Fuel choices

Which fuel is right for you?

Your choice of fuel is a very personal decision and will depend on your aesthetics, your budget, and the practicality of sourcing a sufficient amount of fuel.

An important point to consider what the purpose of the fireplace is. Do you primarily want the heat? Do you want to add an extra dimension to your interior design? How often you’re planning on using the fireplace? If your undecided about which fuel to choose, understanding what your expectations and desires are, and how you intend to use the fireplace will assist you in selecting a fuel that will suit your home and lifestyle perfectly.

At Aurora we believe in sustainable fuel choices and only offer fires that are fueled in ways that are both good for people and the planet.

We currently have wood or bioethanol, both of which are great choices. We have compiled everything you need to know when choosing between wood, bioethanol or our wood/bioethanol hybrids.


A wood-burning stove is the first choice for many customers, and we don’t blame them. The ambiance and ritual associated with a wood burning fire are hard to resist and an open fire will add a touch of soul to any space.

Both efficient and practical, wood is a great choice in fuel and can offer real energy savings.

Wood-burning fires use the leading renewable source of energy: wood biomass. This fuel is ecological and creates a unique atmosphere, along with excellent thermal comfort.


Relaxing in front of an open fire is a primal pleasure that cannot be ignored. The crackle of burning logs, the radiance heat of the roaring fire all combine to create a deeply pleasurable experience that is meditative, restorative and brings people together like nothing else in the home. Its even scientifically proven to lower blood pressure!
During winter, creating a cosy environment is an essential part of the daily routine. A wood fire heats a room far more effectively than bioethanol and the lively flames and cosy embers can be used as a primary source of heat.


Aurora wood fires are designed to be both beautiful and functional. The firebox and lower flue are made from steel which is an excellent heat conductor. This produces both direct heat from the fire itself and radiant heat from the steel (and of course the perceived heat from the dancing flame and crackling logs).

Our fireplaces are approved for CE certification and have been rated as having the following heating capacities:

  • The Aether: 8.2kW
  • The Hearth: 7.2kW

Both of these ratings are very powerful for open fireplaces and they are certainly powerful sources of heat. The exact heating capacity depends on many variables: the ambient temperature outside, the height of the ceilings in the room the fire is located, if the room has insulation in the ceiling and walls, how many and the size of the windows in the room and perhaps the biggest factor of all is the quality and amount of fuel you are using.

As an example;we have an Aether in our living room which is 60m2. It is an open plan room with high raked ceilings and sliding doors across the length of the main wall. It is a new home with good insulation.

The Aether does a cracking job of heating this space for us!

Heating Area Volume & Climate Zone

The required kW output required is primarily dependent upon the area to be heater and the climate zone in which you live.

The following rough guide assumes your ceilings are no higher than 2.4M:

  • Very Cold Zone: 1kW output required for each 8.5m²
  • Cold Zone: 1 kW output required for each 10m²
  • Cool Zone: 1kW output required for each 13 m²
  • Mild Zone: 1kW output required for each 16m²

Adjustment Factors

The indicated heating areas would be adjusted down by 5% for each of the following conditions: house built on pillars (non-slab), no carpets on floors, no drapes on windows or a ceiling height exceeding 2.4m.

Deduct an additional 10% if the area does not have ceiling insulation.

Please note that this is only a guide and individual home designs and situations may vary.


If you fancy the idea of cooking in your Aurora fireplace, wood is the fuel for you. Our wood fire grates have been especially designed with a central closed ember bed grate which acts as a heat sink to control the burn and is perfectly designed to hold a pizza stone. Your wood fire works just like a mini pizza oven, anything that can be cooked in a pizza oven will cook beautifully in an Aurora wood fire. Explore our cooking page for more information on cooking in your Aurora wood fire:   Cooking in your fireplace.

Good quality wood is relatively cheap when compared to burning bioethanol, especially if you plan to burn your fire for long periods of time. You can even grow your own free fuel supply if you have the space and time or you can cut your own for free if you have access to timber. If these aren’t an option great wood is always available at decent hardware stores and even most service stations.


Relaxing in front of an open fire is a primal pleasure that cannot be ignored.


A wood fire heats a room far more effectively than bioethanol


If you fancy the idea of cooking in your Aurora fireplace, wood is the fuel for you.


Wood is cheaper and more readily available than bioethanol


Bioethanol is an eco friendly fuel that burns clean and has a minimal carbon footprint. Unlike fossil fuels, bio ethanol isn’t a finite fuel source, which means it’s renewable.

Bioethanol converts into a fine water vapour when burned. It is therefore very clean – the only substances remaining after combustion are carbon dioxide & water. This makes it a great option for regions that have wood fire bans, such as some parts of New Zealand. As it requires no external flue system it’s also an excellent option for apartments or other projects that cannot incorporate an external flue system.

The fact that no flue or chimney is needed means most of the heat generated stays in the room. However it’s important to keep in mind that the heat generated from a bioethanol fireplace cannot compete with a wood burning fireplace so if you will be relying on your fire as the primary source of heat we don’t recommend a bioethanol fire.


The bioethanol/wood hybrid is a fully flued wood fireplace with a custom fitted bioethanol burner as an added extra. You receive two grates, one for burning wood and one for bioethanol. Your bioethanol grate comes fitted with the bioethanol burner you select. When you wish to burn wood you simply swap grates and remove the bioethanol burner.

These fires are perfect for those who are looking for an occasional ambient alternative to the power of their wood fire or for those times when you just want a quick and easy touch of ambience and heat without the ritual of chopping wood and tending to your wood fire.


The combustion of bioethanol results in a clean emission: Heat, Steam and Carbon Dioxide. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by plants. It is then processed via photosynthesis to help the plant grow. This infinite cycle of creation and combustion of energy makes bioethanol a carbon neutral fuel source.


Bioethanol is a renewable energy source distilled from plant by-products. Bioethanol – or simply ‘ethanol’ is made by fermenting the sugar and starch components of plant by-products – mainly sugarcane and crops like grain, using yeast. It is also made from corn, potatoes, milk, rice, beetroot and recently grapes, banana and dates depending on the countries agricultural strength.

As bioethanol burns clean it does not require an external flue system. You will of course need your lower flue and suspension bracket, however the flue will terminate in your ceiling at the suspension bracket with no triple skin flue or cowl penetrating the roof. Your lower flue is capped just below the ceiling allowing the heat generated by the fire to heat the steel of our lower flue and firebox without losing any of the heat through an external flue.


This type of installation is typically much cheaper, and you are free to install the fire in any part of the room without the constraints of an external flue system to consider.

Our range of EcoSmart Fireplaces are fuelled by bioethanol, a renewable liquid fuel produced from agricultural by-products which burns clean – no smoke, no sparks, no soot, no fuss. The combustion of bioethanol produces nothing but Heat Steam and Carbon Dioxide.

Simply fill the burner with ethanol, and light. It’s that simple.


The EcoSmart burners feature a ‘flip lid’ shut-off system that fits perfectly across the ignition zone to extinguish the flame. They operate under all conditions, at all temperatures, every time.

The streamlined, stainless steel ethanol burner designs are easy to keep clean and maintain. Special burner fabrication eliminates unstable flame behaviour and because it’s 100% stainless steel, it can be washed out in hot water to remove any build-up of denaturing agents. Cleaning of the burner should be done only after you have used 50 litres of fuel or as soon as you notice a black residue forming around or on the burner.


Bioethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions.


No external flue brings construction costs down and saves you time and money.


Lose the chimney and the flue and keep the heat in – no smoke, no soot, no ash.


Simply fill, light, enjoy. It’s that easy!