Propane vs. Natural Gas for a Fire Pit

Get all the info you need on propane vs. natural gas for a fire pit.
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Closeup of a fire pit with blue glass and a burning flame surrounded by marble in this outdoor space.

Photo by: Harris Shiffman

Harris Shiffman

By: Sean McEvoy

If you're looking to heat things up in your back yard, you may want to explore the pros and cons of propane vs. natural gas for a fire pit. Both flame sources have advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately the choice will come down to your own preference. However, if you keep a few considerations in mind, the decision should be fairly easy.

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The first difference to consider is portability. Propane comes in tanks that can be attached to a grill or fire pit, meaning the whole operation can then be moved depending on where you want the focal point of your backyard gathering to be located. Natural gas, on the other hand, is fed to the fire pit by a gas line that attaches to your home—so it's likely that if you choose this option, your fire pit will need to be stationary.

Next up is cost. Natural gas definitely has the advantage here, coming in at one sixth the cost of propane in some areas. Additionally, natural gas is often seen as more convenient than propane, since you'll never need to run to the gas station or convenience store for a tank of the stuff.

In terms of efficiency, propane has the advantage, providing about 2,500 BTUs, with the same volume of natural gas providing around 1,000 BTUs.

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