If you own a large, historic home, you probably cringe each time you get your heating bill. These types of homes are never cheap to heat, which is one reason why many great and beautiful homes remain vacant. Fortunately, new insulation and energy-efficient technology has made it possible for millions to lower their heating bills. Unfortunately, most methods that make other homes more energy efficient are not feasible or desirable for an older home. For example, vinyl replacement windows will lower your heating bill, but would you remove your historic leaded windows to put them in? Absolutely not!
However, not all hope is lost. There are some things you can do to make a historic home more energy efficient without destroying its integrity. Following are three options for doing just that.
You can improve the energy efficiency of your home by sealing gaps and cracks that allow cold air to seep in. In older homes, cold air commonly creeps in around windows and door frames, via the crawlspace and attic, and anywhere that modern upgrades required changes to the original structure. To get rid of these cracks, it's important to have your home audited for energy efficiency so you will know exactly where your problem areas are. Then, you can seal these areas with caulking or another type of sealant.
It may be difficult to add fiberglass insulation to your home simply because walls were made differently back in the day. Your home might also have other components, such as knob and tube wiring that do not mix well with modern insulation. However, there are insulation options that work well in older homes. For example, blown-in insulation can be placed in your walls via several small holes, which will be patched after the job is complete. If you do decide to insulate, be sure to hire a contractor that specializes in historic homes. They will know what options are best for your home and which ones to avoid.
If your goal is to preserve the historical integrity of your home, you never want to remove the original windows and replace them with modern ones. Fortunately, old wooden windows can almost always be repaired, which means you can lower your heating bill simply by having your windows repaired and restored by a contractor who knows what they're doing. Weatherization is also an option with older windows.
As you can see, there are several ways you can make your old house more energy efficient without jeopardizing its historic integrity. You don't have to remove the old and replace it with new to lower your heating bill. Older homes can be both energy efficient and historically accurate at the same time.
To learn more, contact a company like Good Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning Inc.