If you’re considering fixing up and refurbishing an older home or building, one of the biggest concerns should be energy efficiency. There’s no point in buying an older structure to save money if you’re losing money in high efficiency costs. Here are some ways to make your home or building the greenest on the block:
• Replace light bulbs: Many older homes and structures are still lit with incandescent bulbs. Replacing these bulbs with LED lights can help cut efficiency costs. LED bulbs also have a longer life span, saving you a little extra money.
• Replace windows: Unless the windows in the home have been replaced with newer energy efficient glass, you should replace them. As years have progressed, so has technology in window glass. Look for glass with low-e coatings- that is, a coating that reflects back some of the sun’s rays and can bounce back some of your home’s heat in the winter. Weather stripping and caulking can also seal out water leaks and air leakage.
• Change out faucets, toilets, and shower heads: Replacing these fixtures can save you about 70% of water usage. For example, a lot of older toilets can use up to 6 gallons of water when flushed. Try a low flow toilet instead.
• Reconsider your heating and cooling source: Many couldn’t live without a heating and cooling system. In fact, probably very few could. However, there are plenty of old buildings that don’t have central heating or cooling. While there are plenty of considerations for heating and cooling your structure, be sure to find the most energy efficient method as this is one of the biggest ways to lose lots of money on your home or building.
• Add insulation and seal your attic or basement: Air leakage can cause many problems such as dust, mold, insects, and allergens. Insulating and sealing your home can eliminate most of these issues. However, sealing and insulating can keep your structure heated and cooled without overworking your air conditioner system.