Antique Homes: How to Keep the Charm While Saving Energy

It’s hard to deny the quaint charm that antique homes have—until the first utility bills begin to roll in.  Unfortunately, the builders of yore weren’t as concerned about energy efficiency the way we are today and, moreover, they didn’t have the technology that we have today to make our constructions more energy efficient.  Yet, even if you own an antique home, you can successfully employ strategies like window replacement that will conserve energy and ultimately save you money so that you needn’t dread opening that electric bill when it arrives in the mail.

Charming but Expensive

Vintage windows are elegant and eye-catching, but they aren’t particularly friendly to your wallet.  They let cold, damp air seep through into your home causing your furnace to work overtime in winter and in summer they let the cold air escape outdoors causing your air conditioner to work harder and use up ever more energy.  In just a week’s time, this excessive use of energy can make an impact on your energy bill.   While this extra energy use isn’t good for your bank account, it’s not good for the environment either.

Strategies to Cope with Energy Loss

Homeowners of antique homes can employ a couple strategies to deal with their energy loss situation.  First, contacting an energy auditor can result in a straightforward picture of what is happening with your energy.  An audit will tell you, in other words, just how much energy is going out the window.  An energy audit isn’t necessarily cheap, but it can provide you with the knowledge you need to make some decisions about what to do in order to best conserve energy and save money for the long run.

Putty, caulk, and even fitted plastic sheeting for the windows can help alleviate some of your energy loss.  Simple enough, caulk can help eliminate the draughts that old windows are known to let in.  Replace old caulk and paint it in order to extend its performance.  Plastic sheeting applied with a hairdryer seems like a strange fix, but many homeowners swear by its performance.  Inexpensive, the sheeting doesn’t interfere with the view, but it does need to be replaced.

Window Replacement

While many people avoid window replacement on account of the expense, others simply don’t want to sacrifice their antique style for modern windows.  According to Kingfisher Windows, you can have energy efficiency as well as leaded window or windows designed with that unmistakable vintage look.  Colored windows, sash windows, even windows in that grand Georgian style—there are many window styles that are designed for use in antique homes.  Yet, while they boast an antique appearance, they have been developed with state of the art technology that supports the highest levels of energy efficiency.  You’ll easily find a style that suits your home and enhances its appearance.

Window Shopping

Shopping for windows isn’t something you’ll do every day.  It makes sense to take your time and choose windows you can happily live with for a long, long time.  To soften the expense, use your energy audit to see how long it will take the energy savings to pay off your new windows.  You’ll be surprised how your energy bills normalize and you’ll feel an improvement in the climate of your home immediately.  Moreover, new windows are a great investment that can even add value to your home.  To truly improve your home’s energy efficiency, consider installing new windows this season.


Ryan Skinner is a passionate home improvement enthusiast who likes to share his advice on how you can improve the energy efficiency of your home.