How to Efficiently Heat a Log Cabin

Written by Tim Smith

Efficiently heating a log cabin can be done successfully by a variety of methods, most of which work best when installed during the preliminary construction stage. Some log cabin heating sources have greater operating and installation costs than others. Log cabins can be heated by radiant heat, wood or fuel, gas, geothermal heat, and solar energy to name just a few methods. When deciding how you want to ultimately heat your log cabin, it’s best to first consider the various aspects, such as overall costs, efficiency, and heating capacity. Here are the different ways you can efficiently heat your log cabin home.

1. Add a radiant floor heating system.

One way to heat a log cabin is to install radiant floor heating, which evenly distributes heat throughout your home. However, this kind of heating system must be installed while the home is still under construction, or while the floor is being replaced, as heating tubes are placed beneath the flooring.

2. Consider a geothermal type heating system.

Geothermal heating systems employ heat pumps to draw heat from groundwater or soil, and can either be closed or open loop. Closed loop means the system uses a combination of both water and antifreeze in order to draw adequate heat from the soil. Open loop systems utilize well water as a key source of heat and then return the water to a drainage field to be used for other purposes, or to another well altogether.

3. Install multiple stoves or fireplaces.

Depending on their size and the climate of the area, some log cabin homes have one or more stoves or fireplaces installed in their main floor plan during the initial construction. Many log cabin homeowners may consider a gas or wood burning fireplace to adequately heat the space. However, according to experts, the majority of the heat generated by wood burning fireplaces is lost up the chimney and this method of heating isn’t actually particularly effective when it comes to heating the home. It’s important to also bear in mind that some areas now restrict, or even forbid, wood burning fireplaces because of ecological restrictions.

4. Incorporate one central heating system.

Many log homes have a central heating system in their floor plans that can adequately heat virtually every area in the home. The main disadvantage with this heating method, however, is its failure to provide enough heat during a power outage, since it requires electricity to function.

5. Add a masonry heater.

Some log cabin homeowners use masonry heaters to efficiently heat their homes. One benefit of such heaters is their ability to store heat for a long time. This leads to a steady, slow source of heat for the home to utilize.

6. Install eco-friendly solar heat.

According to home-building experts, solar heating systems work best when used in colder climates with enough solar energy to allow them to operate efficiently.  They are also a popular choice to replace more costly heating fuels, such as oil, propane, and electricity-based type heating resources. It is recommended you do a lot of research before investing in a solar heating system. Here are some solar power ideas to get you started.

How to Conserve Energy

The best way to conserve energy in a home is to look at the “big picture.” For example, how efficient are the windows? A great deal of heat energy can escape through old, worn windows. Also, are there several glass surfaces throughout the home? Glass surfaces allow easy energy transfer and heat can therefore quickly build-up in the warmer months and escape during the winter. For more ideas for your home go to Modernize.

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