Patio Heater vs. Fire Pit: Which is Better?

There are many available heaters on the market that offer different options for heat outdoor spaces. These heaters use various sources of energy, and are efficient in converting energy to heat. For outdoor heaters, the more well-known heaters are fire pits, and electric- and gas-powered patio heaters.

What is a fire pit?

A fire pit is a heater that use burning charcoal or firewood to produce heat. A fire pit is a derivative of the fireplace but put in a vessel like a bowl or can be constructed in a place like an outdoor grill. A portable fire pit is lightweight and can be transferred from being a centerpiece or used off to the side. It can be taken from one place to the other.

Permanent fire pits are constructed and should match the look of the patio. The permanent fire pit is more difficult and time-consuming to assemble, but it can also function as a grill. A landscape professional and a contractor should be hired to make the pit.

You should choose the source of energy is most appropriate for your needs. You can choose between charcoal and firewood. If firewood is to be the fuel source, a pit with a glass protector should be used to keep the flames inside the pit. Some fire pits come in a form of a portable chimney to regulate the smoke. A fire bowl uses charcoal.

There are pits that are made of copper that reduce the absorption of heat from the logs. The pit should be placed on fire-resistant materials like brick, stone or gravel. It should also be placed so that there is still room for guests to walk around.

In general, fire pits generate the most direct kind of heat and in some types, the heater can be used to cook. Preparation is tedious and more painstaking. More effort should be applied to control smoke and flames.

What are propane and electric heaters?

A propane heater works like a gas stove and uses propane gas to produce heat. The propane heater has a burner that is protected by metal and topped with a small roof to generate heat offer a fixed radius. Manufacturers have made them more stylish to compliment most patio décors. The propane outdoor heater is lit by an easy switch ignition.

An electric outdoor heater generates heat through the use of electricity. The generated heat is less intense compared to a propane heater, and is safer to use. It radiates heat through emission of infrared light. Most electric heaters produce 1,000 to 1,500 watts of heat.

Both heaters have safety features and anti-tilt mechanisms that make the gas connection stop when the heater is tilted. Electric heaters also have an automatic shutdown system if the panels overheat. Both products are certified for safety, and quality products can last for years.

These heaters are best to be used for producing as much as 40,000 BTUs, but not as powerful as fire pits. Limited spaces can use table-top heaters that can generate heat over a 5’ radius. They take less effort to construct and the source of energy is easy to obtain. For propane patio heaters, the LPG tank refill will take roughly $20 and can last for 10 hours straight.

Which is better?

A fire pit generates more energy and can instantly produce ample heat. It uses wood or charcoal that emits more heat and smoke, but the temperature is raised very quickly and efficiently. A fire pit generates light and flames that make the patio feel cozy.

However, fire pits are hazardous and the possibility of a fire is higher. Ashes that are not disposed properly and extinguished well can also cause a fire. The smoke emission of a pit is far greater than other heaters.

A propane or electric patio heater is easier to use. A propane gas heater can produce enough heat to raise the temperature by several degrees. Starting it is easy, and shut-off mechanisms can be used in case of emergency.

Electric heaters are highly economical and can be used in any type of weather. Energy consumption is moderate and the heater will not pose a fire risk.