Should You Buy an Electric or Propane Outdoor Fireplace?

A propane outdoor fireplace.

If you plan to purchase a new electric or a propane outdoor fireplace, there are several aspects you should look at. These two machines will have different benefits that may or may not be right for you and learning about those things will help you make the right decision in which fireplace to purchase.

Propane Outdoor Fireplace Benefits

One of the nicest things about a propane fireplace is that the heat begins instantly. As soon as you turn it on, the spark will light and immediately will begin to produce heat, whereas electric heat will take a little longer to heat up. Depending on which type of fireplace you own, the propane will allow either radiant or convective heat to fill the area.

Propane fireplaces are easy to use and set up and depending on how efficient your fireplace is, you may not need to refill your propane tank very often, allowing you to have a cheap way of enjoying the warmth on your patio and barbeque.

In the event of an electrical blackout, you will still be able to use your propane fireplace to cook food and add light to your patio, allowing you to still have a hot meal until the electricity comes back on. Though this may not be necessary for most people, if you live in an area that experiences blackouts often, this may be important for you.

A propane fireplace is easy to ignite and with a little precaution, it can be very safe as well.

Propane Outdoor Fireplace Drawbacks

You will need to periodically refill your propane tank. Though it may not be expensive, it is a bit of a hassle, as you must unhook it, refill it, and hook it back up to your fireplace again.

Propane fireplaces can potentially be dangerous if they are not hooked up correctly, turned up too high, or near flammable materials. You must make sure that you maintain it properly in order to not cause a fire.

Electric Outdoor Fireplace Benefits

Electric outdoor fireplaces are very easy and safe to ignite. Some models will even allow you to decide which temperature you would like the heat so that you can regulate how much electricity you are using or how quickly you cook your food. Because no gas or fluid is involved, it is very safe as you do not need to make sure everything is hooked up properly.

You do not need to refill your source of fuel as you will not be using a propane tank. This makes using your new unit very convenient as it will not require much maintenance.

Electric Outdoor Fireplace Drawbacks

With an electric outdoor fireplace, you will need to wait a few minutes for it to reach its maximum heat. Though you can get models that heat up faster than other units, you will still need to wait. Also, you can't use the electric unit as a cooking backup if the power goes out.

Using electric units can cost a little more than propane units if they are not efficient units. If you use them often, they can bring up your electric bill quite high.

You should choose an outdoor fireplace that will best meet your needs, whether it be a propane model or an electric model.