Once you’ve determined that an outdoor fireplace is a worthy addition to your backyard, you’ll then need to decide whether you should choose gas or wood for fueling it. As a Huntington, NY, homeowner, count on professionals to help you make an informed decision that’s right for your property, your family, and your lifestyle.
Consider Whether Convenience Is a Priority
The amount of effort you’re willing to expend to use your outdoor fireplace should be a major factor in the decision. While wood burners are generally less expensive and require less time to install, outdoor fireplaces that use gas require less work on an everyday basis—all they require is a simple turn of the knob. Wood-burning fireplaces, on the other hand, demand that you procure and load wood, and then figure out a system for getting the fire to catch. Cleanup is another issue to consider: For wood, you’ll have to deal with bark, dirt, and other debris that needs to be swept with every use, but gas outdoor fireplaces are no muss, no fuss features.
Image Source - Unilock
Take Fuel Storage into Account
Wood and gas outdoor fireplaces both require storage but in different forms. A gas outdoor fireplace needs a tank to store propane. While the size of the tank depends on how frequently you plan to use with your hardscape feature, strategic camouflage in the form of plantings and other concealments may be appropriate. Alternatively, a wood-burning outdoor fireplace will create the need for a firewood stack. Homeowners may view the site of a firewood stack as either aesthetically underwhelming or wonderfully charming.
Think of What’s Available in Your Area
The availability and ease with which you can obtain fuel is an issue related to convenience but is significant enough for a category all its own. Those with nearby woods or sources of firewood might naturally gravitate to wood while you may be more amenable to the possibility of gas if your home already has a gas line. The cost, ease, and time required for procurement will all influence your decision.
Plan to Be Environmentally Appropriate for Your Family and Lifestyle
The environment experiences impacts from both wood and gas outdoor fireplaces in different ways. Gas isn’t renewable, but its use emits less carbon than burning wood. One in a way counteracts the other, making the choice a wash in many homeowners’ minds.
Think of the Safety Factors
Safety is generally a non-factor when the features are created professionally. The potential, however, for gas to leak is always present, and fire itself should be handled with caution. Burning firewood comes with cautionary factors, especially as it related to procurement, stacking, and lighting. Embers from the burning wood can be a factor, but an appropriate build should eliminate this potential danger.
Personal Preferences Related to Cooking and Ambiance
In the end, most of the differences between wood and gas boil down to personal preference. Wood takes a bit more work, but it provides the crackling roar that gas cannot replicate. The taste of the food cooked is also different depending on the fuel used within the feature. Consider the differences as you make your choice. Ultimately, you want to prioritize what type of fuel will be most enjoyable for you and your family.