Retrofitting older homes with energy savings solutions is becoming big business. But between saving the original look and feel of a historic home versus installing an energy saving product that can change the original architecture, it can be a difficult decision to decide whether to take the leap and retrofit your old home. To compound the problem further, many companies offer energy saving retrofits for older homes, making it hard to know if the job will save you energy or not. Use this guide to energy saving upgrades for older homes and be sure you’ll make an informed decision when it comes time to buy.
The return on investment or ROI is one of the most important considerations when deciding to retrofit your older home with an energy saving upgrade. One of the biggest mistakes is thinking that new windows, insulation or energy saving appliances are the perfect energy saving features. The problem with these energy saving features is that they have a very long ROI. Avoid “green washing” products that claim they can save you a ton of money in energy costs. If a green product can’t recoup the ROI in less than five years, it’s probably not worth the expense.
The biggest problem with energy loss in an older home is ex-filtration and infiltration caused by air leaks. Because early home designs didn’t have to worry about energy savings, they were built to breathe and flex with the surrounding environmental conditions and can be tough to properly air seal. As drastic fluctuations in temperatures occur throughout the day and night, heated air is pulled outside the home in the winter and cold air is pushed out in the summer. This is where sealing all of the air leaks and conditioning the crawlspaces and attics of an older home comes into play. But sealing up the entire structure of an older home can create mold by increasing humidity within the home if not correctly installed. Getting an energy audit can help you and your contractor determine the best methods for sealing air leaks in your older home.
Using what you Have
Older homes weren’t built with energy savings in mind. However some homes may already have energy efficient features installed. Metal roofing is a top energy efficient roofing material. It can easily last well over 100 years and looks good with older style homes. Interior and exterior shutters are great energy saving features. These conserve the architectural look of your older structure while providing an affordable energy saving alternative to new window installation.
Affordable Energy Saving Upgrades
Here’s a list of cost effective energy saving home improvements:
Caulking Weather Stripping Window Shutters Attic Insulation Radiant Barriers Wall Insulation EnergyStar Rated Appliances