Heating An Old House Efficiently: 3 Steps To Take


Are you eager to buy an old house? Flipping and living in one can be fun, but the truth about heating an old house efficiently is that it takes work and likely some financial investment. There’s a chance you’ll need to upgrade your insulation, or even your entire heating system, in order to fully resolve the problem, but there are other options that may work. Keep reading for some tips on taking on this task!

Deal With Drafts

Find the holes and plug them with something so that cold air can’t get in. The usual places to find cracks and holes are the edges of doors, windows, and your HVAC vents. Once you find where the drafts are, you need to find air sealers,such as draft stoppers, for the bottoms of doors, magnetic vent covers, and plastic window sealers. Air sealingis so effective that the EPA estimates it can save you up to 15% on your monthly heating bill.

Another issue in heating an old house efficiently is cold air getting through an unused, unsealed fireplace. A chimney balloon, a fireplace blanket, or a chimney cap can help, but it really is only a temporary solution. 

Add Insulation

Many times, the problem is cold air getting through your uninsulated or poorly insulated attic, as well as the cracks and gaps in the roof. Heat rises, and if your attic isn’t well-insulated, the heat escapes through the roof. It creates a giant vacuum effect that pulls in cold air through all the other gaps in your home. In fact, about a quarter of the average home’s heat is lost through the roof.. 

The best way to heat your old house efficiently is to insulate, insulate, insulate. Old houses may have outdated or poor quality insulation, or even no insulation at all in the attic. Technology has progressed a lot in this area the last few decades, and upgrading yours could make a huge difference in comfort. 

Upgrade Your Heating System

Once you have sealed up the gaps and insulated, you may still find that you are losing heat. This may be a sign it is time to upgrade your heating system. Although it may be a large investment, a new heating system will add value to your home. A professional company like Quality Home HVAC can install the best heating system for your home. Here are some systems to consider: 

  • Heat pumps (air source and geothermal heating pumps) 
    Heat pumps are the most efficient way to heat your older home. They work by transferring heat from outside your home to the inside, and they also double as an air conditioning system in the warmer months. 
  • Boiler/Radiator 
    Boilers heat water until it turns to steam. They run on electricity, gas, or oil, and are very common in older homes. 
  • Electric floor heating 
    Also known as baseboard heaters or electric resistance heating, these are units that can be individually installed in rooms that need extra heat. 
  • Furnace 
    The most common type of heating in the US, furnaces work by generating heat on burners inside a cabinet. They can run on electricity, natural gas, or oil. 
  • Radiant heating 
    This kind of system spreads heat through a film or mat beneath your floor. If your home is older, this type of heating is difficult to install and costly. Heating an old house efficiently will take some effort, but it will be well worth it.

Heating an old house can prove to be a challenging, time-consuming task. Consulting a professional like Quality Home HVAC can make the process a lot easier, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need assistance!

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