Are you ready for some green updates to your older home? Houses built decades ago were designed with beauty and comfort in mind, not energy efficiency and eco-friendliness. In the old days, the modus operandi was to provide a place that had all the right values for family raising – with all the right utilitarian functions. The only problem is that many of these appliances consume too much energy, making it extremely expensive to keep your home running.
These days though, there are number ways to blend both comfort and energy savings so that you can enjoy the beauty of your older home without feeling like your carbon footprint isn’t stomping a crate-sized hole in the environment. Here are five smart green upgrades for older homes.
- Spruce up your front and back yard with some trees. Indeed, having a nice green backyard is pretty – and literally green – but it can also help make your home more energy efficient. By placing large deciduous trees on the south or north side of your home, you can effectively cut down the temperatures around the perimeter of your home. You’ll want to plant deciduous trees and shrubs, because you want them to lose leaves in the wintertime to allow sunshine in during the cold months and then get nice and leafy during the warmer months, protecting your home from the heat of the sun. In fact, planting trees around your home is almost like installing a natural air conditioning system.
- Speaking of air conditioning- maybe it’s time to get a new system. There is a good chance that your older home has an air conditioning system that is either out of date or that is causing your utility costs to rise each month. Eventually, you are going to have to replace the air conditioner, so why not nip the issue in the bud before it becomes a big, expensive ordeal? When looking for a new air conditioning system, be sure to look for the SEER¬- or seasonal energy efficiency ratio – rating, because that will let you know how eco-friendly the unit is. Having a green air conditioning system has offers a lot of benefits to your home, your wallet and the environment as well.
- Install new air ducts. Older homes generally have air ducts are that old, worn out and probably dirty. One of the biggest causes of dust and mold in homes is air ducts that haven’t been updated in a long time so updating all the ductwork could really help. Not only will your home be able to efficiently send cool and warm air from your HVAC system but it will also send clean air.
- Update your thermostat. If you have an older thermostat, chances are that all it really offers are either a simple hot and cold setting with a general temperature control. The problem with this is that it forces you to blast your heater or air conditioner longer than you have to, which can be quite inefficient. These days, thermostats come with some amazing features where you can program the temperatures accordingly making for an efficient use of your home HVAC system.
- Think about installing radiant heating. Radiant heating is an amazing alternative to heating your home the old fashioned way. All it requires is the installation of heating coils under your floor and with the flip of a switch, your entire floor can emit a warm, soothing heat. In the end, radiant heating isn’t only energy efficient but you’ll also never have to worry about walking on cold floors again which is another added comfort to consider.