Some people want to build a log home but wonder if they stay warm enough in the winter months. Those who live in colder climates ask this question more often. The short answer is log siding homes and cabins can stay as warm as you like depending on the insulation, heating system, and your utility budget.
Log siding homes are built like conventional homes with wood logs attached to the wall framing instead of other siding materials. The interior walls consist of the same material instead of painted drywall. Adding the right type of insulation in the walls provides more heat retention throughout the entire home.
Log siding homes can be equipped with the latest central heating and air conditioning system. Heat pumps, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, and gas logs can be added to supplement the HVAC system.
The Properties of Wood Are Amazing!
Real wood siding carries a pleasant surprise compared to brick, stone, stucco, vinyl, or metal siding. It absorbs the warm air during the day and releases it as the night gets cooler. The U.S. Department of Energy informs us that in mild temperature areas logs can even act as “thermal batteries” storing warmth during sunny days. Log siding plus the OSB sheathing, house wrap, and insulation provide adequate R-values.
Pine or cedar log siding with its own form of insulation is warmer than these other materials:
- Warmer than concrete blocks
- Warmer than bricks
- Warmer than stone
- Warmer than vinyl or aluminum siding
The thicker the siding and wall framing, the more heat your log home will retain in the winter months. Learn more about the characteristics of natural wood.
Insulation Helps Create Warm Log Siding Homes
To get the most benefit from any type of insulation, all six surface areas of the home must be covered. All four walls, ceilings, and floors must have adequate insulation placed in them to be highly energy-efficient. When you do not insulate one of these, you lose heat in the winter and the heating bill goes up.
There are two ways to improve insulating a log siding home. One is using 2×6 wall framing instead of 2x4s. The other is to consult with an insulation expert in addition to a contractor to get the best insulation for your climate. You can retain more heat by increasing the R-value.
Add More Windows on the South Side
Let the sun help warm your log siding home in the winter. Add more insulated windows to the south and west walls and you will thank Mother Nature. You may consider a window wall or simply larger windows to let the sunshine in. With the nature of wood siding, adequate insulation, and more sunlight, you have a winner!
Insulated doors are another way of retaining heat in your home. Most homes have a front and rear door and a third one if they have a garage. Fiberglass and insulated steel exterior doors:
- Offer the best energy-efficiency ratings
- Have interior cores that reduce energy transfer
- Solid doors retain more energy than ones with some glass
If you do want exterior doors with some glass panels, choose ones with a Low-E glass panel. They use a thin, invisible coating that helps reduce energy transfer.
Caulking and Sealing Make a Difference
You’ve heard it said that caulking and sealing a log home make a difference. We want to point out that properly caulking and sealing with the best materials can make a huge difference. Don’t skimp on staining and sealing your log siding or use ‘cheap’ materials, and make sure you hire someone who knows what they are doing.
Caulking is necessary anywhere the log siding comes in
contact with the corners and around door and window trims. The best quality siding may not need caulking between pieces because it has a tongue and groove with an end-matching design that is virtually air-tight.
Caulk around any holes in the walls such as for wiring, pipes, ductwork, cables, or anything else that can cause air leaks. Incorporate all these ideas and you will have a warm log siding home in the winter.
Look for High-Quality Siding at Fair Prices
The WoodWorkers Shoppe has supplied log siding, corner systems, and trims for thousands of home, cabin, and business owners. All our products are kiln-dried for correct moisture content and staining. They are hand-inspected for quality and stored properly to retain their shape. You won’t need to sort through the pieces to find the best ones when they arrive because they are all quality. Talk to one of our log siding experts today.