What are some easy elements I can plan in my home to increase efficiency?
Good question – and one we get asked a lot.
If you’re planning a new log home, make sure to take advantage of the efficiencies you can gain through smart design choices. For instance, align/stacking your bathrooms. If you line them up perfectly on top of each other you cut down on the amount of piping from the hot water heater. It is wasted energy if the hot water has to travel long distances to get to you. If that’s not possible, or you’ll need a bath at the other end of the house, talk to your plumber about setting up a smaller on-demand water heater so they aren’t using energy when they’re not needed.
Another design option is to add a three-season room (so named because they’re used by people in the Spring, Summer and Fall) and place it on the north side of the home. Why? It will be the coolest room in your house during the summer months. Then in winter, you will use less fuel because it acts as a buffer against the elements for a large section of your home exterior.
When it comes to materials, you can’t go wrong with investing in high-quality windows and doors.
Glass is a very poor insulator but good conductor. So, when designing your home and putting windows in it you need to be cognizant of where you place the glass. Choosing the right placement based on your area will help you maximize the natural heating and cooling available in your house.
How do you know if you’re getting energy efficient windows and doors? The shortest answer is to look for the EnergyStar seal. It used to be easy for a company to get but they’ve tightened up the requirements in the past few years, and now you truly have to be efficient to get it. In the U.S., the top three best-ranked windows and doors will have the EnergyStar rating. You can also look at their U-value, but remember U-values are like golf: the lower the number, the better the score.
Published on: April 20th, 2017
Like what you read? Need more information? Achieving energy efficiency for you log homes goes beyond the logs. We've asked industry experts, Katahdin Cedar Log Homes to help with the answers. Click here to see more.