Problems with Burning Newspaper Logs in Your Fireplace
By: Danny Lipford
While you might think that rolling up newspapers to burn in your fireplace would be an eco-friendly idea, hand rolled logs are not compressed enough to burn effectively and can actually cause damage to your chimney flue, pose a potential fire hazard, and harm the environment. Rather than burning them, a better alternative is to recycle old newspapers.
Would you believe that sometimes, thinking green is not such a good idea? Making paper logs for your fireplace is one of those times. In theory, this is pretty green. You take several sheets of newspaper and roll them tight until you have a cylinder about three to four inches in diameter, and you’ve got a log for the fireplace without having to cut down a single tree. Very eco-friendly, right? But here’s the problem. The only way newspaper can burn effectively is to machine-compress it. Otherwise, it burns too hot and fast, and that can damage your flue. Plus, if you’ve ever seen paper burning outside, you know how much ash it throws into the air, and those hot pieces can actually start an unwanted fire by igniting the creosote build-up in your chimney. So before you start thinking you’re doing Mother Nature a favor, think again. The best thing to do with those old newspapers is to recycle, not burn.