The Versatility of an Ethanol Burner Insert
“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.” Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway, has more experience than most when it comes to engineering new ideas and solutions to old problems. His memorable quote reminds even those of us that are simple at-home DIYers that a little creativity can result in some pretty fantastic and attractive home décor options if we’re willing to explore some of the newest technology commercially available. Why stop at simply wowing your visitors with a unique creation, especially when it comes to something as entrancing as tamed fire? Burner inserts boast a wide variety of styles, and when combined with ethanol biofuel, you can take full advantage of their unique simplicity of use and maintenance.
What is an ethanol fireplace burner insert, and what are these benefits? An ethanol burner insert is a commercially available product intended for both retrofitting and new construction projects, intended to replace or augment an existing fireplace. In the past few years, more and more styles and imaginative approaches have been developed, expanding the breadth of available pieces to include table-top and wall-hanging options as well. What ethanol biofuel offers is immeasurable ease of use. Each and every burner insert or free-standing piece is completely smoke and soot free, devoid of any toxic gasses or emissions, and requires absolutely zero ash cleanup. No chimneys or vents required. The only byproduct of this green, environmentally friendly fuel when it burns are beautiful crisp flames, heat, and a bit of water vapor. What can we do with all this awesomeness packed into one little place?
Convert an Existing Fireplace
Let’s start with an easy one: do you already have an existing fireplace? How often do you use it? If you’re anything like me, you get sick and tired of all the extra work that goes into preparing for a relaxing evening in front of the fire. With how hectic and busy the day can get, why not optimize your relaxation as much as your day? Put away the tinder, split wood, lighter fluid, matches, and poker. Cleaning out your fireplace will take a little work, but trust me, it’ll be very, very worth it.
It’ll get messy, so wear old clothes and lay out sheets to protect nearby furniture and carpet. If it’s been a while since you’ve used your fireplace, keep in mind that birds might have nested in there, so do what you can to avoid knocking their nests down into your house while brushing things loose. Start by cleaning the firebox itself: shovel out old ash, sweep up what else you can, then go to town on those beautiful bricks with a wire brush first (to loosen the soot), then a scrub brush with a water/baking soda solution to tease out the stains. If you notice a funky smell, it’s likely leftover creosote. Just take a water/baking soda paste and apply to any stubborn build-up.
Now it’s time to choose. The Bio Blaze Bloc 23½ Inch Biofuel Burner is a low profile, high efficiency ethanol fireplace insert for existing fireplaces, sleek and sexy in high quality stainless steel. It holds a total of 3.5 liters of bio-ethanol liquid fuel (never substitute!) and can burn for a max of about five hours, more than enough time to get deep into that new bestseller you’ve been craving lately. While burning, this burner can put out almost 12,000 BTUs, so it isn’t for small spaces. If you decide to shut down a little earlier, it comes with a snuffer tool that will allow you to preserve the leftover fuel for next time. Fill, light, enjoy. Snuff, enjoy later. All of a sudden, the idea of sitting in front of the fire doesn’t seem so far off!
Looking for something even bigger and more impressive? The EB4800 model Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert is a whopping 48 7/8" long, so if you’ve got a larger fireplace going to waste and not serving it’s entertainment purpose, it’s time to resurrect that beautiful feature. The EB4800 holds 15 liters and can burn for thirteen hours on a single fill, putting out around 23,000 BTUs, making it perfect for large gathering spaces and community areas.
Smaller, more intimate options have no shortage on sass and style, so if you’re looking to retrofit a more private space in a smaller home or apartment, Eco-Feu’s 1.5 L Insert provides a lower level of heat for no lost attitude. The design also works extremely well for table-top usage, so you can use it in your fireplace for solo nights in, or move it to the dining room table for entertaining, as long as it’s set on a nonflammable surface. With its 1.5 liter capacity, it will burn for three to four hours.
Convert a Coffee or Dining Table
While this option will take a little work, it’ll have a great impression on your visitors when you touch off the eco-friendly flames with the touch of a lighter. How you’ll go about this will greatly depend on the table you want to convert, so it’s hard for me to give specifics. Know going into it that you’ll need to ensure that the edges of the insert hole are shored up enough, because that’s where the insert will be resting its weight, and that the surfaces around it should be fireproof, to prevent accidents. Tile, stone, brick, and steel are going to be among the best options for surface material. You can also convert an existing firepit table with one of the many bio-ethanol inserts as well.
The Insert Table Bio-Ethanol Fireplace is made for this project specifically, and comes with four safety glass pieces to ensure that your guests won’t accidentally swing too wide and you won’t end up needing to clean charred food bits out of the burner after dinner. Because it is made to sit flush, you’ll see the sleek steel, glass, and natural, beautiful flames. Coming with two tank options, 1 or 2 liters, this insert will stay lit for about three or 6 hours, respectively.
Also keep in mind that there are many great choices for table-top options as well, if you want something with great visual impact. The Eco-Feu 1.5 L Insert mentioned before is a great choice, among others like the Chantico Line A-05 Bioethanol Fireplace Insert. An elegant powder-coated black steel and tempered safety glass design makes for a stunning centerpiece for a dining table or coffee table. This one features a 1.8 liter tank, allowing it to burn for about three to five hours.
New and Modern Entertainment Centers with Electric Fireplaces
If you don't already have a fireplace in your home, you may think you'll never have one. After all, the average cost of installation of a traditional wood-burning fireplace is about $2,000 – that's if you already have a gas line installed. You could spend up to $6,000 getting the gas line, ventilation, wiring, and actual fireplace all set up.
Even if you can afford that sort of home improvement, there's space that you need to consider. If you're living in tight quarters, a fireplace may not be a feasible consideration for you. There are alternatives, though, so you can have the cozy hearth you've always wanted without having to break the bank or give up precious space.
An electric fireplace TV stand is a good solution for those on a budget – both with money and space. These fireplace alternatives mimic real flames using clever tech tricks, such as LED lights, mylar, and mirrors. You get the soothing, cozy effect without having to worry about chopping firewood, or figuring out how to open a flue.
A Grand Choice
If you have room for a large entertainment center, then you have room for an electric fireplace. The Eliot Grand Entertainment Center with Electric Fireplace is a large unit that's wider than it is tall. It includes a 40-inch firebox, so it's clearly the focal point of this entertainment center.
It measures just more than 81 inches long, and stands at 34.25 inches high. This is a heavy, sturdy piece, so you can place it on a carpeted surface without worry. The center itself includes six shelves for consoles, video games, and other media.
The best part is that it isn't just for show. This fireplace puts out 5,100 BTUs of heat from its infrared heater. If you happen to live in a warm climate, you don't have to worry about overheating – this fireplace includes a programmable thermostat, so you can fire up the flames, but not the heat. It also comes with a remote control, so you can shut it off that way, or set up a time shut off.
Clean and Simple
Smaller rooms don't need giant fireplaces, so you may want to consider the Cabrini Media Electric Fireplace. The firebox is only 23 inches wide and 20 inches high, so it's just the right size for a small space. It's ideal for heating a 400 square-foot room.
This electric fireplace media center has plenty of room for DVD or game storage in its four shelves. The storage area is tucked away behind frosted glass cabinet doors to keep everything neat and organized. You can turn the fireplace on without heat any time to simply enjoy the flickering light of the almost-real flames whether it's 75 or 100 degrees Fahrenheit out.
The clean lines and bright white color works well with many different home décor styles. Although it's a smaller entertainment center, it can hold a flat screen TV up to 58 inches. This center includes a remote control, so you can easily turn the fireplace on or off anytime. And the thermostat keeps the heat going when it's cold and shuts off when it reaches your ideal temperature.
Big and Bold
One of the largest options is the Tracey Grand Entertainment Center with Electric Fireplace. Be sure you have a large enough space to accommodate the nearly 84-inch long piece. With a large media center like this, you also get a large firebox – it's 40 inches long, so it may even compete with your TV for your attention.
The 1,500-Watt infrared heater keeps things warm in the winter, but the LED-lit flames work independently of the heater, so you can enjoy it all year long. A remote control lets you set the thermostat and the timer to switch the unit on or off. An added benefit to the seemingly real flickering flames is that you can control the brightness – turn it all the way up to focus on the mesmerizing flames, or turn it way down for romantic ambiance.
Compact and Modern
Apartment dwellers or those who are living in extremely small living quarters may not think they can use an entertainment center with fireplace. Enter the Dimplex Jasper Media Console. This unit won't offer much by way of storage, but it can hold your TV, and warm your home with its ceramic heating system.
The small electric firebox – it's about 25 inches – can resemble a log-burning stove or a gas fireplace, depending on which firebox you choose. You can easily control the heat or the ambient LED flames using the remote control. And it warms up a room efficiently using a fan to circulate the warmth out and throughout the room.
This electric fireplace includes a technologically-advanced system called gWave, which lets you turn the fireplace on or off with the wave of your hand. It's like knowing a Jedi mind trick.
Cozy, but Spacious
When you need room for media consoles, video games, and DVDs, you may not want to compromise by giving up a section for a fireplace. The Claremont Convertible Media Electric Fireplace solves that problem by offering plenty of room for consoles on its open-air shelf, and enclosed storage space for your media.
In the center of this ivory entertainment center is a mock fireplace made up of LEDs and heat for a 400-square-foot space. You can place this against a wall, but it also works as a corner piece, which can save you space in a small room.
New and Modern
One of the sleekest designs for an electric fireplace media center is this black, low-profile unit. The Dimplex Desmond Electric Fireplace Media Console measures about 73 inches across and 36 inches high, but it has stubby, angled legs that give it a mid-century modern appeal. The fan-forced heater can keep a large living room cozy and comfortable.
The 50-inch firebox has a glass ember bed, which gives the whole unit a decidedly modern look, and the entertainment center itself can easily accommodate a 70-inch TV. There's a bit of space on one side for media storage and room for consoles above the firebox.
An electric fireplace offers supplemental heating, which allows you to turn off your central heating more often, which can save you money. It also offers year-round ambiance and modern, clean statement pieces for your home. You don't have to fork over $6,000 for a wood-burning fireplace, and you never have to worry about soot, actual flames, smoke, or ashes.
UL/ULC Listed Ethanol Fireplaces
Fireplaces are an extremely versatile home décor element that demands attention while offering more than just visual impact. You can be relaxing solo with a good book, cuddling up with that special someone, or swapping stories and presents with friends and family on a cold winter night. Now, leave the living room and see the adaptability of a fireplace to other locations in your home. Take a freestanding fireplace to your dining table for an extra flair of style or outside onto your balcony or porch to stave off the chill of the evening. Go even further and install a space convenient recessed fireplace into your office for style or comforting white noise while you work.
Now do all that without having to worry about chimneys, dangerous fumes, or ashes. Get the cozy ambiance of a fireplace without the difficulty of completely remodeling your rooms or office. A ventless ethanol fireplace is a perfect fit for someone looking to add that extra bit of classy comfort to their home without the pain. Not only is it easy to install and maintain, but each of the following bioethanol fireplace fuel options is listed UL/ULC. UL and ULC safety standards are set in place by both United States and Canadian safety organizations, ensuring that safety is each item’s top priority, and you can be assured that convenience and style need no sacrifice.
Pretty as a Picture: Antalia Recessed Ventless Ethanol Fireplace
The Antalia Recessed is an unobtrusive wall mounted bioethanol fireplace that takes all the elements that make contemporary décor beautiful and fits them together in one pretty package. A square black tempered glass and silver accent frame the recessed fireplace compartment, which can be mounted on the wall with a little modification or directly on the wall. A clear glass guard adds a touch of sparkle to the piece, giving this design enough character to stand tall next to your other wall art. Match it to other frames for a seamless look, or accentuate it boldly for standout style. Whatever you choose, the Antalia will fit with almost any pre-existing décor. This particular piece offers a burn time of four to five hours on a 1.3 liter tank, without any need for a chimney, gas or electric lines, or ash clean-up.
Fashionable Freedom: Mecca Freestanding Ventless Ethanol Fireplace
Place this piece on your table, on the floor, wherever you most want a clean, safe way to evoke a comfortable environment without feeling constrained by installation elements. The Mecca Freestanding boasts an elegant, standout design that is bold enough to stand out and spark conversation with visitors while serving both solo and couple’s needs for versatility. Chase away the chill of night or city breezes under the stars out on the porch or balcony, or curl up with your favorite cup of hot chocolate in the living room while falling leaves or snow drift through the air. You can create the perfect environment with just one safe, easy choice. The Mecca offers a pleasant four hours on a single 1.3 liter tank, and is built from a powder coated steel exterior and a 304 stainless steel interior.
Crystal Clear: Ignacia Ethanol Biofuel UL/ULC Listed Fireplace
With the Ignacia Fireplace, you get no frames, no constraints, just pure, clear freedom in brushed 304 stainless steel and glass. The Ignacia is a bioethanol table fireplace with a sleek, contemporary design that compliments any similarly designed home. The glass and metal construction unlimits its own potential for maximum visual impact, while still maintaining a versatile package. The freestanding style of the Ignacia lends itself to tabletop use, but it can serve most any need. The non-toxic, clean-burning biofuel is truly eco-friendly with a modest four to five hours burn time per 32 ounces, requiring no excessive installations or clean-up that come with a traditional fire pit table. If you’re looking for an outdoor piece that you can easily transport when needed or a multi-use fireplace accent that can be used on any table, the Ignacia may be the perfect fit for you.
A Touch of Spirit: Tokio Recessed Ventless Ethanol Fireplace
Let’s talk emphasis. Sometimes, subtle is just too little. A fireplace can be the centerpiece of your room, even in condo living where space is a premium. When you’re looking for something functional, safe, but with that extra pow that really gets peoples’ attention, the Tokio Recessed might just be exactly what you need. A great looking piece, the Tokio lends itself to wherever emphatic style is required, home or office. Make that big impression while still maintaining safety and functionality. Speaking of, the Tokio looks good, but can it stand up to your demands? With a solid four to five hour burn time on a single 1.3 liter tank, you can warm the chills away all evening long as you relax before bed, or pop it on for a quick, fiery visual impact for visitors. Plus, it is UL/ULC approved, giving you peace of mind in case that relaxing book turns into a rejuvenating nap.
No Shadows in this Box: Hayden Ethanol Biofuel UL/ULC Listed Fireplace
If you’re looking for a fireplace that’s more statement than subtle but still manages to balance the two, the Hayden Fireplace sets just the right amount of style, popping out from the wall as if a shadowbox art piece. By using bio-ethanol fireplace fuel and UL/ULC safety measures, you don’t have to worry about fumes or damage from use. Your only concern will be where you want to install it. Its smart, unique design sets it apart from the others as it is made to be three-dimensional, intended to stand out among the rest. Plus, since it is not recessed, there is absolutely no impact to your home’s vital structure. The stainless steel and included wall mount materials make sure that this piece will not budge from where you place it.
How to Be Prepared for Winter Black-Outs
Depending on where you live, winter can be a long and arduous time of year. The temperature drops, the road freezes over, and people get sick. This is the time when you should be prepared for all eventualities. You have no way of knowing whether something will happen when you least expect it. This is why you should have the following list of items in your home to be ready for a possible black-out this winter.
Ventless fireplaces can be fueled by natural gas. This means that they have no need for electricity. The latest models of these fireplaces come with an automatic ignition. When the power goes out, you will still have the ability to operate the fireplace. You will be kept toasty warm throughout the power outage.
If you have medicine that normally is kept in the fridge, it will not remain cold forever. The power to the fridge will be cut off, and eventually everything inside will go bad. This is especially the case if the fridge is continually opened. Try keeping a small cooler in an accessible place. This will keep the important medicine cold for a longer period of time.
Alternative light sources
The darkness can be a frightening thing. Prepare for a winter black-out by having some extra light sources handy. Flashlights and lanterns are a safe bet. They require batteries and oil to light up the darkness, so make sure you keep a supply of those as well. Candles can work in a pinch, they provide a smaller beam of light.
Stock up on water
If you know in advance that a winter storm is coming, it is a good idea to have clean water available. Many people will fill up their bathtubs with water so that they have a large supply. This water should be used for hygiene purposes. Have a separate supply of water on hand for drinking.
Check the insulation
If you do not have proper insulation in your home, you will not be happy during winter black-outs. If you can, check to see that the work was done properly and efficiently. Having to redo insulation can be a huge pain. However, it will be worth it in the long run when you and your family are safe and warm during winter black-outs.
Winter black-outs do not have to be scary. By making a few key preparations beforehand, you can get through the storm in comfort. If you know that a storm is coming, it is easier to make preparations. However, you should always have some supplies in place in just case you are caught unawares.
Creating an Outdoor Living Room
Far too often, we are cooped up inside our homes and do not get to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. If you love nature, or even just aspects of it, being outside gives you pleasure. In reality, we all should be given the chance to enjoy fresh air more often. This is why it is a good idea to create an outdoor living space for the whole family to utilize.
If you choose furniture made out of natural wood, this could be practical and comfortable. For example, a cedar sofa with upholstered seats might be just what you need to relax on. Cushions and throw pillows can be added to create more comfort. If you go with an option like this, you will need to treat it with sealer every few years.
When you are choosing furniture that will be outside for a great deal of time, it has be able to withstand the elements. Damage could happen due to sunlight exposure, rain, wind, or snow. This is why it is important to inspect everything for flaws before you buy it. When the harsh weather comes, you can protect your furniture by moving it into a garage or shed.
This type of fireplace is a good option for placing in your yard. This is because ventless fireplaces do not need to be connected to chimneys for ventilation. There is no restriction about where you can place them. As well, there is no need to worry about toxic by-products being cycled into the atmosphere. Ventless fireplaces do not emit any fumes, so they are safe when they are burning. If you want to add this fireplace to your outdoor living room, you will need to add an electrical component to it. A standard 120V outlet with suffice for powering the fireplace.
Having the proper lighting is essential when determining the atmosphere of a space. If your outdoor living room is lit up, it creates the feeling of comfort and tranquility. If you want something small and intimate, candles or lanterns can be placed on the tables or other surfaces. Something that casts more light around could be string lights hung from the trees.
Consider the need for shade
Sunlight exposure is something that you will have to consider when you have an outdoor living room. A large awning or umbrella may be needed to protect you and your furniture from sun damage. A standalone umbrella may be a good option because you are able to change its position as the sun moves. If you want something that is larger and more permanent, you could consider covering your patio and creating a roof.
Investing in a Ventless Fireplace
There are many reasons to love having a fireplace in your home. They provide warmth, comfort and a positive ambience. What could be even better than having a fireplace? Having all the benefits of a fireplace, but not having to put up with the negative aspects of them. This can be done, and it is through an invention known as the vent-less fireplace.
It has been said that vent-less fireplaces are unsafe because they take the oxygen in the room and convert it into carbon monoxide. However, this does not necessarily mean that these fireplaces are unsafe. For example, most models contain a built-in detector that knows when the fireplace should be shut down. The detector can sense when the level of oxygen in the room is too low, so the fireplace is turned off right away. As well, having a steady flow of oxygen in the room is an easy way of staying safe. As long as there is enough oxygen in the room, a vent-less fireplace should be of no danger to you or your family.
A vent-less fireplace burns by using bio ethanol or it can be powered by electricity. They are not generating fumes into the air, and are producing no harmful by-products. If you decide to purchase an ethanol fireplace, you will need to add fuel to keep it running. The bio ethanol fuel is made from organic, natural materials (potatoes, corn and cellulose). This helps the environment, because the fuel is not made from chemicals that add to the pollution in the air. The fuel is renewable, as well as biodegradable. This means that it will go right back into the Earth, and be able to be used again in the future.
Vent-less fireplaces are great in the sense that you can place them wherever you want. Fireplaces requiring chimneys had to be placed where they had a connection to the vent. This could impact the design of your home, and would have been a nuisance every time you wanted to redecorate. Vent-less fireplaces do not give homeowners this concern. You can easily set up a vent-less fireplace in whatever room and area that you want it to be in. As well, you do not need to adjust your design, or make any special customizations to accommodate your fireplace. It will fit right in with the rest of your house, and can be moved whenever you have the need for a change.
Although vent-less fireplaces are fairly current inventions, they can be relied upon to perform their job sufficiently. They require less maintenance than other types of fireplaces, and therefore are preferred by many homeowners. Seeing as there are different types of vent-less fireplaces, it is likely that you will find something that meets your needs. If you do not want to add fuel to the fireplace, you might prefer an electric model. Or if you do not want an increase on your electricity bill, perhaps an ethanol fireplace might be right for you.