Most people enjoy living in older homes since they are full of memories and charm. However, it can be very challenging to save on energy in an older house. Despite their attractive design, such properties bring in extra expenses when it comes to energy use.
The good news is that there are several upgrades you can get to keep your energy bills lower in an old home. These enhancements run from quick fixes that you can do yourself to other significant projects that require professional assistance. Here are some improvements that you can consider to make your house more energy-efficient.
1. Upgrade Your Insulation
Insulation helps retain heat in your house, so your HVAC unit will not work as hard, lowering energy consumption. Start by laying out a layer of insulation on the loft to seal any gaps and holes that could let air seep in or out of the house. Next, seal spaces in the floorboards and place rugs in such areas to limit air entry.
Further, insulate the walls by filling in any gaps and cavities to retain more heat. For any drafty windows or door, consider adding weather stripping around the frames to seal the spaces. If you spot damaged wood on the windows and doors, consider replacing them.
The traditional single-panel windows cannot compare to the modern double-glazed options. To boost efficiency further, upgrade your windows. Choose styles with at least double glass sheets to trap more heat in your house, thereby lowering your utility bills. You can find several double glazed windows and doors designed to fit in a period style for those worried about maintaining the property’s original features.
2. Consider LED Lighting
Another quick way to make your old home more energy-efficient is by replacing incandescent lights with LED options. Such bulbs have an 80% efficiency, meaning that they convert 80% of the energy used into light while only 20% goes to waste. LED lighting fixtures also last longer, so you will not need to buy new ones as frequently. The slightly higher cost of an LED bulb is a small investment that will save you a lot of money in the long run.
3. Add a Programmable Thermostat
A thermostat communicates with the HVAC unit regarding the house’s temperature requirements. Lowering the thermostat settings when nobody is at home will help prevent energy wastage. However, most old houses have outdated thermostats that give you less control over the interior temperature.
With a smart thermostat, you can easily program your HVAC unit to run less when you are out of the house. Even better, you can set it using mobile devices to kick start your system so that it heats or cools your residence just before you get home. You can even set it to allow heating in various rooms of your property. As a result, you will save on utility bills.
4. Replace Old HVAC Units
Although your older home might have an HVAC system, it could be missing some modern, efficient developments. On average, an air conditioner can last 10 to 15 years, while a furnace operates well for around 20 years. Beyond this age limit, your equipment will require constant maintenance and frequent repairs.
An aging system will also not run as efficiently, leading to a spike in utility bills. If you have an older unit, consider replacing it with a newer model to save on money in years to come. Have a professional technician install the unit; otherwise, it might end up failing or malfunctioning sooner than expected.
5. Upgrade Your Appliances
You can also make an old home more efficient by swapping out older appliances with newer models that consume less energy. Energy Star-rated equipment can slash your power usage by half.
Additionally, water heaters contribute 20% to your yearly energy cost. If you use around 41 water gallons and below daily, you can opt for a tankless water heater to prevent standby heat loss from the tanks.
6. Change Toilets, Showerheads, and Faucets
Most old houses also have faulty showerheads, leaky faucets, and inefficient toilets, which could increase your utility bills. Given that these fixtures could be more than 100 years old, consider updating them with more modern ones.
Choose low-flow showerheads that reduce the amount of water used. Some models even have a pause button, so you can stop the water flow while lathering up. There are also low-flow, vacuum-assist, and dual-flush toilets on the market that reduce the average amount of water used per flush.
7. Use Your Appliances Efficiently
The best way to minimize energy consumption is by knowing how to use different appliances best. For instance, never leave any item on standby. Unplug your TV and electronic devices when they are not in use to avoid draining a lot of unnecessary energy.
Wash your clothes on a medium setting in cold water, and consider drying them in the sun to minimize the dryer’s usage. Also, use your dishwashers and washing machines at full loads to save on energy. Remember that these appliances emit a lot of heat while in operation, so your HVAC unit needs to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. Further, pack your fridge full to reduce its running time, and regularly defrost your fridges and freezers so that they run efficiently.
Additionally, adopt smart cooking techniques like using slow cookers, microwaves, or outside grills. You can use convection ovens, too, since they are more efficient than conventional ones.
8. Supplement Your Energy Supply
Another important thing that you can consider to improve your old home’s energy efficiency is supplementing electricity with solar energy. While the initial cost seems somewhat expensive, you will save a lot of money in the long run. Solar panels allow you to generate your power from the sun rather than paying for it, provided that your state receives a substantial amount of sunlight.
9. Use Alternative Methods to Cool and Heat Your House
There are various simple changes that you can make in your home to improve energy efficiency. First, on cold days, keep the doors closed to conserve heat. Also, use a ceiling fan to recirculate air, which reduces your conditioner’s cooling load.
Be smart about landscaping, too. Trees and shrubbery block the sun’s rays from getting into your house during the sunny months. Also, trimming them during the colder seasons allows your home’s shaded parts to receive natural heat.
An old home does not have to be inefficient, and by following the above tips, you can cut down on energy use. Not every upgrade will work for your property. Hence, weigh suggestions that seem more viable in your case to maximize results with minimal effects. Still, should you need help in replacing your HVAC unit, reach out to Polar Air & Heating, Inc.. We will handle your HVAC installation process in a highly professional manner, giving each task our full attention to ensure that your system runs as efficiently as possible.
We at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. offer air conditioning and heating systems installation, repair, and maintenance services. We also provide commercial refrigeration, commercial HVAC, and indoor air quality services in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. Call our friendly support team today to schedule an appointment and enjoy our reliable services.