Friday, July 1, 2011

The Gas Fire Pit –A Great Outdoor Accessory

Gas Fire Pit
An outdoor fire accessory that is becoming increasingly popular is the gas fire pit. A fire pits allows people to stay warm and enjoy the outdoors even on the coldest days. It is similar to indoor fireplaces, the only exception being that it is portable and comes in many attractive forms.  Fire pits are not just great outdoor accessory but also useful for cooking or warming food. Material used for burning is usually wood or gas. Using wood has become unpopular because of the necessity of cleaning out the bowl of ashes and unburned wood, too much smoke and the need to restart the fire when it burns out. Pollution and safety issues also need to be addressed. A gas fire pit on the other hand is safe and easy to use.
The fuel used is propane gas which is stored inside the pit or on the side. The pit has a gas burner at the bottom of the bowl which is connected to the gas tank. A press of a button is all it takes to ignite the pit. Some systems may however, require manual ignition with a lighter. The power and flame height is adjustable. There are many great designs to choose from. The bowl may be made of steel, copper or glass.  The base may be covered in material like marble. There are also cheaper models made of steel. A coat of paint ensures its resilience in the toughest climatic conditions.
Almost all flues require chimney caps for protection from rains. Rainwater may damage the fireplace and even the walls. The caps help to prevent birds from building nests in the chimney. The cap is vital for metal chimneys as it is made of two or more layers of metal with air in between. Without a cap, water and moisture may destroy it. Caps are usually fitted at the time of installation of metal flues. People staying in areas with high intensity winds would do well to select vacuum caps which are very useful in windy conditions.
The caps come in three kinds of metals. Galvanized caps though cheap require frequent maintenance. It must be painted regularly to prevent rust else the rust runs down and destroys the walls and also results in a stained roof. People using gas logs should avoid these caps too due to harmful exhaust.  Stainless steel is long lasting, has zero maintenance and has limited lifetime warranty. Copper looks good, is rust-proof and also the most expensive. It should be noted that caps should be installed with tap screws to prevent it from flying off in high winds. Decorative caps in various designs are available in the market today. These help to enhance the outer facade of the house.