Wood fire pits and gas fire pits have their own pros and cons. As to which is better, it may be more a question of what’s available to you and if can you afford it.
Fire Pit Limitations
First of all, are you allowed to have a fire pit where you live? Many communities do not allow them, especially in places where wildfires are a high probability. Perhaps, your community allows gas fire pits, but not those that burn wood.
You will first need to check with your Homeowner’s Association and/or local officials to see if there are any limitations where you live.
Next, talk with your insurance agent to see if there are requirements you must fulfill. For example, they may require the installation of a CSA-certified fire pit burner to assure full coverage in the case of an accident.
What Resources Are Available to You?
Once those points are settled, you’ll have to decide on a fuel source. What do you have available to you? If you don’t have an easy way to get wood or a good place to store it away from your house, wood might not be a good option for you.
Do you have natural gas in your neighborhood? If not, you’re out of luck. It is not portable like propane gas in a tank.
So at this point, you may have arrived at your answer through the process of elimination. If you aren’t allowed to have a wood fire, and natural gas is not available to you, then propane it is!
The Pros and Cons of Wood-burning Fire Pits
One of the most obvious advantages of a wood fire pit is the cost of entry. It’s definitely easier and cheaper to build a wood fire pit than a gas fire pit. You won’t have to worry about the dangers of working with gas, nor will you have to hire a professional to hook up gas lines and service them on a regular basis.
Plus, if you are a diehard fan of wood fires, a gas fire pit might be a disappointing substitute. Wood produces a warm, glowing fire with deep yellow and orange flames. The smell is distinctive and so is the crackling sound.
Scent and sound can be strong triggers for memory. If you enjoyed campfires in your youth, a gas fire pit won’t provide the same experience.
But then again, gas doesn’t create that annoying cloud of smoke that seems to follow you from seat to seat in a game of “musical chairs.” And you won’t have to strip and shower when the fun is done to avoid smelling like smoked ham.
Hardwoods can burn quite hot and may outperform anything but the highest BTU/hr. gas burner. But much of that depends on how much wood you pile on the fire.
And that brings up another annoying aspect of a wood fire, you must constantly tend it. You can’t just sit back with a drink in hand and enjoy the flames. You will be busy adding logs, arranging and rearranging the pieces to burn evenly, and making sure the flames don’t get out of control, especially in breezy conditions.
To use a wood-burning fire pit safely and effectively, someone has to constantly monitor the situation and be ready to handle an emergency if the fire escapes the pit.
The Pros and Cons of Gas Fire Pits
What gas fire pits lack in ambiance, they make up for in convenience. Light a match or push a button, and the fire roars to life. You won’t be huddling in the cold waiting for the fire to “get up to speed.” The same is true at the end of the evening. You won’t have to wait for the fire to die so you can douse the embers with water. Switch the gas off and you’re done.
Gas fire pits burn cleaner than wood and do not create smoke that chases you from one side of the fire pit to the other.
A gas fire respects your lounge time. You won’t constantly be popping up like a “Jack-in-the-Box” to keep the fire going. If an adjustment is needed, simply turn the key valve.
You won’t have to worry about floating embers, especially if the wind gets up. There are no embers in a gas fire pit. You can even limit how much the flame moves around by installing a glass flame guard.
Lastly, if your fire gas pit is built correctly and tastefully, it can add value to your home. That’s not something a wood-burning pit can do.
Plan and Build Your Fire Pit
Stop dreaming about how nice it would be to entertain guests around your fire pit and start planning today.
If you decide on natural gas or propane, the Celestial Tech Team is here to help you from start to finish. Don’t hesitate to call us with all of your questions or concerns.