How long does summer last where your log cabin is located? Does the hot weather go on for 3, 4, 5, 6, or more months?  No matter the length, everyone has some very warm days and weeks that require a little cooling for comfort. There are some ways to tame this monster we all can adopt, and one of the best ways is to build with log siding.

The size and location of a log cabin directly influence the ways it can be cooled in the summer. Insulation, air conditioning, fans, and keeping heat out are some of them. You can also cook outside part time  or all the time and dehumidify the inside of a cabin.                                                        

The ideas included here assume you have already built a cabin and they will help you keep more comfortable this summer. If you have not selected a lot for building, pick one with shade trees for a natural way to cool with shade.

Cabin with Log Siding

Insulation in the Right Places is the Key

A principle that log cabin owners should understand is you should insulate all six surfaces to get the maximum benefit. By this we mean insulating:

  • All 4 walls
  • Above the ceilings
  • Under the floors

Although insulating the attic or above the upper ceilings is paramount, don’t neglect the other 5 areas. Neglecting some of them means letting heat into the cabin in the summer and allowing it to escape to the outside in the winter.                                                                                                         

Don’t guess what to use and where to place it. Consult with a contractor or insulation expert in your area to determine the best type of insulating material for all these areas. You should get free estimates and you will be glad you did. Insulating a cabin built with log siding has the advantage over full logs of holding thick insulation in its walls – either 4” or 6.”

Air Conditioning: Central, Split, or Window System?

Cabin owners who don’t elect to use fans and natural breezes to cool their homes should consider the best type of air conditioning system for their climates. The typical choices are:

  • Central heat and air
  • Split, ductless system
  • Several window AC units

Each has its own pros, cons, conveniences, noise levels, installation costs, and operating costs. Do some research about systems that meet your needs and budget, and get bids from 3 or 4 HVAC dealers before selecting one. You can save money on installing your own window units but not necessarily electricity costs.

Cedar Log Siding

“No matter the length, everyone has some very warm days and weeks that require a little cooling for comfort. There are some ways to tame this monster we all can adopt.”

Fans Cool More Than You Think: Attic, Ceiling, Exhaust

Fans can be used as stand-alone cooling systems or to supplement an air conditioning system. Contractors will tell you to consider the following ideas for a cooler summer:               

  • Install larger fans than are typically used where possible to move more air around.
  • Buy the best and most efficient fans you can afford. Using remote or automatic controls is very convenient.
  • Use attic fans with thermostats and ceiling fans where possible.
  • Use portable floor, table, or tower fans.
  • One or more exhaust fans can pull a lot of air through the cabin. Be mindful of dust or allergens in the air that might be pulled inside.
  • Consult a contractor or fan expert for strategic placement of fans to obtain the maximum benefit from them.

Fans do cost much less to operate than air conditioners to cool your log cabin.

Keep Extra Heat Out Where Possible

Putting cooler air in your log cabin is a great approach but you can also keep heat from coming inside in three simple ways. Try one or more of these deas:

  • Exhaust heat outside the cabin where possible
  • Block and/or reflect the sun with curtains
  • Shade the outside of windows with awnings or roof overhang

Watch out for the contradiction of sending heat out in the winter versus keeping it inside. Your builder and HVAC installer will provide valuable insights into coordinating your cabin’s heating and cooling systems.

Cook Outdoors and Dehumidify the Inside

An age-old idea to keep the inside cooler in the summer is to cook outside on the back deck or even the front porch. You can prepare food on the patio or by the pool if you have one.

For those of you who live in a humid climate, you know how sweltering it can be inside when it’s above 80 degrees F. and little or no breeze is blowing. Place a dehumidifier in a strategic place or add one to your central AC unit. Reducing the amount of moisture in the air will help a lot!    

We hope these ideas for keeping your cabin cooler in the summer are helpful and money-saving! When you need log cabin building materials and products like log siding, trim, corner system, or paneling, contact the WoodWorkers Shoppe.

References and Resources: