If you have a log home which you intend to use as a vacation getaway dwelling, a primary, or secondary home, it is very important how you choose to install your heating and cooling systems. By choosing the most efficient methods for heating and cooling, you can save significant money on energy, and make your dream log home very affordable for a long time. Here are some ways you can go about obtaining maximum efficiency and maximum savings while heating and cooling your log home.
The first point to consider with your heating and cooling strategy is how many of the rooms in the dwelling actually need to be heated or cooled. If most rooms don’t need conditioned air, you may not need a full heating system to be installed, but if it’s more beneficial to maintain heat throughout the house, you should consider the following possibilities:
condensing furnace – this a special furnace which has the ability to extract heat from its own combustion and exhaust processes, and by doing this, it saves considerably on energy and dollars
heat recovery ventilator – efficiency is increased by these devices when they are coupled with exhaust fans to warm up air in the log home, by using heat energy which is already there
high-performance furnaces – the advanced gas valves on a high-performance furnace provide settings which can be adjusted for the precise amount of warmth required
radiant in-floor heating – this system makes use of a condensing boiler, which heats the water used in an in-floor system to conserve energy, and then the same system can serve double duty by providing all the hot water needs for occupants, so as to avoid the need for a separate hot water heater.
Standalone heating units
These heating units can provide adequate warmth and comfort in situations where it isn’t necessary to keep the entire house heated, and the requirements only extend to single rooms or clusters of rooms. A vent-free fan convector can be used to heat smaller rooms, providing just enough warmth for comfort and efficiency. A direct-vent wall furnace is another option for heating localized sections of the home, although larger rooms can be accommodated, as well as sections of two or three rooms together.
Special efficiency devices
If your log home already has a network of ducts in place, you can make use of a very efficient energy saver, which has the capability of maintaining exactly the level of warmth needed in each room by using automated vents. These are battery-powered units which monitor room temperature, humidity, and air pressure, and then manage the flow of air to specific rooms by closing or opening events to keep everything in balance. Sensors which are plugged into electrical outlets determine current conditions, and then make adjustments as needed by controlling vents.
Another very efficient device is the programmable thermostat, which can be set to provide precise heating and cooling at various hours of the day and days of the week, according to your preferences. You can even control a programmable thermostat from your smartphone remotely, making them doubly efficient and convenient.
Depending on the geographic location of your dream log home in the country, air conditioning may be a downright necessity rather than an option. One way you can gain on efficiency in cooling is by making sure that your network of ducts is always clean, and has no leaks which would work against efficiency. Even better, you could install a ductless system which avoids the use of ducts altogether.
By installing a split air-conditioning system, you would have an outdoor unit comprised of a compressor and condenser, coupled with indoor units which are mounted on walls, ceilings, or even on the floor. The two units are connected by a line which pipes refrigerant from the outdoor unit to the interior, and which pumps interior condensation to the outside. The huge advantage of a system like this is that zones can be set up in the household where cooling is actually needed, while other zones receive no conditioned air, because they have no human occupants.
We know the process of building a custom home may seem as daunting as it is exciting, but the family at Gastineau Log Homes has done it countless times, and we are here to help you every step of the way! Contact us, and let’s explore your log home dream together.