6 Tips For Making an Older Home More Energy-Efficient

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Many of us who live in central Denver live in a little slice of history – our Victorians, Denver squares, Tudors, Craftsman bungalows, the occasional 1920’s Spanish-style – (sigh…) I adore these homes, mine was built in 1899, but they tend to not be so energy-efficient.

Here are 6 tips to make your older home more energy efficient:

1.    Owner of older home should make sure attic spaces are properly insulated. This can have a tremendous impact on a home’s energy-efficiency, and significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. There are many blow-in spray foam options:  insulating an attic can be a fairly easy project, and many home improvement stores rent the necessary equipment, including insulation blowers.  It is also easy to simply use roll-out insulation.

2.    Replace old windows and doors and choose new, energy efficient options.  Since this is expensive, adding storm shutters and clear plastic coating to windows can help an old home be more efficient.  For homeowners who can’t afford to replace doors and windows, adding window stripping and caulk is a good idea.

3.    Insulate the hot water heater and associated pipes, and keep the thermostat set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, consider a tankless water-heating unit. This is an upfront investment, which saves money in the long-term, because they only heat water when it’s needed.

4.    Enact home heating zones. This means strategizing to heat a home based on usage. For example, heat the downstairs of an old home during the day, and the upstairs at night.

5.    If an old home has old appliances, it may be worthwhile to invest in newer energy saving models. While there are some things owners of older homes can’t control without big remodeling investments, this is a less expensive alternative.

6.    Just because a home is old doesn’t mean it can’t take advantage of new technology, like home automation systems. A home automation system can allow owners of older homes to control the systems located within, even remotely, including the thermostat.

If you are interested in purchasing or selling a historic Denver home, Conscious Real Estate adores working with all types of old houses. Call Allison Parks at 303-908-9873 or email allison@theconsciousgroup.com.

5 replies
  1. Classic Home Improvements
    Classic Home Improvements says:

    My house is too old and I am looking useful sources of home improvement but I am very surprised to read about these awesome tips. Now, I can easily make my house new and improved by applying your effective tips. Your tips are really helpful for my home improvement. I will apply it as practically.

    Reply
  2. Allison Parks
    Allison Parks says:

    No problem. Older homes are certainly charming and, depending on the era, will last longer than new construction, but it's important to add necessary improvements to save money and conserve energy.

    Reply
  3. Peter Simmons
    Peter Simmons says:

    Great article; I thought that your point on home heating zones was very interesting to read about. I'm currently trying to make my home more energy efficient. I've replaced my old heating unit, along with other old appliances. My next goal is to replace the windows and doors. I've been looking around at different options, but I want to make sure that they're energy efficient. Hopefully I find what I'm looking for!

    http://www.burnsidewindowsanddoors.ca/en/services.html

    Reply
  4. Courtney Galler
    Courtney Galler says:

    Peter, do you know what kind of insulation your house has? You should research it, and make sure that it fits the 'energy efficient' theme that you're going for. If you think you need to replace your insulation, consider all of your options. There's fiberglass, spray foam, and a whole variety out there. I hope your home improvement project is going well.

    http://www.stevesurethane.com/services/spray-foam-insulation

    Reply

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