Are Artificial Firelogs Good Substitutes for Wood Logs?
A fireplace can quickly become a fire hazard if it isn’t used correctly. Seasoned firewood is practically all that should be burned in the fireplace, for safety reasons. One exception is that it’s fine to burn artificial logs. Whether or not artificial firelogs are good substitutes for firewood depends on what’s important to you about a wood fire.
If you mostly care about enjoying a fire without having to deal with a lot of hassle, an artificial firelog may be perfect. A lot goes into burning logs, after all. Firewood needs to be cut, split, and stored in a place where it can dry out. Finally, it can be carried into the house for a fire. But first you have to know how to get a fire started so that the firewood can burn efficiently and so that there isn’t excess and unnecessary wood smoke. The fire must be tended and watched continuously until it goes out.
A firelog can be purchased at many stores, including grocery stores. You simply read the directions and light the log as directed. Artificial firelogs are simple to light and will burn, on average, for 2 to 4 hours, sometimes longer. If you pick up a bundle of pre-cut firewood at a local store, it’s not as ideal or convenient, since you aren’t provided needed kindling and the logs may be too large to produce a satisfying fire.
√ Artificial firelogs are more convenient.
Real wood burns a lot hotter than faux firelogs. A blazing fire with firewood creates a much greater risk of a chimney fire. In fact, it’s unlikely that an artificial firelog would ever cause the creosote in the chimney lining to catch fire. That’s actually another safety issue, since firewood causes the highly flammable deposits that build up inside the chimney flue. In two ways, then, firewood increases the odds of a dangerous chimney fire but fake firelogs don’t.
√ Artificial firelogs are safer.
The reason there are extreme limits on what can be burned in a fireplace is because of toxins that can be released, such as from burning colored paper—something that should always be avoided. Even treated lumber releases dangerous toxins. Artificial firelogs are different. Research suggests that firelogs are more environmentally friendly than real firewood. According to experts, artificial firelogs produce 50% less smoke, 85% less carbon monoxide, and 70% less particulate matter than firewood.
√ Artificial firelogs are more eco-friendly.
When it comes to warmth, the type of firelog you have determines in large part how much heat it gives off. Artificial firelogs are made from many different materials. When firelogs first became available, they were usually always made of sawdust and wax; and they produced a substantial amount of heat. Today, you can get faux firelogs made with coffee grounds, and they give off more than 25% the amount of heat sawdust firelogs gives off. In addition, coffee firelogs produce brighter, more colorful flames. They do not, however, create a noticeable coffee aroma when they burn. In addition, no faux firelogs produce an amount of warmth to compare to the heat you can enjoy from a wood fire.
√ Artificial firelogs do not provide as much heat as firewood.
When it comes to cost, artificial firelogs are only good substitutes for firewood if you don’t use your fireplace very often. It makes sense to use artificial firelogs for the occasional fire, even if you get your firewood free, since you can consider all of the steps involved with using firewood.
√ Artificial firelogs make sense cost-wise if you use your fireplace infrequently.
Artificial firelogs may produce all the ambiance you’re longing for, if you simply want some hassle-free flames with easy cleanup. Some faux firelogs are made to produce the crackling and popping sounds of natural wood, but the effects reportedly only last for about 30 minutes of the total burn time. Wood fires offer a lot to watch, between the flames and the positioning of the logs as they burn. The aroma of firewood is missing with faux firelogs, as well.
√ Artificial firelogs do little to mimic the overall ambiance of real wood fires.
No matter which type of log you burn, faux or real, it’s important to have an annual chimney inspection. You can contact the professionals at Hudson Valley Chimney for reliable chimney services.