Old houses are full of charm and that is what adds to their appeal. In many cases, old houses can get more money when sold than some modern houses even though they need a lot of work solely because of how charming and interesting they can be. We love the creaky floors as every step reminds you that there have been many generations before you walking those same hallways.
The problem is that we have modern needs and sometimes that old charming house doesn’t quite cut it. The nice thing is that a lot of technology these days can be retrofitted so that the old creaky house can have all the modern conveniences you expect. In this article, we will go over some of the ways you can modernize that old house to something charming and fully functional.
Getting solar energy should be on the horizon for just about any homeowner. It is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint in a dramatic way. It’s also an investment into getting very cheap or even free electricity at some point in the near future.
Old houses have old electrical systems so you’ll need to upgrade no matter what. This makes it a perfect time to make the switch by calling some solar roof companies to come and give you an estimate.
One big benefit to outfitting an old house with solar is that many were built facing south. Passive warmth was the norm back in the days before modern heating. They understood that getting as much sunlight into the house would be the way to keep it warm without needing to burn all of their wood in the fireplace over the winter.
This means that it is very likely that the old house that you bought will already be ideally positioned for solar panels to get the maximum amount of sunlight per day. Combined with the right batteries, you can get more than enough power for your modern needs.
There are many incentives and rebates provided by the federal and state governments that you can get set up with minimal upfront costs. In states where there is net metering, you can even get paid for the excess electricity you produce and supply to the grid.
Update the plumbing
The biggest issue with old homes is that the plumbing is from a time before many modern needs were relevant. This means that the pipes are generally old and easy to clog and that you are on a septic system that may often need septic tank pumping since it isn’t big enough.
Instead of always trying to hunt down septic safe toilet paper to avoid it overflowing, you probably should look into getting on the town sewer system. At the very least, it is a good time for a new septic system installation, and get a bigger one that works much more efficiently. You might also consider getting a new water softener installation.
Inside the house, you should have modern fixtures that can handle the demands of a big family in modern times. Old lead pipes should be replaced with PVC and of larger diameter so they are less likely to get clogged.
Fixtures should also be upgraded and replaced with low-flow versions so you save water. This helps your wallet as much as the environment by being more frugal with your water consumption. These new fixtures do still provide plenty of water pressure even though they use less water.
Make it smart
The Internet of Things has made it possible to convert your centuries-old home into a smart home with devices that communicate with each other so you can be more efficient.
For instance, smart thermometers set up with your heater will provide you with an economical way to heat and cool your house without having to tear it apart. They work with your internet and can be programmed to understand which areas of your house you use the most with motion sensors and also at what times. This allows them to decide where to turn the heat or air conditioner on and to what temperature. This way you aren’t heating the entire house for no reason.
You can also use smart light bulbs that will give you a report every month on how they were used so you can see if they are being used in the most efficient way possible. Smart curtains will also open and close depending on the sunlight and preferences of the homeowner.
Even the security of the house can be made smart. Doorbell cameras allow you to see what is happening on your porch or walkway remotely as soon as there is movement in front of the camera. Even smart locks can be installed so you can open the door remotely so you can let the dog walker in without needing to issue a key.
The age of the house shouldn’t have anything to do with the age of your appliances. You should upgrade them if the ones in the house you bought are older than 10 years old.
Chances are that they are costing you more money since they are not nearly as efficient as the ones available today that are energy-star rated. Focus on the big demand appliances first before replacing everything.
For instance, the hot water heater is a big drain on energy so a new one will cost you a fraction more to run than the old one. Tankless water heaters are usually more efficient and take up less space. In some parts of the country where winters are mild, then a heat pump is a good solution for heating your house (check out CM Heating's heat pump). They also work great with solar power, so you could end up with free heating and cooling if you have the right solar setup.
Washing machines are also very big energy hogs so one that uses less water, as well as less electricity, is going to be a wise investment. When you eventually replace all of the existing appliances, you will see some significant savings.