Outdoor Fireplaces: Gas or Wood-Burning?

When considering outdoor fireplaces, people can choose between outdoor wood burning fireplaces and outdoor gas fireplaces. The debate about which type is better has raged for years, and it is hard to determine which side is right. Both sides have advantages and disadvantages to their use. Continue reading to find out about the benefits and downsides of both types of outdoor fireplaces.

Outdoor Wood Burning Fireplaces

A wood burning fireplace will add traditional authenticity and a rustic sense of style to your outdoor room or sitting area. A wood burning fireplace offers the crackling sounds of burning timber and unmistakable fireplace aroma that a gas fireplace could never provide. Furthermore, a wood burning outdoor fireplace is much easier and less expensive to construct and implement.

With an outdoor wood burning fireplace, you will not be required to install gas lines running from your gas main to the outdoor fireplace nor pay the ever increasing cost of natural gas. If you have adequate timber trees on your property, you can use them to avoid paying any fuel costs at all with your wood burning fireplace. Even if you have to purchase wood for your fireplace, the cost of wood is generally much cheaper than the cost of natural gas.

While a wood burning fireplace does offer the benefits of being cheaper than gas and creating a more natural feel in your outdoor sitting area, there are several disadvantages. For instance, wood burning fireplaces require a lot of cleaning and maintenance to remove the buildup of creosote on the walls of the fireplace as well as the frequent removal and disposal of ashes. Also, some jurisdictions do not allow for outdoor or wood-burning fireplaces because of the smoke they generate.

Gas Only Outdoor Fireplaces

Natural gas outdoor fireplaces burn a lot cleaner than wood burning fireplaces and produce very little or no smoke at all. They are much easier to start or light, and usually only involve turning a lever and lighting a match or pushing a button. Natural gas fireplaces offer all the beauty and warmth of wood burning fireplaces - without all the hassle of creating the fire.

Natural gas fireplaces also are more convenient in that they require very little maintenance to operate. Natural gas fireplaces do not create creosote on the walls of the fireplace nor do they produce any ashes that need to be removed from the fireplace. You also never have to haul wood from a storage shed or worry about the wood getting wet.

Natural gas fireplaces are certainly easy to use and maintain. However, they can be very expensive. The average cost of installing a natural gas outdoor fireplace can be two or three times that of a wood burning fireplace. Also, you will need to invest in installing natural gas lines that run from your natural gas main pipe to the fireplace area. In addition to the substantial construction costs involved with a natural gas fireplace, you also have to pay monthly costs for natural gas that is burned when using the fireplace.