Differences Between Wood-Burning and EcoSmart Biofuel Fireplaces

Posted in: outdoor living, outdoor living spaces, outdoor kitchen cabinets, outdoor heaters, outdoor heating systems, Outdoor Fireplaces, outdoor accessories, EcoSmart Fireplaces

James Moylan

Monday, November 14, 2016

EcoSmart Fire Cube Jr biofuel firebox

Which is better: Wood-Burning Fireplaces or EcoSmart Biofuel Fireplaces?

There’s nothing quite like the ambiance and visual appeal of a fire in your home, but not all fire features are equally well suited to every home. From size to installation considerations to aesthetics, you have to decide what type of fireplace represents the best value for your home. Two such possible features are natural fireplaces (a.k.a. wood-burning) and EcoSmart Fire biofuel fireplaces. To determine which would be the better fit for you, read on to discover their core differences.

Dependable Contractor eBook by Design Builders, Inc.

How Natural Fireplaces and EcoSmart Biofuel Fireplaces Differ

Fire Features and Aesthetics

The first major differentiator between natural and EcoSmart fireplaces is the way they look. EcoSmart designs tend to be extremely contemporary and modern. If your home or outdoor space calls for a more traditional look, EcoSmart might appear out of place. If, on the other hand, your home is already quite modern, a natural fireplace could look dated and equally out of place.

The choice obviously comes down to the existing look of the area that’s receiving this new fire feature as well as your personal preferences regarding design options.outdoor natural wood-burning fireplace by Design Builders

Flexibility versus Permanence

Many EcoSmart fireplaces can simply be picked up and moved to any given location, while a natural fireplace is obviously a much more permanent fixture. Because EcoSmart units operate on bioethanol, there is no need for a gas line and no necessary

he other hand, are solid structures, and there are many construction restrictions about how close the units can be to windows and how high above rooflines they must be. This leads to more time, effort, and money during the install, and the unit definitely stays where it is.

Size is another consideration when it comes to flexibility. EcoSmart units tend to be significantly smaller than any permanent fireplace structure, making moving them easy and seamless.

Smoke, Soot, and Ash

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of an EcoSmart unit is that it’s entirely clean burning. It doesn’t produce any smoke and can even safely be burned inside a home. There’s also no associated soot or ash to clean up, as there is with natural wood-burning fireplaces.

The downside to this is that EcoSmart units don’t put out nearly as much heat as natural fireplaces. Therefore, if you’re looking for a unit that’s going to be your primary heating source, it’s unlikely EcoSmart is your answer, whereas if you just need a bit of added heat with minimal effort, EcoSmart could be a perfect fit.


Thank you to EcoSmart Fire for providing this photo

Price Considerations

Unsurprisingly, the cost of installation is much higher for a natural fireplace. There’s the material to consider (brick, stone, stucco, etc.), and the structure tends to be quite large (typically four to six feet wide and upwards of twelve feet tall). With a gas fireplace, you also have to worry about running a gas line to the fireplace, and that can start to become quite pricy as well.

That being said, you will need to pay for the EcoSmart unit itself as well as the bioethanol to actually operate it (in the same way you’d need to pay for propane or firewood).

Your decision, however, should not be all about the bottom line. Remember, EcoSmart units are not generally used as primary heating sources, so if you’re going for actual heat output and functionality, a natural fireplace is simply going to outperform EcoSmart every time.

For more information about the primary differences between an EcoSmart bioethanol fireplace and a natural fireplace and what might be right for you, contact Design Builders, Inc., your local outdoor fireplace builder, today!