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4 Ways to Make Your Older Home More Energy Efficient

Nov 13, 2018|

When it comes to purchasing a home, most people (85%, to be exact) opt for a previously owned home rather than building new construction. The reasons for this vary, from wanting a home with more character to saving money by purchasing an older home.

Sometimes, though, buying an older home comes down to availability. Nationwide, the average home is 36 years old. Some areas of the country also have much older homes; in the Northeast, for example, the average home age is 51.

While there are plenty of advantages to purchasing another home, energy efficiency usually isn't one of them.

How to make your home more energy efficient

You don't have to break the bank making your older home more energy efficient. Here are a few simple ideas that make a big difference when it comes to saving energy around the house:

Install smart lighting

In North America alone, nearly 30 percent of energy usage in a home is dedicated to lighting. One of the biggest ways you can save on energy consumption is by installing smart lighting. Smart lighting is both convenient and energy efficient and helps you save on energy in a number of ways, including:

  • Using LED lightbulbs, which use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also last up to 25 times longer, which helps you save money with fewer lightbulb replacements as well.
  • Automatically turning your lights off for you. With a Vivint system, you can set custom rules to turn specific lights on and off at certain times, like when you leave your home or lock your doors.
  • Being able to control your lighting remotely. Forgot to turn off your lights before work? No problem. Simply log into the Vivint app and turn your lights off (or on) wherever you are. 

Add insulation

Older homes are notoriously drafty, especially in areas like attics, since most heat lost in a home is through the roof. What’s more, many of them have primitive existing insulation (or none at all). One of the most effective ways to increase energy efficiency and reduce heat loss is by adding fiberglass insulation to your attic. This can be done in a weekend and is relatively inexpensive. 

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Check your fireplace and chimney

Many older homes have at least one original wood-burning fireplace. While beautiful, they can also be extremely inefficient—in fact, just 15% of the wood’s energy is actually turned into useful heat. Not only that, but air from both the inside and outside can leak through the flue, making it difficult to maintain the desired temperature in your home. You can remedy this by replacing the damper with a top-sealing chimney damper, which is installed at the top of the chimney and helps keep your conditioned air inside while keeping outside air from leaking into the home.

You can also install glass fireplace doors, which improve energy efficiency by limiting the amount of air from your home that is pulled into the chimney.

Switch to a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat makes it easy to save energy in your home by doing all the work for you. The Vivint Smart Thermostat, for example, integrates with your smart home system to learn your energy preferences and automatically adjusts your temperature accordingly. For example, it can lower the temperature in your home when you go to bed, so you can sleep better and save energy.

Vivint element thermostat above couch
Lower your energy bills and make your home more comfortable with a Vivint Smart Thermostat.

Owning an older home doesn't have to mean choosing between the original features and character of an older home or sky-high energy bills in order to make it more energy efficient. These simple tips can drastically improve the energy efficiency of your older home while still preserving its charm and rich history.

Older home charm + smart home technology = comfort and energy savings

Maintain the charm of your older home and enjoy all the energy saving benefits of a smart home. Give us a call at 844.481.8630 for a free quote on a smart home designed for your home.

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