As the colder days approach, we will miss staying outdoors so a fire pit is a great solution. If you like to have company in the yard even when the nights are cool, then you need to have a fire pit in the yard. We can spend as much time outdoors as possible without being cold. Fire pits today are a common addition to backyards and can come in a variety of sizes, materials, and styles (metal bowls that are portable or even masonry wells) and it is up to you to choose which will best suit your backyard. How hot the fire will be depends on the type of fire pit as well as the type of fuel you use.
There are two divisions: fire pits that are ignited by crackling wood and fire pits that are ignited by a switch. Some of the most common fuel options for fire pits are wood, coal (ordinary or non-smoking), and gas (propane and ethanol). Btu is a measure of heat (full name is The British thermal unit) and it’s the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Fahrenheit or one gram of water by one degree Celsius. This abbreviation is not only used for the area of Britain but is valid worldwide in the manufacture of boilers, air conditioners, or barbecues and we use it here for fire pits.
Oxygen, fuel, and heat are needed to light a fire. Wood needs about 15% oxygen to burn and air contains about 20% oxygen therefore, if you set a wood fire well, very high temperatures will occur. The fire will be so hot that you will be able to melt aluminum, which means over 1000 degrees Celsius.
How to choose the right fire pit?
If you want a decorative fire pit that is not even intended for outdoor using a bioethanol-powered fire pit is the best choice for you. As this is the smallest type of fire pit, the heat can be between 1000 and 4000 Btu. Therefore, if you want something to keep you warm outdoors, then skip this type of fire pit. You might consider a propane-fired fire pit. Although they are also decorative in design, this type of fire pit will still provide you with enough heat that you can use it outdoors as well. Their heat varies from 10,000 to 70,000 Btu. If you are more interested in a stationary fire pit then choose a gas fire pit. In a wood-fired fire pit, it's difficult to determine the exact heat because it, as we have mentioned, varies. What we can safely claim is that any wood-fired fire pit will produce more heat than any gas-fired fire pit. The larger the pot where the fire is, the warmer it will be+ the higher the airflow, the higher the heat! Therefore, heat can easily exceed 100,000 Btu. Also if you put a fire pit in the center of the garden or living room, it will be warmer than putting it in a corner because the air will circulate better. These are the average temperatures that a particular type of fire pit can reach and if you want to know the exact temperature, use an infrared thermometer.
Some useful tips
- place the fire pit at least 10 meters from any flammable thing, do not place it in low covered areas or directly on the grass.
- always check the wind direction first and if it is very windy, it would be best to postpone lighting the fire for another time.
- never leave the fire unattended and if you go somewhere, pour water over it to make sure it is extinguished. Just in case, keep your water hose handy.
- make sure children and pets are far enough away because in case you use a softwood like pine, fire can throw sparks.
Fire pits are a great choice to make use of your backyard during the winter days as well. The heat that a fire pit can reach depends mostly on the material, size, and fuel. Our advice is to choose for yourself which fire pit best suits your needs and which one fits best. If you just want a nice decoration, fire pits that burn on bioethanol might suit you best, and if you want to warm up the best, choose the ones on wood and enjoy your yard all year round.