Money-saving log cabin energy efficiency is every cabin owner’s goal. When you’re building a new log cabin, a reputable contractor will ensure that its construction practices comply with updated energy standards.
Improving an existing log home’s energy efficiency is a different animal. If you’re planning an addition or renovation, you must comply with updated building codes. However, if you simply want to button up your house against the elements, here are four ways to accomplish effective log cabin energy efficiency.
1. Audit Your Log Cabin Energy Efficiency
Although a well-built log cabin should be relatively airtight, small gaps in the logs may allow warm air to escape and cold air to enter your home. A well-executed energy audit, or thermography energy scan, will display those trouble spots. Once you’ve identified the leaky areas, it should be fairly simple to seal them up. A certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) or Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) technician is familiar with energy audit procedures. They’ll also explain the results and offer problem resolution ideas.
2. Seal Up Costly Air Leaks
Heating your log cabin’s interior gobbles up 42 percent of your home’s annual energy consumption, states the United States Department of Energy. If your home has air leaks, you’re essentially heating the great outdoors.
Assuming your log cabin is several years old, this is a good time to evaluate your sealants’ performance. In a well-built, well-maintained log home, the walls may be in relatively good shape. The primary culprits may be leaky door and window frames, along with the attic (if applicable).
3. Replace Energy-Inefficient Doors
Quite surprisingly, a hollow steel door has remarkably poor energy efficiency. In contrast, a solid-core wooden door ranks much better, and it perfectly complements your log cabin’s rustic look.
However, quality wooden doors are on the pricey side. If your budget won’t accommodate this upscale home addition, two other options may fit the bill. Look for an Energy Star-certified fiberglass insulated door or certified metal door.
4. Install Energy-Efficient Windows
Drafty old windows can leak air like a sieve, making your cabin’s interior chilly and racking up higher heating bills. Energy Star-rated windows are the solution, says the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, these energy-efficient windows can reduce your home’s energy bills by an impressive 7 to 15 percent.
For maximum energy benefits, double or triple pane windows are a good choice. Windows with low-E coatings or units filled with argon gas may also work. To evaluate each window’s efficiency, view the unit’s label for its U-factors performance. This is also regarded as the unit’s heat loss rate.
Realize that outfitting your entire home with energy-efficient windows will result in considerable expense. Over the long term, though, this investment in your home will pay off.
By diligently maintaining your log cabin, and staying abreast of energy-efficient technologies, you can keep that warm and cozy cabin feel that makes your home so special. At the same time, you’ll lower your overall energy bills, giving you more financial leeway to enjoy everything your cabin has to offer.
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