Having an outdoor fire pit is a very great idea to level up your backyard. There will be a lot of fun and excitement to offer your family and friends. If you desire to build a fire pit in your backyard, you have to make sure to build it properly. Most people only acknowledge the basic making and installing of an outdoor fire pit, and a lot of them often wonder if outdoor fire pits need ventilation.
Most fire pits need to have an air ventilation system. First, you have to know what combustion is to understand why it is needed to have a proper air vent in your fire pit. Likewise, you may consider having a smokeless fire pit if you can’t stand out the fumes it creates. Finally, and most important are the precautionary measures you should practice to make your outdoor fire pit experience safe.
In this article, we will discuss whether an outdoor fire pit needs an air hole or if it’s only optional. This will help you make good decisions and properly install your fire pit.
Do Outdoor Fire Pits Need Air Vents?
Like any device or product that generates heat, there are various considerations and precautions to remember to make sure you are enjoying whatever the product offers and to avoid any potential health hazards and incidents. One of these considerations includes a proper ventilation system.
Most fire pits need a ventilation system to ensure the right circulation of heat around the space they are in and to improve their heat production. Whether you are planning to buy a fire pit or trying to do it yourself, fire pits need air holes to be properly ventilated. Air holes indeed allow oxygen to pass through from the outside to maintain your fire pit alight.
If a fire pit doesn’t have a proper amount of ventilation, the fire will die out. Air holes are also a big help in avoiding scorching the surface that you place your fire pit on. A ventilation system can keep you from damaging your wood deck, patio, or any spots where you want to set up your fire pit outdoors. If you have a huge fire pit, you probably need to have more vent holes. That’s why most people prefer to make many vents holes so that things will work out properly.
Looking for ways to improve your patio’s design and functionality? One of the most common ways of doing this is adding a fire pit to your outdoor space. But, is it safe to install a fire pit in this area of your home? Can you install a fire pit on a patio? Read our article to find out.
What is Combustion?
Knowing about the principles of combustion, we have an idea on how it is connected to ventilation. Combustion is a chemical reaction that generally includes oxygen and is accompanied by the generation of light and heat in the form of a flame.
The speed or rate at which the reactants combine is high, in part due to the nature of the chemical reaction itself and to the extra energy generated that can escape into the surrounding medium, with results in the temperature of the reactants being elevated to further speed up the reaction.
A common example of a combustion reaction is a lighted match. When the match is struck, friction heats the head to a temperature where the chemical reacts and generates extra heat that can escape in the air and burn with a flame. When the chemicals are moist or the wind blows away the heat and friction does not elevate the temperature adequately, the match stops burning. If properly ignited, the heat from the flame elevates the temperature of a close layer of the matchstick and oxygen in the air close to it, and the oxygen and wood combust.
The so-called “complete combustion” (in the industry term) will stop if there is an inappropriate supply of any elements. As a result, incomplete combustion will happen. This may end up being very dangerous as it can produce an inodorous and toxic byproduct called carbon monoxide. Also, pressure build-up and uncontrolled burning may result in an explosion.
Getting Proper Ventilation for Your Fire Pit
Installing a fire pit is one of the best ways to make your backyard more enjoyable. Although fire makes you relaxed and is a great addition to your backyard, there are many measures and things you have to consider before installing a fire pit. One feature that is sometimes overlooked is the fire pit’s ventilation system.
Fire pits need airflow as oxygen is needed to keep the flames still. As the oxygen increases, the fire is better contained. A proper ventilation system in a fire pit helps free excess gases from the enclosure. It also helps withdraw too much heat and supply fresh air for the burner. It can also help prevent fire from damaging the surrounding surfaces, like your wood deck or patio.
For propane fire pits, a ventilation system is necessary. The propane gas, which is heavier than air, may drop down to the bottom of the case and turn out to be trapped. Once a spark strikes the stored gas or the heat increases inside, the gas could seize fire and blow up. This may cause injuries and damage the fire pit.
On the other hand, natural gas doesn’t weigh as much as propane. But the risk of a gas leak is still there from the connection points or supply lines that possibly result in build-up inside the structure or cabinet.
In addition to providing the safest and proper ventilation to your fire pit, you may consider installing cross ventilation. To do so, put two vents on the opposite sides of the fire pit to permit a couple of exit points for gas and heat. If there are no various vents, gas may still be trapped on one side due to low airflow. You may ask the manufacturer for particular recommendations for the fire pit type you will purchase.
Moreover, make sure to check if there are any local requirements and regulations for installing a fire pit in your area. Likewise, ask for help from experts to make sure you install an outdoor fire pit safely.
Why You Should Consider Smokeless Fire Pits
There are many considerable alternatives to conventional fire pits that can help reduce the possibility of harm to your breathing. One of the best ones is a smokeless pit, which controls heat and airflow to start a fire so there is no chance of releasing smoke into the air while in use. Although there might still be smoke going, there will be less than with a traditional fire pit and it will produce extra heat.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about fire pits is the scent of smoke and fumes. However, these smokeless fire pits only discharge a small amount of fume. Plus, this type of fire pit is directly placed on the ground, so that you need to put a base under it. With a smokeless fire pit, you can enjoy the warmth of an outdoor fire without dealing with the annoying fumes.
The traditional Dakota fire pit is one great example of a smokeless fire pit. This classic smokeless fire pit allows you to appreciate the heat of an open flame without contaminating the environment. It consists of two small pits in the ground with a vent tunnel. These channels fumes outside, which is perfect if you want a smoke-free outdoor gathering.
There are many different smokeless pits available on the market. Find what is best for you and what best fits your budget. If you are looking to reduce smoke, this might be a great and smart option to invest in.
Fire pits can be an amazing addition to your home and a great spot for people to gather around and spend quality time together. There are a lot of fire pit options to choose from, but nowadays, smokeless fire pits are becoming the top choice for homeowners. If you are looking for recommendations, here are the 11 best smokeless fire pits for your backyard.
Fire Pit Safety Tips
As everyone knows, in all aspects of home improvement, enhancement, or beautification, safety is always the top priority. Fire pit safety is very important, no matter what type of fire pit you purchase or install, and if you are irresponsible, terrible things can happen to your area.
Failure to take safety precautions could harm you and your family. Therefore, consider all the safety advice listed below to enjoy an untroubled and stress-free time in your backyard. As long as you do things properly, it will be a good experience.
To make sure you maintain a safe environment while relaxing and wandering in front of your fire pit, here are some safety tips to always bear in mind:
- Make sure to place or use your fire pit in an open area with a lot of airflows. However, there are few exceptions in regards to this, like indoor gas fire pits, for which ventilation is very important. Upon building up a fire pit outdoors, make sure to clear the area from anything that could ignite, like low-hanging plants, branches, etc., to avoid mishap and ruin the mood.
- Make sure to know the rules and regulations of your location regarding fire pits to ensure that you are on the right track to avoid any inconveniences, like fines.
- Don’t use plastic, gasoline, or lighter fluid to ignite the wood in your fire pit. Those chemicals are harmful and will be carried along with the smoke and create toxic fumes in the air that could be dangerous to everyone around. These chemicals might start fires and damage your fire pit.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher, water, and fire blanket near your fire pit. In case of emergencies, those essentials will be within reach so you can respond quickly as the fire spreads rapidly in the open air.
- Don’t forget to read the manual if you purchase a pre-built fire pit. You can learn some fire safety information and how to use and maintain your fire pit to enjoy it for a longer time.
With all the tips and safety precautions in mind, it is time to have a fire pit! One of the best ways to enhance your backyard and make it more enjoyable is to install a fire pit. It is a popular choice among many people as fire pits provide warmth during cold, dark evenings while allowing you to relax in front of the dancing fire.
A fire pit creates an intimate and beautiful atmosphere that your family and friends can appreciate under the bright moonlight. The smell of burning wood, the crackling sound, and the beautiful aura of the blazing fire give your backyard the ambiance it needs for everyone to want to gather around it.