Guest Post: Living Green in Your Log Home

Log homes are great examples of sustainable homes. The wood used to build the home, when properly managed, can be grown again. The abundance of beetle-killed pine, coupled with potential fire dangers, make log homes a good option for building materials. And who isn’t drawn in by the beauty of a log home. This guest post has been written by John Seifer, who works with Southland Log Homes.

log cabin shutterstock_184341977

Log home owners tend to have an individualistic streak and aren’t afraid to do things a little differently.  In addition to these qualities, these owners typically have an appreciation for the rustic atmosphere and connection to the environment that these homes offer. These log homes that they love also provide a great opportunity to embrace green living. The average log home owner spends much less than their neighbors on air conditioning, heating, hot water and lighting. Read about the benefits of log homes for a green lifestyle and tips to improve the efficiency of your home below.

The Structure of a Log Home

The green elements of a log home start with the wood that they are constructed with. Building your home with a sustainable and renewable resource is better for the environment and healthier for its occupants. Wood has been shown to be a superior alternative to cement and steel in the majority of environmental impact categories and the cellular structure of wood also has insulating properties.

High-performance homes that are built with wood products that come from credible organizations or systems are becoming an ideal for green living. Using materials that come from sustainable and managed forests also helps guarantee the quality of the wood for your home.

The Natural Surroundings

Before you even begin to build your home you can help protect the environment by selecting a site that is not part of a habitat for endangered species. When you start building you should also try to minimize any disturbances to the natural surroundings.

Strategically designing your home to take advantage of natural elements, such as sunlight, can support the energy efficiency of your home. For example, shielding your home from the western exposure of the sun can prevent your home from overheating and significantly reduce energy consumption. Using indigenous plants as a part of your landscaping can also simplify your workload and save on resources.

Additional Considerations

  • While it is necessary to use a finish on your home to protect the logs from the elements, choosing a non-toxic product that will support your earth-friendly goals can be purchased from the majority of major stain manufacturers.
  • Install windows that are designed to be energy efficient.
  • Log homes are usually built in areas that can easily access a large amount of sunlight. By utilizing this light through solar panels you will be able to save a considerable amount on your energy bills.
  •  Appliances in your home can account for a good chunk of your energy costs. For this reason you should go with appliances that are Energy-Star Certified.

From an energy standpoint, log homes are more energy efficient when it comes to both building and operating the home. The thermal mass of the logs provides an exceptional way to save on energy consumption and by going with certified logs you will be supporting sustainable forestry practices.

Author Bio: John Seifer has been working with Southland Log Homes, for several years. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with fellow log home admirers.

Photo: Log cabin in the wilderness from Shutterstock