Pioneer-era construction isn’t exactly energy efficient if left on its own. But there are several simple things you can do to make your older home more comfortable, while saving energy and money at the same time. Here are five elements you can update to save energy, while preserving your home’s historic charm.
Roofing – Since heat rises, much of it can escape through old roofing. Asphalt shingles, for example, lose their energy-saving qualities as they age. Consider combining modern and historic elements by installing a metal roof, which reflects the sun’s rays and will last around 100 years.
Insulation – A new roof will improve the efficiency of your home, but pair it with a well-insulated attic to maximize your energy savings. For the best results, use some combination of blown-in insulation, spray foam or pre-shredded insulation.
Crawlspaces – Crawlspaces and cellars are very common in old homes, and they are huge energy drains. If you aren’t using the space for storage, consider sealing it off. And even if you are using it, you can employ an organic spray foam that will allow duct and plumbing pipes to function at their most efficient level.
Windows and doors – This can be one of the most challenging changes in an old home, but can also be one of the largest energy savers. Older homes may require custom-fit window and doors, which can be pricey. So instead of replacing all those leaky historic features, add storm doors or shutters to keep that comfortable indoor air from escaping. You’ll notice huge savings on your heating and cooling bills.
Exterior insulation – The ultimate energy saver is a complete home re-insulation. But here’s the question: How do you do that without tearing the walls down to the studs? The answer is simple: Add it to the outside. Installing exterior foam insulation isn’t a horribly complex project on homes with siding. Just carefully remove the old siding, install the rigid foam installation and put your old siding back on. Or replace the insulation when you are residing your home for an energy-saving double whammy.