Effective Energy Enhancements for Older Homes
Living in an older home generally means you have higher energy bills. However, there are several effective energy upgrades available for older homes. Over time, buildings settle, cracks form and insulation can lose its effectiveness. Making energy improvements will require both time and money, but you’ll get a return on your investment in lower energy bills.
Conduct an Energy Audit
Start with a professional energy audit to learn precisely where to focus your improvements. Auditors will conduct a blower door test to find any air leaks and measure thermal losses through your home’s envelope with infrared devices to see where insulation is lacking and where thermal losses through windows is the greatest.
Next, it’s important to seal all of the air leaks the energy audit revealed. If you’re not replacing windows, start by caulking around window frames and exterior walls. Weatherstripping around exterior doors, including your attic hatch, will cut down on air leakage rates. If your fireplace damper doesn’t fit tightly, consider ordering a fireplace draft stopper. They’re shaped like balloons and, when placed inside the flue next to the damper, can stop air losses from a loose-fitting damper.
Adding insulation is one of the best energy enhancements for older homes. It’s also the most cost effective and durable investment for lowering heating and cooling costs. A contractor can add insulation to your walls by blowing in loose insulation. However, adding batt or blown-in insulation in your attic can be a do-it-yourself project. If you have exposed wiring in your attic, consult a professional before undertaking the project yourself.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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