Meet the bio fire.
It is possible to own a fire and not need a chimney, yet still enjoy real flickering flames. Not only that, they can often be installed quickly and easily and run efficiently on liquid plant matter or alcohol gel. Oh, and they are incredibly stylish.
Bio fires are the solution for those not fussed with burning wood, don’t have a gas connection but still want a real flame. They can be freestanding or fitted to a wall and easily refilled with the fuel. Some bio fires even have an output of up to 7kW, meaning it would easily warm most rooms.
Could it all be too good to be true? Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about bio fires.
Can I install a bio fire myself?
Yes, providing you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Depending upon the style of fire you are going for you may need some specialist assistance, and some bio fires require an electric connection so you may need an electrician to wire it in, but there currently are no governing bodies overseeing bio fires in the UK (correct at time of posting).
What is the difference between bio-ethanol or gel?
Bio-ethanol is a liquid of plant origin, gel uses alcohol but without all of the process’s bio-ethanol goes through. The result is a liquid with a much higher viscosity.
Bio fires combust bio-ethanol to produce water vapour and carbon dioxide, producing a clean and natural flame. These stoves are the future of clean burning, environmentally friendly fire, due to the fact that bio-ethanol is produced through the fermentation of plant material, therefore making it ‘carbon neutral’, and hence green.
Why don’t I need a chimney with a bio fire?
Because bio-ethanol and fire gel burn very cleanly the only by products of the burning process are water vapour and carbon dioxide (the equivalent to someone breathing normally). This means no chimney or flue is required to remove any waste gasses.
Can I safely refuel my bio fire whilst in use?
No. There is no safe way of refuelling a bio-fire while it is in use. However, the general rule of thumb is that the more money you spend on a bio fire the greater the control you have, including onscreen displays showing the amount of fuel you have, WiFi connections to indicate low fuel on your portable device and some models will shut themselves down when they run out of fuel. The flame will simply go out on cheaper models once the fuel has been depleted.
Is biofuel economically viable to use?
Bio-ethanol and gel fires are very economical in as much as they are 100% efficient as there is no heat loss from them up a chimney. Gel fires produce more of a decorative flame rather than a viable source of heating. Bio-ethanol fires produce more heat in comparison but on average all are quite low with the exception of the larger drop-in/built-in fires. They generally produce between 1-2kW of heat, which is about the same as an electric fan heater. You can see the maximum outputs, average burn time and fuel consumption on every bio fire product page.
How safe are bio fires?
The safety features all depend upon the type of bio fire you are buying. Basic bio fires, if knocked over, are a potential risk. With the higher-end, more advanced products, there are absorbent ceramic mats inside them to prevent spillages from happening. Some have safety sensors on them including tremor sensors and spillage sensors.
Got any more questions? Get in touch in the comments below!
Take a look at our range of bio fires today.