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Owning a piece of history in the form of a 19th-century home is an incredible way to make history come alive every day. Though the beauty of the architecture of these classic homes can't be matched, that beauty often comes at the price of high utility bills. Though these homes were efficient in their time, the effects of aging have rendered them fairly energy-inefficient. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve the energy-efficiency of your 19th-century home, thus lowering your energy costs. Seal the Gaps One of the biggest areas of energy loss from older homes occurs through the cracks and gaps that form in the home as it settles over the decades. Though this is something you have to deal with in a home of any age, it's especially pronounced in historic homes. It's a good idea to conduct an energy audit of your home to find specific areas where the air inside your home is leaking outside and the air outside your home is leaking in. Filling these gaps and cracks with appropriate materials will greatly increase your home's energy-efficiency. Replace the Windows Though older homes were built with many energy-efficient features that were often better-planned than today's homes, one feature that has vastly improved on today's homes is the windows. Many older homes have single-glazed windows, meaning just one pane of glass stands between the interior of your home and the unconditioned air outside. By replacing your windows with new energy-efficient windows, therefore, you're likely to see a big drop in energy consumption. Plus, many new windows come with UV protection built-in, which can protect the historic furniture and finishes in your home. Replace the Doors Though there's nothing quite like the beauty of an antique door, that doesn't mean it's the best option to keep your energy costs under control. Especially if one or more doors in your home are suffering from rot or some type of termite damage, replacing your doors with new Andersen doors is a great way to save some cash. In addition to being more energy-efficient, new doors tend to be more secure, as their frames are better-reinforced and their construction more focused on potential points of entry. Wrap the Pipes If you've ever been into the basement of your 19th-century home only to be amazed at the network of pipes carrying water throughout your home, it's important to know that these exposed pipes are costing you money. Exposed pipes sitting in uninsulated spaces, especially those carrying hot water, are quick to lose their temperature as they travel through a cold basement. On the other hand, cold water pipes are at risk of freezing if you don't have some form of heat in your basement. Do yourself a favor, then, and wrap all your pipes. This will lessen the work your water heater has to do and prevent any messy burst pipes in your basement. Whether you've lived in your 19th-century home for some time or if you're new to historic-home living, it can seem as though your to-do list is never-ending as you seek to make improvements to your home. By understanding which changes will have the biggest return on investment, though, you can begin to do the work that will transform your home into what you always envisioned. Then, though it may still be far off, the finish line will draw that much closer.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogThere are lots of perks to installing more energy efficient windows in your home. Some of the benefits provide more of a cost incentive than others. Here are just a few of the reasons that having more energy efficient windows will be good for your home. Lower Heating and Cooling Bills One of the best benefits that you can receive from a monetary standpoint from new windows is that your heating and cooling bills can be lower. New windows tend to be more energy efficient. This means that you’ll most likely notice less drafts around your house. Older windows often allowed air to enter and exit your home freely. This meant that it was costing you more to maintain the temperature in your home. Maintained Home Comfort Newer windows are better at warding off temperature fluctuations in your home. What this means for you is that you can more easily maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home. A comfortable home is more of a luxury when it comes to the costs associated with installing more energy efficient windows. Look into using a company like Edelen Door and Window to help you through the process. Decreased Sound Pollution You may be surprised to learn that energy efficient windows can also make your home quieter. This is because they’re better sealed and tend to be better at dampening the sound. That means that not only does less sound enter your home, but less sounds will leave your home as well. You don’t have to worry about the neighbors complaining about your loud movie night with the family. Protected Home Finishes One of the new features on energy efficient windows is that they provide better shielding from solar radiation. You can even add an extra layer of shielding to reduce solar radiation from entering your home. It’s the solar radiation that can cause your flooring to become discolored over time. This is even more apparent if you have wood flooring in your home. Areas that are protected from the sun tend to be lighter in color than those that are exposed to the sun. There are of course the better known reasons that installing energy efficient windows is the right choice for your home. Consider some of these lesser known perks if you’re torn about whether to spend the money on new windows right now. Your home is an investment, but you should also enjoy living in your home for years to come.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogDuring the warm summer season, your business may heavily rely on your commercial HVAC system for climate control. Summer months are known for high humidity levels and intense temperatures, and both of these issues can combine together to create an unbearable indoor environment unless you have cool air from your HVAC system streaming into your space. Now is the ideal time to set up maintenance service for your commercial cooling system by reaching out to a reputable HVAC service provider. By doing so, you can enjoy several important benefits throughout the summer and beyond. Save Money on Energy Costs Preventive HVAC maintenance is designed to clean the system’s components as well as to replace damaged or deteriorating components. Both dirty and damaged components can make your system operate less efficiently. Some aspects of the system may overcompensate to make up for damaged or dirty components resulting in the system running for longer periods of time or turning on more frequently than it otherwise would need to. This ultimately means that your system will use more energy throughout the summer months than it otherwise would need to. You can save money on energy bills by setting up preventive maintenance service. Improve System Longevity The last thing you want is to pay for an expensive HVAC replacement service before it is absolutely necessary. These systems can cost thousands of dollars or more to replace, and you understandably want to maximize the life of your HVAC unit. Companies like Ragan Mechanical Inc. can perform annual system maintenance on your HVAC unit. This can help your system to function more efficiently to decrease wear and tear. Keep Repair Issues at Bay Through unnecessary wear and tear on your system’s components, you can keep repair issues at bay. HVAC system repair issues can result in expensive repair services. They can also lead to downtime that can interfere with the operation of your business, and this can be costly to endure. Preventive maintenance can identify developing repair issues before they cause a complete system malfunction. Furthermore, because preventive service decreases wear and tear, fewer new repair issues may develop. Given the importance of your commercial HVAC system, it is imperative that you ensure that it is in great working order before you turn it on for the first time this summer. You can easily schedule preventive maintenance service for your system today, and you can take advantage of these fabulous benefits all summer long.