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Real wood vs duraflame, etc??

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
What is best to burn in my wood burning fireplace--wood that I can harvest from my back yard or something like duraflame, etc?
post #2 of 10
we used real wood for the past few years, but now we can't get wood from our regular sources, ie friends and relatives who live out of town, thanks to the emarld ash boarer bug thingy.... so we have been using duraflame, and coffeelogs.....
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by baileyandmikey View Post
we used real wood for the past few years, but now we can't get wood from our regular sources, ie friends and relatives who live out of town, thanks to the emarld ash boarer bug thingy.... so we have been using duraflame, and coffeelogs.....
Thanks mama. I used a coffee log but for the life of me can't recall where I purchased it. I think Lowe's but not sure. A good friend of mine has access to wood but I will need to wait until it's "seasoned" before using it so I am going to have to find a source for the coffee logs.
Appreciate your response
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplegirl View Post
What is best to burn in my wood burning fireplace--wood that I can harvest from my back yard or something like duraflame, etc?
For the benefit of anyone with a wood stove or a fireplace stove insert, Duraflame and other wax logs burn too hot for a stove or insert.

Real wood, especially free real wood, is better than manufactured logs that have additives and fillers such as wax. Duraflame and other "wax" logs have a reputation of leaving sooty deposits on the walls of the chimney that give the creosote from real wood something to cling to. So your creosote deposits are larger than they would otherwise be, causing a fire hazard.

If you have the money and you prefer something that you can store inside without worrying about debris, bugs, etc. then try looking around for compressed sawdust "logs" such as "BioBricks" or "Envi-Blocks". The sawdust is compressed under extreme pressure and the heat from the pressure causes the natural resins to melt. That's what binds the sawdust. They may also be kiln dried so the moisture content can range from 0 to 6 % with the better products.

Pound for pound the heat value is the same as wood but compressed logs are very dense so it takes less room to store the same amount of btus as wood.

Depending on the cost of seasoned cord wood versus the cost of a pallet of compressed logs the cost per btu may be roughly comparable.

~Cath
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathMac View Post
For the benefit of anyone with a wood stove or a fireplace stove insert, Duraflame and other wax logs burn too hot for a stove or insert.

Real wood, especially free real wood, is better than manufactured logs that have additives and fillers such as wax. Duraflame and other "wax" logs have a reputation of leaving sooty deposits on the walls of the chimney that give the creosote from real wood something to cling to. So your creosote deposits are larger than they would otherwise be, causing a fire hazard.

If you have the money and you prefer something that you can store inside without worrying about debris, bugs, etc. then try looking around for compressed sawdust "logs" such as "BioBricks" or "Envi-Blocks". The sawdust is compressed under extreme pressure and the heat from the pressure causes the natural resins to melt. That's what binds the sawdust. They may also be kiln dried so the moisture content can range from 0 to 6 % with the better products.

Pound for pound the heat value is the same as wood but compressed logs are very dense so it takes less room to store the same amount of btus as wood.

Depending on the cost of seasoned cord wood versus the cost of a pallet of compressed logs the cost per btu may be roughly comparable.

~Cath
Thank you so much for your helpful response. I think I am going to get some seasoned wood; I looked into the products you suggested and can't seem to find a source close by (Delaware) So seasoned wood is simply wood that has been cut and allowed to dry for a period of time????
thank you
post #6 of 10
Unseasoned wood will not burn well, it smokes and smokes. Wood that is ready to burn feels light, the heavy pieces are not ready to go. Sometimes, we will really stoke the fire and when getting good embers put a piece that is less-seasoned on and it will work out but don't try and start a fire with wood that is not ready. I've been told 9 months for wood to be ready after cutting.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmlife View Post
Unseasoned wood will not burn well, it smokes and smokes. Wood that is ready to burn feels light, the heavy pieces are not ready to go. Sometimes, we will really stoke the fire and when getting good embers put a piece that is less-seasoned on and it will work out but don't try and start a fire with wood that is not ready. I've been told 9 months for wood to be ready after cutting.

Ahh, I see. So this year is a bust for me just using freshly chopped wood from my own lot! I have lots of trees that need to be cut down because they are too close to my property. Looks like I will have to save that timber until next year or so.:
post #8 of 10
And don't burn pine. I don't know about other don't burns but that is one for sure.

Also, if you are new to wood heat - humidify! We keep a good size stainless steel pot full on our stove and I run a couple of humidifiers.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmlife View Post
And don't burn pine. I don't know about other don't burns but that is one for sure.

Also, if you are new to wood heat - humidify! We keep a good size stainless steel pot full on our stove and I run a couple of humidifiers.
That is so funny you should mention humidifying. I, too, just put a large pan of water out. I won't be burning my pine christmas tree for sure
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplegirl View Post
Ahh, I see. So this year is a bust for me just using freshly chopped wood from my own lot! ...
Sorry, I should have clarified that the best wood is free wood that has been seasoned for at least 3 months.

If you have cut it, but haven't split it yet you should split it now for 2 reasons. First, it is easier to split when it's fresh and when it's cold. Second, it will season faster.

Stacking it properly may encourage faster seasoning.

As far as compressed logs without any wax or fillers, try calling any wood pellet distributors in your area. If they have any manufactured logs research them to make sure they are wax and additive free. A one ton pallet should cost about the same as a full cord of seasoned wood.
~Cath
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