Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes
Whether you want a sizable fire feature or only have the space for a smaller fire pit, the main component you need to consider is the type of fuel you will be burning. No matter the style or aesthetic qualities of your new installation, the type of fuel will affect a number of factors, such as safety, the amount of smoke, and the consequences for the environment.
If you are looking to choose a new fire feature for your home, know these facts about the various fuel types before making a selection:
Ethanol – Burning ethanol is great for the environment, as it is a renewable resource and only releases steam, carbon dioxide, and heat. This also means that you won’t be bombarded by clouds of smoke when you decide to light up the night, which is a main complaint about having an at-home fire feature. Using ethanol fuel takes little maintenance, but it won’t keep you as warm as other fuels, releasing only a small amount of heat.
Natural Gas – If you have a natural gas line available that already goes into your home, this would be an easy option for your fire feature. You will have zero maintenance and never have to worry about stocking up on fuel in a tank or pile of wood. But, it is a fossil fuel and burning it is bad for the environment, releasing harmful greenhouse gases.
Propane – Choosing propane makes for easy fires – simply flip a switch, and your fire goes on or off. Compared to ethanol, it keeps you very warm and releases enough heat for a group of people. But because propane does not originate from a renewable resource, it is more costly than other fuel types and is not sustainable
Wood – Perhaps the most classic option for an outdoor fire feature, wood gives you that outdoorsy scent and that calming crackling sound. Wood gives off a great amount of heat for cold nights and is environmentally-friendly. The only downside is storage and cleanup, as the burned wood will certainly leave a mess.