How to Add Energy Efficiency to a Historical Renovation

How to Add Energy Efficiency to a Historical Renovation

When it’s time to renovate a historic building, you might want to add energy-efficient features, but you’re not sure how to go about it. Most local areas will have strict rules about historical renovations to ensure buildings are preserved in the most original form possible.

You might have to adhere to specific building standards, but you can still add energy efficiency to your historic building with the right help. Let’s look at some of the ways you can make a historic building more energy-efficient while preserving the history of the building.

Add Storm Windows

While you might not be able to remove the historic windows from the building, you can add storm windows. This can help to make the building more energy-efficient without taking the historic character away.

Storm windows can be painted, if necessary and they can help to reduce thermal transmission. However, you do want to be careful with the installation as you don’t want to damage the historic window frames.

While this is a good option to add energy efficiency, you do need to be careful with adding storm windows. Moisture and condensation can become issues with the original windows when storm windows are installed on the interior.

Replace the Windows

It may not be possible in some historic districts, but if you have permission to replace the windows, you should. This is one of the best ways to make any historical building more energy efficient. Sometimes, if the older windows have become impossible to repair or impractical, you can replace them with a matching style of window for the building.

Steel windows can be a great fit for many historic buildings. They offer a slimmer line and provide an easier type of window to match with older styles.

Add Weatherstripping

Doors and windows can become more energy efficient with the right weatherstripping. A very common issue with older buildings is leaky doors and windows. This can cause an issue by letting in outside air, but it can easily be solved with proper weatherstripping.

Add Insulation

Insulation offers a great way to increase the energy efficiency of a historic building. You can add insulation in the attic and crawlspaces to ensure the building can keep in cool air during the summer and warm air during the winter. Most insulation can be added without damaging the integrity of the historic building.

Replace Old Appliances

Most historic districts don’t require you to keep or use old appliances in historic buildings. Replacing any old appliances with ENERGY STAR-rated appliances can help make the building more energy-efficient.

Add Trees

Shade trees placed in the proper spots can help to keep the sun from beating down on the building during the summer months. It can add a natural and historic appeal to an older building when done correctly and help make the building more energy-efficient.

There are several good ways to make your historic building more energy efficient. If you have the ability to replace the windows, this is one of the best ways to make the building more efficient. If not, consider storm windows and some of the other options found on this list.

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