From top to bottom, an old home can be an energy consuming monster. Inefficient insulation, poor heating/cooling equipment and drafty spaces all create a nightmare when it comes time to pay the utility bills each month. Save yourself from the drain by upgrading your old home into an energy efficient powerhouse using these five methods for old home energy efficiency.
Your old home may be suffering from an energy-depleting roofing system. Asphalt shingles lose their energy saving qualities as they age. When granules fall from the shingles’ surface, not only does it decrease a shingle’s insulative qualities, the shingle becomes darker. This means it absorbs more sunlight and heat into your home when you may be trying to cool it.
Energy Efficient Tip No. 1 A metal roofing system reflects radiant heat better than any type of roofing system available, and it will last more than 100 years. Learn about the basics of metal roofing here.
Now that the top side of the old home has been brought up to today’s energy efficiency standards, insulating the attic is the next step for complete energy efficiency perfection in an old home. With a combination of additional blown-in insulation and spray foam and air leak/penetration sealing, you’re on your way to energy savings in an old home.
Energy Efficient Tip No. 2 Save even more money by insulating the attic yourself. Home Depot and other tool rental stores will rent an insulation blower and sell bags of pre-shredded insulation perfect for the DIY insulator.
Crawlspaces are very common in old homes and can bare a heavy burden on maintaining energy. Sealing crawlspaces from air leaks and conditioning them can significantly reduce the energy consumption to heat loss ratio that is so common in older homes.
Energy Efficient Tip No. 3 Consider employing an organic spray foam in crawlspaces, especially those with dirt floors. It seals the space, permanently allowing duct and plumbing pipes to work super efficiently.
Windows and Doors
One of the toughest judgment calls to make when remodeling an old home is replacing inefficient windows and doors with new ones. I say this: if the home has salvageable windows and doors, keep them. Window and door replacements can cost a fortune. Plus, it takes a long time to recoup the initial investment through energy savings.
Energy Efficient Tip No. 4 Instead of replacing old doors and windows, opt for storm doors and shutters. These will help cut heat loss and gain without costing you a fortune.
The ultimate in energy investment for an old home is a complete home re-insulation. But that’s pretty much out of the question without gutting the entire interior. Or is it? Exterior rigid foam insulation works excellent on a home with siding. Simply remove the old siding carefully, install the rigid foam insulation on the exterior of the home and then reattach the old siding (or new).
Energy Efficient Tip No. 5 Easily doable for the DIY weekend warrior. Learn how to install siding here.