Living in an older or even historic home has is benefits for the environment, once you’ve dealt with the older home’s energy-efficiency issues. Buying an older home instead of a new one helps recycle the housing stock, but older homes typically aren’t as energy efficient as newer homes. These tips can help you prioritize home improvement projects that will cut your energy consumption:
- Check the amount of insulation you have in the attic. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends at least 16 inches, and it’s very likely that you could add more. Insulating the attic in an older home is not as straightforward as increasing the amount in newer homes. This is because of old wiring systems in use in older homes, generally knob and tube. You’ll need the help of an electrician, since incorrectly insulating around this kind of wiring can increase the risk of fire. In addition, inadequate ventilation levels may cause too much moisture to accumulate in the attic, which can damage the existing framing or create conditions for mold growth. The professionals at Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing can assist you if you’re unfamiliar with current ventilation standards before you add more insulation.
- The windows in your home may also be inadequate, but the federal EPA suggests that homeowners repair them rather than replacing them in order to increase their energy efficiency, especially if you want to preserve the home’s historical value. Contractors who specialize in historical restorations may be able to improve their fit and tailor storm windows to help cut down on air infiltration and thermal transfer through old windows.
- Improve your older home’s energy efficiency by having an HVAC contractor help you evaluate the heating and cooling system. The Department of Energy estimates that heating and cooling take approximately half of your energy budget. If your equipment is old, working with a professional who can show you options for upgrading the system can save your energy dollars, year-round.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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