Trex Outdoor Living

Choosing a Gas or Wood Burning Fireplace in Northwest Arkansas

Fire pits are a beautiful, comfortable addition to any home’s backyard. Choosing the ideal firepit, however, takes some consideration. Gas and wood are two of the most popular firepit choices. We will explain the differences between them to help you make a more informed decision on which might be better suited for your backyard.

Gas Fire Pits

finger up green   PROS

  • Clean burning
  • Quick to light
  • More environmentally friendly
  • Runs continuously
  • Fewer fire hazards

finger down grey  CONS

  • More expensive
  • Gas lines can be dangerous
  • Large fuel tank
  • Longer installation time

Wood Burning Fire Pits

finger up green   PROS

  • More affordable
  • Faster installation
  • Boosts aesthetics of the home
  • Better experience

finger down grey  CONS

  • Not clean burning
  • Easier to start fires
  • Needs a wood storage area
  • Harder to light
  • More work to keep it burning
  • Requires regular cleaning
  • Can cause fire hazards

    Fuel and Storage

    Gas fire pits work with liquid propane or natural gas, while wood fire pits require the use of dry wood. Due to having to hold large logs, wood fire pits tend to be larger than gas fire pits.

    For both types of fire pits, it is important to know that you have a supplier for the fuel. Wood fire pits need good firewood, while gas fire pits require the use of a natural gas or propane supplier. Having easy access provides a simple way to keep your fire pit going.

    Storage is also something to keep in mind. Wood fireplaces need a spot to hold all of the wood. You have to ensure that it stays dry, and it must be away from the home because wood can hold termites. On the other hand, gas fire pits need a large storage tank for the gas it requires to run. Companies provide containers from 15 to 100 gallons. Keep in mind that this tank is not going to be attractive, so consider a landscape plan that will hide it.

    Time Needed

    gas fire pit is much more efficient at lighting and providing continuous heat. There is generally just a button that needs to be pressed to light the flames. On the contrary, a wood fire pit requires the effort of building a fire. Once a larger wood fire is going, though, it can put off continuous heat for some time until a new log is needed.

    Energy-efficiency

    Gas fire pits are always going to be the more energy-efficient. Gas burns more cleanly and produces fewer emissions into the atmosphere. Wood fire pits emit around 28 or more pounds of emissions into the atmosphere every time they’re used. This is compared to natural gas, which produces 99 percent fewer emissions than that of the wood fire pit.

    Installation

    Gas fire pits are harder to install. Since gas lines need to be run for the fire pit, it requires the use of a professional, and this also means it needs more time to be installed. Wood fire pits can be a DIY project, but it is recommended that a professional build a fire pit for safety reasons.

    However, even with the longer installation of gas fire pits, they do not require the time you’d spend stacking, ordering, seasoning, and carrying all of the wood needed throughout the year for a wood fire pit. Once the gas fire pit is installed, you do not have to do anything else but press a button to start it.

    The installation from professionals differs since a wood fire pit requires only a metal frame, brick or stone over top of that, and be a specific distance away from the home. A gas fire pit has fewer rules to follow, but the gas lines that go to the fire pit have to be installed correctly and out of the way of those walking through the yard.

    Maintenance

    Wood fire pits are harder to maintain because they hold the soot, ash, and logs. This will need to be shoveled out from time to time. Creosote may be an issue with wood when it is burned since it is a tar substance that can leak harmful chemicals into the air. When breathed in, they’re not good for the health of those nearby. Additionally, unclean wood fire pits can produce a fire if the embers are not put completely out.

    In comparison, a gas fire pit does not require much maintenance at all. Since it burns clean, with no logs or soot, there is nothing to clean out. The outside of the fire pit can be wiped down, and a cover can be placed over it for when it rains or snows.

    Safety

    It is always important to have the gas system checked thoroughly for any leaks that might occur. If a leak happens, things can quickly get out of hand. To avoid this situation, keep the fire pit in the best shape and have routine maintenance performed on the gas lines. Wood-burning fire pits also have to be used with caution. Make sure that the fire is completely out each time. It should also be away from any structures that can catch fire.

    Resale Value

    Both fire pits can increase the resale value of the home. Not only that, but they can make the home sell faster by providing homeowners with something that they want, without having install it later on. Gas fire pits, because they more eco-friendly and cleaner, have a higher return on investment. However, wood fire pits do provide a beautiful outdoor look

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