Should you choose an electric or ethanol fireplace?

A beautiful fireplace doesn’t just add warmth, itcan also make a brilliant focal point for a room. Ethanol and electric fireplaces are perfect for people who do not have a chimney and do not want to spend extra money installing a vent because neither one requires a flue. As such, they can be installed in pretty much any home and a wide range of spaces. However, with so much choice around choosing one is no easy feat. Here’s a few tips to help you make a more informed decision.

A close up on electric fireplaces

Electric fires are easy to install, can be plugged in immediately and come in a range of designs with a realistic flame effect. They produce heat using a fan system and most models allow you to adjust the heat settings or run just the flame effect without the heat if you just want to create ambience but not warm the room.  If you want a fireplace you can mount on the wall then there are a few electric styles available. However you can also have them inset or freestanding if you prefer. As they don’t have a real flame, they are safe to use if you have small children or pets but you might find them disappointing if you enjoy fireplaces with a real flame. They are cheap to run but before you buy one make sure you have a nearby socket to plug it into. You can also go for an electric smoker.

What about ethanol fireplaces?

Ethanol fireplaces are a good compromise for those who want a real flame like you would get from a gas, coal or wood fire but they are a lot less hassle. Like electric fires they can be placed in pretty much any room but because they run on ethanol they don’t require a socket or connection to the mains.  They produce a substantial amount of heat but if it is your only heat source you will need to find one with a big enough box to sufficiently warm the room. These fires do not produce any ash, smoke or soot and there are no dangerous fumes either. However, it is worth nothing that they do consume some oxygen so you will need to open the door or window from time to time.  They also do cost a bit more to run then electric fires so if fuel costs are an issue they might not be the best option for you. They also can’t burn without producing heat so you can’t have them just to make your place feel more homely on a sunny day. But this is the situation with any fire with a real flame. If you have pets or little children then choose one that is wall mounted or use a fire guard to prevent injury.

If you still can’t decide

Before you make your purchase have a look at reviews, visit friends that have them and ask their opinion and look at them in showrooms. Buying a fire to suit your home is a very personal thing and only you know what you want. It is better to do your research and make an informed decision than make a purchase you regret.

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