Last year we wrote about the fact that log homes can be remarkably energy efficient, especially when built with large round logs. But what about deciding how to heat that log home?
With sustainability in mind, it’s obviously best to choose heating systems that use little energy or are carbon neutral.
Geothermal, outdoor wood boiler
For these reasons we tend to recommend either geothermal (ground source heat pump) or an outdoor wood boiler. Both systems require electricity to operate pumps, but the cost is very modest.
In the case of the wood boiler, the heat energy comes from burning wood, which is carbon neutral, and most of our clients are able to use natural deadwood on their property. This makes for a very sustainable choice. For the homeowner who does not have their own wood supply, geothermal would be the better option.
Interior wood burning options
Another common option would be an interior fireplace but the building code does not consider this a permanent heating system, so you would be required to install an electric boiler or propane boiler for back up. Now, a super energy efficient woodstove is another option that can come with additional lifestyle benefits.
The Esse Ironheart from the UK (available through Canadian suppliers) is such a woodstove, and it comes with a glass door on the firebox so that you can enjoy the look of your fire, as well as a cookstove for baking and two hobs for cooking on top of the unit.
The Ironheart can accommodate different fuels, but in Canada it would make sense to use the insert for wood burning. It’s also possible to connect the unit to 2 additional radiators that can channel heat to more distant parts of the home.
It’s quite an investment (approx $10k Canadian with the wood insert and hob lids which make it possible to better control heat output), but one that would be made back many times over quite quickly. We know folks using this woodstove in Eastern Ontario who use a scant amount of firewood each winter to heat their home because it’s so efficient and they rave about its comfort and how clean burning it is.
More conventional options
Apart from these systems, a conventional boiler supplying a hydronic system or a conventional furnace supplying an air duct system would be other mainstream options. We’ve seen all of these in use in log and timberframe homes through the years.
What is driving your choice to heat your log home? Would you like to read more about this here on Kealey Tackaberry? Tell us and we’ll be sure to delve deeper into this topic.
Related article on how energy efficient log homes with large round logs can be: Handcrafted Log Homes are Back