Make A Old Home Energy Efficient

One of the biggest problems with renovating an older home is the lack of energy efficiency. While home buyers want a house that is as economical as possible, they also don’t want to destroy classic architecture to achieve this. So, what’s a historical home renovator to do? Happily, there are many ways you can improve your house’s “green” factor, while preserving the classic lines that attracted you to the home in the first place. Here are a few of the simplest:

Insulation

Many older homes suffer from a lack of insulation, especially in the attic area. With the new spray foam insulation, you can prevent unseen cracks from leaking out heat. 40% of your home’s energy could be escaping merrily through invisible openings; this is one way to keep it inside and your heating bill lower. Doors and windows can benefit from extra insulation as well.

Windows

Many of the “old style” windows can be found in new, energy conserving materials. Enjoy the same classic look while saving big bucks on escaping heat. Look for windows with an ENERGY STAR certification.

Lights

Some energy savings are as simple as screwing in a light bulb. Compact fluorescent bulbs can use as little as 25% of the energy of an ordinary bulb. They also have a much longer lifespan. CFLs come in all sorts of types, ensuring that the owners of older homes with older fixtures can use them.

Appliances

A switch from your vintage refrigerator to an ENERGY STAR one can save you quite a bit. Depending on the appliance you replace, you can save up to 50% more energy and water. Replacing your washer and dryer and water heater will net you even more savings.

Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is the way to go in any home. Programming times for the thermostat to run will save you around 10% on your heating/cooling costs. Plus, it’s easy to program the thermostat so that you never have to worry about it again.

Air conditioning unit

An air conditioning unit that has a high SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating is going to save you a lot more money than the antique version in your older home. A good tip for keeping your unit functioning as well as possible is to change the filters regularly. This will enable it to work at its best.

Going green doesn’t have to spell doom for classic home styles and heritage houses. Rather, it should be viewed as a challenge to find materials and appliances that enhance your home’s livability while helping it retain the appearance of yesteryear.
Make A Old Home Energy Efficient

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3 responses to this post.

  1. This is a good point. Those of us who live in old houses (or appreciate historic buildings) don’t have to scrap the old in order to have lighter impact or live comfortably in energy efficient homes. (We have written about a couple of projects focusing on preserving old buildings here: http://www.energycircle.com/blog/2009/04/07/historic-gracious-efficient-the-beauty-of-retrofits/ )
    In addition to the points you raise, some experts in the field have noted that the building materials used in old houses have stood up to the test of time, whereas new building materials – despite superior insulating characteristics, may invite new problems that we have yet to discover, including moisture and rot. maybe not, we’ll see. But I’m holding tight to my old house, and trying to seal it up and use more efficient appliances.

    Reply

  2. Installing a radiant barrier is another easy and affordable way to save energy and lower your monthly utility bills.

    Reply

  3. If you have older homes. this could be more hot and not really environmental friendly unlike with newer homes that are now built to experience energy efficient. Your thoughts and ideas are very effective ways to have an old house to be energy efficient.

    Reply

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