price range.
See our main article on the types of bioethanol fireplaces for more of an explanation between each.
Better build quality, along with increased functionality can also influence the cost of a bioethanol fireplace for the greater.
Factors other than the type that can affect the price of a bioethanol fireplace can therefore include:
- Features, such as remote control
- Build quality
- The brand
- Size, and therefore flame size and heat output
Expect larger and higher quality models with an increased number of features from a reputable brand to demand a higher price tag.
You can typically be able to find a tabletop bioethanol fireplaces for around $50 (£44), with the very budget options down to around 25$ (£20) ,but can reach into the $100’s for higher quality models.
Expect insert and wall-mounted bioethanol fireplace models to start at around $100 to $200 and potentially cost up to $1000 or more.
Freestanding models can start at around $250 and also reach up to $1000 or more.
Recessed bioethanol fireplaces can start at over $1000 and potentially reach 5-figures for the very high-end models.
Bioethanol Fireplace Cost Example
Our own bioethanol fireplace is an insert model, meaning that it’s designed for use only within existing fireplaces. We therefore use our bioethanol fireplace within our living room fireplace.
As an example, this fireplace cost us £180 ($200).
It’s a manual type of fireplace, meaning that we have to manually refuel and light it, and doesn’t have any electrical components aiding in managing the flames.
It’s a middle of the range costing fireplace. We didn’t want a budget option and wouldn’t be using it enough to warrant a higher-end model. It is, however, well-built and does the job well.
How Much Does It Cost To Run A Bioethanol Fireplace?
It can typically cost on average $2.50 (£2.20) to run a bioethanol fireplace every hour. This is based on 1 litre of fuel lasting for 3 hours on average and costing on average $7.50 per litre of fuel to buy. Actual running costs can deviate from this, however, depending on factors such as the price the fuel is bought at.
Bioethanol fireplaces can only use bioethanol fuel as the fuel for the flames. Manufacturers will also typically specific the minimum and maximum alcohol percentage for the fuel, which should be adhered to.
Bioethanol fuel must therefore be bought and can typically be found in 1 litre bottles. We buy 1 litre bottles of fuel in bulk for our bioethanol fireplace.
As our fireplace has a fuel capacity of 1 litre, we know that we can fill it up to maximum fuel capacity from empty using each 1 litre bottle.
When we buy the fuel in packs of two (2 x 1litre bottles), we can get each bottle for around £6 ($7), but if we buy in bulk we can get 12 litres for around £50, making each litre of fuel cost around £4 ($5).
Buying bio fuel in even more bulk with greater savings can bring running costs right down.
The running costs for a bioethanol fireplace can therefore vary depending on a number of factors such as the cost per litre of bioethanol fuel.
However, expect that when buying a couple of bottles at a time for $7.50 for each litre of fuel, a bioethanol fireplace will cost on average $2.50 per hour to run.
This $2.50 is based on 1 litre of fuel lasting for approximately 3-4 hours.
The manual for our own fireplace states that we can expect 1 litre of fuel to last between 3 and 4 hours as shown below.
In real world testing, we find that our bioethanol fireplace lasts for 3 to 3 and a half hours for every litre of fuel.
If we close down the lid on our fireplace do reduce the flame intensity, we could get the fuel to last for longer and therefore help to reduce running costs (see our article on how to use a bioethanol fireplace for more information). Heat output would suffer as a result, however.
There will also be some downtime between using a bioethanol fireplace for refuelling for safety reasons. This would affect ongoing running costs slightly See our main article on bioethanol fireplace fuel more information.
Other factors that can affect how much a bioethanol fireplace actually costs to run can include:
- Size of fireplace. Larger models with increased flame size and intensity, and increased heat output, can consume more fuel per hour.
- Type of fireplace. Automatic models of bioethanol fireplace can require an electrical connection, and therefore have ongoing electrical energy costs associated with it.
- Fuel quality. Higher alcohol percentage bioethanol fuel can last for longer.
Are Bioethanol Fires Expensive To Run?
A bioethanol fireplace can cost upwards of $2.50 per hour to run when buying the fuel in smaller quantities and paying more per litre of fuel.
However, buying fuel in bulk and lowering the flame intensity of a bioethanol fireplace fire can bring running costs down to $1 per hour or below.
A bioethanol fireplace can therefore be quite an expensive form of fireplace to run compared to other types of fireplaces such as gas and wood.
To help reduce the cost per hour of a bioethanol fireplace:
- Purchase fuel in greater quantities to lower the cost per litre. The quality of the fuel shouldn’t be downgraded.
- Lower the flame intensity to increase the burn time. This setting can typically be found on automatic bioethanol fireplaces. On manual versions, you can typically close down the opening of the fuel box using the fireplace lid to reduce flame size.
Pros & Cons Of Bioethanol Fireplaces