One of the benefits of buying an older house rather than a new one is buying it at a bargain price. It’s often cheaper to purchase an older home, but the downside is that the home may need some work.
After closing on the house, you may want to examine it thoroughly to find out exactly what work it needs. One area you might want to focus on is energy efficiency. Upgrading certain things in your home could make the house more energy-efficient. Here are several areas in the home to consider upgrading.
The Furnace and Air Conditioning System
A home's furnace and AC system account for around 56 percent of the energy bills of the home; however, you can save a lot of money on these costs by having an energy-efficient furnace and AC system. When you examine the current systems in your home, find out if they were installed before 1992. If they were, you should replace them for sure. Even if they are slightly newer than this, replacing might also be a good idea.
Furnaces built before 1992 don’t operate very efficiently. In fact, these systems probably don’t even offer an 80 percent efficiency rate. Current regulations require minimum ratings of 80 percent on all furnaces and AC systems produced, but this percentage is still on the lower end. You can now purchase systems that offer up to 98.5 percent efficiency rating.
The rating on a system tells you how much energy the system converts into usable energy. When a system is 98 percent efficient, it converts 98 percent of the energy into usable energy, which becomes either heated or cooled air. This type of energy-efficient system means it wastes only 2 percent of energy.
The bottom line is savings on your energy bills. If your new house has an old HVAC system, you could save a great deal of money by replacing it with an energy-efficient model.
Older homes often contain old-fashioned thermostats, and you can find this out simply by looking at the thermostat in the house. If it is round and not digital, it is most likely a mercury-filled thermostat. If so, you’ll want to replace this. New thermostats are digital, and they are the type you can program.
Programming a thermostat offers a way to improve your home's energy efficiency. In fact, you could save up to $180 annually by replacing an old thermostat with a programmable one. A programmable thermostat helps you save money simply because it offers more control over the temperature in your house. You set the device to turn up or turn down the heat as needed.
For example, if you are at work from 6 am to 5 pm, you could set it to run very little during this time. The best part is that you will not have to manually change the settings each morning and evening.
The Water Heater
Heating water makes up another large percentage of a typical house's energy bills. The water heaters you can purchase today are significantly more efficient than older ones, and most water heaters only last for around 10 to 15 years.
If the water heater is 5 to 10 years old, you should consider replacing it because it is probably less efficient than newer systems. Replacing it could help you save a substantial amount of money on your energy bills. Most water heaters come with warranties, which is an added bonus.
If you want to improve the energy efficiency in your house, you could achieve this by replacing some of your home systems. Contact AC Heating and Cooling Service Inc. to request service or to learn more about their energy-efficient units.