Managing to keep an energy-efficient heating and air conditioning system running is hard enough to begin with, but when you're living in an older house and you often struggle to keep it heated at all, making sure that you're following energy-efficient standards is exponentially more difficult.
So if you're really trying to stay green this winter, but you don't want to ruin any of the character and uniqueness of your beloved aging home, here are three simple tips that might help you out:
- First, it's important to weatherize and insulate your house as much as possible. Old homes are notorious for having much less insulation than newer homes, allowing cold drafts to come in quite often. If it isn't possible to install permanent insulation in the walls, there are plenty of little insulation items out there that fit perfectly underneath doors and in between window sills.
- Because it used to be the norm for houses to have very little insulation in the walls, it was common practice to hang heavy curtains over windows and thick tapestries across the walls (we're talking a long time ago here). Although you might not want to make your interior decor style more of a "medieval castle" style, you can still adhere to the same concept by purchasing curtains that are designed to keep the cold outside.
- If you've tried all of the insulation strategies you can think of, it may be time to address your heating and cooling system. It's common for older houses to have heating and air conditioning parts that are decades old -- heating and air units, oddly enough, are pretty easy to forget about. Replacing your HVAC system, or even just certain parts within the system, could end up saving a lot of energy (and money) because heating and air conditioning technologies have advanced by leaps and bounds within the past few years. HVAC repair services are often very familiar with heating and cooling difficulties in older buildings, and they'll be able to give you expert advice on the systems that would work best.
And regardless of how old your house is, you can always save some energy and money by placing your thermostat in a good location, by purchasing a programmable thermostat, and by looking into alternative heating sources (like solar-powered energy) in order to reduce your natural gas consumption (which can get quite expensive).