We know you have the perfect picture in your mind – a comforting glow from your wood burning stove filling your home with warmth and a cosy atmosphere. However when it’s time to actually fire up your stove, you might be unsure of which fuel to use. Seasoned, kiln dried or compressed saw dust heat logs? There are so many options, all claiming to be the best. But which ones are right for you?
In this guide, we’ll explore the warming world of compressed saw dust heat logs, giving you some insight on these sustainable wonders of winter warming. That way you can make a more informed decision about which fuel you should use for your wood burner, multi-fuel stove or open fire.
What are compressed saw dust heat logs?
The clue is in the name – these heat logs are made from compressed saw dust! They also may contain raw materials such as peat, straw, rice husk and paper – you can be sure ours is only waste sawdust. Each log is made by finely chopping these raw materials, then compressing them at high compression rates of up to 1000kg/m3. The higher the compaction, the better the quality, so the log should hold its shape.
Quality compressed saw dust heat logs should only contain natural products, with no additives or binders. Be wary of any heat logs that aren’t 100% natural as this could raise the moisture level in the log, making lighting more difficult. If any waste wood is used in them, for example wood that may have been treated or painted in the past, they could spit or spark.
So what are the benefits of using compressed saw dust heat logs? And what are the disadvantages?
Benefits of heat logs
Low moisture content
Compressed saw dust heat logs usually have a moisture content below 10%. Big K Compressed Saw Dust Heat Logs have a moisture level of less than 8%, meaning that they burn much hotter with less emissions – keeping your flue or chimney happy, and your stove or wood burner cleaner, as the contaminants will burn away.
One of the downsides to firewood is that it can vary in density, so you might not get the same heat output during burning – even if they’re from the same tree. There can be differences between the branches of the tree and the trunk, and weight and sizes will be different. However, with compressed saw dust logs, you’ll know that each log is exactly the same, offering the same, reliable heat output.
Most compressed saw dust heat logs will be made from sawdust by-product. Big K heat logs are only made from by-products of managed forests and recycled wood, so you can be sure you’re doing your bit for the environment. Plus, since they are compressed using such high pressure, there’s no need for binding agents or chemicals to help the lighting process – so the carbon dioxide (CO2) released when you burn them is equal to the CO2 absorbed by the tree when it’s growing.
If you’ve used firewood logs before, you’ll know that they can be messy. More often than not, you will be dragging a large amount of logs from outside, leaving a trail of bark and wood shavings behind you. Plus, you might get splinters when you handle them. Compressed saw dust heat logs have a smooth, uniform shape which helps them stack in smaller spaces, so you can keep your home looking neat and tidy.
Less ash left behind
Compressed saw dust heat logs have less moisture. That means that they burn hotter, and leave less ash in your wood burner or multi-fuel stove. This is great news if you’re busy and don’t have the time to be emptying ash out of your stove all the time – and any that you do take out can be used as fertiliser in your garden.
If you’re used to standard firewood, you’ll notice a huge difference in the heat output from compressed saw dust heat logs. However, if you’re used to kiln dried logs, you might not see much difference in terms heat produced. Both heat logs and kiln dried logs are good options for heating your home.
Disadvantages of heat logs
You can’t buy loose
Unlike kiln dried or seasoned logs, you can’t buy compressed saw dust heat logs loose in bulk. They will always come packaged in small waterproof packs, because if they’re not kept dry they will absorb moisture, expand, and then disintegrate. Not good! You must store them in a dry area and ensure that you don’t pierce the bags, otherwise you’re going to end up with a lot of mess to clear up.
Luckily, here at Big K you can buy our heat logs on a pallet – so you can still make savings by buying in bulk.
Occasionally they can move about!
If you’ve got an open fire, keep an eye on it – your logs might possibly change position! Compressed saw dust heat logs often expand when they’re burning, so they can move a little in an open fire. Make sure you position them carefully or perhaps add a guard to stop them from rolling past the fireplace.
You won’t get the crackle and pop
That calming, peaceful sound you get from natural wood logs won’t be present if you use heat logs. But if you still want to use compressed saw dust heat logs, you could buy a couple of crackle logs – they crackle and pop just like the real thing, but without the mess you can get with natural wood logs.
So these are the things to consider when you’re thinking about buying heat logs for your fire. They are certainly environmentally-friendly, have a fantastic heat output and are cleaner than burning firewood logs, but you can’t buy them loose and they won’t have the same realistic feel as natural wood. Why not try mixing heatlogs with kiln dry logs?
If you only occasionally use your wood burner, stove or fire, heat logs are certainly an excellent option, but if a wood burner or stove are your main source of heating, you might find kiln dried logs a better option. Make sure you read up on kiln dried logs and their benefits here before making your final choice.