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Turn your charming old house into an energy-efficient home » Yale Climate Connections

If your house is more than 30 years old, it may be due for an energy upgrade.

There are more than 100 million homes in the United States.

“And about 68% of those were built before the first energy codes were enacted in the early 90s,” says Chrissi Antonopoulos of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

She says energy codes set standards for insulation, window performance, and how airtight a house is. However, many homes built before the codes do not meet the standards.

So air leaks through cracks and crevices.

“Some estimates say that a typical residential building built in the 40s or 50s will lose the equivalent of having a window open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she says.

And older homes often lack sufficient insulation. So they lose heat through the walls and roof. And when it’s cold, residents rack up high energy bills.

But Antonopoulos says energy upgrades — like air sealing and adding insulation — can be simple and cost-effective. And they’re often subsidized by utilities or government programs like tax credits.

So you can turn your charming old house into one that’s more airtight and efficient, too.

Read: Tips: How to weatherize your home

Reporting credit: Richa Malhotra / ChavoBart Digital Media

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