If you're like many modern homeowners, you love the way a vintage home looks and feels. These properties seem to breathe the kind of easy charm and elegance associated with a bygone era, and as an added bonus, they often feature graceful, well-kept landscaping such as old-school perennial borders and massive shade trees. However, if you're currently living in one of these homes, you're most likely all too familiar with one of their major drawbacks — that massive electric bill that comes right on time every month.
Fortunately, living in a vintage home doesn't have to come with a high utility price tag. Today's technology makes it easy for homeowners to introduce energy-efficient upgrades to their older homes without sacrificing their trademark charm. The following are just three of the many ways that you can help keep that electric bill from skyrocketing while living in a vintage home.
Replace Your HVAC Unit
If you're living in an older home, chances are that the HVAC unit has been around the block a time or two as well. HVAC technology has become far more energy-efficient during the last decade, so if your unit is older than that, you should probably think about an upgrade. Gas furnaces that were built before 1992, for instance, have standing pilots, which wastes a significant amount of fuel.
Install an On-Demand Hot Water Heater
Traditional hot water heaters provide homeowners with hot water, but they do so by keeping the water hot at all times — whether it's being used or not, and this requires a significant amount of energy. Some people try to save on utility bills by turning the hot water heater on a half an hour or so before hot water is actually needed, but this approach rarely works out as planned. A better option is to have a tankless, on-demand hot water heater installed. Instead of the water being kept hot while sitting in a tank, the water runs through a heating element in the plumbing that is activated when you turn on the hot water faucet.
Replace Your Existing Windows With Energy-Efficient Ones
Those who live in vintage homes are also usually very familiar with indoor drafts, especially if the original windows are still a part of the picture. You'll save money on heating and cooling costs if you replace them with vinyl windows or other energy-efficient options. As an added bonus, you and other household residents will be far more comfortable without the drafts. If you're interested in your options, contact local vinyl window suppliers.