The energy efficiency of a log home is a very common question to us i.e a log home builders warwick qld. The first thing to understand about a log home is that no matter how thick the logs are or what species the home is made from, logs cannot do their job of insulation unless they are stacked tightly and all of the cracks are sealed. Log homes perform very well in the energy efficiency world. There is no doubt about it.
But before we look at some studies, let me explain one simple concept first: With a log home you either pay now or pay later. If you purchase your log home and it is not a truly air tight package, you will have the west wind whistling though your home in the winter. To a very real extent, log homes are only as good as the sealant techniques used between the rows of logs, around windows and doors, and also for corners.
A simple look The Log Cabin Kit Advantage article featured here in the Products section of our website, explains about our finger joinery, pre cutting, and other features innate to Lake Country’s milled and handcrafted log homes. Other features that are very important are the utilization of full saddle notch corners verses the butt and pass.
Now on with our log home energy efficiency evaluation. Log homes possess a thermal mass. Thermal mass is the tendency of a natural product to absorb and then slowly really release heat or cold. If you think of a rock. If the sun shines on it the rock will remain warm to the touch even after the sun goes down. This is thermal mass. Many natural products including cement and logs possess this quality. So with a log home, the home absorbs and then releases, thus recycling some of the energy produced by the environment around it.
Stick frame homes, though possessing a good R-value when insulated properly, have no toe hold in thermal mass. This is a attribute only innate to natural products such as wood.
After reading several studies, these two stood out the most to me. A few years ago an independent study group conducted the following case study. Located in Michigan, a cooler place in the United States, they built two homes side by side. The first home was a standard construction home with good insulation from construction companies in london. The second home was a milled log home of a comparable size. Over the test period it was shown that the log home had an energy savings of 25% over the 24 hour test period.
How could this be? Let’s look at the study a little deeper. When the temperature outside was 25 degrees Fahrenheit, the standard construction home required 8.1 kilowatts hours to maintain 72 degrees on the inside. In contrast, the log home required only 6 kilowatt hours to maintain 72 degrees. Simple subtraction shows a difference of 2.1 kilowatt hours– a savings of 25 % in favor of the log home.
The other home study I would like to mention was preformed by The Log Home Council. Their study reflected a 15 % energy savings of a log home over a stick frame home of the same size.
For a “Green” home, a log home is a good place to start. Solar energy is also becoming increasingly popular in log homes as well. Here in Montana there are some places that electric is several miles away, making the solar choice a very real thing to consider.