If you live in an older home or one that’s even considered historic, you have different energy efficiency challenges than people with newer homes. Some of the methods you should pursue to save energy are the same, but others vary. Follow these energy savings tips for the best results if you live in an older home.
Get an Independent Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit is an inspection designed to assess how much energy your home uses and where you can make improvements. An independent energy audit is the best option because the inspection is purely informative and not associated with selling a product.
Energy auditors use special equipment and tests to find out where your home is losing energy. With personalized advice regarding how to reduce home energy use, you can pick and choose which projects to tackle first.
With the results of your energy audit, you can begin to follow the energy savings tips your auditor gave you. The first projects should be small so you can start seeing results with minimal investment. Here are some ideas:
- Buy thick curtains to insulate your windows.
- Add weather strip leaky or warped windows and doors.
- Seal and insulate the ductwork.
- Update incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs.
- Insulate the hot water heater and plumbing.
- Install low-flow shower heads and aerated faucets.
- Add Insulation to the Basement and Attic
Instead of insulating the walls, focus on the basement and attic. Maintaining a consistent temperature can also help lessen moisture issues in the home. Then, attic or loft insulation helps reduce heat loss through the ceiling. This lowers your heating bills and keeps attic temperatures cooler to reduce rooftop snow melt that could cause ice dams and damage your shingles.
Replace Your Windows
Single-pane windows of older homes account for significant heat loss. If you’re ready to invest a little more in future home energy savings, replace your windows with double-pane versions. These feature a pocket of insulating air sealed between two panes of glass to slow heat transfer.
New double-pane windows also often come with advanced coatings and frame construction to improve efficiency even more. Rest assured that historically accurate replacement windows are available from today’s top manufacturers.
Install Efficient Heating and Cooling Systems
If it’s time to replace your aging heating and cooling equipment, consider something more efficient than the traditional furnace/air conditioner combo. Air-source heat pumps are a good option, though if you have the right setup, installing a geothermal heat pump may be an efficient way to heat and cool your home.
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