Ways to Customize Your Barndominium For a Cold Climate in the Midwest
If you’re building a new home, it’s well worth your time to explore a barndominium from Koskovich & Murphy Developments. After all, post-frame homes in the Sioux City area handle snow load exceptionally well, and it’s less prone to shifting and settling while being naturally a bit more energy efficient. However, building a barndominium in a cold climate, like any other home, comes with some special considerations.
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Barndominiums in Sioux City has a built-in advantage over stick-built structures. Because they’re simpler, and because their framing and sheathing can be spaced differently, there are fewer thermal breaks in a post-frame building. This has a natural insulating advantage because there are fewer opportunities for heat to escape.
With that being said, it’s still important to insulate your walls, roof, and attic. We typically use radiant barrier insulation outside, and spray-in foam insulation inside, because they provide better thermal barriers for your home.
How can windows save energy? Well, you don’t want to go to the time, trouble, and expense of insulating only to have your windows be a weak point in your building’s energy efficiency.
Because of this, it’s important to choose windows carefully. To begin with, choose double or triple-glazed windows that will help seal the heat in during long winters, and ensure that outdoor heat doesn’t infiltrate indoor spaces in the summer. It’s also a good idea to choose window placement carefully; combining energy-efficient windows with good southern exposure lets inbound sunlight supplement your furnace or boiler so it doesn’t have to work as hard to heat your home.
This brings us to another point. While it’s a good idea to design a barndominium around passive heating principles, passive cooling is also necessary for the warmer months. Something as simple as adding awnings or light-blocking window treatments, especially to south-facing windows, will help keep that passive heating from turning your home into an oven in the summertime.
Proper HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) is necessary for any building, but there are some different concerns in play given the design of a barndominium generally, and in areas prone to temperature extremes like Sioux City specifically.
Barndos with a second floor or loft will heat and cool differently than single-floor structures. After all, heat rises. In the winter, the heat you’re expanding to warm up the ground floor will tend to rise and heat the upper reaches of the structure. For this reason, it’s advisable to install a zone heating system, so you’re not wasting energy running the heat in areas that won’t need it quite as often.
Cooling and airflow pose challenges of their own; the same rising heat, after all, can make the upper floor feel warmer than it should — and even cause the building as a whole to feel stuffy. We suggest installing ceiling fans and ventilation that save energy by increasing airflow.
If your barndominium (or any other custom post-frame building) has an open plan or a lot of open space, HVLS (high volume low speed) fans are an excellent idea, because they’re capable of moving a lot of air in an energy-efficient manner. Like conventional ceiling fans in smaller spaces, these prove to be useful year-round.
Barndominium Design Services in Sioux City
You’ve probably noticed that we’ve spent just as much time talking about warmer weather as we have about the cold. There’s a reason for this: you’re occupying your home year-round, so it must be designed to keep you comfortable no matter what the weather may bring. Just as Koskovich & Murphy Developments delivers structures in turnkey, move-in-ready condition, we also design carefully so that you can enjoy your new home, office, or workshop no matter what kind of mood Mother Nature may be in. Get in touch for the design and building services today!