As we discussed in our previous blog, living in a historic home doesn’t automatically mean its not energy efficient. We may find, however, that we want to improve the homes energy costs. How can we do this successfully, while maintaining the homes beautiful old features? We will consider just a few examples used in old homes of how to retrofit successfully.
One area that is easy to improve on energy efficiency is insulation. Although insulating crawlspaces is something that can be done, it is quite difficult. The attic area is the easiest area to insulate.
If you ask anyone who lives in an old home, they will tell you how incredibly drafty they can be. A good way of helping with this is weatherstripping. It can be used for sealing up gaps and cracks in joints etc. A word of caution here though, you want to make sure that this is in keeping with the homes age. Weatherstripping can be painted in an appropriate color to fit in with this.
When it comes to drafts, windows are among the worst culprits. Storm windows can be used. These are a good choice instead of replacing your beautiful historic windows. Only replace them if they are too damaged to repair. Another benefit of storm windows is that they do not damage the homes structure and can be fitted easily. Again, they can be painted to fit in with the age of the home. If it gets too cold, a storm door can also be added, although extreme cold is not something we deal with too much here.
Another very effective option for reducing energy costs is to replace your old appliances with new ENERGY STAR rated appliances. This is also beneficial as it should have a low impact structurally. A very easy thing to do is replace bulbs with CFL bulbs.
Remember to do your research before you decide on what work to do, so that you choose the right way to retrofit your beautiful old home.