If you own a multifuel burning stove with good environmental credentials, you’ll want a good eco friendly log to get your fire roaring.
The good news is that there is a range of eco logs, also known as heat logs, available now on the market.
Eco logs burn efficiently, produce great heat and aren’t made using chemicals and other additives. They’ll be perfect on a Ecodesign multifuel stove, where you can burn eco logs and traditional wood logs – although not at the same time.
Have a read of this guide to heat logs where you’ll learn exactly what they are, how they’re made, where you can burn them, where you can buy eco logs from and much more.
What are eco logs?
Heat logs are highly compressed, manufactured logs made from recycled natural materials. They can come in different shapes and sizes, but are often cylindrical, like a wooden log, or can be squared off like a briquette.
As eco logs are compressed to very high pressures, they keep their shape and pack in more energy to burn when compared to a traditional log.
The high compression also squeezes a lot of the moisture out of the biomass that goes into each heat log. This means they have a very low moisture content of less than 10%. This is significantly less than dried out seasoned wood, which sits around 20% moisture.
A good heat log should maintain its shape and not crumble into sawdust and other bits of material either in the bag or when in the stove.
How are heat logs made?
Heat logs are made by mechanically compressing wood, sawdust and other organic offcut materials into a very dense log. The heat logs may be pressed or extruded into shape.
The high density of the eco log means that it contains little moisture (less than 10%), which benefits the efficiency of a fire and helps it burn for longer.
Heat logs can contain different types of biomass and natural materials, such as:
- Sawdust and wood shavings
- Corn and rice husks
- Coffee (read more here about coffee logs)
If the heat log is claiming to be eco friendly, they should not contain any artificial chemicals, additives or fossil-fuel based materials. Heat logs may also contain peat, but if you are considering the environment, please don’t buy peat-containing logs.
Previous fire logs may have been made with sawdust but it would have been bound together with paraffin wax. This is the same fossil-fuel derived substance that is used for candles. You can learn more about natural eco friendly candles here.
How are eco logs environmentally friendly?
Heat logs are eco friendly as they are produced using leftover organic biomass, wood shavings and other waste materials. As you know, using recycled materials is a great way utilise an existing resource and be environmentally friendly.
If possible, make sure the initial wood source is from a sustainable plantation and certified by Forest Stewardship Council.
Eco logs should be purely organic biomass and not contain chemicals, additives and other nasties. This means that eco logs burn cleaner, producing less air pollutants, which is good news for the air in your house and the environment outside.
If the heat log contains no artificial chemicals and is 100% organic material, then you can use the leftover ash as fertiliser for your garden.
Eco logs are now produced all over the world. So, if you’re in the UK, try and source locally made eco logs. Even better, a UK heat log of good quality will have been accredited with the Woodsure Plus mark. This is the UK’s only woodfuel certification scheme.
Can you burn eco friendly logs in a wood stove?
The best recommendation is to not burn eco logs in a wood only stove.
Although some people will do this, burning any other fuel other than a 100% wooden log, may void your guarantee and could damage the stove. This is because the inside of wood burners are designed differently to multifuel stoves.
Eco friendly logs can definitely be burned in a multifuel stove. A multifuel stove has been designed specifically to accept different fuel types and may also have different flue liners. You can read up on the difference between a wood burner and multifuel stove here.
Heat logs can also be burned in chimeneas, fire pits, pizza ovens and open fires.
Do heat logs smoke?
Most heat logs produce very little smoke. This is good for the health and condition of the stove and flue, as well as the environment.
Some heat logs may even be smokeless.
How long do heat logs burn for?
As heat logs don’t contain much moisture compared to a traditional solid wood log, they are quicker to catch light, heat up, and have a longer, more consistent burn time.
Many heat logs will burn for around 2 hours, although some will last even longer than this.
A longer burn time means you won’t have to buy as many logs and will save you money in the long run.
If an eco log is not of great quality, it will crumble apart in the stove which will reduce its burn time.
Best eco logs for burners
Here are a few of the best eco logs out their for your stove burner. Please note, these are all suitable for multifuel stoves but not not be suitable for all wood burners, so please check before buying.
- Lekto Wood Hardwood Heat Logs
- Lekto Wood Sawdust Briquettes
- Blazers Eco Logs
- Hot Max Heat Logs
- Bio Bean Coffee Logs
And what better place to put your eco heat logs than in a lovely wicker log basket.
Rather than go to Amazon, head over to UK-based Wovenhill.co.uk* who sell an assortment of well-made trunks, hampers, baskets and other rattan storage items.
So, are eco heat logs any good?
Yes, eco heat logs are a great choice for your multifuel stove.
They have a high heat output, don’t produce much smoke, have a low moisture content and burn very efficiently.
The only downside to eco logs for me is that they will be shrink-wrapped in plastic. This is to keep the logs are dry as possible and prevent any moisture from entering. If left in the elements, eco logs will readily absorb any moisture, which isn’t good for burning.
You may also find that the beautiful flames may not be as good as the ones produced with wooden logs. However, if you still like to burn traditional wood logs, this isn’t a problem as you’ll be able to burn both wood and eco logs on a multifuel stove. However, don’t do this at the same time.
All in all, eco logs are a very good alternative if you like to mix up the fuel source in your stove.