There are three main types of gas available to be used for fireplaces, fire tables/ pots, and barbeques, namely LP gas, NG and Bio-fuels.
LP gas (Liquid Petroleum) is easy to find and refill at most petrol stations and select hardware stores. It is the most common used gas for appliances, fireplaces, braais and camping equipment. It is versatile, fast, clean, powerful, portable and most importantly very safe. It is used in a wide range of applications, for cooking, heating, refrigeration and lighting. It is a modern, affordable alternative to electricity. And, because it comes in a bottle, it can be moved around. LP Gas is nontoxic (not poisonous), clean burning and does not pollute the atmosphere. Therefore LP Gas is a good choice for your energy needs.
NG (Natural gas) can be directly connected to your house depending on the area that you live in and the availability from your municipality. The direct gas line provides power to your home for heating of your geyser and the powering of ovens/ stoves and heat appliances. The gas line at your home needs to be checked regularly for underground leaks as the leaks are not easy to detect and are harmful for your whole household. All connections need to be checked to ensure there are no leaks or faults. Natural gas is formed through the decomposition of organic material beneath the earth’s surface. It burns cleanly and produces mostly vapour and carbon dioxide as by-products.
Bio-fuel is an environmental friendly fuel made of ethanol that is naturally manufactured through the fermentation of vegetables and sugar cane. A bio-ethanol fireplace does not require the use of a ventilation system or chimney, though it must be placed in a well ventilated place. This is due to the chemical reaction the ethanol undergoes when heated, it releases carbon dioxide and small water particles, and if there is not enough fresh air available in the room, then the carbon dioxide turns into carbon monoxide which is highly toxic. There different forms of ethanol fuels such as the fire gel used for fondues and fire tables, liquid ethanol and ethanol logs used in fire places and pits. This bio-fuel must only be used in fireplaces and fire tables and not used for braais. Denatured ethanol is more widely used as it does not produce toxic emissions that are harmful for humans.
It is important to note that when using gas for appliances that all connections are checked before opening the valves to prevent fires from leaks. Appliances and connections need to be checked by a qualified gas installer if you have decided to install your own DIY gas appliance. All gas connections need to be closed when not in use to prevent toxic poisoning.