There are so many great things about owning an older home. From unique design to charm and character, an older home can get you a great living experience at a lower-than-expected price.
Of course, there are some drawbacks. One of these is that the home isn’t updated with the latest insulation, windows, and other elements that help reduce energy costs. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to improve the situation.
The first step is to make sure your home isn’t registered as a landmark or historic property. If it is, there will be limits to what you can do – be sure to follow the rules.
Here’s what you can do to improve the energy savings and comfort of your older home!
Fill the Gaps
One of the biggest energy thieves in an older home is gaps between walls and windows, as well as in the floor, roof, and attic.
Simply using sealant strips can help fill the gaps in your floorboards without changing the character of your room. They’re inexpensive and easy to use. Once they are in place you won’t even be able to see them – but you’ll feel the difference in temperature and you’ll also see the energy savings.
For gaps around windows, you can use caulking or weather stripping. If you can’t replace old windows – or can’t afford to – try using a window kit where you put a plastic seal over windows. It can increase a window’s R-value up to 90%!
Get an HVAC Tune-Up
Even if your older home’s HVAC is functioning fine, it’s probably in need of a tune-up. You can save 3 to 10% on heating bills with this simple fix. The energy savings will more than make up the cost of the tune-up.
Natural gas systems need a tune-up every two or three years, and oil-powered units should be serviced every year. You can also seal your ductwork with foil-backed tape or paint-on sealant.
You can save hundreds simply by making sure your HVAC is in top shape.
Close Your Chimney Damper
Having a fireplace is charming, but it’s also a major energy suck. When it’s cold, heated air from your home goes up the chimney and cold air comes down, which is a major hit on your energy savings.
To save yourself significant cash, keep the damper tightly closed when you’re not using it. If you never use your fireplace, consider having it closed off permanently or even replaced with a gas-powered unit.
If you use your fireplace, be sure to turn your heat down a bit when it’s on. Close the door to the room if possible, so that you can keep the rest of your home comfortable while the chimney is open.
Add Insulation To Walls, Attics, and Crawlspaces
Adding insulation is one of the most impactful things you can do to keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. You get great energy savings easily.
The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to add insulation – and you don’t have to tear down walls or damage the property.
If your home is older, it’s unlikely that it has insulation with a high R-value. In fact, you may be amazed to see that there isn’t ANY insulation in some areas.
The energy savings you can get from adding insulation is enormous. Interested in keeping your older home warm and cozy? Contact us today!