Are Log Homes Energy Efficient?

We get asked all the time – Are log homes energy efficient?

The biggest question many homeowners have going into owning a log home is how they can make it as energy efficient as possible. Log homes need constant maintenance in order to maintain their integrity and keep costs of energy usage low. There are a ton of options to choose from to keep your log home’s energy efficiency up, including choosing a wood log alternative like EverLog Concrete logs, timbers, and siding

Are Log Homes Energy Efficient

Energy Efficient Log Homes  – Determining What R-Value You Need For Your Log Home

Wall systems are rated using an R-Value to determine how well they hold heat and distribute that heat. Wood is rated roughly R-1 per inch. At its thickest measurement, it would be R-8, but if coped, you could have an R-4 between the logs. Wood logs also have some major mass effects to factor in depending on the climate. Some climates could make your log home extremely energy efficient, while others would make it difficult to keep your home heated properly. Most real wood log homes do not meet current energy codes without using very large-diameter logs.

With EverLog concrete siding and logs, you can improve performance to around an R-19 depending on the house design and climate. Concrete retains internal temperature more efficiently than wood. We compound this natural advantage by casting an additional 1-1/2″ of insulation into our concrete logs. Our patented method of assembly provides an exact fit, further improving the integrity of our concrete log homes. There is also an option to add additional insulation to the interior furring wall after running your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC components. 

“On average, our customers will save 30-40% on their annual heating and cooling costs compared to a wood log home.”

– Stewart Hansen (CEO of EverLogs)

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Energy Efficient Log Homes – Ensuring There Is No Air Leakage Between Your Logs

Ok, but are log homes energy efficient when built with EverLog products?

Even more important than R-Values, and what really matters to homeowners, is “Air Tightness.” Air tightness (infiltration heat loss) is how the structure performs in the real world (i.e. after it has been built and is being lived in.) According to Energy.gov, air-dried logs are still about 15%-20% water when a log home is constructed. As the logs dry over the years, they shrink, causing gaps in between the logs that create leaks leading to heating and cooling issues. Check out Energy.gov’s page to see which wood is best to use to minimize these issues: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/energy-efficiency-log-homes

To ensure that our customer’s log homes are as energy effiicient as possible, we had the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) conduct a Blower Door Test, which measures the air tightness (infiltration heat loss) of our concrete structures. This test concluded that our structures are six times as airtight as framed structures and seven times as airtight as comparable wood log homes. This is critical to a properly insulated home and translates to unparalleled and substantial energy efficiency and savings. 

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Energy Efficient Log Homes – Controlling The Moisture In Your Logs

Log homes are extremely hydroscopic, meaning they absorb water quickly causing wood rot and insect infestations. Making sure you keep your log home protected from moisture and rain is extremely vital to keep your logs from shifting and creating problems with your log home’s overall energy efficiency. You can use a waterproofed and insecticide-treated log that will need to be re-applied every few years. Having proper gutters, drainage, and downspouts is important for keeping moisture under control.

Unlike real wood, Everlogs concrete logs are resistant to mold and other forms of decay. Many regions of the United States (like Georgia and Florida) have serious mold and other fungal growth problems. Because concrete does not culture mold our concrete log homes solve these problems. This extends the life of the home and saves our clients the additional costs to treat these problems.

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Hopefully, by now, you’re not still wondering, “are log homes energy efficient?” and instead wondering where you can learn more about EverLogs. Because our log home products are built to last for centuries and offer superior home and log cabin insulation, our homeowners save thousands of dollars over the life of their homes. With fewer fossil fuels needed to heat and cool them, EverLog homes offset a large carbon footprint over their lifetime and create extremely energy-efficient homes. 

Learn more about our logs and siding and how they can drastically improve the energy efficiency of your log home while saving you time and money on maintenance, and a ton of other benefits!

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