Why You Should Be Careful Burning Packaged Logs in Your Fireplace
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  • Why You Should Be Careful Burning Packaged Logs in Your Fireplace

    Why You Should Be Careful Burning Packaged Logs in Your Fireplace


    When you think about burning logs in your fireplace, there’s a good chance that you immediately think of crackling seasoned hardwood that puts off a great deal of heat and smells like home. However, numerous companies manufacture and even promote the use of their artificial packaged logs in home fireplaces. Before you buy these products and use them at home, heed the following warnings.

    Packaged Logs Can’t Generate the Same Amount of Heat

    Most of the packaged logs you will find on the market today are made of manufacturing waste like sawdust being held together with paraffin wax. The companies that manufacture them say that they are more ecologically friendly, and they can produce just as much heat as standard fires with less material and fewer emissions. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While it’s true that packaged logs do not put off the same amount of emissions as wood, they simply cannot provide the same amount of heat.

    Prepackaged logs are meant to be burned one at a time whereas firewood is meant to be burned in a group. The sheer volume of fuel in a real-wood fire is what creates the warming heat that homeowners have come to expect from their fires.

    Studies Show that Packaged Logs’ Emissions May be Toxic

    A study published online in Environmental Health found that while both wood and synthetic logs are sources of PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, only synthetic logs were found to be associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer. This came as quite the surprise to even the researchers, and to this day, their evidence has not been refuted. Though the researchers aren’t sure why PAHs from synthetic logs seem to be more dangerous than those associated with real wood logs, the evidence is clear: real wood is better for your health.  

    BTU for BTU, Traditional Wood is Cheaper

    Many people make the argument that because you burn only one artificial log at a time, they are actually cheaper to use throughout the winter than naturally-sourced firewood. Of course, when you think about the amount of heat generated by artificial logs vs. traditional logs, this is simply not the case. A traditional wood fire generates more BTUs of heat than a fire created with a single artificial log, and for this reason alone, you can produce more heat throughout the winter for less money when you opt for seasoned firewood as opposed to synthetic packaged logs.

    Some Artificial Logs Create a Great Deal of Buildup in Your Chimney

    Finally, it is important to note that many of the synthetic logs you will find on the market today will create a great deal of buildup in your chimney liner much more quickly than traditional wood. This is especially problematic for homeowners who rely on a log that claims to reduce creosote, thinking they can postpone their critical annual chimney sweeps and use a cheap synthetic log to do the job instead. These logs can create more buildup than they clean, so be very wary of these claims.

    Burning real seasoned firewood in your fireplace is the best bet, and when you call on Lindemann Chimney Service for all your annual cleanings and inspections, you can rest assured that every fire you light this winter is as clean and as safe as the last.


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