You might appreciate the rustic appeal and architectural character of a traditional log cabin, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to live like Abraham Lincoln, sans modern conveniences like indoor plumbing and the many electronic devices that make life in the 21st century so easy. Unfortunately, standard log cabin construction may not be well suited to the levels of energy efficiency that modern homeowners desire. That said, any structure can be made more energy efficient by employing a number of common strategies. And when you know the weaknesses inherent to your particular home, you’ll find the process exceedingly simple. Here are just a few ways that you can turn your log cabin into an energy-efficient home.
- Add insulation. Log cabins are notoriously drafty, and in addition to sealing up any leaks that could compromise overall energy efficiency, you may want to add insulation in order to keep the outside air where it belongs and make it easier to regulate your interior temperature and humidity levels. When you make your cabin airtight, you’ll also need to ensure that you have proper ventilation to preserve the quality of your interior air. But when you have accomplished these tasks you can be reasonably certain of an interior environment that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter with a lot less expenditure of energy.
- Upgrade windows. Insulating the walls is a step in the right direction when it comes to energy efficiency, but your windows may also be a point of egress for your heated or cooled interior air. In this case you should think about upgrading to double- or even triple-paned options, depending on your climate. Suitable windows are an essential part of a well-insulated and energy-efficient home.
- Tend to the chimney. A log cabin wouldn’t be complete without a fireplace (or a few), but this is one area where energy can definitely be wasted. You’ll want to make sure that your fireplace is properly prepared to keep the elements out, and there are a couple of ways to do this. It will need to be lined, for one thing, and you’ll probably want to put some sort of cap on the top, perhaps complete with mesh, to repel the elements and keep vermin at bay. You should also make sure the flue damper is in good, working order and is seated properly for a tight seal when closed.
- Use your programmable thermostat. If you had the forethought to install a programmable thermostat in your log cabin, it’s time to put it to good use. When you program your thermostat to adjust the temperature accordingly for times when the family is home and away, you’ll see almost immediate savings on your energy bill as a result.
- Conduct a home energy audit. If you’ve taken several steps towards energy efficiency; sealing up your home, increasing insulation, and installing energy efficient heat pumps, just for example; and you’re still having issues with energy efficiency issues, you might want to consider performing a home energy audit. This comprehensive inspection and testing can pinpoint problem areas so that you know exactly where waste is occurring.