An Older Home Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Huge Energy Bills
If you live in an older home, you probably love it for its character and wouldn’t give it up for the world. There’s something charming about being somewhere with a rich and distinctive history. However, one thing you probably don’t love about your older home is how much energy it takes to keep it running each month. With the cost of energy going up all the time, it places a real strain on your finances – a strain you could do without.
Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to make your home more energy efficient. You may have to spend some money in the short term, but in the long term you’ll end up taking your savings to the bank.
The first and most obvious thing to do is to make sure you have enough insulation. A big, drafty attic lets the heat radiate away in the winter, and, if your house is air-conditioned, you throw away even more money in the summer. There are lots of different types of insulation you can add to fix the problem, including loose-fill fiberglass, foam or blown foam. However, it’s best to get a qualified contractor to recommend the right insulation for you, since each has its own specific benefits and uses.
Speaking of air-conditioning, this is something else that you should look at. If you live somewhere hot like Texas, air-conditioning is a huge cost – but it’s one you can’t do without. If you live in Dallas, for example, you should get your air-conditioning maintained regularly by a local Dallas AC repair contractor. If your air-conditioning isn’t well-maintained, the filters can become clogged and dirt can start to accumulate on the evaporator and condenser coils. This makes them less efficient, leading to excessive energy bills. If your air-conditioning is really old, you may also decide to replace it with a modern Energy Star system.
Those beautiful old windows are also major culprits when it comes to energy. First, they often have gaps around the edges, which let a lot of the money you spend on cooling and heating go whistling outside. As a minimum, make sure that the frames are well sealed to the surrounding wall to prevent drafts. You may also want to get estimates on replacing the windows, since single-layer glass panes radiate lots of heat, as do aluminium frames. Don’t worry; there are modern double or triple-glazed windows available today that you won’t be able to tell from the originals.
Other things to look at include your heating system and your lighting – modern fluorescents lights are so much more efficient than old incandescent bulbs. Your hot water tank is another thing to check – old units that keep your water hot all the time consume much more power than do modern boilers, which only heat water when you need it. If your appliances are almost as old as your house, think about replacing these as well, since modern appliances use dramatically less energy.