Energy efficiency of log homes
Environmental issues and energy efficiency are important considerations when building modern houses, but all too often buildings built with energy efficiency in mind end up being sealed boxes.
At Honka we take a slightly different approach and create energy-efficient log homes that breathe naturally so you have the best of both worlds: an energy-efficient, airtight house that is also healthy to live in.
A naturally energy-efficient log home
Solid logs are natural energy conservationists. Unlike a timber frame wall, a log wall is a massive structure that is capable of storing heat. When the temperature lowers during the night, for example, the log walls give heat back into the rooms until the temperature is again equalized.
Log walls balance the temperature variation between different times of day and maintain a steady, comfortable temperature inside the house. This quality is advantageous in different climates and throughout all seasons: in the summer a log house is comfortably cool and in the winter it is steadily warm. This is why people who own log homes love them and do not complain about energy costs.
The heating costs of the log-built Touhula are very reasonable compared to those of other, non-log day care centres. Massive wood provides warmth in the winter and is pleasantly cool in the summer.
– Janne Hämäläinen, maintenance provider
Great airtightness means lower energy bills
An essential part of the energy efficiency of Honka log houses is the tightness of the log walls and structures. When the building shell is made airtight, there are no uncontrollable air leaks or heat loss. Simultaneously, living comfort is greatly improved by the absence of draft. This usually means that the inside temperature can actually be lowered by a degree or two. All this results in a smaller energy bill. We have tested a significant number of our houses for airtightness and received excellent results, usually falling between 0.5 and 1.0 Q50, which translates to energy classes A or B.
Low-energy wall structures
The U-value for a log wall without additional insulation is somewhat higher than that of other wall structures, but the amount of energy used to heat any home involves more than just the U-value of the wall. It also involves the airtightness of the wall and its ability to store heat and radiate it back later.
A major portion of Honka houses are built with solid wood walls, without any extra insulation. This is not a problem even in the coldest climates like Northern Finland or Russia, as a sufficiently thick log wall acts as a natural insulator.
We have also developed safe and certified wall structures with additional thermal insulation. Honka low-energy walls enable us to build houses that are extremely energy-efficient and achieve the highest A and B energy classes. The insulation can be added on either side of the load-bearing log wall. We recommend using wood-based insulation like wood fibre or cellulose to preserve the natural breathing of the log walls.
Log house heating systems
By equipping your log home with an ecological and modern heating system you can any energy class you desire, both today and in the future. You can choose practically any energy solution for your log home. Geothermal heat pumps, air source heat pumps and water-to-air heat pumps are some of the sustainable heating systems favored by our customers in colder climates. Solar panels are becoming more and more popular as they have become significantly more affordable in recent years. A fireplace burning wood or pellets is still a practical and cozy option.