A New Kitchen

A New Kitchen

How Can You Lower Utility Costs In Your Historic Home?

Elizabeth Mendoza

Owning a historic home can come with many perks --  

However, the cost to heat and cool your drafty old home can be painful at times. What can you do to reduce your energy bills without destroying the historic charm or integrity of a home built decades before the invention of central air conditioning? Read on to learn more about your best heating and cooling options.

What are the most energy-efficient cooling systems for an older home?

If your home doesn't have the ductwork needed to install a central air conditioner, you may currently be using several air conditioners placed in out-of-the-way windows in an effort to avoid spoiling the historic look of your home. However, there are a number of more inconspicuous air conditioners that will efficiently cool your home without being visible from the outside or taking up valuable window space inside. 

Ductless heat pumps can provide cool air for your entire home while requiring only three inches of wall space to transmit the cables from the outside compressor to the inside distribution unit. This compressor includes a refrigerant that helps extract the heat from outside air, producing cool air that can be transmitted inside your home. The distribution vents are then unobtrusively installed in each room, providing the feel of central air without requiring contractors to tear into your walls to install vents and ductwork. These heat pumps are also much more energy-efficient than a central air conditioning system of the same capacity. For more information about ductless heat pumps, contact a company like Salem Heating & Sheet Metal, Inc.

If you'd just like to cool a few small areas of your home, a portable air conditioner may be able to provide you with the same cooling range as a window unit without requiring the use of an entire window. Much like the ductless heat pump, this portable air conditioning unit requires only a small opening to vent the hot, moist air produced by the compressor. You may opt to place this vent hose in a corner of your window or vent it through a laundry pipe or other small opening from the outside to the inside. These air conditioners can be moved from room to room, allowing you to enjoy cold air in any part of your home without dealing with the noise and obstruction of a window unit. 

How can you save money on heating costs? 

If you've decided on a ductless system for air conditioning purposes, you should be able to benefit from its temperature-controlling properties and energy efficiency all year long. Unless the temperatures in your area dip below zero for lengthy periods of time each winter (in which case having a backup heat source may be necessary), a ductless heat pump can fulfill all your climate control needs.

For homes currently utilizing a radiator or stove that runs on heating oil, switching to biodiesel can help extend the life of your aging furnace while lowering your energy bills. Instead of being distilled from crude oil or solids like heating oil, biodiesel is made from animal and vegetable fats (like corn oil, lard, or soybean oil) mixed with a solvent to produce fuel and glycerin. As a result, this biodiesel can be made relatively cheaply from restaurant waste oil, rather than fluctuating in cost with the price of gasoline and other crude compounds.

You'll want to ease into the use of biodiesel to ensure that it doesn't pose any problems for the rubber seals or stoppers in your furnace, as the solvents used to make biodiesel can be drying to rubber. However, this biodiesel is also much cleaner-burning than heating oil and can help burn off any potentially harmful deposits left inside your furnace by crude oil.


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A New Kitchen

Do you desperately desire to remodel your kitchen? Before you can begin this worthwhile task, you’ll need to secure a reputable contractor in your area. Inform this professional of your specific wants and needs for your space. For instance, you might wish to remove the wall separating your kitchen from your living room. Your contractor can determine if this wall is a load bearing one. You may also want to move the sink in your kitchen from one location to another one. On this blog, I hope you will discover valuable tips to help you design the kitchen of your dreams. Enjoy!