Easy and Effective Ways to Reduce Energy Costs in Older Homes

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to buy an older home. For one thing, you may love the stylish features, rich materials, and embellishments that adorn homes built before cookie-cutter tracts became popular. With tons of woodwork, old glass, and antique fixtures to catch your eye, it’s no wonder you were drawn to the charm and appeal of an older home. On the other hand, there are bound to be some drawbacks associated with purchasing a home that predates your parents. It may be in need of all kinds of repairs, from outdated roofing and siding to cracked foundations. And the plumbing and electrical may not be suited to meet the needs of modern inhabitants. But one of the worst problems you might notice after moving in is the seemingly endless supply of drafts that sneak in around doors, windows, and god-only-knows where.

Unfortunately, this could require you to perform a full energy audit and replace insulation in the walls, ceiling, and floors, as well as install windows with double- or triple-pane options, depending on your climate. And the process will be neither easy nor inexpensive. As it turns out, however, you may be able to forego the cost and hassle associated with major renovations. If your older home is leaky and creaky, and it’s causing your energy bills to shoot sky high, there are changes you can make that will allow you to effectively reduce costs without having to work too hard. Although starting with an energy audit is a great idea, it might turn out that you don’t have to go whole hog with new insulation and windows. You may be able to get by with nothing more than some weather stripping around window and door frames, as well as sealant for ductwork and venting that are letting outside air in and forcing your furnace and air conditioner to work extra hard.

Of course, the system itself could be a major contributor to the problem. Many modern furnaces and AC units are designed to be energy-efficient, helping you to curb consumption and lower your monthly utility bill. Although replacing these products won’t be cheap, they could end up paying for themselves in the savings they deliver. And you don’t really have to do anything other than choose the model you prefer; technicians will install it for you. In addition (or alternately) you should definitely think about installing a modern thermostat, one that not only offers the accuracy of a digital readout, but also the capabilities of a programmable model. Setting a schedule for usage can significantly reduce the energy waste in your home due to temperature fluctuations. And new equipment in general should alleviate any AC orĀ furnace problems that older models are prone to.

Energy waste is a problem you are likely to face when you buy an older home. But there are easy and effective ways to deal with the issue and lower associated costs. You may have to pay a little up front, but you’ll end up saving in the long run. And a home that is more efficient and cost-effective not only benefits you, but it could also add to the appeal (and the value) for future buyers.

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