There is something romantic about putting real wood on a fire— something about the way it crackles and spits as the flames lick at its sides. Its distant cousin, the “manufactured” log, is becoming increasingly popular, and more and more people are heading to local superstores to find wood for their fires.

Although the manufactured log desperately tries to replicate its au naturel counterpart, there remain differences between the two. Here are some things to consider when choosing firewood for your home:

Cleanliness

A mess of bark, leaves and twigs trailing from the back door to the fireplace is a common by-product of that crisp, dry wood clicking away in your fireplace. Storing firewood is another concern; it takes up space and needs to be kept in a safe, dry area. If you’re a city dweller with no backyard, you might be out of luck.

Although manufactured logs don’t smell like cedar, pine, or spruce, they are perfectly rectangular and generally sold in a clean, no-mess plastic case. They arrive dry and ready to burn.

Cost

If you’re willing to put in the manual labour, natural firewood is the way to go. It’s a great way to exercise while ensuring you clean, free heat all winter long.

Manufactured logs can cost anywhere from $5 to $30, depending on the size. You must also consider the cost of gas required to get to the local grocery store.

Regardless of which option you choose, by burning your own wood, you cut back your electricity and heating costs significantly.

Eco-Friendly

Both natural firewood and manufactured logs are a great way to help reduce your ecological footprint. Manufactured logs are usually made with a mixture of compressed sawdust, vegetable and plant wax or paraffin, a flammable oily substance.

“Renewable logs” are also hitting the market. These are made of plant or animal-based renewable oils and are considered carbon-neutral.
When chopping down natural firewood, you must consider its surrounding ecosystem. Trees and bushes are home to birds, insects, and small mammals. It is important to ensure you are not doing damage to these critters when collecting firewood outdoors.

More Bang for Your Buck

Manufactured logs have been proven to burn longer and provide more warmth than real wood (their material is more compact, so it takes longer to burn.) With a single log, you can heat your whole living room.

Real firewood, conversely, requires several layers of different sized logs and careful work to properly burn. It needs constant attention, feeding, poking, and blowing. With manufactured logs, you simply stack, light, and enjoy.

If you are considering installing a fireplace, the professionals at Igne Ferro can help. For more information about our fireplace products, contact us today.