Bioethanol Fireplace

Do Bioethanol Fireplaces Need Ventilation (Fresh Air)?

In Bioethanol Fireplaces by James O'KellyLeave a Comment

Bioethanol fireplaces are one of the cleaner burning types of fireplaces and don’t need to be used alongside a chimney or flue to vent waste by-products from a fire.

However, as bioethanol fireplaces still use a real to generate the flames and heat, oxygen from the room is required to allow for combustion of the fuel.

Using a bioethanol fireplace could lower the oxygen levels in a room over time and so do bioethanol fireplaces have a requirement for ventilation/fresh air supply?

Bioethanol fireplaces do not have a requirement for a direct fresh air supply vent from outside a building, nor typically a requirement for a permanently open external air vent within the room. However, there may be a requirement set by a fireplace manufacturer for minimum room size.

We have a manual bioethanol fireplace insert that we use inside our open fireplace.

Bioethanol Fireplace
The are no specific direct fresh air venting requirements to use our bioethanol fireplace but we’re required to use it in a certain size room and recommended to keep the room well ventilated

While the use of the chimney isn’t a requirement, placement of an insert type of bioethanol fireplace inside an open fireplace can be required for other safety reasons.

Furthermore, we have no requirement for directly supplying air to this bioethanol fireplace, but our fireplace manufacturer does require a minimum size/volume of room for it to be used within.

There are also other ventilation recommendations for fresh air supply when the fireplace is in use.

We discuss in more detail below the typical fresh air ventilation requirements for bioethanol fireplaces and what guidelines and recommendations are provided for our own fireplace as an example.

This article covers the fresh air supply requirements for bioethanol fireplaces.

See our other article on whether a bioethanol fireplace needs a chimney or flue, which covers venting waste by-products from a bioethanol fireplace from a home.

Do Bioethanol Fireplaces Need Ventilation?

Bioethanol fireplaces don’t need any form of direct ventilation for fresh air supply.

Unlike other types of fireplaces such as direct vent gas fireplaces or pellet stoves, bioethanol fireplaces won’t need a vent pipe from the outside that delivers a fresh supply of air directly to the fireplace.

Bioethanol fireplaces also don’t typically require any form of permanently open external air vent, that may be required under regulations for the installation of other types of fireplaces such as large heat output wood burning stoves.

However, as bioethanol fireplaces use a real fire to produce the flames and heat, oxygen is still required by the fire as part of the combustion process of the bioethanol fuel.

Our fireplace owner’s manual explains:

Bioethanol combustion uses oxygen from the air inside the room and releases carbon dioxide (non-toxic) and water vapors.’

Imagin Fires

Sufficient oxygen supply therefore needs to be considered when using a bioethanol fireplace indoors.

Bioethanol Fireplace
Bioethanol fireplaces use a real fire and so oxygen from the room will be consumed

A fireplace manufacturer may provide requirements, guidance and recommendations on the placement and usage of a bioethanol fireplace.

For example, our fireplace owner’s manual provides:

  • A requirement on the minimum volume of room in which our fireplace can be used.
  • A recommendation to keep the room well ventilated with enough fresh air and oxygen being supplied.

Regarding the placement of our bioethanol fireplace in our home, our manufacturer requires us to ‘only use in adequately with a minimum volume of 40 cubic meters’.

We therefore use our fireplace in a room of at least 40 cubic meters. The requirements may be different for your model of bioethanol fireplace and so always check the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Bioethanol Fireplace
Our room size is greater than what our bioethanol fireplace manufacturer requires to ensure safety

In regard to providing fresh air ventilation in the room in which we use our bioethanol fireplace, our owner’s manual explains that ‘the room should be well ventilated with enough oxygen and fresh air being supplied (e.g. partly open window/air vents)’.

We use our bioethanol fireplace in our open fireplace inside our living room, which has an existing external wall vent.

Fireplace Vent
This external air vent in the room helps to provide a continuous supply of fresh air

Although there’s no specific regulation, we like to ensure that this external air vent is partially open when using our bioethanol fireplace, just to help ensure that there’s always a sufficient supply of fresh air coming into the room to help with oxygen levels for the fire.

As guidance can vary between fireplace manufactures and models, always follow the requirements and recommendations outlined by the manufacturer of your bioethanol fireplace for fresh air supply.

You may be required to use your bioethanol fireplace in a certain size room and be recommended to consider fresh air supply as part of using the fireplace.

We take steps to help provide a consistent supply of fresh air into the room we use our own bioethanol fireplace in.

Further Reading

How Long Do Bioethanol Fireplaces Burn For?

Pros & Cons Of Bioethanol Fireplaces

How A Bioethanol Fireplace Works

Do Bioethanol Fireplaces Smell?

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