Can you run an old home for less?

  • 9 years ago
  • DIY

There’s a certain charm about living in an old, rustic home, particularly if it’s a protected building or somewhere of historical importance. That said, aging buildings tend to be rather expensive to run thanks to old heating systems and such like, but there are ways to bring costs down – and here’s how.

Invest in underfloor heating

If your radiators take forever to heat up and are rather ineffective at warming your property, you might want to consider ProWarm Underfloor Heating Mats. These are a great option for old houses as heating mats can be installed under stone or tile floors (typical characteristics of older builds) and will keep your feet warm on those chilly winter mornings. They can be cut to size allowing for maximum floor coverage and as they’re designed to warm large areas quickly and efficiently heating systems of this kind should be a lot more cost effective.

Make sure your walls are insulated

Was your home built before 1919? If so, its external walls are probably solid rather than cavity walls which are made up of two layers with a gap in between. Heat can easily escape through a solid wall, so it’s a good idea to have them insulated as this will stop the warm air from your home making its way into the colder environment outside. Solid walls can be insulated from the inside or outside and could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Make sure your home is draught proof

As well as insulating your walls you can also bring own utility bills by making sure your home is as draught proof as possible. This will help to retain heat and prevent cold air from bringing down the temperature of your property. There are many ways to keep draughts out such as sealing around doors and windows, investing in draught excluders and insulating the letterbox flap all of which can make for a much more comfortable living environment. Double glazing will also help and if you find your house is still hard to warm, try making or buying some thick, double-lined, thermal curtains for each of the main windows.

What’s more, as many old houses have good old-fashioned stone chimneys you might want to think about draught proofing these when they’re not in use. Everything from chimney balloons to chimney sheep – draught excluders made from natural sheep’s wool – will help you do this or you could simply use plastic bags. Just don’t forget they are there before lighting the fire.

Turn electric items off standby

Whether your property is ten or 100 years old you can save money by turning electrical items off standby. The average UK household wastes between £45 and £80 a year on standby power, so be sure to turn everything off at the wall to avoid throwing money down the drain. Moreover, you could even think about upgrading the appliances in your house and replacing old fridges, microwaves, toasters and such like to more energy-efficient models. These days, most white goods and other gadgets carry a new EU label which tells you exactly how efficient they are allowing you to make an informed choice.

Running an old home for less is relatively simple, you’ve just got to go green and think carefully about how to conserve energy.

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