Summertime brings greenery, sunshine and holidays but also hot sun and extreme weather temperatures. That’s certainly something we’ve all experienced in 2022. And who knows when it going to finally cool off?
It’s difficult to motivate yourself to get outside when it’s already 85 at dawn! However, staying inside can be extremely uncomfortable if your log or timber frame home is not equipped for the summer heat. Sleepless nights and sweaty afternoons are unavoidable, especially if you designed your home for a mountain or lake setting that normally has a milder temperature.
In such cases, knowing how to keep your log home cool in the summer is crucial.
The circumstances and the problems
There are a few crucial questions for evaluating how large your cooling problem really is.
- Where is your wood home located?
- How long does the summer last there?
- Does the heat last for three, four, five, six, or more months?
These are questions you need to ask yourself, and then share your observations with your Honest Abe Log Homes representative.
It is crucial to insulate the right places
In a timber frame home, there are six areas where insulation is needed:
- The four walls of your home
- Space above the ceiling (unless you are using a heavy timber roof system)
- Space under the floor
Log homes require little to no insulation, depending on the roof system and whether the exterior walls are all made of logs. Learn more about this by clicking here.
Choosing the best air-conditioning system to keep your log home cool in the summer
Here are some options you can consider depending on your climate and your home properties:
- Central air and heat management system
- Split, ductless system of air-conditioning
- In-window air-conditioners
Each option has advantages, disadvantages, comforts, noise levels, installation expenses and operational costs.
Before choosing an HVAC dealer, do some research on systems that fit your demands and request quotes from a few companies. Installing your window units is possible and can save you money if strategically placed, but you should keep in mind that the power consumption of the window unit is higher than the other systems.
Consider fans for cooling
Fans can assist an air-conditioning system or be a stand-alone cooling device. Here are some suggestions on how to best use them and keep your log home cool during the summer:
- Where possible, install larger fans to move more air and provide a better cooling effect.
- Purchase the best and most effective fans you can. It’s very practical to use automatic or remote controls.
- When possible, use ceiling fans and attic fans with thermostats.
- Use a tower, table or portable floor fan.
- One or more exhaust fans can draw large amounts of air through the cabin. Be aware of any dust or allergies in the air that could get indoors.
- To get the most out of your fans, consult your contractor or an expert about their best placement.
- Fans cost far less to run than air-conditioners, though keep in mind that they are much less effective.
Cook outside and dehumidify properly
Cooking outside on the back deck or even the front porch is a tried-and-true method for keeping the interior cooler in the summer. If you have a pool, even better. You can cook on the patio or by the water, making it both fun and cool.
If you reside in a humid region, you know how oppressively hot it can get indoors when the temperature is above the average, and there is little to no breeze. A dehumidifier should be placed strategically or added to your central air-conditioner.
You should reduce the amount of moisture in the air to increase the cooling effect and make your living space more comfortable.
Also, keep in mind that having house plants can considerably add to the humidity in the room. Though if you are a green thumb, you won’t easily abandon them during your cabin vacation. Aside from needing to transport them to your cabin, you’ll need to plan where to put them once they are there. Luckily there is a way to get them there easily, and after that has been taken care of, it’s up to you to “plant” them wisely.
Keep extra heat out of your home
While forcing cooler air into your log house is a sound strategy, there are other ways to prevent heat from entering.
- Whenever possible, expel heat away from the interior of your cabin. Do this by setting up an air circulation path or pointing a fan toward an open window.
- Use curtains to reflect or block the sun; this method can be considerably more effective than you might think.
- Windows should have awnings to provide shade; any way of preventing direct sunlight can significantly reduce the heat buildup.
- Be mindful of the paradox between retaining heat inside during the winter and sending it outside throughout the summer. The HVAC installer will advise on coordinating your cabin’s heating and cooling systems.
Of course, the methods a log cabin can use to cool itself in the summer are strongly influenced by its size and location. Be sure to discuss insulation, air conditioning and fans with your Honest Abe rep, your builder and your interior designer, and think critically about how you can implement other ideas like outdoor cooking, house plants and dehumidifiers.