10 Tips to Improve Your Aging Cabin’s Comfort and Energy Efficiency
Did you know... Building codes today treat cabins like all other buildings when it comes to energy-conservation expectations based on the trend to year-round use?
With 7 million cabins out there (via NAHB) and growing, we are all finding the time for more cabin escapes throughout the year, especially now that we need to get out of our house to work remotely. These days when we visit our cabins in the heat of the summer or bitter cold of the winter, we still want to be comfortable like our homes – esp. if we are working remotely and about to enter our 20th Zoom call of the week with the boss. Paying for energy use in your home and cabin simultaneously obviously causes your costs to increase. To help with this, it is common for you to manually turn off all energy-consuming items between cabin visits. Beyond turning everything off when you leave, here are some other tips you can do to save energy and save money too.
10 great tips to save energy and money to achieve comfort and savings in your aging cabin:
- Don’t build more than you need. It is easier to keep smaller spaces comfortable and energy efficient. If summer is still your big cabin time, instead add a bunkhouse, have tents available, futons or a sleeping porch for guests.
- Try to create cross-ventilation to make your cabin comfortable in warm weather. Warm air rises and will exit upper windows, and cooler air will enter at lower openings.
- Review if your window locations are good for sunlight. Sunlight of course is a powerful tool to help keep your cabin warm for free. If the windows are energy efficient, keep the shades open to allow in powerful sunlight to create a greenhouse effect.
- If you visit only in the summer, plant deciduous trees in logical places around your cabin for summer shade in the future. Generally, within 4-5 years, a tree like a maple will begin to help keep things cool. They are also beautiful in the fall for your visual experience and “curb appeal” if you ever sell.
- Look towards energy conservation before adding more heaters or air conditioners.
- Add insulation and higher performing windows. These are smart investments which last decades.
- Use standard room fans which use minimal energy and will allow you to keep the windows open to enjoy the sounds of nature.
- Put a few blanket throws or sweaters in plain sight to prevent you and your family from venturing towards the thermostat.
- Install IoT or Smart Thermostats you can control from anywhere you are. They require an internet connection, but if plans change, its nice to be able to change settings from anywhere. It is also nice to turn the heat on while you’re en route, so it’s warm when you get there.
- Rather than caulking, easily fill gaps around windows, doors, fireplaces, bathrooms, and kitchens with InstaTrim, the best flexible, peel and stick trim solution. This is because windows with air leaks make your heating or cooling system work harder over time, leading to higher energy bills, so sealing them with flexible trim will save you money. It also looks more professional then your hasty messy caulk installation that you hate doing.