How To Make An Old Home More Energy Efficient
While old homes can be charming, they can be very expensive to own because they’re often not very energy efficient. There are several ways to increase the energy efficiency of an old home so it is safe and comfortable while also reducing energy bills. Some of these are inexpensive while others are more sizable investments in your home.
Old homes often lack insulation in the basement, walls and attic. As warm air rises, the first area to tackle is the attic. This will keep warm inside your living space instead of escaping out the roof.
If all the areas of your attic are accessible, the best option is to have fiberglass batts placed down. This is the least expensive option and does a great job of preventing heat from escaping your home.
If your attic has odd spaces and several obstructions, you’re better off having loose-fill insulation blown into your attic. While more expensive than fiberglass batts, loose-fill insulation can reach areas that a person would have a very difficult time getting to.
Insulating the ceiling of an unfinished basement will also improve the energy efficiency of your home. If your walls lack insulation, you can have it added. However, the cost of doing so can be prohibitive and it’s a major project.
New HVAC System
If the HVAC system in your old home is more than 10 years old, it makes sense to replace it with a new energy-efficient system. Choose an Energy Star system to get the most savings on your energy bills. Once it’s installed, have it professionally tuned-up annually so it keeps operating at its best.
Many old homes don’t have a forced-air system and it wouldn’t make sense to have one installed. In these cases, a ductless system can be a great choice to heat and cool your home.
Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. of Anaheim, CA, installs, repairs and tunes-up HVAC systems. We sell high-quality Lennox systems but can service any make and model. We’ve been helping families in Orange County since 1979.
Plant Trees and Shrubs
Trees and shrubs not only make your property look nicer, but they also increase the energy efficiency of your home. Foliage blocks the sun from heating your home in the summer. In the winter, the sun can help heat your home because all the leaves have fallen.
Energy Star Appliances
As your appliances need to be replaced, do so with Energy Star models. Consider the design of appliances. For example, a front-loading washing machine does a better job of drying clothes than top-loaders and uses less water. This allows your dryer to work less to dry clothes the rest of the way.
A lot of heat is lost through an open fireplace, even when the flue is closed. If you buy a fireplace insert, it blocks this from happening and reduces your energy bills. A fireplace insert will do a much better job of heating the room it’s in than an open fireplace as well.
New Water Heater
A significant portion of your energy bill comes from heating water. You have a choice between replacing an old one with a conventional or tankless water heater. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but will reduce your energy bills compared to older models. The company you choose to install will advise you which is right for your needs and home.
LED lights are far more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They’re also inexpensive and can last 25 years. Replacing all of your older bulbs is a relatively low-cost way to reduce your monthly energy bills and will quickly pay for themselves.
Seal Air Gaps and Leaks
There are several areas in your old home where you have heating/cooling loss because of gaps and leaks. These include doors, windows, pipe inlets, the foundation and outlets on exterior walls. It doesn’t cost much to buy caulk, insulation, weather stripping and tape to seal these gaps and leaks. The result will be a more energy-efficient and comfortable home without drafts.
In addition to our heating services, Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. also offers the same services for air conditioners. Our other services include indoor air quality, ductless systems, zoning systems, duct design, attic insulation, water heaters, thermostats and energy efficiency upgrades. Please get in touch with us the next time you need one of these services.