Historic homes may look quite striking. But they are not that energy efficient when it comes to retaining indoor heat during the winter months. Luckily, that can be rectified with a few easy tips and tricks. So if you live in an old home, check out these pointers that will help you make your abode more energy efficient in retaining heat, while enjoying savings on utility costs down the lane.
Seal off Drafts
One of the simplest ways you can reduce the energy usage in your home in the winter is to seal off all drafts and leaks that may be letting the hot indoor air move outdoors. Check for small cracks or gaps in the walls, foundation, roof, windows, doors and even the attic floor. Repair these leaks with proper insulation so that the hot indoor air remains indoors and does not slip outside.
Insulate your Home
Historic homes usually used newspaper, bricks and even corn cobs for insulation. Some homes did not even feature insulation. You can call in a professional to check for insulation in your home and choose to either install one or add some more in order to reduce energy costs and make your home more comfortable in the long run. Ensure that you plan out factors like ventilation and air sealing property as failure to do so can make the insulation dampness and old growth. As such, you can opt to insulate areas like the crawl spaces, attic spaces, basements, water pipes and heating ducts in order to offer the maximum energy efficiency with minimal risk of damage.
Ask for Green Electric Services from your Power Company
A lot of companies offer green certified electric service for customers. You can ask your local power company for the same in order to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. If you find another company that offers these services, you can choose to transfer service to them. Some companies may not offer green electric services regularly, but on a seasonal basis instead. So keep checking with them periodically to see if you can avail these services at specific times of the year.
Buy a high efficiency furnace
Older furnaces usually tend to waste a lot of fuel during the heating process. You can opt to replace this furnace with newer, more energy efficient models. For instance, a condensing furnace would waste only 10% of the fuel it uses to heat the room, but offer you an efficiency of over 90%. Plus, you get to enjoy a reduction in energy costs by about 30% annually.
Install a Reflector behind the Radiator
Old homes usually have radiators to heat indoor air. If you have a radiator in your home, consider installing a reflective coating like a tin foil or reflective paint behind it. This would help reflect back the heat emanated by the radiator, thus heating up the indoor air faster as well as reducing energy usage and costs in the process.
If you don’t want to disturb the house’s design much, consider landscaping as an alternate way to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. Planting trees on the west side of the house in summer would offer proper shade from the sun. The same trees would however, shed their leaves in the winter and allow the sun’s rays to fall directly on the west facing wall, thus heating up your home faster. This in turn, would reduce the amount of energy used to heat up the home during the winter.
Perform an energy audit
An energy audit by a professional will allow you to gain an insight into how energy efficient your home is and what you can do to improve the same. Call auditors who are accredited with RESNET certification. This way, you can ensure that the practices you adopt in the near future would definitely be of use to your home and your family.
Old homes generally do not have many options when it comes to retaining indoor heat. If you live in an old home, consider opting for energy efficient tips to ensure that your home retains its heat during the winter months and saves you plenty of money in utility costs.