The fire pit. A place to gather friends and family during the chilly nights of late summer through the fall. When planning this entertainment focal piece into your landscape, many ponder the question: gas or wood? Here at Mom’s we recommend and install both kinds—depending on the uses and desires of our clients. Here’s some things to think about when making the tough decision.
When choosing a gas or wood fire pit, the two main things to consider are convenience and overall feel. In terms of convenience, gas fire pits win hands down. Probably the best part about a gas burning fire is that it can simply be turned on or off with the push of a button. No wood to be chopped, gathered, and stored. The burn of either propane or natural gas means there is no mess to clean up afterwards, and you also will not have to deal with the ever-present smoke that comes with wood burning applications. We’ve all sat near a fire pit for an evening just to wake the next morning smelling like a chimney—that’s not the case with gas.
Gas burning systems are amazing for convenience, but do have their downfalls. To start, they are more expensive to install. Gas fire features will require either a natural gas line to be run from your house by a plumber, or using a propane tank to fuel the fire. Although chances are slim, gas lines and tanks bring the potential for a dangerous gas leak. If using a propane tank, creative landscaping is often necessary to hide the ugly gas tank from sight.
Compared to wood burning methods, gas applications fall short when it comes to heat. Wood burning features look and feel more traditional. You can get more heat from wood because it burns hotter than both propane and natural gas. This also means that outdoor cooking is easier to accomplish with wood burning applications than gas ones. There is nothing quite like the crackling sounds and rustic smells of a natural cedar burning fire place. If you do a lot of cooking and want an authentic, rustic feel to your fire feature, go with wood burning.
To review, here’s a simple pros & cons list:
Pros of Gas
- Convenience- turn on and off with a button!
- No mess or ash to clean up
- No wood to chop or store
- No smoke on your clothes
Cons of Gas
- More expensive
- Must run a gas line or use a propane tank
- Potential for a gas leak
- Hiding the propane tank is sometimes tricky
- Less heat
- Harder to cook with
- Less rustic smells & sounds
Pros of Wood
- Sounds of crackling cedar are hard to beat!
- More traditional looking flame
- Better for cooking (think of the s’mores!)
- Cheaper to install
Cons of Wood
- Hassle of chopping & storing wood
- Takes time to start the fire
- Gets the smell of smoke on you
- Hassle of cleaning ash
Whichever method you choose, we at Mom’s would be more than happy to help design and build the fire of your dreams!