Energy Efficiency and Older Homes

Energy efficiency and older homes

There are many reasons to increase the energy efficiency of an older home. Not only does it reduce the carbon footprint, but it also makes it a more comfortable place to live in addition to lowering energy bills.

Renovating an Older Home

A full-scale renovation is at the more expensive end of the scale when thinking about improving the overall condition as well as the energy efficiency of a house. A renovation can be anything from simply improving what is already there, to more involved aspects such as making substantial changes to the floor plan layout or adding an extra room or storey to the house. One of the advantages of a renovation is that it gives homeowners an opportunity to improve the energy consumption of the house by making use of the advancements in construction that have occurred in recent times.

Renovating Sections of a House

A renovation doesn’t necessarily have to be bringing the house back to the timber frame and renovating the whole house in one go. It may simply involve improving one aspect of the house at a time. For example, upgrading the kitchen. A kitchen renovation typically includes new kitchen cupboards, sinks, taps, splashback tiles and appliances such as modern, energy efficient lights and dishwasher.

Energy Saving Aspects to Consider when Renovating

Renovating an older home might be the perfect time to think about making changes to the external walls to improve the energy consumption of the home. This could include things like reducing the size of east and west facing windows, or adding external shade factors to prevent excess heat from entering the house through the glass during the warmer months. Adding insulation to external walls is a must, and will make a significant difference to the cooling and heat loss that the house experiences in summer and winter respectively.

Installing Acoustic Insulation in Internal Walls

The question may arise during a home renovation is insulating internal walls really necessary. Although this decision rests entirely on the individual, there are numerous positives to installing acoustic insulation throughout the interior walls of a home. It has a huge impact on the reduction of noise travelling through the house. A home office for instance, would benefit enormously from sound insulation. Not only does it allow work to be done in peace and quiet without noise from other parts of the house filtering through, such as appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, dryers), but it also reduces the amount of noise emitted from the office such as phone calls.

Cheaper Alternatives to a Renovation

There is a variety of things that can be done to an older home which improve energy efficiency without doing a full renovation. Even something simple like removing trees from northward facing windows, or adding a skylight, allows more natural light into a home, reducing the hours in a day that all the lights need to be on. A lighter coat of paint will also make a home appear brighter and rely less on electric lighting.

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