If you are the owner of a log home, chances are you will have several options available for heating your home. We will help you decide what heating method is best for your unique situation by covering and comparing some of the most popular heating methods available to you. Typically log home owners have the same basic choices available to them that all home owners have, however, there are some structural differences that will have to be taken into consideration when designing your heating system.
For example if your walls are the round faces of logs, you will most likely not be choosing a forced air system with vents in the walls. In that case, your vents would have to be in the floor or maybe the ceiling in some cases. Log homes are built many different ways, so each individual home will have its own unique requirements.
Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant heating works particularly well in log homes because it distributes the heat evenly throughout your home. Log homes have a tendency to be warmer in rooms that have a southern facing wall and rooms with northern facing walls will be cooler because the sun doesn’t really hit them at all. With radiant heating, your north and south facing rooms will have even temperatures because the heat radiating up from the floors causes the heat to even out throughout the home.
Also worth mentioning is that homes made of Western White Wood work particularly well with radiant heating because this type of wood stores the heat well and radiates it back out from the walls. So they would be a great heating advantage no matter what heating source you use.
Wood Burning Stoves
These are a quite popular heating solution for many log home owners, because usually log homes are located in areas where firewood is abundant and readily available. Wood burning stoves can completely heat a very small one or two room log cabin well, but the family sized log homes that are more popular today are going to require a backup heating system in colder climates.
A popular combination is to use a wood burning stove and have radiant heated floors as well to evenly distribute the heat. Wood burning stoves also make a great backup system for conventional forced air furnaces or practically any other heating method.
One thing to consider is whether to install a chimney or to have an exhaust pipe and how to place them in the log home. If you already have a chimney installed then chances are you can adapt it to work with your wood burner.
Designing the log home with the chimney in the center of the home will allow for more even heat distribution. With a well designed log home and centrally located chimney, you may be able to heat up to a three room cabin efficiently.
The other option is to use an exhaust pipe rather than a chimney. If you do this, the best way to be able to make use of all the heat is to run the pipe all the way up through the ceiling because the length of pipe radiates quite a bit of heat by itself.
Almost all log homes are built with at least one fireplace. Fireplaces are not only a source of heat in a log home, they are part of the romanticism behind the whole log cabin concept. All of the information about chimneys from the above text on wood burners applies here too.
A common method used to heat log homes is to have two fireplaces back to back using the same chimney, but actually in two different rooms. This type of system has been known to heat up to four rooms rather well. The rooms without the fireplaces may still need an additional heat source during colder months though. Log homes with fireplaces are often equipped with a radiant floor heater or a forced air system as well, particularly in colder climates.
Geo Thermal Heating
This is a popular choice of many log home owners due to it’s eco friendly appeal. In today’s world it is increasingly important to consider the environment when making decisions to heat your home. Not only that, but geo thermal heating can be very cost effective as well, making it a great choice for any home really.
There are two main types of geo-thermal heating. Both involve an extensive piping system outside of your home. Both types are installed underground, but one is installed horizontally in a trench and the other is installed vertically straight down into the ground. Several hundred feet of pipe is needed to carry the water necessary to operate a geothermal heat pump. Installing that pipe in a vertical trench is much easier, but you sacrifice performance.
The best functional vertical pipe installations are what are known as the slinky. This is a method that installs pipes in a slinky or spring like pattern inside the vertical trench. However the vertical, straight down method still out performs any type of horizontal installation when it comes to heating efficiency.
The geo thermal heat pump works by water circulating through the pipes which is then delivered to a condenser that extracts the heat from the water. The heat is then propelled by a fan out into the air of the house. So, while these units will require minimal electricity, the heat is actually drawn out of the water so it is considered a very efficient way to heat any home.
Those are some of the more popular methods that can be used to heat your log home. Just be aware that there are still other choices out there, The other remaining choices are the more common ones that you are most likely familiar with. Remember that about any heating method used for a regular home can be used in a log home as well.
So a regular forced air furnace with a duct system will work just as well in a log home as any other home. Central heat and air systems can also be used in any log home. It just depends on whether you want all that duct work in your log home or not.