Photo: Simon Schoepf via Unsplash
1. Give Your Home an Air-Lock EntryThere’s a reason why most big-box building supply stores and shopping malls are designed with a transition vestibule — it keeps the conditioned air in and the external air out. You can design your home with the same sort of money-saving feature. In an air-lock entry (sometimes called a closed foyer), the dual-door system isolates and contains the cold air every time the door is opened, so your HVAC system doesn’t have to compensate for frequent frosty intrusions.
2. Install Radiant BarriersLike conventional roof insulation, radiant barriers reduce heat transfer, but unlike batt or loose-fill insulation, which are designed to trap the heat, radiant barriers prohibit the warm air from entering or escaping the house in the first place. In the winter, this means that, as heat rises, it’s stopped at the attic floor and recycled back into the living space, giving your HVAC a break.
3. Run Your Ceiling FanCeiling fans aren’t just to cool the dog days of summer. A well-positioned, slow-rotating fan can ensure that warmed air won’t drift aimlessly toward the roof (a big concern in a log home
with a vaulted ceiling). The fan nudges the air back down to human levels.
4. Add Radiant HeatA radiant in-floor heating system is one of the most logical additions to keep your log home toasty in the winter. Think about it: When your feet are cold, your whole body feels the chill. Radiant heat starts at your soles and warms you from the ground up. And since the system produces a steady, even heat, you’ll use about 20 percent less energy to keep your home comfortable.
5. Upgrade Your Windows
Leaky, inefficient windows are a main source of heat loss in any home, but in a log home that often boasts “window walls,” investing in high-quality windows is imperative. Double- or triple-paned glass with reflective low-E coatings are key to keeping the heat where it belongs. In cold-weather climes, the coating should face inward to keep the warmed air in. In warmer regions, it should face outward to keep the heat out.