Do you live in an old, inherited, or historic home that’s been passed down by your ancestors from generation to generation? Although old homes boast of a unique character when it comes to ambiance and architecture, they are also known to leak energy at an alarming rate as compared to most modern homes that are typically built with energy efficiency in mind.
But, as an owner of an old home, there are still plenty of things you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Here are a few tips on how to save energy in older homes:
Conduct an energy audit.
A home energy audit is the first step you must take if you want to reduce your energy consumption. Subjecting your home to a comprehensive energy audit can help you determine how much energy your home consumes and to figure out the specific measures and improvements you can do to make your home more energy efficient.
During an energy audit, the auditor often examines a home’s heating, insulation, ventilation, hot water production, and other equipment.
Update light fittings and bulbs.
Old-fashioned and dated lighting can eat up a huge portion of your electricity bills. Traditional incandescent bulbs consume a lot of energy to be able to produce light. 90% of the energy used is in fact wasted as heat or lost energy.
If you want to cut down your energy consumption, it’s recommended to update your old light bulbs and fittings with Energy Star-qualified CFLs and LEDs. Though they are expensive to buy at first, you can offset the cost in the long run.
The newer bulbs may be more expensive than the older bulbs, but they last up to 10 times longer and are significantly more energy efficient.
Keep your home in good condition.
Diligently monitoring and maintaining the good condition of your home can do wonders for its energy efficiency. Home maintenance includes making sure your doors and windows are opening and closing as they should, walls and roofs are free from cracks, holes, and drafts, appliances are still functioning properly, and the like.
As the seasons change, it’s also recommended to regularly check all areas of your home for air leaks. Just by making sure any leak in your windows and doors are sealed can already save you a lot of money and energy in the long run.
Have adequate insulation.
Having a properly insulated home can make you reduce your energy costs and consumption by as much as 50%. Not only that, doing so can also make your home more comfortable no matter what the weather or temperature is like.
Because proper insulation may not be originally installed in older homes, you must introduce insulation to your home carefully, prioritizing air sealing and ventilation. To determine how much insulation your home needs, get help.
For the basics, the key places at home that need air sealing and insulation include attic or loft spaces, basements, heating/cooling ducts, crawl spaces, and around water pipes. Insulating walls may be costly and not the best option.
Install weather stripping.
Air drafts and leaks account for 30 to 40% of a home’s overall heating and cooling loss and costs. With weather stripping, air infiltration around doors and windows can be prevented, and save you from extra energy expenses in the long run.
When it comes to weather stripping types, there’s a lot you can choose from. The most common types are sponge or foam, felt, vinyl, and magnetic weather stripping, whereas the latter two are the most cost-effective and durable options.
Say yes to energy efficiency and savings, even with an old home. Follow the above tips to ensure huge energy savings when your bills come due.