Fireplace Logs vs Wood: The Green Choice

Going green in your home usually would mean that the best choice is for all natural elements instead of plastic or artificial. However, in the case of burning real wood or using fireplace logs for those cool, chilly nights the right answer isn't the one you would expect.

You would expect that burning real wood, that you took the time to cut and split into sweet smelling fuel for a roaring fire would be the best, healthiest, and greenest choice. After all, it's all natural and made from real trees. The truth is, the manufactured fireplace log is a better alternative for burning.

Smoke Issues

Wood smoke is the biggest issue in burning wood over fireplace logs. Smoke given off by wood is a combination of gases and particles and can sear lungs and damage eyes. Burning wood in a fireplace for prolonged periods of time can lead to lung diseases and chronic congestion. When released to the outdoors through the chimney, wood smoke then becomes air pollution joining the thousands of other harmful chemicals already out there.

Studies into the rate of emissions of both the fake fireplace logs and real, natural wood shows a startling discovery. The unnatural logs give off 75% less harmful gases than does real wood with even less particle matter left floating in the air.

More Warmth

Smoke isn't really what people look for in a quality fuel for their fireplaces and stoves. When the air turns a little cooler, people are looking for something to add some warmth back to their homes. Fireplace logs, bought at a store or supplier, give off up to two times more BTUs than normal hardwood. Fireplace logs operate in the 16,000 BTU range while a hardwood like oak will give off only about 8,000 BTUs.

Types of Fake Logs
Fireplace logs don't just come in one type or material. There are several different types on the market that all have their own distinct features. Here are just a few.

Vegetable paraffin logs are those that use the paraffin to bind the wood particles and other products (shells and fibers) together. It has a lasting power of up to 3 1/2 hours per log, which is roughly the equivalent to 20 pounds of real wood.

Java fireplace logs are logs that are made from old coffee grounds. Manufacturers of this type of log use coffee grounds left over from processing coffee to make logs that burn hotter than wood.

Give your home a greener thumbprint by burning fake fireplace logs instead of real, natural wood. While it might feel funny at the beginning, by thinking the logs will be better than wood, the results speak for themselves. Fireplace logs burn hotter, last longer, and don't contribute harmful gases and particles into the air.