3 Ways To Slash The Heating Costs Of An Older House

Posted on: 9 November 2015

The architectural beauty of older houses appeals to many people. Unfortunately, these historic structures are usually less efficient than newer homes, resulting in higher heating bills. If you live in an older house and would like to save money on your energy costs, the following three suggestions can help.

1. Install a Fireplace Insert

Masonry fireplaces are common in older homes, as wood was often used as a primary source of heat in years past. Although the glow of a crackling fire creates a lovely ambiance, you could be losing a good deal of warmth right up the chimney. Even if you don't rely on your fireplace for heat, it could help save you money on heating costs if you take steps to make it more efficient.

A fireplace insert is an effective way to save money on heating costs because this closed-combustion system is equipped with a fan that circulates its heat throughout your home. When a fireplace insert is installed into the opening of your existing fireplace, you create a self-contained firebox that will exponentially increase the heating capabilities of your fireplace. Fireplace inserts are available for burning gas, wood or wood pellets.

For more information about making the most of your fireplace, contact a company like Thomas Chimney Sweep. 

2. Update Your Insulation

If you live in an older house with its original insulation, you might be surprised to find inefficient materials, like newspapers and corn cobs, used as insulation inside the walls. Luckily, there are much better options available these days for preventing heat loss and reducing energy consumption. In fact, new installation can reduce your home's energy costs by up to 50 percent.

Insulating and sealing hidden areas of your house, such as crawl spaces, attics and ductwork, keeps it airtight and efficient. When insulating your home, pay close attention to your ventilation system to ensure moisture stays out. Otherwise, damp insulation becomes less effective at preventing heat loss and promotes mold growth and wood rot inside the walls.

3. Upgrade Your Windows

Original windows may add to the historic feel of an older home, but they are also quite inefficient when compared to modern windows. That's not to say you must install new vinyl windows if they will take away from the overall character of your home. Older wood-framed windows can often be restored and upgraded to achieve the same level of efficiency as new windows.

According to U.S. Department of Energy, inefficient windows can account for up to 25 percent of your heating bill. Professional restoration and weatherization of your historic windows usually costs less and lasts longer than new windows. This way, you can save money at both ends.

With proper upgrades, older houses can be just as energy efficient as modern structures. If these three energy-saving suggestions are followed, you not only save money on your monthly heating bills, you also increase the value of your home.