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How efficient are log cabins to heat?

snow on a log cabin

Energy efficiency in your log cabin home is something we are all interested in, whether it’s for environmental reasons, or simply to save money. The better insulated your log cabin is, the less heat you need to keep yourself warm.

Cosy cabin interior

Log Cabin Insulation

log cabin wall with insulation

Timber living log cabins are very easy and cheap to heat. From an energy efficiency point of view they are top notch.  Our standard log cabin insulation levels maintain a nice warmth within our cabins during the winter, and actually help to keep them cool during the summer. It is remarkable how cool your cabin will be in the summer even  with the dark roof cover. That’s because we provide, as standard, 100mm Kingspan Insulation in our roofs. We also, as standard, include 100mm insulation in the walls.

Floor insulation – take note

And it is very, very important to use kingspan Insulation in the floor as well. Some companies offer rock-wool in the floors:  this is always, always a mistake. Do not buy a cabin with rock-wool insulation in the floor.

Putting your rock-wool insulation in the floor, on top of a concrete slab (even though there is a damp proof course in between) is a huge mistake. In the winter months, when the slab is colder than 4 degrees centigrade, the damp winter air condenses on the cold surface of the slab, and on the top of the damp proof membrane. The rock-wool insulation soaks up this dampness like a sponge!

This creates a number of problems:

  1. Your insulation is wet, and doesn’t insulate any more.
  2. The gathering moisture in the insulation can lead to rotting of your floorboards
  3. Your interior floor is going to be very cold, and will draw heat out of your living area.
  4. Unhealthy moulds can start to grow on both the underside AND interior face of your floor!

Log Cabin Airtightness

Of course, insulation is not the only element to be considered when discussing log cabin heat. We also need to consider air tightness. There is no point in insulating to the max and then leaving the window open! I am not suggesting you would leave a window open, but if your cabin is not reasonably airtight, then you might have the equivalent of an open window when you add up all of the draughts in your cabin.

We carried out a blow door test on the log cabin in Boyle and found that the cabin was well within building standards for air tightness, by a factor of 40%, which is very reassuring.

Log Cabin Insulation upgrades

Of course, we can increase your insulation levels if you wish. If you’re going for planning, you will need To increase your insulation to upto 8-in or 200mm in the walls, floors and roof. We also improve the air tightness of the  log cabin building.

There are many different ways to increase insulation. The walls are the obvious place to start. Here is a list of different options for increasing insulation in log cabin walls:

  • Increase the cavity. We can always increase the cavity size to eight inches (two hundred millimetres).
  • Insulation Material. Also, the material you use to insulate within the walls is a factor. We have upgraded our default wall insulation – we are now using Metac which is a high performance quality thermal insulation roll which has a higher better U Value than standard rock-wool insulation.
  • External Insulation: This solution is often insisted upon by planners, who, depending on the area, want buildings to have a rendered exterior finish in place of the horizontal drop log exterior which is our default.
  • Dry lining. Dry lining the interior of your cabin to increase the overall insulating value of the walls is another obvious solution, but of course, you loose the interior timber walls. This is not a problem for everyone, and is down to personal choice.

What about the floor insulation? One alternative for the floor is to use Quinn Lite thermal blocks to insulate the slab. Quinn Lite blocks are Thermal AAC Blocks designed for thermal excellence and ease of construction.

Either way, we can give your new log cabin home an A2 BER without any problem.

Log cabins are cheap to heat

Once your residential log cabin home has been well insulated,  it is going to be as easy to heat (or easier) that any other type of building. (Are Log Cabins Easy to Heat Blog entry) The  function of any buildings envelope (walls floor and roof) is to keep in the heat, keep out the rain, wind and cold. a log cabin envelope is exceptionally good at this, as long as there is sufficient insulating value in the Fabric of the envelope, and that the envelope is relatively airtight. Timberliving  log cabins fulfill all of these requirements. So, whether you’re looking for a one bed log cabin, a 2 bed log house, a 3-bed timber home, or a bespoke design log cabin, you should make your first point of call one of our timber living show houses.

Timber Living Log Cabin show houses

We have show houses in Boyle, County Roscommon (086 817 0429), Carrigaline Co Cork (087 6464 280) and Tullow, Co Carlow.  Please don’t hesitate to call us straightaway to organise a visit.

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