Bioethanol Fire Pits

Bioethanol Fire Pits - Can They Be Used Indoors & Outdoors? How Much Do They Cost to Run?

A fireplace is an excellent gathering spot with friends or family. It is a great centrepiece that looks great at parties, but typically requires a lot of upkeep. On the other hand, fire pits are more straightforward solutions, especially if you set them up in your back garden.

If you’re looking for other alternatives to log, electric fires and traditional gas, bioethanol is an excellent alternative. However, since they're less common than the other alternatives, you might want to find out a bit more first.

Read on to find out if you can use them indoors/outdoors, how much it costs to run and everything else you need to know about getting them.

Let's dive in, shall we?

cosmo fire pit


What is a Bioethanol Fire, and How Do They Work?

A bioethanol fire is an alternative for a real flame that uses bioethanol as fuel instead of logs, gas or electric. Bioethanol fuel is a natural fire source that is ethanol-based and produced from plants like maize and sugar cane. The source of production already makes bioethanol a far eco-friendlier alternative to regular burning fuels.

It’s as simple as pouring bioethanol fuel into a burner and then lighting it up, which is a pretty straightforward process. This fuel will typically burn for about 4-5 hours but up to 11 or until you extinguish it by closing the lid and not allowing oxygen to get to the flame. It's cool down takes about 10-15 minutes, then you can always top off the fire with more fuel if you need it to burn for more extended periods.

Unlike other fuel sources, it gets recycled back to the plants for photosynthesis after burning. Also, it does not emit harmful ash or soot as a by-product. The fire from bioethanol only produces steam, heat and carbon dioxide. 

Benefits of Bioethanol Fires

Bioethanol fires have many benefits, including:

  • Easy Installation: Bioethanol fires do not release fumes or smoke making it unnecessary to have a flue. This makes installation far more straightforward than other traditional fires as you also have more options for the area you want your fire to stand.
  • Eco-friendly: As previously stated, the fuel is plant-based, releasing no harmful substances into the air as you burn. This is one of the most important benefits of using bioethanol fuels.
  • Contemporary and Stylish Look: Due to having many options for design and placement, bioethanol fireplaces often have choices of stylish, sleek and contemporary designs. It is an excellent addition for gardens and homes, making them excellent design set pieces.
  • No Need for Electricity or Gas: You don't need alternate power sources as bioethanol fires run 100% on bioethanol fuels. This helps in cutting costs and keeping the setup simple.
  • Adjustable and Efficient: You can use bioethanol fireplaces as supplementary heat for large rooms by adjusting the output with the slider. However, you should know that producing more heat also burns up more fuel, and you can quickly scale up depending on how big the area you need to heat up is. Sadly, not all designs have this feature, so if you're particularly interested in it, look for designs that support it.

Can You Use Bioethanol Fires Indoors and Outdoors?

You can use bioethanol fires indoors or outdoors – your choice. Even though the fires produce carbon dioxide (provided it’s within the minimum roof requirement recommended by the manufacturer), they are only in small amounts and are typically present in any fire. Bioethanol fires are eco-friendly & clean-burning, so there is no smoke, ash, or other carcinogenic substances. This makes bioethanol fires great in built-up areas or where space is limited outside.

Compared with traditional indoor fire setups, the burners' bio fire pits and fire tables are internal, so you add the fuel directly and are completely portable. On the other hand, traditional gas fire pits have a gas pipe leading to an external tank, which is sometimes difficult to hide. Installation is also easy as indoor bioethanol fireplaces do not need a flue, so that you can install them anywhere – on the wall or freestanding in home offices, bedrooms, etc. The fire tables for bioethanol fires are multifunctional with spaces for keeping food and drinks, making it easy to work into your design.

However, like other flammable fuels, you need to take great care when handling bioethanol fuels and using the burner indoors. Take proper fireplace safety procedures to prevent any hazards and keep the area safe.

grey bioethanol fire pit

How Much Do They Cost to Run?

Firstly, we must get this out - bioethanol fires aren't expensive to run. However, there are some factors to consider in determining how much it will take you to run, including:

Burner Size

Of course, bigger burners will often cost more than others as they will create a larger flame and increase fuel consumption. Even though it might seem better to go for smaller burners considering this, a larger burner can produce more heat and make for a more ambient flame, especially for interior décor qualities.

Fuel Quality

Bioethanol fuels are sold in different qualities depending on your use. This factor doesn't have that much effect on cost, but you still need to consider it. Higher quality fuels have a lower odour as they use the highest quality ingredients.

Flame Size

The flame size is another factor to consider, significantly increasing your running costs of bioethanol fires. High-quality bioethanol fireplaces usually have a regulator to allow you to increase or decrease flame size depending on your needs so you can reduce fuel consumption and running costs.

Other factors that influence bioethanol fire cost are the degree to which you open your fuel box slider and the cost of the fuel you purchase. You can increase or decrease how far you want your fire slider to be opened, which directly affects how much fuel to consume. Regarding the cost of fuel, there are typically different vendors of bioethanol fuel with varying prices.


Bioethanol fires give you the best of both worlds – fires that are also elegant for the homes and compliment your existing design. If you're looking for eco-friendly, low-cost and minimal maintenance fireplaces, you can do no wrong with bioethanol fire pits.

© 2021 Alfresco Heat

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