There's nothing cozier than a roaring fire in a toasty log home during the winter months. As many log home owners can attest, log homes do an amazing job of retaining heat on those snowy days. If you're looking for ways to make sure your log home stays warm and comfortable this winter, we've got a few tips for you:
Wood Stoves and Fireplaces
If you've got a fireplace or a wood stove, they're excellent natural ways to keep your home warm, but remember that they might not heat all rooms in your home evenly. If you live in the forest, firewood is probably easy to come by, making it a relatively cheap way to heat your home, but back rooms and lower floors are likely to miss out on the heat coming from centralized sources like wood stoves and fireplaces. If you need to warm up other, smaller rooms, portable heaters are a great option.
Ensure your Log Home is Well Sealed
Regardless of what method you're using to heat your home, it's important to make sure your log home is well sealed so that heat can't escape. Because humidity levels change as the air gets colder and drier in the winter, logs tend to shrink a bit, which can cause minor checking. It's important to make sure you're sealing up those checks with wood caulk as soon as you notice the problem. This helps keep your home safe and airtight, so any heat you have pumping through your home can't escape through the cracks.
Don't Forget Weather Stripping
Sealing checks with caulk is one of the best ways to keep heat in your home, but log homeowners also need to remember to replace or put in weather stripping regularly too. Since most log homes have log doors and wood components surrounding the windows, it's easy for that wood to shrink and pull back when they dry out in the winter, which can create drafts and gaps for hot air to escape. It's good to remember to install quality weather stripping around doors and windows that face the outside, and to check it every winter to make sure it's working effectively.
Close the Flue
If you do use your fireplace regularly, remember to close your flue every time you put the fire out. You have to open the flue to let smoke and carbon monoxide escape from the flames, but if you leave it open after the fire's out, you're letting cold air from the outdoors in, and warm, heated air inside escape. Get in the habit of opening and closing the flue at the same time as you start and put out fires in your fireplace.
Close Doors to Rooms You Don't Use
If you're looking to maximize the heating efficiency of your log home, think about which rooms you use the most, and which you don't need to get into all that often, especially if you're not using forced air heating. If you have an office or guest room that isn't used much, close the doors to those rooms, so that you're not heating them unnecessarily.
This trick actually works both ways, too. If you have central heating that automatically pumps heat into every room, then close the doors to the rooms you're in often. If you work out of a home office, for example, by shutting the door to the office, you'll trap in any heat that's pumped in there, meaning you can leave the thermostat at a lower temperature, and that smaller room will still be toasty warm.
Let in Sunlight During the Day
An excellent way to increase the heat in your log home is to make use of natural sunlight to help keep your house warm. Keep curtains pulled back during the day to let in as much sunlight as possible. Even though it's not super warm outside, sunlight still has a lot of power to heat things up, and letting it stream into your home will help keep temperatures toasty, without costing you any extra money. Just be sure to close your curtains back up at the end of the day, to keep that heat trapped in after the sun goes down.
Remember Humidity Levels
One important consideration to keep in mind when you're heating your log home is humidity levels. Log homes are sturdy and energy efficient, but they are susceptible to humidity changes. In the winter, cold dry air, mixed with the heat in your home eliminates most humidity. This pulls the water out of the logs in your home, and can cause them to shrink and crack. Though this is natural, it can be controlled to an extent, by keeping a humidifier in your log home to help balance out the humidity levels between seasons. The easiest way to maintain a stable humidity level is to install a humidifier that works in conjunction with your HVAC system, but if it's too late for that, know that a standard, portable humidifier can do the trick as well. You'll just have to remember to fill it regularly with sterile water.
If you need to do some extra maintenance on your log home to keep it nice and toasty through the winter, you can find all of your supplies at Timeless Wood Care! We've got the highest quality products, and would love to answer any questions you may have. Check out our website here, or give us a call at 800-564-2987.