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Resources Blog 7 Ways to Make an Old House More Energy-Efficient

7 Ways to Make an Old House More Energy-Efficient

Many people prefer living in an older home. The architectural details, layout, and quality of materials are unmatched compared to newly built houses. One common problem with older homes is their low energy efficiency. These residences may have a lot of air drafts, old wiring, inefficient ducts, and other issues that drive up your utility bills. When you're ready to make your old house more energy-efficient, use these tips from our skilled technicians at B&B Heat & Air.

1. Replace Old Single-Pane Windows

Old windows with just a single pane of glass and a wood frame allow a lot of unwanted air exchange. This allows the heated or cooled air from your HVAC system to seep outdoors, which decreases efficiency and increases utility costs. If possible, replace those old windows with double- or triple-pane windows with argon gas between the panes. These insulated windows reduce unwanted air exchange and eliminate the pesky drafts that make some parts of your home too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer.

2. Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs are inefficient and cost a lot to operate. They also release plenty of heat, which can increase your summertime cooling costs. Incandescent light bulbs have a short lifespan, too. Consider upgrading to LED bulbs. They use about 90% less energy to deliver the same number of lumens to brighten your house. LED bulbs release minimal heat, so they won't impact your home's temperature. An LED bulb's lifespan is 10 to 20 times longer than that of an incandescent bulb.

3. Insulate Pipes, Walls, and the Attic

Most older homes don't have enough insulation. When the R-value of your insulation is too low, the heated or cooled air produced by your furnace, boiler, heat pump, or air conditioner easily leaks outdoors. This increases the heating and cooling system's workload and shortens its lifespan. When cold air gets into your house, it can cause pipes on perimeter walls to freeze and burst. Frozen pipes may cause serious and expensive damage. We recommend having an energy audit and adding insulation to your water heater, pipes, walls, attic, and other areas so that these spaces meet the Department of Energy's minimum recommended R-value for your property's location, age, and building materials.

4. Seal Duct Leaks

Leaky air ducts could waste up to 30% of the heated or cooled air in your home. Sealing the leaks eliminates this efficiency problem. If segments of the ducts are damaged, they may need to be replaced. Another option is to install a ductless heating and cooling system. These work well in old houses that don't have enough ducts. If you're putting an addition onto your older home, a ductless system will allow the new space to be heated or cooled, and you won't have to worry about adding new ducts, either.

5. Choose Energy Star-Certified Appliances

When it's time to replace an appliance, such as your refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes dryer, or oven, choose one that's Energy Star-certified. These systems use 10% to 30% less electricity compared to a unit with the same capacity that doesn't have this certification. Your home's carbon footprint will be smaller, and your utility bills will decrease as well.

6. Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling Equipment

If your furnace is 20 years old, consider replacing it. New furnaces are up to 98% energy-efficient. For heat pumps and air conditioners, consider a replacement if they're more than 12 years old. New energy efficiency standards will reduce their energy consumption and save you money.

7. Caulk and Weatherstrip Around Doors, Vents, and Windows

Most homes have multiple plumbing and electrical flues, vents, and other openings. Air exchange can take place around the openings. The unwanted air exchange decreases your house's energy efficiency. Seal those gaps with caulk, steel wool, or mastic. Small gaps around door and window frames also benefit from the appropriate type of caulk or weatherstripping.

B&B Heat & Air is proud to be the trusted provider of energy-efficient heating and cooling systems in Grove. You can also count on us for heating and air conditioning maintenance and repair services that boost your house's efficiency. Our indoor air quality solutions will keep your home's air clean and healthy. To learn more about improving the energy efficiency of your older home in Grove, get in touch with us at B&B Heat & Air today.

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