Considering a bio-ethanol fire? Before you go ahead, it’s worth comparing them with electric fireplaces. The running costs, the convenience, the practicality and the intended use are all important factors to bear in mind. We’ll run through a list of pros and cons so you can make an informed choice that suits your circumstances. Much of it comes down to your own preference.

Electric fireplaces are a popular option for so many reasons. The cost, for one. Electricity is an inexpensive fuel, and your electric fire will likely cost no more than a few pence per hour to heat your room really effectively. You won’t have to wait to feel the warmth either, because with a flick of a switch the heat is on - and then off again when you’ve had enough. You can opt for a low energy setting if you want to keep your electric fire lit for longer periods and save even more money. You don’t have to have a chimney or a flue for this kind of appliance, and that means it’s very convenient even in places where you might not be able to install other kinds of fire - a fireplace in your conservatory or even your garden shed is probably an option. They’re often very light and flexible in terms of portability, so if you want to multitask with that spare room or get one for a student bedroom, an electric fire is perfect. And the styles of contemporary electric fires mean the aesthetic options for your living space are practically endless. Basically, electric fireplaces are all good news. 

Let’s contrast that with bio-ethanol fireplaces, which are increasingly popular. It’s true, you don’t need a vent with bio-ethanol either, and in fact, in some ways, it’s more flexible because you don’t even need an electrical socket. Many biofuel models are portable, but unlike with your electric fireplace, you could even take your bio ethanol fire out into the garden if you wanted to, on a warm evening with friends coming round. And during a power cut, you’ll be fine of course as it won’t be affected. What's more, the flames are real, and you won’t get that even with the top of the range electric fires, for all their simulations. What’s more, bio ethanol is the best choice all round for those with a strong priority for the environment, since the fuel it burns is plant-based. And bear in mind when you’re thinking about eco-friendly options, that electricity production, just like gas, has an environmental toll that needs factoring in. On the other hand, it’s true that running costs for bio ethanol fires are higher than electricity, and you can’t turn off the heat, so you’ll only really want to light biofuel during the cooler months. Swings and roundabouts.

So there you have a few of the common advantages and disadvantages of electric fireplaces versus bio ethanol for heating your home. All depends on what you're looking for. Which will you choose?