Wood vs Gas Fire Pit: Which is Better? - Backyard Boss
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Wood vs Gas Fire Pit: Which is Better?

If you’re getting ready to buy a fire pit for your outdoor space there are some things you’ll want to consider before taking that plunge. Your budget, your time, the space available for installation, and several other factors could easily determine which is better: wood-burning or gas fire pit.

It’s important to take in all the information you can, allow yourself some time to contemplate, and review your decision with anyone in the family who’s going to use the fire pit regularly.

About Wood Firepits

DIY firepit made from bricks
Image credits: Kim Siever via Flickr

As with all things, wood fire pits have both pros and cons. These may help you decide which is the better fit for your budget, personal preferences, and needs. Wood-burning fire pits tend to be more affordable to build and install than other fire pit types, partially because you don’t need an expert installation of gas lines, etc. with these. A wood fire pit can easily make for a great weekend DIY for the whole family, or a pre-fab wood-burning fire pit installs almost instantly.

A wood fire pit also provides a more “natural” experience that many find more enjoyable than a propane fire pit. And, because of that natural wood fuel, you can safely roast marshmallows and even hot dogs over wood-burning fire pits.

There are some downsides to consider, as well. Burning wood increases air pollution, thanks to that smoke that likes to chase you around the fire. And if wood fire pits aren’t well-maintained, they’re more likely to start fires that spread.

You’ll also need a wood storage area for your fire pit use if you expect to light up more than once or twice a year. A wood fire pit tends to be harder to light and keep lit than gas, they’re more work to keep the fire going, and require regular maintenance to keep them clean and safe.



About Gas Firepits

Uniquely shaped gas firepit
Image credits: Media Director via Flickr

There are many pros to gas fire pits, as well as some negatives. Weigh and balance these against those of a wood fire pit to make that all-important decision: wood or gas. For starters, gas fire pits are clean-burning, meaning no smoke and air pollution. Gas fire pits are also easier to light, in most cases.

There aren’t as many concerns for fire spreading beyond the contained gas fire pits and gas is far less messy than firewood.

Conversely, gas fire pits tend to be more expensive than wood-burning pits. You’ll need a professional to install it safely and the installation time for gas fire pits is much longer than that of wood-burning pits. If you plan to use your fire pit often, you’ll need a large propane tank on hand. Additionally, while they are cleaner burning, gas isn’t a renewable energy source.



Similarities and Differences of Wood and Gas Firepits

gas firepit upclose
Image credits: Nan Palmero via Flickr

Ultimately, gas and wood fire pits are very similar. They both produce warming, inviting fires you can gather around with family and friends in the backyard. Some models of each are safe for use on a deck or patio and some are safer used away from the house.

Additionally, both offer physical warmth for more comfortable gatherings in off-season weather and both add some value to your home for resale, especially if you alter your landscape design to accommodate your fire pit space.

The differences mostly boil down to those mentioned previously in the pros and cons. Gas isn’t renewable but wood doesn’t offer a clean burn. Gas is easy to light and safer to keep lit, but wood fire pits don’t require professional installation.

Ultimately, the Decision is All About Preference

Your personal preference is what will ultimately make the decision of wood vs gas fire pit. There are many pros and cons to each that should be weighed and balanced against each other in light of your personal budget, the size, and placement available in your outdoor living space, and how much effort you want to put into the installation and upkeep.