When most people think of fireplaces, they envision indoor fireplaces installed in living rooms or other interior spaces of a home or building. A fireplace, however, can be installed outdoors as well. If you’re looking to renovate your outdoor living space, you should consider installing an outdoor fireplace. Like an indoor fireplace, it will allow you to safely build fires. With that said, an outdoor fireplace offers some unique benefits, some of which may surprise you.

#1) Improves the Aesthetics of Your Outdoor Living Space

An outdoor fireplace will improve the aesthetics of your outdoor living space. As shown below, they serve as a natural focal point. After installing an outdoor fireplace, you can arrange weather-resistant chairs, sofas or benches around it to complete your outdoor living space. Because it serves as a natural focal point, an outdoor fireplace will naturally enhance the aesthetics of your outdoor living space.

#2) Warms Your Outdoor Living Space

You can use your outdoor living space during the otherwise cold winter months thanks to the heat produced by an outdoor fireplace. When the temperature drops, you won’t have to head indoors in search of central heating. With an outdoor fireplace, you can build a hot wood-burning fire to warm your outdoor living space. Assuming your chairs, sofas or benches are arranged in front of it, an outdoor fireplace will radiate heat throughout your outdoor living space.

Of course, there are other ways to heat your outdoor living space, such as the use of a patio heater, but none of them compare to an outdoor fireplace. Patio heaters are typically powered by propane or electricity. While both types of patio heaters will produce some heat, neither of them produce as much heat as an outdoor fireplace.

#3) Allows You to Roast Marshmallows

With an outdoor fireplace, you can roast marshmallows from the comfort of your outdoor living space. Roasted marshmallows are synonymous with campfire cooking. When you’re huddled around a campfire, you may have an innate desire to roast some marshmallows. It’s a fun and easy culinary activity that involves cooking marshmallows directly over an open fire. As the marshmallows heat up, they’ll develop a crispy exterior and gooey interior. Most people will agree that roasted marshmallows are a delicious sweet treat. Furthermore, they are easy to make, assuming you have access to a wood-burning fire. Just pierce a few marshmallows with a long metal rod or stick, after which you can hold them directly over the fire.

In addition to roasting marshmallows, you can use an outdoor fireplace to make s’mores. As you may know, s’mores consist of lightly roasted marshmallows with a piece of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. For tips on how to create the perfect s’mores, check out our ultimate guide.

#4) Reduces Stress Levels

You might be surprised to learn that an outdoor fireplace can reduce your stress levels. According to a meta-analysis of several existing studies, fires induce relaxation to help minimize stress levels. There’s just something soothing and relaxing associated with fires. Maybe it’s their memorizing display of bright colors, or perhaps it’s their crackling sound or fragrant aroma. Regardless,  you may discover that an outdoor fireplace helps you relax.

If you’re feeling stressed, you can kick back in front of your outdoor fireplace to relax and unwind. The soothing effects of a wood-burning fire will lower your stress levels, which is one more reason to consider investing in an outdoor fireplace.

#5) Host Outdoor Parties and Barbecues

A fireplace will create a more festive outdoor living space for parties and barbecues. Millions of homeowners host parties and barbecues during the spring and summer months. Whether you’re planning to invite just a few close friends or the entire neighborhood, though, you need to create an inviting and relaxing atmosphere so that guests feel comfortable. An outdoor fireplace can help you achieve a more inviting and relaxing atmosphere. It will enhance the aesthetics of your outdoor living space by serving as a natural focal point, while also providing a relaxing ambiance that can literally lower stress levels.

#6) Creates Natural Lighting

You won’t have to rely on artificial lighting to illuminate your outdoor living space at night. When the sun goes down, you can build a fire instead. The fire will illuminate your outdoor living space with natural lighting, meaning you won’t have to use a lamp or light fixture.

Lighting is essential to both the atmosphere and functionality of an outdoor living space. With little or no lighting, you won’t be able to safely or comfortably use your outdoor living space at night. Rather than relying on artificial lighting, though, you can use an outdoor fireplace. Wood-burning fires can stay lit for hours, all while illuminating the surrounding space with ample lighting. And if the fire goes out, you can always add more wood to your outdoor fireplace to keep it going a little longer.

#7) Low Maintenance

All fireplaces require at least some work to maintain, but outdoor fireplaces are significantly easier to maintain than their indoor counterparts. Since they are installed outdoors, they typically have a shorter flue than traditional indoor fireplaces. The flue consists of a hollow interior through which smoke is expelled. If a fireplace is installed indoors, the flue must extend all the way to the roof where it connects to the chimney. Outdoor living spaces typically don’t have a roof, so outdoor fireplaces with shorter flues can be used.

You’ll still need to clean the ash out of your outdoor fireplace. It’s recommended that you sweep out and dispose of the ash each time you use your outdoor fireplace. If not cleaned, ash will accumulate to the point where it fills your outdoor living space with particulate matter. When you build a fire in a dirty fireplace, the ash will rise up into the air rather than being burned. To prevent this from happening, try to get into the habit of cleaning your outdoor fireplace each time you use it.

#8) Keeps the Bugs Away

Finally, an outdoor fireplace can ward off bugs. It’s difficult to enjoy an outdoor living space when you’re constantly being attacked by mosquitoes, bees, wasps, gnats or other bugs. Even if a bug doesn’t sting or bite you, it may still prove to be a nuisance. The good news is that an outdoor fireplace will naturally deter bugs. Smoke from a wood-burning fire is a natural insect repellent. Certain species of wood also contain organic compounds that further deter insects. As long as you stay near your outdoor fireplace, it will help to keep the bugs away.

Outdoor fireplaces aren’t cheap. Depending on factors such as the size and material, you can expect to pay around $2,000 to $5,000 for a fully installed, ready-to-go outdoor fireplace. As revealed here, however, it offers a world of benefits, some of which include a better-looking outdoor living space, warmth during the winter months, ability to roast marshmallows and cook s’mores and more.

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