Do you live in an older house? If so, you might feel like the winter cold is straining your heating budget. This guest blog gives those who treasure their period style homes some great ideas on how to create energy efficiencies without changing the styling of your fabulous home.
Making a beautiful old house more energy efficient can be difficult. Victorian and Georgian buildings are notorious for leaking heat and letting in the cold. But no one wants to compromise on style. So the question is, how do you make your house green and beautiful?
Here are some simple energy efficient solutions for period homes.
Eco Friendly Sash Windows
Often one of the first things to go when trying to make your home more energy efficient are the beautiful sash windows. Especially with so many double-glazing salesmen knocking on doors! But now you can get double-glazed and energy efficient sash windows with a U value of at least 0.8. However, they can be pricey. The good news is that a recent study by the English Heritage has shown that by simply getting your sash windows repaired you can reduce heat leaks by as much as a third. And if you add draft proofing you can improve the efficiency by as much as 86%.
Stunning doors that lock the heat in
Normally when we think of energy efficient front doors it conjures up images of ugly white plastic. Not exactly in keeping with the style of a period home. But this needn’t be the case. Most good composite door manufacturers provide you with a choice of period styles ranging from Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian to contemporary. In addition to the style you should also be spoiled for choice in the color department. But, best of all, they should all have low U value scores (the measurement of heat transfer) of 1.0W/(m2.K) giving them and your home great thermal performance.
Post 1920s houses are likely to have cavity walls so filling them with insulation can boost efficiency and shouldn’t affect the outside look. But with older walls there’s little that can be done without hiding away the beautiful stone or timber work. The good news is that a recent survey conducted by SPAB showed that 79% of old walls including timber, cob, limestone and slate retained heat better than expected. If you do choose to insulate your walls, make sure you choose a suitable material. Older walls need to “breathe” to function properly and a non-breathable material could cause damp problems down the line.
Of course no one is going to see this so you don’t have to worry about style. But if you’re keen on keeping it contemporary to the period of the building you might consider insulating with sheep’s wool. It breathes naturally and unlike some man-made insulating materials won’t cause problems with damp.
This article was brought to you by Nick Williams and Yale Door. Yale Door manufactures new composite front doors; each door complies with strict U-value legislation and looks outstanding.
About Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID
Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID, is the owner and founder of S Interior Design, the exclusive provider of Pawprint Design Services™. Suzanne works with her clients to develop a winning combination of design elements that result in warm, comfortable and functional spaces that reflect each client’s personal style. Suzanne and her team specialize in residential, contract and hospitality interior design, from simple color selections, to office build outs, to restaurant, spa and hotel designs. Suzanne shares her years of expertise through the power of social media. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at this blog. To speak to Suzanne about your interior design needs, please call 480-220-4659 or visit her website at www.sinteriordesign.com.