Fire Pits can Add Ambiance to your backyard living
Although there are many aspects of your outdoor living space that is simply unusable in the winter, there is one thing that may be even more enjoyable during the cold weather – your fire pit! If you don’t yet have one, the first choice you will need to make is whether you want a wood-burning or gas-burning model.
Neither is better than the other; they each have pros and cons. So let’s take a look at six factors, and you can decide which works better for you.
- Fuel availability. If you live in rural area with plenty of firewood nearby, wood is obviously an easy option. Or if you are in a suburban home, there may already be a gas line in place. If you already have natural gas or propane appliances, it could be a very practical expense to add an outdoor fire feature as you wouldn’t have to worry about running service from the road or purchasing a tank for propane.
- Installation price and time. Wood is certainly less expensive than gas. Also, wood-burning fire pits are less costly to install and can typically be built in 50 – 75 percent of the time needed to install a gas-burning unit.
- Fuel storage. A propane-burning fire pit will require a storage tank that would hold from 15 to 100 gallons, depending on how often you use it. Firewood also requires storage space, so you’d need to consider where to stack it without detracting from the appearance of your home. Don’t stack it against the house, however, as firewood may harbor termites.
- Convenience. Gas is the hands-down winner here. It’s obviously easier to push a button and have an instant fire. You also would not have to deal with the mess of the firewood and ash cleanup.
- Safety. There is always a danger of leaks with gas. But if the fire pit is professionally installed, these are rare. With wood, there are of course dangers inherent in cutting the wood, stacking it properly, and dealing with the fire when you are finished. In either case, understanding the risks and knowing how to handle fire responsibly are very important to your enjoyment of an outdoor fire feature. If you have children around the fire, make sure to teach them fire responsibility as well.
- Primary use. If you just want the ambience and heat of a fire, gas is certainly an easy option. But if you want to cook on the fire, you need to go with wood.