Are Barndominiums Energy Efficient?

While building a house, your first consideration should be comfort and energy efficiency. It won’t be worth building if you fail to build a home that doesn’t keep you comfortable or lower your utility bill. Likewise, when you wish to build a barndominium, a question may arise in your mind: Are barndominiums energy efficient?

Typically, the energy efficiency depends on several factors, like size, heating and cooling systems, air circulation, and insulation.

These factors play an essential role in how energy efficient the barndominium will be. If you ensure all these things, they will be more energy efficient than any other building.

To explore more information about the energy efficiency of barndominiums, keep reading the context.

Barn style house

Energy Efficiency: What Is It And How Is It Measured?

Knowing what energy efficiency is and how it works will help with your decision to build a barndominium. Typically, energy efficiency refers to a building’s function efficiency by generating less waste and conserving energy.

According to James Hall, Founder of barndominiumideas, designing a barndominium with energy efficiency paves the way to lower utility bills. Apart from that, there will ensure better air circulation, moisture level, and temperature.

Now the question is how to measure energy efficiency. In general, the energy efficiency of barndominiums is measured by following the Home Energy Rating Scheme. The 100 HERS value of a house means it doesn’t have any energy-efficient systems. When the value increases, the energy efficiency of a house will also increase, and vice versa.

To calculate the HERS, you will need to carry out a Blower-Door test. This test will check how airtight your barndominium is, from the ductwork to the doors and windows.

home energy usage

Are Barndominiums Energy Efficient?

Yes, they are energy efficient due to the metal structure. Metal usually provides natural weatherization and insulation for homes. Besides, if the roof is also made of metal, it will conserve more energy.

Along with reducing energy consumption, the barndominium structure maintains the building’s quality, functions, and security. As a consequence, it will reduce carbon emissions and save money.

Below, we have discussed what factors usually contribute to energy efficiency in barndominiums.

Insulation And The Building Envelope

Metal buildings like barndominiums are insulated with insulation foam made of fiberglass and foam. Insulating the building with this foam not only helps to control moisture but also maintains the temperature.

It lessens the interchange of heat through the wall of the house. As a result, the building releases cooler air in the summer and less heated air during winter. This will help to minimize the expense of your building.

Spray foam insulation being installed


Weatherization means waterproofing a building to protect it from natural disasters like sun, wind, and precipitation. It helps to design the building in a way that lessens energy consumption. 

Studies found that the weatherization of a house can save up to 70% of all energy efficiency. Besides, barndominium buildings account for sulfur dioxide emissions of around 49%.

What Factors Affect Barndominium Energy Efficiency?

While the metal is not a good insulator, it acts as an effector on the energy efficiency of a barndominium. The energy efficiency depends on several factors.

Below, we have pointed out some major factors that impact Barndominiums’ energy efficiency.

  • Size
  • Air circulation system
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Insulation
  • Windows and doors
  • Built place
  • Design

How To Make Barndominiums More Energy Efficient?

As we mentioned before, metal is not a good insulator, but it greatly affects the energy efficiency of the barndominium. Below, we have outlined some techniques to increase energy efficiency.

1.   Install High Insulations

Barndominium wall cavities are typically much larger than in traditional homes. While a traditional house may have a 10-inch wall cavity, barndominiums have a 12–16-inch wall cavity.

The additional wall cavity requires spraying more foam insulation. If you properly fill the wall cavity with foam insulation, it will prevent air from escaping your home. Consequently, the energy efficiency will increase.

2.   Use Energy Efficient Appliances

The cooling and heating efficiency also depends on the appliances you use. For example, if you use an air conditioner, running it at a lower volume during the summer will conserve energy.

Besides, having a multi-volume furnace can also considerably increase energy efficiency. Unlike old furnaces, the latest furnaces have about 70 operating levels. They are powerful enough to provide your desired temperature in a short time.

Energy efficient appliances

3.   Open Concept Floor Plan

Floor plans play a crucial role in building an energy-efficient barndominium. So, choosing the right floor design will come with many advantages. For better energy efficiency, you can choose an open-concept floor design.

It will let you get good air circulation. In addition, the heating or cooling system won’t take much time, resulting in more energy savings.

4.   One Floor Design Barndominium

There is no denying the need for large-capacity heating and cooling systems in larger residences. A 2000 square-foot one-story house is easier to cool or heat than a 2000 square-foot two-story house. So, having a single floor design for your barndominium will enhance energy efficiency.

Take a look at barndominium floor plan examples to get a better idea of what works best for you.

open floor plan

5.   Use Energy Efficient Doors And Windows

Doors and windows are other factors to consider getting more energy efficiency from your barndominium. Air can easily escape through thin or poorly sealed doors and windows.

As a result, the heating and cooling systems of your home will not work efficiently, causing a higher utility bill. In contrast, modern energy-efficient windows and doors provide a longer life span and reduce your utility bill.

What Are The Advantages Of Having Energy Efficient Barndominiums?

The benefits of having an energy-efficient barndominium are endless. From being comfortable to reducing utility bills, it will make your life easier.

Here we have demonstrated some major advantages of having a barndominium that is energy efficient.

Require Less Maintenance

Due to the high durability, barndominiums require little maintenance. Unlike traditional houses, they resist natural disasters like wind, tornadoes, and other extreme weather conditions.

Besides, these houses are less prone to scratches, dents, and corrosion. The homeowner only has to ensure water is kept away like all metals.

●    Eco-Friendly

An energy-efficient barndominium helps create a clean environment and contributes to good health. Most barndominium constructors use environmentally friendly products in their supply to build a house. This will assist you to lower your carbon footprint both in the future and present.

In addition, the metal frames of the barndominium don’t produce any toxic component that is harmful to the environment. For that reason, they are considered the most eco-friendly houses.

eco-friendly sign

●    Reduce Utility Bills

Compared to typical houses, barndominiums are far more energy efficient. The open structure design of this house controls indoor air circulation and temperature. It will automatically keep you toasty in winter and cool in summer.

Besides, insulated walls resist air escape from your home. For that, you don’t have to run the heating or cooling system for a long time. It will bring greater energy efficiency for you.

●    Low Cost For Construction

The primary advantage of making a barndominium is the cost. Constructing a traditional house can cost from $100 to $200 per square foot. On the other hand, an energy-efficient barndominium will cost around $30 to $40 per square foot.

Additionally, barndominiums allow you to cut the total cost of construction due to customizable structures. No matter how it is designed, you can finish construction within your budget.

●    Keep Comfortable   

Barndominium will allow you to live more lavishly and openly. The open structure of this house helps you remain cool and comfortable. Besides, barndominiums are safe like any traditional building. Even so, you can ensure better comfort in a barndominium than in a traditional house.

Barn house


Hopefully, we may have a clear idea about the energy efficiency of barndominiums after reading the context. The energy efficiency of a barndominium usually depends on several factors, including house size, design, structured materials, location, etc.

If you build a barndominium following the criteria, you can ensure that it will be more energy efficient than traditional houses. However, you can increase the energy efficiency of your barndominium by following some techniques discussed in the context. This way, you can easily reduce the utility bill of your barndominium and live comfortably

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