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Energy Efficiency in Historic Homes

Owning an old or even historic home is not a cheap experience especially when it comes to heating and maintenance.

However, there a certain charm about knowing that a century of people have raised families, and loved and enjoyed it in the past.

Now that it is winter, it is time to talk about energy efficiency.

As you start to pay the heating bills which will get higher and higher each month, this issue is probably on your mind. Here are a few ways you can help to lower your heating and cooling bills. Put them on a list and focus on lower bills, summer and winter starting soon!
  • Storm windows or replacement windows:

    We chose the historic version which is just one window and one screen as opposed to triple tracks. Plus, they are installed from the inside. Obviously they are cheaper than replacement windows but not as efficient. Make sure that your windows are completely closed and locked to keep the cold drafts out.
  • Peel and Seal:

    This is a caulk that you can't easily see, and it peels off when you want to open your windows in the summer. It is effective, cheap, more labor intensive and less effective than storms.
  • Insulation:

    This is obvious and cost effective in the attic which is relatively easy. Blowing it in to the sides of your house if it is a frame house, is more expensive and works really well in the beginning. As time goes on, the insulation actually settles so you'll probably want to top it off.
  • Set back thermostat:

    Some people think that this is not cost effective if you have a hot water/steam system but we do and we think it is! If you have a forced air system, the prevailing opinion is that a set back thermostat is very helpful. We turn ours down to 50F at night. I don't think it ever gets that low before it has to kick on again! We have feather duvets and don't find the temperature drop a problem. We turn it down at night, during the days when we are not home and during vacations.
  • Alternative suppliers:

    We have investigated alternative suppliers to Duke energy. If you want the name we use, give me a call 513.766.3878.
  • Replacement Furnaces:

    Investing in a higher efficiency furnace is probably only cost effective if you plan to own the property for more than 5 years. It will help at resale, but only for investment property where the owner pays the heat.
  • Glass Block Windows:

    Be sure to close the vents as fall gets under way so that cold air won't impact your plumbing lines.
  • Dampers on Chimneys:

    Make sure that your chimney dampers are closed when not using the fireplace.
  • Hot water on Demand:

    Many people are replacing their old traditional hot water heaters and buying instead the Hot Water on Demand water heaters. These are much more energy efficient and isn't it better to heat the water and send it to the place it is needed than to heat up a huge amount of water and keep it warm for a whole day or night before it might be used?

I am always looking for more or better ideas! Please let me know yours! Please call us at 513.766.3878 or email The Meadows Team if you have any questions.

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