Few Ways to Make Your Old Historic Homes Energy Efficient
Although modern technology has made it possible for us to build extremely energy-efficient homes, historic structures have a few tricks up their sleeves. Historic homes and buildings were built with the local landscape, climate in mind, material resiliency, and resulting in naturally efficient systems.
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Most of the older homes can be draughty because they were not built to install modern HVAC systems. Hence, you may be wondering how to stay comfortable while maintaining the original construction and other detailing. In this post, we will discuss some excellent heating options for your historic homes.
- Always start with an energy audit
The first step toward energy savings in any historic home will be to conduct an energy audit. This will assess your current energy consumption of the home and identify deficiencies in the building and mechanical systems.
Also, this audit looks for air infiltration areas of the building envelope. Blower door tests and infrared thermography can be used to pinpoint specific areas of infiltration, thermal bridging, or lack of insulation. Mechanical systems and other major appliances are also classified according to their type and age.
After measuring the results, your energy auditor will recommend you the most cost-effective projects, e.g., air sealing, additional insulation, lighting upgrades, and mechanical system or major appliance repair or replacement.
2. Things to consider
Consider the following to save yourself from heartbreak and headaches.
- Ductwork — Your existing ventilation system of the home must be inspected. Most of the older ductwork will be incompatible with your modern HVAC units and will almost certainly be inefficient than anything available on the market today.
- Fuel type – Oil was commonly used to heat older homes. You are free to continue doing so, however, switching to natural gas may save a significant amount of money.
- Speed options – Modern furnaces have a two-stage blower, whereas older furnaces typically had only one speed. It is best to learn what is presently installed in your home.
3. Mini-duct forced air system
Consider a mini-duct forced air system if you want to cause the least amount of disruption. While commonly mini-ducts are mostly used for air conditioning, and they can also be used to provide heating when combined with an electric furnace.
4. Updated fireplace
Most old homes may have an existing fireplace that can also be updated to offer warmth during the cooler months.
5. Steam radiators and hot water
While some radiators installed in the old home might be noisy, but they provide enough heat, and also easy to install, and offer an added character to your home.
6. Modern forced air
Installing any modern HVAC unit into your historic home to get forced air will be a major project.
You may also consult a certain professional before going ahead with your project