Energy Retrofits for Older Homes

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Home retrofit renovations

You might think that old home of yours is pretty hum drum, boring and well… just plain old. But even an older home can become an asset in the fight to use greener energy. You can actually cut your carbon footprint by a lot, even if you do own a pre-1970’s home.

 

How Can I Do That?

Well you’ll need to order up a dumpster and take some of that old stuff out of the house. But if you do, you’ll quickly see a significant savings in your energy bills. However, more importantly, you’ll significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

The US didn’t get into energy savings until the mid 1970’s. That’s when the energy consumed in the home became a real issue and led to the creation of the Department of Energy in 1977. Since then, we have focused on every aspect of energy in construction projects, buildings, and homes.

Heating and cooling systems, appliances, windows, light bulbs, electric installations and even the color of roofing materials has all changed, becoming more efficient and helping homeowners save energy and money.

 

The Most Common Way of Retrofitting a Home with Newer Energy Efficiencies

Most people realize they need to do some renovating work to older homes and they often install new appliances and even new heating and cooling systems. However, to really change one of these older homes you should consider going a bit deeper, and retrofitting what stands behind those walls.

You want to replace old ductwork, insulation and often even replace plumbing and wiring.

By doing this you create an energy saving home, that is insulated and conserves energy instead of wasting it.

 

Is This Really Necessary?

Well, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the need for innovative ways of reducing the residential energy footprint is growing. Regulations are getting tougher, and many program administrators have goals of reducing energy consumption in homes by 40 percent by the year 2020.

 

Changes You Can Make

Aside from making these interior structural changes, there are a few other significant changes you can make.

For instance:

  • You want to make sure walls and attics are well insulated; you can replace windows with energy-efficient models.
  • Older homes can also benefit from landscaping additions such as shady trees, as these protect an older home from heat, thereby requiring less cooling.
  • Replace the furnace for a new efficient model.
  • Replace the old hot water heater for a new one.

 

Bottom Line

There are more than a few ways you can retrofit an older home to become more energy efficient. However, many homeowners don’t look into the options for fear of the cost.

Though these renovations can be expensive, there are ways to offset these costs. For instance, there are important tax incentives you can take for these types of upgrades.

Of course, before you do any real renovation work, it might be a good idea to call in an energy auditor to see where you can make the most significant energy saving changes for an older home.