"Our Technology Gets Lost in the Woodwork"
Energy and Efficiency -
Is a Log Home Energy Efficient?
This is one of the largest and most misunderstood questions concerning log homes.
Log home companies boast that their homes are the MOST energy efficient, and many owners claim that Log Homes are more energy efficient, but where's the proof you need?
In the 70's, some state building codes added energy requirements calculated in "R" -values. This was a measurement used to calculate the rate of static thermal resistance, NOT heat storage or rate of heat loss. Log home producers objected to this, and sought recognition of Thermal Mass, whereby solid-wood wall logs heated by the sun retain that heat as the outside temperature falls, then radiates heat back inside the home, requiring less heating energy use.
The National Bureau of Standards and Technology erected test buildings and recorded their energy consumption, their findings were amazing. It found that over a three week spring heating period, the log buildings used 46% less energy than the same sized insulated wood-frame building. During the 11 week summer period, the log building used 24% less cooling energy than the insulated wood frame building. During the 14 week winter period, the log building used 15% less heating energy than the insulated wood-frame building.
Minnesota Department of Public Services and the National Association of Log Builders National Research Center at a study in Minnesota, measured air leakage of 23 log homes. It concluded that the worst leaks were not log related but instead, they were at cathedral ceilings, windows and door frames and the tops of the walls.
Many more tests have taken place by many institutes and the conclusion......
“Log Mass is a significant benefit" to home construction.