Owners of Older Homes Finding Value in Energy Efficient Upgrades
It’s much easier to create an energy-efficient home from the bottom up than it is to give an older home a “green” make-over. When the “bones” of a new home are completely exposed during the construction process, before the wallboard gets nailed on and the siding covers the construction studs, it’s a fairly simple matter to add energy-efficient insulation to the walls and roof. Before concrete floors are poured is the best time to install radiant heat pipes to keep floors toasty. It’s easier to set solar panels into the roof and wire them to storage batteries before the shingles are added. Installation is less complicated when solar water heaters and money-saving heat pumps are designed into building plans. Selecting energy-efficient windows, doors, appliances and heating and cooling systems before the walls go up allows consumers to choose from a wider array of Energy Star products.
As anyone in the construction trades knows, it’s always easier to build it right the first time than to try to remodel a building that wasn’t designed to accommodate new technology. The problem is that majority of American homes were built well before new energy-efficient technologies were even developed, much less available to the housing industry. The owners of older homes are left with few cost-effective means to green their homes:
- Replacing outdated heating and cooling systems, water heaters and home appliances with energy-efficient models; and
- Adding energy-efficient technology via remodeling projects.
Costs and practicality often limit what home owner’s desire to what is structurally practical. Despite the challenge, many owners of older homes recognize the value energy efficient improvements offer the planet and their family budgets!
Next time: Practical tips for greening older homes