Eco-friendly architecture is a thing of newer future, and surely when we have built our old houses we have not had it on our minds. It is the reason that today, on our planet, there are so many houses constructed ages ago which are true energy (and therefore money too) devouring pits. That is no reason to leave them that way, or let alone tear them down and build new greener houses. There are ways to boost your home’s green profile and give it a fresh start. Not only your bills will be lower, and your house’s value will increase, but you will also contribute to our planet’s healing process. Here is how to send your old house to green rehab.
Energy Efficiency Assessment
Before you start your green undertaking, you will have to be familiar with the amount of energy the house is wasting and what exactly are the roots of the problem. Hiring a professional energy auditor might seem as a too large investment without any tangible result, but it is important for identifying the needed energy updates and ways of performing them. This is especially important if you are flipping the house, in order to calculate your payback.
Reduce Air Infiltration
With historic homes air infiltration is one very common way of energy loss. If you significantly reduce it, you will improve your home’s energy-efficiency. Look for cracks or gaps in the house’s exterior envelope of foundation, roof, walls, doors, windows and attic floor. You can do your own air sealing or call professionals. There are also various public programs offering incentives and assistance for air sealing.
Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling are one of the biggest concerns of house owners and residents. There is no such thing as one-size-fits all solution for upgrading your temperature regulating systems. Perhaps you will need to combine several different systems for the best results (hot water heater, geothermal heating pumps, etc.). This might seem as a too large investment, but it can surely pay off. In fact, according to house flipping experts, houses with eco-friendly heating and cooling systems, have better chances and higher prices on the market.
Have you ever tried to scratch the walls of your historic house? Probably you have everything there – from corn cobs to newspapers for insulation. By installing some of the higher performing options today, you can reduce energy costs for as much as 50%, and make your house more comfortable. There are some key places in the house that must be insulated in order to achieve that – basements, attics, crawl spaces, around water pipes and around heating/cooling ducts. The unpredictable nature of old walls, however, will perhaps prevent you from insulating them.
Greening up the Windows
Old houses usually have windows that complement their appearance that are made of quality and durable materials, which are no longer available. Because of that, replacing the windows all together with some more energy-efficient option could completely ruin the look of your home. That should not prevent you from finding another way to green them up, because 10 to 15 percent of house’s total energy is lost through its windows. Stopping air leaks is the first step to do that. Furthermore, you can install laminated glass storm windows for additional savings.
Refreshing an older house and adapting it to modern day eco-friendly standards carries a lot of benefits. Sure, there is a need for investments, but the end results are worth the price – your home is more comfortable, your bills are reduced, the property’s value is increased and our planet is a safer place. Therefore, there is no reason to wait. Start with greening up your house right now.