So it's Jan 2021 and in the UK we are in our 2nd national lockdown and like most of us you are probably looking to get outside. So if you want to use our outside space on these cooler days and nights maybe now is the time to invest in an outside fire or heater.
Should you choose a wood or gas-fired outside fireplace? Probably too bigger a question to answer here but the below are some pointers on gas fire pits and bowls.
The original fire pits were just that, essentially a pit dug in the ground . Their primary design purpose and function is to prevent the fire from spreading, especially it to the surrounding areas.
Fire pits are routinely manufactured of stone , concrete and/or metal with the latter two being the most common materials used today.
So what may the advantageous (or disadvantageous) of a gas fire pit over and wood-fired version:
So in the UK your gas powered outdoor fire is almost certainly going to be powered by bottled gas. If you happen to have mains gas piped to your outside space you are very lucky indeed! The two common gases used for BBQ/Outdoor heaters are Propane and Butane. Both are bottled forms of natural gas. In cooler weather butane gas doesn't flow quite as well...
We consider the propane fire pit the most convenient fire pit available. It can be lit and enjoyed instantly, without having to light it or refill while burning. It's clean, and essentially smoke free when compared to solid wood fuels. The heat output is consistent and controllable- wood fires can be tricky to maintain so as not to boom and bust on the flames! With a gas outside fire do please check the BTU (measure of heat output) as this can sometimes be surprising low- a
Running cost wise we think wood Vs gas is not much different. You will need to buy your propane bottle, which will be refillable/returnable. They range in size from ca 5 kg to 45kg, routine garden size is in the 5 to 15kg range. Your fire pit should be supplied with all necessary pipework, connectors and regulator allowing you to connect direct to the bottle- but do check!
The propane bottle can sit underneath the fire in some models, and this can limit the size- again check with your specific model.
With a wood fired bowl you do get the full aesthetics of a real fire; the leaping flames, the sounds and the smells. Depending on your view these could be positives or negatives. With wood you will need a safe store to keep it both away from the flames and to keep it dry. We do recommend that wood fires are used with a spark guard to help prevent sparks from causing a hazard.
Our vote is for gas powered but you cant beat the look of a real fire!