There are a number of types of manufactured logs available today. Many are made from sawdust and wax and are therefore not suitable for use in closed stoves. However, certain brands such as Presto, North Idaho and Eco are tested for use in both open fireplaces and closed stoves. Presto and North Idaho are just two of the brands which are made from 100% pressed wood - no additives!
As of the time of this writing, 100% wood pressed logs were more readily available in Western States, probably because of the large quantity of sawdust from lumbering operations there. Hopefully this trend will spread to other parts of the country as wood burning becomes more popular as a way to save money and gain energy independence.
Our thanks to Duraflame for the information below, which pertains to firelogs with wax additives.
WHAT ARE FIRELOGS?
The manufactured firelog is an example of how recycling can work. It was created in the 1960’s when companies were seeking a productive way to dispose of waste sawdust. Manufactured firelogs combine two industrial byproducts, sawdust and petroleum wax, which are mixed and extruded into familiar log like shapes. Manufactured firelogs are generally individually wrapped with paper and require no kindling or starting material. This convenient manufactured fireplace fuel product provides a safe, environmentally responsible alternative to firewood and natural gas logs.
Firelogs are easy to light and perform much like a candle with the sawdust particles serving as the wick, and the wax as the fuel. The result is a longer, more consistent burn than cord wood that almost fully consumes the firelog, leaving little ash to clean up after the firelog is finished burning. Their ease of use, physical cleanliness, attractive flame, and good quality fire have made their use in fireplaces very popular, creating an annual national demand of approximately 90 million logs.
FIRELOGS AND AIR QUALITY.
Many areas of the country are enacting local wood burning control ordinances and implementing “no burn” days. However, independent research shows that manufactured firelogs provide home owners with an alternative to help reduce emissions from residential fireplace use.
A recent study conducted by Science Application International Corporation (SAIC/OMNI), and the Oregon Department of Energy indicates that firelogs are a cleaner source of fireplace fuel than natural cord wood. These tests found that firelogs produced 69% less particulate matter, 88% less carbon monoxide, and 50% less opacity (visible smoke).
Many local air quality officials now recommend manufactured firelogs as a clean burning alternative fuel for residential fireplace use. By burning firelogs in their fireplace, home owners can substantially reduce particulate and carbon monoxide emissions from their hearth.
FIRELOGS AND SAFETY
Safety is a very important firelog feature. Firelogs have a remarkable safety record with millions of firelogs burned safely in fireplaces around the world annually. Unlike wood, which can pop and throw sparks, when used in accordance with their instructions, firelogs burn in a controlled manner and do not require tending. Most brands of firelogs are UL Classified for use in zero clearance manufactured metal fireplaces, making them suitable for all types of traditional open hearth fireplaces. Independent tests also indicate that firelogs produce 78% less creosote accumulation in chimneys than natural wood. Creosote build up is the leading cause of chimney fires.
Before burning manufactured firelogs, make sure that you read and follow the usage instructions on the packaging carefully. Also, be sure to look for the UL Classification mark on the firelog packaging before you purchase a particular brand to assure you are buying a product which has been safety classified.
Firelogs are readily available from a wide variety of retail outlets, including supermarkets, drug stores, discount stores, home improvement centers, convenience stores, and other retailers across the United States.
For more information about manufactured firelogs, visit the Duraflame, Inc. Website which provides interesting facts about firelogs.
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Please note that the state of the art in pressed logs is changing and companies often make more than one product. In general, the Duraflame and similar brand logs are ONLY or use in open fireplaces. Some of the other brands such as Presto, North Idaho and Eco are tested for use in closed stoves.