I had always envisioned a home with a wood fire to laze by. The romance of sitting in my living room with only the fire to light up the room sounded great and eventually moved me to put in a cast iron wood burner with full flue kit. Let me tell you why my next house had an ethanol burner instead.
For the first few weeks the wood burner was a great experience. It was hugely expensive to purchase and have installed but it looked great, put out ample heat and did light up the room with it’s flames. As I work from home it never occurred to me how much wood I needed to keep my home warm. A HUGE amount.
This meant getting it delivered, then having to stack it, then carting a barrow full at a time so I had wood near the fire, then frequently loading it into the firebox. The wood was very expensive and a lot of work. Worse still I was getting an influx of bugs and the ash started to cover the room. The thought of fine ash particles in the air didn’t impress me.
I was now spending nearly triple my electric heating bill and putting far more effort in than I had imagined. I persisted for some time to justify my huge outlay but gradually the heat pump went on as the fire went out. Then I settled on only lighting it for special occasions but it took forever to get going so finally I just put some candles inside and let them burn instead. A very expensive white elephant in the centre of my living room.
So my next house had an open fire that I had no intention of using. I purchased an ethanol heater that fitted in front of the fireplace which looked great. Ethanol burners don’t need a flue so there was no expense to fit as it just sat there. The only work to fuel it was pouring ethanol out of a bottle and lighting with a match. It still heated, supplied light with burning flame and looked great especially with the lights out.
It was never chosen as my main heating (although I know of people who do) but it is a much easier and cheaper alternative to a wood fire that gives a very similar effect.