You must agree old buildings has loads of history and character. Yet, we tend to forget these buildings have some significant downsides. The main negative is they are not energy efficient. Unfortunately, this is something homeowners cannot ignore.
We must agree that energy is expensive, and buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption in the US alone. So what can we as residents do to make our home more energy efficient to bring down the carbon emissions?
The simple solution is to retrofit our homes to reduce energy use. Yes, it might sound easy, but there are some essential things to remember. So today, we will discuss these crucial things and the benefits of retrofitting your living place.
How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient
Maybe you live in an old home, then you know it has solid walls built with lime mortars, renders, and plasters. Using these materials allows the floors and walls to breathe, allowing damp and moisture to escape.
So if you use non-breathable fabrics trapping moisture from plastic paints, to cement it can result in damp or decay forming leading to ill health for you and the building. Thus when you plan a retrofit, you need to consider those as mentioned earlier.
Quick Wins to Improve The Energy Performance
While there are many benefits to help the real estate retrofit buildings, there are some quick resolutions for energy savings. These include:
- Loft insulation
- Overhauling the heating system
- Energy-efficient light bulbs
- Buying thermally insulated blinds or curtains
- Repairing windows with draught strips and a second glazing
The above is some of the fast retrofitting solutions to save costs for property owners. But when it comes to significant projects, take your time. For example, tackling replacing windows, heating, or changing a building, you do not want to make costly mistakes. So what are the benefits of a retrofit home?
While a building retrofits you can do easily, there are some challenges you can face:
- For contractors, many strange things are coming up in old buildings and the surroundings. So it would be best if you estimated a plan with these risks before starting your restorations.
- Another concern is safety, as you may have an unoccupied living space for a while, depending on the retrofit you plan to do.
- You need to make sure the team of contractors that do your retrofitting has all the qualifications and insurance in place to handle the job.
Top 6 Benefits Of Retrofitting Old Houses
So you want to reduce the carbon footprint to get your historic building to look modern yet cost-effective. Then you have made the right decision as tearing it down to rebuild it using green construction is not an option.
But with retrofitting, which can be tricky, you can add new components to make it perform better for many reasons.
Economical in The Long Run
Yes, retrofitting can save energy, but the best part it is more economical as it saves you money. In addition, it helps to increase efficiency as you update your systems in the home. Thus it leads to improving energy performance.
So the yearly energy you use depends on your home and can save you up to 213%. Upgrading a furnace for hot water and adding insulation in the walls/basement/roof saves considerable energy bills.
Retrofit Has an Environment-Friendly Impact
When you lower the carbon emissions having a retrofit done to reduce energy expenditure is the best thing. The best part is there is no need to tear down your old home. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Green Lab, renovating an existing structure is more beneficial for the environment.
The report states that retrofitting in terms of the ecosystem is greener for human health, quality, climate change, resource depletion, and the best to have existing structures remain. Further, it has a more incredible boon on the economy compared to new building projects.
You Can Make Your Home Disaster Proof
For example, when you have your house earthquake retrofit, it creates safety of the foundation. Doing this attaches the foundation and the walls to prevent them from sliding off in disasters leading to injury and collapse. In turn, it saves you loads of financial issues in the long run as your home is not condemned. So it limits the economic impact of the damage.
Improved Health and Wellness
As you live in an old building, you may find you or your family suffering from colds or allergies. One of the significant improvements of a retrofit is to provide an efficient ventilation system. When you can control the temperature, humidity, and air quality, it provides comfort and well-being.
When you have retrofitting done, it helps with energy efficiency:
- You have heating to ventilation upgrades, add water-saving fittings, lighting upgrades, and install renewable energy.
- As mentioned, it improves your well-being as you can change windows for a natural view of the outside. In turn, it saves loads of money on the power bill.
- Having insulation done saves money in the long run.
- Whether you have added a water-saving flush toilet, motion sensors, timers, to LED lights, these provide energy efficiency.
Higher Resale Value
When it comes to your property, there might come a time when you want to sell your home. Retrofitting boosts the real estate value. When new homeowners know that their house is earthquake and energy-efficient retrofitted, you can get a higher market value, and they will be more likely to buy.
Retrofitting has many benefits for old buildings and homeowners. While you still face some challenges depending on the project. It remains a worthwhile investment in the end. Make sure to check out our retrofitting home ideas to get some inspiration.