How Do I Choose An Ethanol Fireplace Insert For An Existing Fireplace?


We receive many calls from those who have an existing fireplace that is no longer functional, needs extensive repair, or is simply too exhausting to deal with. In most cases, the IGNIS® Fireplace Pros recommend an ethanol fireplace insert for the existing fireplace. Offered as simply an insert, or one with a grate surround, these vent-free fireplace solutions are perfect for converting an existing fireplace into a clean-burning ethanol fireplace in a matter of minutes. 


Choosing an ethanol fireplace insert for an existing fireplace:

1. Cubic Footage. Because ethanol fireplace inserts produce real flames that consume oxygen, the consideration of cubic footage in the space is necessary. To calculate footage, simply multiply the room's length by width by the ceiling height. This will give you the cubic footage of the space. Each ethanol fireplace insert on our website has an indication for the minimum required feet that must be available for a safe fireplace installation. 

2. The Existing Fireplace. The size of the existing fireplace that will house the ethanol fireplace insert is the next most important factor. This, in combination with the room's cubic footage, will determine the largest ethanol fireplace insert your hearth can accommodate. You will need to measure the existing fireplace's width, depth, and height (if applicable). Once the maximum dimensions and minimum required cubic feet are known, you are prepared to start browsing IGNIS ethanol fireplace inserts. 

3. Different IGNIS Solutions. IGNIS has developed two ranges of ethanol fireplace inserts that may be used for an existing fireplace:

  • Eco-Hybrid Range: This range of ethanol fireplace inserts was designed for indoor residential fireplace projects. Each burner is composed of a grade 430 stainless steel, adjustable flame intensity, and is warranted for one year. These ethanol fireplace inserts are offered in brushed stainless steel and vary in lengths from 14" to 44". If you intend to use your fireplace on occasion in your home, this range is the best selection from which to choose. 


  • Premium EB Range. This collection of ethanol fireplace inserts is made of premium-grade brushed stainless steel. These burners were designed for indoor or outdoor use in any environment. With larger fuel capacities, they produce more heat than the Eco-Hybrid line and offer a longer fireplace experience between fuelings. The ethanol fireplace inserts in this collection are warranted for three years. If you plan to use your fireplace frequently or in a commercial setting, or if the existing fireplace is outdoors, your need is specific to the Premium EB Range. 


  • The Fireplace Insert's Placement. When considering the size of the ethanol fireplace insert for an existing fireplace, it is encouraged to consider the shape of the hearth's interior. Many fireplaces have an interior that tapers or that is trapezoidal in shape. When determining the length of insert you will use, picture the bio ethanol fireplace burner insert's placement in the hearth. If you're using the widest part, will the burner be aesthetically pleasing situated there? If you would like the insert in the middle, be sure to measure accordingly. 


  • The Flue or Chimney. When using an ethanol fireplace insert in an existing fireplace, it is important to consider the chimney or flue. IGNIS inserts are designed to be vent-free. So, when there is a chimney or flue, it should be shut. For best results, sealing it closed will help the ethanol fireplace insert perform at its maximum potential. If there be a draft from an old flue, that additional oxygen will increase the burner's rate at which it burns fuel and increase the operational costs of using the fireplace. 


  • The Grate Option. A fireplace grate is simply a steel surround in which an ethanol fireplace may sit in an existing fireplace. It adds heft to the overall insert and acts to disguise the silver stainless steel of the ethanol fireplace insert. A fireplace grate is not necessary for the safe operation of the fireplace. It is typically elected as an accessory for existing fireplaces that are more traditional in style. The fireplace grate add-on is only offered as an accessory to Premium EB Ethanol Burners. Please note, that when adding a grate, the dimensions of the overall piece increase. The grate dimensions are offered on the product page for each piece. 

Deciding on the right ethanol fireplace insert for an existing fireplace:

By considering these factors, you are now equipped to make the best decision when contemplating an ethanol fireplace insert for an existing hearth. A simple, eco-friendly fireplace conversion system, an Ignis ethanol burner fireplace can turn a non-functioning, irreparable existing fireplace into the warm focal point of the space it once was. 

While we strive to provide as much information as possible to empower our customers with the tools to make the best decision, we offer more. Ignis Fireplace Pros are available by phone, chat, email, webcam, text, or in person. We are here to answer any questions, lend insight, review designs, makes suggestions, or simply educate our customer on ethanol fireplace technology. We look forward to working with you and creating an ethanol fireplace that you will enjoy for years to come!