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Your opinion on DuraFlame for fireplace
Old 01-22-2013, 01:31 PM   #1
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Your opinion on DuraFlame for fireplace

Hello Forum Members,

I've always used real wood in my fireplace but just this winter I am considering burning Dura Flame. Do you believe that Dura Flame burns cleaner than real hard wood? As in less soot in the chimney as advertised?

Please share your thoughts and experiences.

Thank you.

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Old 01-22-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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Sorry, gas logs came with the house and I did not want to change...

But, when I did have a wood fireplace, I liked to have more than one log burning, so DuraFlame was not for me.... IIRC, a friend used one and said it was OK, but went back to wood..
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:58 PM   #3
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We've always burned wood too. Duraflame just seemed way too expensive, and I have no idea what it puts into the air or your flue. But then we've always cleaned our flues the old fashioned way... controlled chimney fires!

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Old 01-22-2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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We use the 6 lb Dura Flame logs sold by Sam's Club as fire starters. The logs used to come 9 to a box, now they are 6 to a box for about the same price. We add real wood after an hour or so. The 6 lb Dura Flame logs put out a lot of heat by themselves. Dura Flame logs have a slight odor that may be objectionable to some people (like DW). The odor goes away when the real wood starts burning. We have two wood burning fireplaces. For me, the logs are a convenience, rather than fiddling with kindling to get the fire started.

I can't say if the Dura Flame logs burn cleaner than real wood. I prefer seasoned oak for firewood, but I will use whatever is available on our property. We have some dead red-top photinias and American plum trees that will be converted to firewood in the near future.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:27 PM   #5
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I've burned a few just to see what they're like and they make it easy, but we use real wood in our fireplace for our 2-3 times/winter. Having a real old fashioned fire is the point when we have a fire, Duraflame doesn't fill that need for us.

This may be a better info source (unbiased?) Ask TreeHugger: Is Duraflame a Burn Out? : TreeHugger
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
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Is excess soot the reason you're looking at replacing wood with Duraflame?

If so, are you sure it's necessary?

We burn real wood (the trees on my lot give me a lifetime supply of firewood), and I do my own chimney cleaning. When I have the fireplace going a lot, which for me means about 1/3 of the days of the season, I used to need to sweep the chimney every other year.

Then I discovered Kwik-Shot sticks. You just burn one or two of these in the fireplace around the end of every month, as your last fire of the month starts to die down. Since I started doing this, my chimney sweeping need has gone from every other year to every third year, so they really do make a difference.

If you feel confident you can safely inspect your own flue, this could be an option.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:35 PM   #7
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We use our gas fireplace every day, and now that NG prices are so low, don't see much of a change in our heating bill.

Now, re: soot, and chimney fires... 50 years ago, we lived in a rented house on Martha's Vineyard... Landlord lived across the street.
Since there were no wood sellers at the time, I used to go to the dump, and cut my firewood from the pine trees that were thrown away (recently cut). Took a little teasing, but they'd eventually burn... Of course this built up soot, that turned the fire bricks a greasy black.
One day, burning just kindling, I noticed the hot flame would "clean" the yellow fire brick. Hmm... maybe with a little more kindling, I could clean more of the soot. Back to the dump, and found some 200 year old wood lathing from a remodeling job. Filled the fireplace with lots of the lath, and began a super hot fire... just a wee bit out of control...
As I was getting pots of water from the kitchen, DW received a hysterical phone call from our landlord... "What are you doing?"
Went outside and looked up at the chimney, which was (and here, I do not exaggerate) shooting an eight foot flame into the air.
And thus my first lesson in chimney fires.

Oh yeah... Dura Flame... never used... no opinion.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:15 PM   #8
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Never used Duraflame. Had a wood burning stove for 8 years, loved it. Used to buy "ends" from a sawmill really cheap for fuel.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:20 PM   #9
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I have been using pecan wood from a friend's fallen tree. He has about a 10 year supply. I used to "roll my own" using newspaper, soaked in water, held together by a can with both sides removed. The worked well.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:52 PM   #10
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I use real wood. When we bought our place the previous owner had a couple Duraflame logs and we ultimately used then but there is nothing like a real wood fire.

BTW, the owner's manual to my woodstove says not to use anything other than cord wood IIRC.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:26 PM   #11
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Years ago, having hardwood acreage I heated exclusively with wood only in Kentucky for 10 years. Only used Duraflame as starter sticks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
DW received a hysterical phone call from our landlord... "What are you doing?"
Went outside and looked up at the chimney, which was (and here, I do not exaggerate) shooting an eight foot flame into the air.
And thus my first lesson in chimney fires.
My first job after college was selling & installing wood stoves & other alternate energy systems during the oil embargo.

One cold January day I took a phone call from a hysterical man wanting to know what to do about a chimney fire (you can usually hear them before you see them -- there's a distinctive roar you never forget.) My boss took the phone, and told the gentleman: "Ok, go out your front door to the street and look back up at your chimney. See the flame shooting out of the chimney about 8-10 feet high? Ok, stand there and watch it until it goes out. If your roof catches fire, call the fire dept."

Once a chimney fire starts, that's about all you can do. Putting the fire in the fireplace out doesn't put out the fire in the chimney -- it generally has to burn out.

I was kidding about intentionally starting a chimney fire periodically to keep the flue clean. My boss taught me about it, and I've done it myself (frequent small fires), but I can't don't recommend it. There's always the risk of the fire spreading or damaging the flue.

Chimney fire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:24 AM   #13
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I used Duraflame logs years ago as fire starters. IIRC they were impregnated with some petroleum derivative. In answer to your question, I think they might have less soot but would put out petroleum derivative combustion products. I would not use them as the primary source of heat, just as a fire starter.
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