While historic homes are often much more unique and beautiful than their modern counterparts, many times they lack the efficiency of modern homes. Modern construction techniques tend to create tighter joints and seals than the methods used to create older homes. When you pair that with modern materials, like high quality insulation and energy star rated windows, it’s obvious why modern homes can claim higher efficiency levels.
You might be wondering why you need to worry about the efficiency of your historic home. In short, it all comes down to energy bills. The better your home can maintain the temperature range that you have set, the less energy your home will have to expend to keep you and your family comfortable. The less energy your home has to use, the lower your energy bills will be each month. Over time you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year just by being energy conscious and working to raise your home’s efficiency rating.
Fortunately, there are several easy ways to drive up the efficiency of your home and save money month after month:
- Testing your HVAC System: Many older homes have been retrofitted with HVAC systems to help provide heating and cooling throughout the year. That being said, your HVAC system can only work effectively if your home is properly sealed in the right places. Get in touch with your local heating specialist to have an efficiency test done on your home. They can use sophisticated tools and methods to test exactly how well your system is working, and areas of your home that are leaking your heat or air conditioning. After completing an efficiency test they can work with you to find ways to seal up any drafty areas and create a more efficient system.
- Replacing your Windows: Many old houses have old and outdated windows. Depending on how old your home is you may even have single pane windows. Old windows are a huge source of heat and cooling loss. Modern windows are often double pane with specialized gas between the panes to help trap in heat and/or air conditioning, and many have special window film that reflects the sun’s rays to help maintain an even temperature throughout your home. Replacing the windows in your home is a bit of a monetary commitment, but over time they will help pay for themselves with the energy savings you’ll enjoy each month.
- Draft guards: This one may seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how much better your home will maintain a comfortable temperature when you put a draft guard against the crack at the bottom of your exterior doors. With many old houses, the doors are similar to the windows in that they don’t always have the tightest or best seal when compared to modern materials. Drafty doors can create their own air currents that will effectively blow your conditioned air out of your home, causing your HVAC system to work overtime. Draft guards are a simple and relatively cheap solution when it comes to raising the efficiency of your historic home.
These are just a few of the ways you can help to raise the efficiency of your home. The best way to figure out where you are losing energy, is to get a test from your local HVAC distributor. They are generally thorough enough to detect problems throughout the house, and they can offer solutions and estimates for fixing the areas right on the spot.
Taking the time to assess your home’s efficiency can help you save money, and keep your family comfortable throughout the year.