Nothing compliments an outdoor living space like an outdoor fireplace. However, due to restrictions, most outdoor fireplaces in our region will be gas, not wood.
Only chose outdoor rated products
Chose a fireplace rated for outdoor use to prevent rusting and product deterioration. All warranties will be voided if indoor rated products are used outside.
Vent free versus vented
Most outdoor gas fireplaces are vent free in that the exhaust comes out the front. Good ventilation is required for vent free units. If installed in a covered patio with screened walls, typically two walls must be open to the outside. With no screens, 30% of the wall area must open to the outside, but a single open wall is acceptable. (Requirements vary. Consult local codes and product installation manuals).
Outdoor fireplaces will drain or leak inside their enclosures when they get wet. Therefore, fireplace enclosures must be waterproofed or the optional drip pan must be installed to prevent water damage.
Vented outdoor units
If a non-vented unit does not work due to ventilation issues, there are only limited options for vented units. However, most vented units (with flue pipe to the outside) cannot take direct exposure. They typically require a specified distance under an overhang. All FireplaceX gas units, one Valor unit, and four Town and Country vented units are outdoor rated.
Open wood burning fireplaces do not meet EPA Phase 2 clean burning requirements whether installed inside or outside a home. An EPA, sealed door fireplace meets emission requirements, but extremely few are made of stainless to help prevent rusting. The only unit to consider is by Supreme Woodburning Fireplaces. As a side note, typically, portable, open, wood burning fire pits are allowed even through built-in fireplaces/fire pits are not. “No-burn days” must be observed.