Starfire

Choosing Your Fuel Source: Propane, Natural Gas, Wood, or Bioethanol?

Choosing Your Fuel Source: Propane, Natural Gas, Wood, or Bioethanol?

Nothing sets the mood in your space quite like a fire. The dancing glow of the flames set the scene for romantic nights with your loved one or weekend gatherings with friends and family. But before you gather around and enjoy the warmth and social element a fire offers, you’ll need to choose what fuel source is most effective for you and your family’s needs. Thankfully, there are many options.

PROPANE

Agio Mystique Propane Gas Fire Pit at Starfire Direct

Also known as liquid propane, this fuel source is a popular choice. Propane burns brightly and emits the most heat. Comparatively, you’ll get 2,500 BTUs (British Thermal Units) compared to the same volume of natural gas at 1,000 BTUs. (1)

Propane runs through a hardline (sometimes referred to as HLP) or with a refillable tank. The tank offers versatility because it can be exchanged for a new tank at local grocers and hardware stores when empty, but it may require some creativity to keep the tank out of sight. Some fire pits are sized to allow for hidden propane tanks in their base or may require a specifically sized tank, while others are not designed with an access door. This can be remedied with a simple tank cover that can double as an end table. The tank option also offers some versatility if you’re looking to relocate your fire pit to another part of your outdoor living area.

Due to the density of propane, your fire pit will require an additional component, known as an air mixer, as part of your burner kit. This piece allows air to combine with the propane at the necessary ratio. This is not only a safety benefit but will also create a more beautiful fire.

Advantages

  • Burns bright even in well-lit situations
  • Most efficient BTU output
  • Best heat source
  • More versatile because it doesn’t require a hardline

Disadvantages

  • Price of fuel fluctuates seasonally
  • Tanks require refilling

NATURAL GAS

Starfire Designs Copa Moreno Fire Pit at Starfire Designs

Natural gas is a common choice for fire pits and especially fireplaces. This fuel type is lighter than air, which means it will dissipate more quickly. Many homes already run on natural gas so there’s no additional system that needs to be put in place, but you will need to run a hardline to your fire feature. Installing a hardline system will require a certified technician to ensure all lines are safely installed to protect you and your family.

This fuel source burns cleaner than propane, creating less black residue (soot) on your fire glass or other fire media. Additionally, natural gas is the most cost-efficient option, making it ideal for many homeowners.

Advantages

  • Readily available through your home and doesn’t require refills
  • Most cost-efficient fuel source
  • Cleaner burning fuel
  • Creates a more white-toned fire

Disadvantages

  • Requires hardline
  • Doesn’t allow for portability
  • Requires professional installation

WOOD

Fire Pit Art Bella Vita Wood Fire Pit at Starfire Direct

Wood fires are a classic choice. Depending on your location, a wood fire pit may be ideal. While it doesn’t allow for the same control as a gas fire, the classic campfire smell can be a treasured memory of time spent with loved ones. But that same smell may be off-putting for others. Wood fires require additional storage space for fire wood, and when you run out, the fun is over. Additionally, storing wood can attract pests that take shelter in the woodpile. But the nostalgic response to a wood fire pit can far outweigh any negatives. Wood fire pits offer a great spot for the family to gather with s’mores in hand.

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Wood adds to ambiance

Disadvantages

  • Creates a lot of soot and ash
  • Leaves smoky odor on clothing
  • Can create sparks
  • Storing wood can attract pests

BIOETHANOL

EcoSmart Cyl Bioethanol Fire Pit at Starfire Direct

Bioethanol fuel, also known as biofuel or simply ethanol, is an eco-friendly solution. This renewable source of energy is created from plant byproduct of such crops as corn, grain, sugarcane, rice, grapes, and more. The crop remnants are fermented with yeast, creating the clean-burning fuel source. When lit, the fuel does not emit a spark or smoke, just flame, steam, and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is then used as a food source for nearby flora.

This fuel is available in liquid or gel form. The type you’ll need will ultimately depend on the fire pit or fireplace you choose. And unlike liquid propane or natural gas that require hardlines or tanks, the simplicity of bioethanol allows you to set up your system anywhere. Many biofuel firepits and freestanding fireplaces offer the flexibility to use your fire feature indoors with minimal ventilation or outdoors, making them a very versatile choice.

However, if you’re looking for heat source more than ambiance in your fire pit or fireplace, you might want to look at another fuel option. Bioethanol gives off very little heat and must be refilled, typically after a few hours of use.

Advantages

  • Clean burning with no smoke
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Versatile – can be used indoors or outdoors

Disadvantages

  • Low heat output
  • Containers typically run out of fuel after 4 hours
  • Costlier option

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your specific needs. Whatever you choose, the staff at Starfire Direct is ready to assist you so you can find the best option for you. Whether it’s a custom fire pit or a freestanding feature, you find the perfect fire feature.

RCWilley

Ways to Use Essential Oils

For starters, I feel like I should make one thing very clear: I DO NOT SELL ESSENTIAL OILS!!  I’m not close with anyone that does, either!  And I don’t even know enough about them to endorse any one company that sells them!  Some of you are die hard oil lovers, and others might be anti- and I like all of you regardless:) While I’m a huge believer in modern medicine, I’m also pretty open to trying alternative/natural remedies.  The idea of learning about oils (does it seem like a different language to anyone else?) kind of overwhelmed me for a long time though.  I wasn’t interested in trying them out until recently.  I decided I’d see what all the fuss was about, and I got a basic essential oils starter kit last month.

I know the placebo effect is a very real thing, but I genuinely feel like they’ve helped around our house with little ailments and illnesses.  If nothing else they’ve been a good, natural addition to our medicine cabinet! And bonus!  Most of them smell really good!  The thing that has always been the most confusing to me is knowing what to do with each oil.  How do I use them?  What do I use them for?  How do I know what to do?  I got a Modern Essentials Reference Card, and it has come really in handy.  Below, I’m going to share some of the most common ailments it lists, and how to treat them!

Allergies: Melaleuca, Tropical Blend
Apply on sinuses and bottoms of feet.

Anxiety: Lavender, Orange, Lemon, Reassuring Blend
Diffuse or inhale.  Massage into the skin.  Apply to back of neck or temples.

Bee Sting: Roman Chamomile, Basil, Cleansing Blend
Apply on location.  Cool compress on location.

Blisters: Lavender
Apply on location.

Burns: Lavender, Geranium.
Apply on location.

Colds: Thyme, Lemon, Protective Blend, Melaleuca
Diffuse.  Inhale from water vapor.  Apply to throat, temples, forehead, sinuses.

Congestion: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Respiratory Blend, Douglas Fir
Apply to chest, neck, back, feet.  Diffuse.  Inhale directly or from water vapor.

Coughs: Respiratory Blend, Melaleuca, Eucalyptus, Douglas Fir, Protective Blend, Cardamom
Apply on throat and chest.

Cuts/Wounds: Helichrysum, Lavender, Melaleuca, Basil, Protective Blend
Apply on location.

Diarrhea: Peppermint, Ginger, Geranium, Digestive Blend
1-2 drops in capsule.  Apply to abdomen.  Warm compress.

Earache: Basil, Melaleuca, Helichrysum
Apply to surface of ear (not in ear canal), behind ear, or swab around ear canal.

Fever: Peppermint, Lemon, Lime, Eucalyptus, Clove
Swallow in Capsule.  Apply to back or to bottoms of feet.  Diffuse.

Gas: Lavender, Ginger
Apply on stomach, abdomen, or feet.

Headaches: Tension Blend, Peppermint, Rosemary, Soothing Blend.
Apply to temples, back of neck, forehead.  Diffuse, or inhale directly.

Indigestion: Peppermint, Ginger, Digestive Blend.
Take in capsule.  Apply on stomach or feet.  Diffuse.

Insomnia: Lavender,Orange, Calming Blend, Roman Chamomile
Diffuse.  Mist on linens, or place on pillow.  Apply on feet or neck.  Massage.

Muscle Cramps: Lemongrass with Peppermint, Marjoram, Soothing Blend
Apply on location.  Massage.  Bath.

Poison Ivy: Lavender, Joyful Blend
Apply on location.  Massage on location.

Sore Throat: Melleuca, Protective Blend
Apply on throat or feet.  Gargle.  Diffuse.  Inhale.  Drink with beverage.

Stress: Lavender, Focus Blend, Lemon, Ylang Ylang
Diffuse.  Inhale.  Massage.  Bath salts.  Apply to neck, back or bottoms of feet.

Warts: Frankincense, Protective Blend, Melaleuca, Oregano, Clove
Apply on location daily.

You can find out more at RCWilley today.

Mahabis

‘Live in the now’ is a phrase that you probably hear every single day, as we are starting to become aware of our tendency to focus more on our past and future, rather than living in the moment. The idea of being mindful isn’t a new one; it’s all to do with being more conscious of your life as it actually happens. It is, however, a way of life that is becoming more relevant as we are increasingly bombarded by temptations from our past and for our futures.

mahabis guide // how to live in the now

Consider a typical working day. You might be the kind of person who likes to make lists and plan ahead, which isn’t a problem unless you discover that all you seem to do is plan for the future, and that you don’t have any time left to actually do your work. It can be the same with the past – rather than constantly analysing results or performance from the previous weeks or years, you could be getting on with the task at hand.

This can be applied to all aspects of your life. By being present and living in the now, you will find yourself enjoying the simple things in life more: eating meals, relaxing with family and friends, taking a walk.  Unsure how you can stop thinking about the past and the future and live more in the present? We’ve curated a collection of simple tips to get you started.

single task, don’t multi-task //

When you attempt to do too many tasks at the same time, it’s hard to focus your brain on just the task in hand. Rather than trying to do too much at once, strip things back and concentrate on one thing at once. Cook your meal, then sit and eat, then have a conversation, then listen to the radio.

live in the now // mahabis journal

take your time //

Don’t rush over tasks, however mundane they may seem. If you’re rushing to complete something and thinking about what you are going to be doing next, it’s even harder to live in the moment and fully concentrate on the task in hand.

put your camera away //

We’re not saying don’t take photos, but sometimes it’s nice to not document every thing that you do. Eat your meal as soon as you sit down to the table, rather than pausing to document it. Go for a walk and simply enjoy the scenery, and being among nature without feeling the need to constantly take photographs.

live in the now // mahabis journal

do less //

If you’re going to be taking your time and concentrating on just one task at once, it stands to reason that you may well have to cut down on your daily job lists. You might think this is impossible, but if you write a list of tasks, it is easier to work out what is high priority and what can then be carried over onto another day.

love your job //

If you don’t enjoy your job, you are likely to spend the working week counting down until the weekend and wishing your time away. It’s difficult to live in the now when you’re not happy. So, try to find the positives in your daily tasks and concentrate on enjoying them.

try not to worry //

If you are a natural worrier, you will find it hard to concentrate on the present when you instinctively fret about the future. Try to take things as they come rather than thinking ‘what if’, and worrying about what might happen.

live in the now // mahabis journal

concentrate on the task in hand //

When you’re talking to someone, fully invest yourself in that conversation and don’t let your mind wander to think about what you need to do next. When you’re working on something, allow 100% of your thoughts to concentrate on the task. Don’t let your mind wander and you’ll find that you become more productive and finish tasks sooner.

Visit Mahabis Today.