A 2018 Pew Research Center survey found that most Americans (59 percent) now say that climate change impacts their local community in some way, especially those that are near the coast. And it’s no secret that scientists around the world recently stated that if humans refuse to do anything against the growing problem of climate change, it could prove to be catastrophic by 2040. For Americans and those across the world, this kind of result is not acceptable.
In fact, expect climate change to alter the very color of our oceans, according to new research from leading scientists. As humans, we’ve left a permanent mark on our planet. While we can’t leave to fix the problem, we can do little things in our daily life to help prevent the problem from exacerbating.
If our climate goes, so does everything else, including the historic properties that hold our cultures across the nation. New homes are already being made to be energy efficient, with many taking steps to reinforce older homes with solar panels and energy efficient appliances. But what about our oldest properties? Keeping them energy-efficient takes a little more effort.
Here’s some tips to improve energy efficiency in historic properties.
Energy Audits Can Go a Long Way
Getting professional help can make a huge difference. It’s one way of saving time and money when it comes down to making your property energy efficient. The first step that should be taken is identifying the problems that your historic property faces and coming up with a plan to fix them, according to Old House Online.
Don’t play the guessing game; there are individuals who can inspect properties and give you a game plan for the future. It’s unbiased, in-depth and will save you money when it comes down to energy costs. Certain tests can find out how well the insulation is in your property, as well as how much energy is really being used.
Prioritizing What Upgrades Should Go First
Once you’re aware of what needs to be handled, it’s time to make a list of what comes first. The National Park Service (NPS) recommends focusing on which problems will have the most savings while leaving little impact on the original property design.
One of the most important aspects of a historic property is to not damage the integrity. And if you think that replacing all of your windows is going to save you the most money, think again. It’s actually a pretty common misconception.
Small, Operational Changes Can Go a Long Way
With any historic property, it’s not completely energy-efficient. But you can take small steps to make sure that you are positively contributing to the environment. Here’s some ways to reduce heating and cooling costs, via NPS:
- Install programmable thermostats.
- Close off rooms that are not in use and adjust temperatures in them.
- Insulated shades and curtains go a long way.
- Compact fluorescent lights and light-emitting diode lights will help with energy costs.