Fire Pits and Outdoor Gas Heating Ideas

fire pits
Roasting heavenly marshmallows over an open fire pit

One of the greatest pleasures of life is to sit outdoors under a starry night sky, staring at the flickering flames of an open fire. There is something extremely soothing and exciting about watching a fire. Add a comfortable chair and a glass of wine or a cup of tea and it doesn’t get much better. Having a fire pit in your garden is a great way to add some welcome warmth to your open-air entertaining area through outdoor heating if you choose wisely and use safely.

How to choose the best outdoor heater

While a real fire is the ultimate in outdoor heating, a gas outdoor heater may actually work well in your space, if the open fire option isn’t safe or practical.  Here are some thoughts to consider when selecting what’s best for your outdoor heating.

Try an gas outdoor heater – Instant heat, clean and portable

Gas patio heaters are suitable for most outdoor spaces. They are designed to warm what’s directly within the vicinity by using radiant heat that specifically travels through the air to where it’s needed most. Although these heaters come in a variety of sizes, when put in the centre of your entertaining area, they most work most effectively.

For a good gas heater, look for an easy start or push button ignition, and when choosing your outdoor gas heater, think about the aesthetics. Will it fit in with your decor? Is this the appropriate height for the area? These products have significant clearance distances so be sure to follow the manufactures guide. The environment is just another aspect to remember. If you live in a region where the winters are freezing cold, you may need more than one heater in your entertaining outdoor area to provide enough heat for everyone so select the right size heater for the space. Most gas heaters are designed for easy portability. Wheels make the larger freestanding models mobile for simple positioning almost anywhere.

Size, portability and safety count

Gas heaters and open fires are perfect additions to your outdoor area when the nights turn chilly and although basking in their warmth is lovely, it’s important to be mindful of a little health and safety. Most gas heaters have built-in features including a tilt shut-off switch, which switches off automatically if the unit falls over the heater. Use these apparatuses only in an outdoor space. Never take your outdoor gas heater indoors. They are designed specifically for open-air use only.

How to set up your outdoor heater

Position it in a well ventilated outdoor area, on flat, level and stable ground. When setting up your outdoor gas heater be aware that natural gas heaters generate excellent radiant heat, therefore they need plenty of clearance from fuel materials such as overhead ceilings, awnings or blinds. Be sure to read fully the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate clearances.

Outdoor Fire pits and Fireplaces

If you’re looking for a more authentic winter outdoor experience, then a fire pit may be what you’re after. Fire pits are a great alternative to open fires as they safely contain the fire itself and commercial options can also be easily moved around making outdoor fire pits and fireplaces popular heating choices. Both are attractive because they help create the perfect atmosphere which brings people together.

Think about style, shape and size when selecting a fire pit, ideally choose a fire pit made of materials that match your decor, or the style you wish to achieve.

Do you want a permanent fixture, or a bowl that can be easily moved to where your outdoor event works best? Would you like it to be built-in or movable? These are both important questions to consider when making decisions about your fire pit location. I bought my fire pit because it had a well-fitting lid as having young children around a secure lid was important to me. When selecting a fire pit outdoor fireplace, be sure that its size is commensurate with the garden area. A well-designed flue helps to let the smoke out, so the fire burns well.

Location is important

Fire pits and fireplaces are perfect places to meet, so position yours where it can be reached and gathered round. For example, in the vicinity of an outside dining or sitting area. You’ll also need access to a lot of fuel like wood for example. So, think of a place to store that too. Wood has to be stacked away from the weather so it’s dry and burns well.

It is necessary to position fire pits and fireplaces on a flat, level surface, and on a non-combustible surface such as concrete pavers or gravel. Be sure to locate your fire pit and fireplace away from the house or other items that might burn and take wind direction into consideration if sited out in the open.

If supplied, always use a screen or mesh lid, or consider buying one, to help prevent sparks and always look out for kids and pets around fires and outdoor heaters.

Get your outdoor heater

Top Tips for Out Door Heaters & Fire Pits

  • Before installing or purchasing a fireplace or fire pit, please check the relevant authorities in your area for outdoor burn regulations
  • Always mount your fire pit or fireplace on a surface that is stable, level, and non-combustible such as concrete or brick
  • Check the gas cylinder for leaks and check the cylinder for leaks to the regulator connexion, and check the hose fittings regularly for any faults or wear and tear
  • Never leave your fire unattended after it has been lit. Be careful about sparks, use a screen, always have a handy fire extinguisher, and be sure it is working
  • Choose good quality, dry wood to burn. Hardwood is better because it burns hotter and produces less smoke
  • Get into the habit of regularly cleaning your fire pit and fireplace by removing and disposing of ash
  • Use quality utensils which have long handles and are made from cast iron when cooking on your outdoor fireplace.
  • Always watch out for kids and animals around heaters and particularly open fires and always the manufacturer’s instructions.

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