Bioethanol Fireplace

How To Light A Bioethanol Fireplace (With Real Example)

In Bioethanol Fireplaces by James O'KellyLeave a Comment

Bioethanol fireplaces use bioethanol fuel to deliver a fireplace experience using real flames.

As bioethanol fireplaces have a real flame, they must be lit using a form of fire lighter or starter. The type of fireplace unit can affect how to light a bioethanol fireplace.

To manually light a bioethanol fireplace, ensure that there’s sufficient bioethanol fuel within the fireplace and use a long fire lighter or match to light the fireplace. When lighting, it’s always important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, such as lighting at arm’s length and not lighting from above.

To light an automatic bioethanol fireplace, ensure that there’s sufficient fuel within the fireplace and press the start flames button on the fireplace control panel or remote.

We need to manually light our own bioethanol fireplace every time we want to use it. It’s a non-electronic model and so needs to be lit using an appropriate fire lighter or match.

Bioethanol Fireplace
Our bioethanol fireplace that we need to manually light

Other types of bioethanol fireplace can be lit automatically using electronic ignition.

We explain the steps required to light a bioethanol fireplace using either the manual or automatic method in more detail below.

How To Light A Bioethanol Fireplace (Manually)

This section covers how to light a bioethanol fireplace using the manual method.

A bioethanol fireplace that isn’t electronically controlled will typically need to be manually lit.

Electric bioethanol fireplaces can have automatic ignition using a button on the unit, or with a remote control or using a mobile phone app, which we discuss more about in the next section.

Our bioethanol fireplace isn’t an electronic model and so we need to light it manually.

To manually light a bioethanol fireplace:

  • Ensure that there’s enough bioethanol fuel within the fireplace. If not, pour more bioethanol fuel (that’s compliant with the manufacturers guidelines) into the unit.
  • Use a suitable fire lighter, such as long match or lighter, to light the bioethanol fireplace. Standing back and lighting at arm’s length from the front of the fireplace can help to minimize the safety risks of lighting a real fire using a real flame.
  • If the fireplace doesn’t light, attempt to keep lighting until it does.

Before lighting a bioethanol fireplace, it’s important to ensure that there’s sufficient fuel within the fireplace.

Our fireplace has a 1 litre max capacity. When empty, we know that our 1 litre bottles of fuel will suffice.

Bioethanol Fireplace
Our bioethanol fireplace with the fuel we use for it

It’s also important to ensure that a bioethanol fireplace isn’t overfilled with fuel past the ‘max’ line. If a bioethanol fireplace has been overfilled then fuel may need to be removed.

Bioethanol Fireplace
The maximum fuel capacity line in our bioethanol fireplace

See our main article on bioethanol fireplace fuel for more information on the fuel and preparing such a fireplace with fuel.

To light a bioethanol fireplace, you’ll need an appropriate lighting tool.

Fire starters that can work well with a manual bioethanol fireplace can include:

  • Long matches
  • Long lighters

As you’re typically lighting a bioethanol from the top, the use of a long fire lighter can be helpful.

The manual for our own bioethanol fireplace explains:

Ignite the fuel in the fuel box using a fire lighter or extended match held at arm’s length. Do not light the fireplace from above.

Imagin Fires

We therefore personally use long matches to light our fireplace, but another form of long lighter can be appropriate.

Bioethanol Fireplace
We use long matches when lighting our bioethanol fireplace so that we can light from the side and not from above

For our current recommended long matches see our essential buys page.

If lighting with a short fire lighter, it can be less safe as the fuel may ignite quickly. Short lighting equipment can mean that you’re lighting with your hands directly above the flames, which typically isn’t recommended.

To light a bioethanol fireplace, simply ignite the fire starter such as match or lighter and place the fire starter flame into the fuel box of the fireplace. Wait until the bio fuel has been ignited.

Bioethanol Fireplace
About to light the fuel from the side of the fireplace

The video below shows us lighting our own bioethanol fireplace with the flames taking effect after a short while.

A bioethanol fireplace should always be lit in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines. This guide provides an overview of how a bioethanol fireplace could be lit.


If the fire lighter doesn’t work, such as the match goes out, attempt to light the fireplace a few more times.

If a bioethanol fireplace isn’t lighting, then it may be the case that there isn’t enough fuel within it.

For example, when we were lighting our fireplace for the first time, the flames would go out immediately. After consulting our manual, we concluded that we hadn’t poured enough fuel in. Our instruction manual stated:

Using less than the [maximum] 1 litre of fuel on first use may not allow the liquid to ignite properly.

Imagin Fires

The video below shows this issue in action.

Lighting A Bioethanol Fireplace: Preparation

Before manually lighting a bioethanol fireplace, it can be important to ensure that the fireplace is set up correctly. Checks before lighting can include:

  • Ensuring that the fireplace is facing the right way, so that the closing tool can be used effectively.
Bioethanol Fireplace
A manual bioethanol fireplace may come with a closing tool that allows you to put out the fire by closing the fuel box lid from a safe distance
  • Ensuring that fuel is not above the ‘max’ line.
  • Cleaning off any excess fuel that may have spilt in the outer tray of the fuel box.
Bioethanol Fireplace Fuel Spill
A spillage of fuel that we needed to clean off before lighting

See our article on how to use a bioethanol fireplace for more information on the whole process of using a manual bioethanol fireplace.

How To Light A Bioethanol Fireplace (Electronic Ignition)

Higher end bioethanol fireplaces can have electronic ignition where manual lighting isn’t required.

Depending on the model of fireplace, there can be various ways to start a fire, including:

  • Pressing a dedicated button on the control panel of the fireplace
  • Using a remote control
  • Using a mobile app

Again, there will need to be sufficient fuel within fireplace before it can be lit. Automatic bioethanol fireplaces can come with a hose and connection, with built-in pump, to refill the bio fuel rather than manually adding it to the fuel box.

To light your automatic burner bioethanol fireplace always follow the steps outlined in the instruction manual for that particular fireplace.

The videos below provide demonstrations on how to light an automatic bioethanol fireplace.

Further Reading

How To Use A Bioethanol Fireplace (Starting, Running & Putting Out)

How A Bioethanol Fireplace Works

Bioethanol Fireplace Heat Output Explained

How Much A Bioethanol Fireplace Costs To Buy & Run

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