The Challenges of Turning Old Houses into Energy-efficient Homes
These days, more homeowners are becoming increasingly interested in turning their homes into more energy-efficient ones. One might think that their primary purpose is to reduce their utility bills. In reality, they have other goals they wish to achieve, including the following:
- Save money
- Boost the property’s resale value
- Improve home health and comfort
- Reduce their home’s environmental impact
The problem is, it is nowhere easy improving old houses, let alone doing it the energy-efficient way. One can’t simply start improving an old home without considering the significant factors involved. There are so many things involved in improving older properties that make it quite a complicated process.
Financing the Upgrade
Many homeowners fail to improve their old home’s energy efficiency right away because of money issues. Not all homeowners can afford energy-efficient upgrades. Many don’t even have enough funds saved up to maintain their homes.
Some homeowners believe that it is quite expensive to invest in energy-efficient upgrades. In reality, the long-term savings you can enjoy will always outweigh the initial costs. There are also ways to get around the initial costs.
There now exist energy-efficiency loans for homeowners wanting to make their houses more energy-efficient. These are often unsecured loans that don’t require collateral. This means your lender cannot issue a foreclosure in the event you default on the loan.
Choosing the Right Projects
It is easy to feel overwhelmed with all the energy-efficient projects you can tackle. Knowing where to start and what projects to prioritize can be the tricky part. If you are clueless about starting your energy-efficient home transformation, you can start with an energy audit.
An energy audit will tell you exactly where you are losing energy and what part of your home you can improve to save more energy. This will help you better understand where your energy usage. Knowing where you can reduce your energy consumption will make it easier to find ways to reduce your carbon footprint and increase your energy savings.
For instance, you found out that your fireplace is one of the biggest reasons your energy bill is sky-high during winter. You can start your plans of making the house more energy efficient by starting with your fireplace. Consider turning your existing fireplace with a gas log and insulate this area better to make it more energy-efficient.
Older structures, especially those built more than 50 years ago, could be made with dangerous materials. Think of asbestos, lead, and mercury, among many others. The last thing you want is to compromise your family’s health while making the improvements.
To be on the safer side, consider leaving areas alone that you suspect contain harmful building materials. Ask the pros to assess and remove these materials in your home. You might need to find temporary housing options while the experts remove these harmful materials from your house.
If your home has very old electrical wiring and plumbing, it is best to update these areas. This way, you can ensure the safety of your family first. These can cause serious harm to your home and even lead to even bigger problems if not dealt with on time.
Choosing the Right Contractors
It is not enough that you know what projects to invest in. You also ought to find the right people to help you accomplish your renovation goals. Most of the time, a Do-It-Yourself approach is not the best idea for improving old houses.
For one, you might not be knowledgeable and experienced enough to tackle energy-efficient projects. You can end up spending more if you choose to DIY and make mistakes along the way. With the right contractors, you can achieve your goals and ensure your investment will come a long way.
Since your goal is to improve your old home’s energy efficiency and reduce its environmental impact, it helps find contractors who also practice energy efficiency. Think of local contractors who also advocate green and sustainable practices. They can help you achieve your energy-efficient goals and even suggest the best materials and strategies make your old home more efficient.
Not sure where to find the right contractors? Ask around and seek recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors who recently made the energy-efficient choice. You can also consider the online reviews left by other homeowners who already tried the services of local contractors before choosing.
As more homeowners recognize the need to practice sustainability, most of them are leaning towards energy-efficient home improvements. The more you embrace energy efficiency, the better it will be for your finances, and the more sustainable your home gets. Don’t let these challenges stop you from enjoying an energy-efficient home, as there are many ways to resolve these issues.
Meta title: What Homeowners Face When Making Old Homes Energy-efficient
meta desc: You can encounter issues that can discourage you from making your old house into a more energy-efficient one. Here’s what you can do to address each one.