Though log cabins are popular thanks to their charming simplicity and natural appearance, they can sometimes pose heating challenges during the coldest months of the year. To create the most energy-efficient log cabin home possible, it's important to customize the home's design with heating needs in mind.
The following are five tips that log cabin home owners should take advantage of to save on utility bills and feel more comfortable at home:
Factor efficiency into site design
Every building site has natural features that can be taken advantage of to improve a log cabin's resistance to weather extremes. Log cabins constructed in cold climates should feature southern exposure that allows them to be naturally heated during the wintertime.
Take advantage of thermal insulation
Insulation makes it easier to keep a log cabin's interior temperature constant. While a traditional log cabin doesn't have the wood frames in which insulation would usually be installed, fiberglass insulation can easily be installed in a cabin's roof and attic.
Keep moisture under control
Efforts need to be made to avoid excessive moisture buildup in log cabins. As trees grow, they absorb copious amounts of water. The tree cells in wood will retain the ability to absorb moisture even after lumber is harvested and used in construction.
Moisture control can be offered by waterproofing treatments used on log cabin wood that will both improve efficiency and prevent problems with rot and infestation.
Excessive moisture in a home's walls can make it more difficult to keep the interior comfortable during the winter by leading to damp interior air that feels cold and unhealthy.
Prevent air leaks
Thoroughly caulking between logs during construction is important for preventing air penetration in a log cabin. It's a good idea to caulk around doors and windows every year as well to prevent cold air from infiltrating the cabin walls.
Use low-emissivity glass
Log cabins with windows and doors that take advantage of the thermal properties of low-emissivity glass will be easier to heat.
With low-emissivity glass, the sun can easily heat the interior of the home when it's cold out through windows. At the same time, low-emissivity glass prevents the hot air on the interior of a home from escaping outdoors.
Log cabin homeowners need to be especially aware of the fact that around a third of a home's heat loss occurs at the windows. Low-emissivity film can be used on windows that have already been installed to quickly provide a temporary fix to energy loss out the windows.