If you have just bought or are planning to move into an old home, the chances are that it may not be as energy efficient as a modern house. Apart from renovation, you may also want to consider looking into your home’s energy efficiency and how much it may cost you.
Besides the benefits an energy-efficient home may have on your wallet, effective energy use is friendly to the environment. By embracing some eco-friendly changes, it is possible to save some bucks while saving the world. Here are a few tips to help you make an old home more energy-efficient.
1. Audit Your Energy Consumption
To develop a strategy for improving energy efficiency, you first need to identify the problem’s extent. Identify the areas through which energy is lost—for example, areas through which heat gets lost in cold temperatures. Rather than trial and error in auditing, it is essential to engage an expert on energy auditing services.
The good news is doing an energy audit may not be expensive. Besides, most utility companies may offer basic energy audits for free. However, if you are looking for a more comprehensive and unbiased audit, you may consider hiring an independent auditor.
Once an expert has identified the problem, the next step would be implementing the audit’s recommendations. Consider starting with the most cost-efficient adjustments that yield the best results in making your home more energy-efficient.
2. Insulate the House
Adequate insulation can help reduce heat loss in cold seasons or overheating in hot seasons. Insulating your home can be quite challenging and costly. However, you do not have to spend too much on it. According to experts, most heat is lost or absorbed through the roof, the basement, and the floor for houses with wooden floors and crawl spaces.
If you are low on the budget, you can consider starting with insulating your attic and basement. That can save you some bucks and at the same time make a massive difference in reducing heat loss. The best insulating material is mineral wool because it’s fire-resistant and acts as a sound insulator.
To reduce heat loss through the basement and crawl spaces, you need to create a thermal barrier between the basement/crawl space and your living space floor. For wooden floors, consider filling the spaces between the floorboards to reduce possible airflow between them.
3. Seal All Your Doors and Windows
Old doors and windows will often have gaps that will allow draughts to pass through, leading to heat losses during cold weather. If you are looking for quick fixes to heat-loss problems, you can utilize silicone or draught strips to fill up the spaces in the windows and doors.
Alternatively, consider replacing old doors and windows with new ones. Replacing the old single-pane windows with modern Energy Star-rated windows can reduce heat loss and help your house become more energy-efficient. On top of sealing up your windows, you can utilize thermal lining for your curtains. According to experts, thermally lined curtains can reduce the heat lost through the windows by up to 14%.
4. Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling Systems
Boilers and furnaces that are over 30 years old waste a significant portion of the fuel they consume. Since you’re looking for ways to make an old home energy efficient, consider replacing them with modern and more efficient heating systems. The same case applies to air conditioning and cooling appliances. Old appliances can be very inefficient due to their energy consumption. Consider upgrading your home conditioning with more modern units. You can ask your HVAC technician to give you recommendations for an efficient and high-quality air conditioner for your home.
For heating solutions, consider replacing open fireplaces with efficient wood-burning stoves. That’s because most of the heat gets lost up the chimney when using open fires to heat your home. Wood-burning stoves are sealed to the room, use less fuel, and radiate heat throughout the room, making them suitable options.
If you opt for electrical energy for heating, you can invest in an energy-efficient heating appliance to keep the costs down. Lowering your thermostat temperature settings while you are away from home can also help you save on energy bills.
5. Change Your Light Bulbs
Most old homes will most probably have incandescent bulbs. The easiest and cheapest way to make an old home more energy efficient is by replacing the incandescent bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs. By replacing your light bulbs, you can save up to 600% on lighting costs. Always ensure that you switch off the lights when no one is using them. You can also install motion sensor switches that will automatically turn off when you leave a room.
6. Replace or Upgrade Your Electrical Appliances
Home appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, electric stoves, air conditioners, and toasters can consume a lot of energy. When considering a replacement, make sure you go for products that meet the EPA set specifications on energy efficiency.
Energy Star products can help you save 10%-50% of your standard appliances’ energy consumption. For example, a standard refrigerator can cost you between $50 and $150 per year to run, while an Energy Star-rated refrigerator can cut the cost by half.
7. Change Your Power Sources
If your budget allows it, switching to solar systems could save you hundreds of dollars in a year. If you are on a budget, this option may be out of reach since the installation costs can be too high. It is recommendable to stay connected to the main supply if you go for the solar option as a backup plan for wet seasons.
If switching your power source is not possible, consider changing your energy supplier or tariff. You can compare the different tariffs and various suppliers and choose the best and cheapest option for your home.
8. Embrace Energy-Saving Habits
You may be surprised at how much some of your habits cost you in a year. For example, drying your hair naturally rather than using a hairdryer could save you up to $150 a year. The other habits you can embrace include washing clothes with cold or warm water instead of hot and reducing the hours spent watching TV.
Additionally, always ensure your appliances are unplugged when not in use rather than leaving them on standby mode. You can also use natural light to light your home during the day, keep the doors closed in cold seasons, and open up your windows to let in a cool breeze in hot seasons to save on energy costs.
You can use many ways to make your older home energy efficient and reduce your utility bills. Please think of this list as a starting point and work your way through it to see the amount of energy your house can conserve when you make the necessary changes. Our professionals at Buehler Air Conditioning can also help you cut down your utility bills by conducting a comprehensive energy audit. The outcome of the audit will help us create customized solutions that will best suit your home.
Our firm also offers other crucial services, including air conditioner repairs, installations and replacements, heating systems installations, UV air purifiers, clean air solutions, and HVAC maintenance. If you live around Jacksonville, FL, and need help lowering your utility bills, please contact us to schedule an appointment. We will be glad to help you make your house energy-efficient and also give you expert advice on everything you need to know about heating and cooling solutions.