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The fall and winter seasons are now in session, but don’t let the cold weather dampen your night. Instead of spending the night inside with Netflix, think about getting yourself an outdoor fireplace. Not only will you be able to enjoy the natural cool air, but it might also add more family gatherings or a couple more romantic nights with a good bottle of wine. If you hated having to put on more logs as the fire dies down, maybe changed the wood fireplace into a gas fireplace insert. Before you go and buy and outdoor fireplace there are some things to take into account, number one on that list is the safety of your family and home. Different types of fires are more dangerous than others. For example, the fires available at bioethanolfires.co.uk for relatively safe compared to traditional wooden fires. Here are a couple more examples of what to look out for.
1. Size Does Matter
As we’ve been learning over the past couple of blogs, everything is dependent on the size of space you have to work with. Compare the various fireplaces you like, take down the measurements of each one then measure the size of the area you have to work with. Compare each one and how much room it leaves you to add chairs or even a table. The most important is the size of the area, not the height as you generally wont have any restrictions with that unless you have wiring running through the back yard. Take into account that you don’t want a fireplace with a small firebox as cutting and buying smaller pieces of wood will be more difficult and might be a bit more expensive.
2. Proper maintenance
Copper, clay or sheet metal fireplaces do not have the same longevity or safety as aluminum or cast iron fireplaces. If the budget is a little tight, look into a sheet metal fireplace as these tend to be more cost effective. The downfall with a sheet metal fireplaces is that they’re pretty much disposable units. Once the sheet metal begins to rust, its time to chuck it out and replace. If you do decide to go with a sheet metal fireplace, be sure to get one with a good thickness to it, one that is too thin has a high chance of melting.
There are some cast iron fireplaces that have a sheet metal neck. Check with the store or manufacturer, to find out if there are replacement parts available and the cost of these parts. The last thing you want is to constantly have to maintain and buy parts for the fire place you enjoy.
A cast iron fire place, must also be maintained to prevent rust from occurring, but a well maintained cast iron fireplace will last you for quite a long time. When considering a cast iron fireplace also consider the location of the fireplace, because these tend to stain the surface they stand on. To slow down the rusting process, give it a paint job with a high temperature pain, these cast iron fireplaces are quite heavy and can stand the abuse you might put it through during the fall and winter seasons. You could even take a look at getting something like these shot peening treatments to stop it from rusting.
Copper is another option, it looks awesome initially, but after using it a couple of times it does tend to turn green and begin a rusting process. Most companies tend to put holes in the bottom of the pit to drain out ash and water during the rainy days. A fire pit with no holes will easily fill up with water when it rains, and you will then be left with the job of pouring out the water and cleaning up the mixture of ash and water.
The cast aluminum is where you will get the most bang for your buck. As it is easy to maintain and processes a long lifespan. Some of the benefits are that aluminum does not rust, it will also not warp and is considerably lighter which makes it easier to move around and position it depending on the night.
3. Surround View Fireplaces
The bulk of all surround view fireplaces are built with light materials such as aluminium which makes it easier to move around, but the downfall is that it might tip over and send ashes and embers everywhere. Safety is the biggest issues with surround view’s because a slight breeze might just be enough to send embers flying and catch fire with any flammable materials.
4. Raised Fire Pits
If you decide to go with a raised fire pit for your backyard, make sure that it either comes with a lid or purchase one. You don’t want to have ash spread out on your patio when it rains.
5. What To Burn?
Burning a good firewood is essential as you don’t want to be inhaling any harmful toxins. STAY AWAY FROM PRESSURE-TREATED WOOD. Good sources natural wood to burn includes alder, cedar, oak, peca, hickory, pinon and even fruit woods like cherry and apple. Personally I like to burn pinon wood, due to it’s pleasant pine scent and it’s ability to keep the flame active and generate a relaxing and soothing heat. If you would like to experiment with different aromas, add pine cones or apple wood to the mix.