Homes built a century or more ago can create unique challenges for their owners. One of the most common is dealing with drafty or uncomfortably cold spaces. Built without the benefit of modern insulation, these homes may still contain substandard or insufficient amounts of insulation in their exterior walls, even if updates have been made.
Poorly insulated older homes can make some rooms, floors, or alcoves feel cold while other spaces can feel stuffy or too warm. Homeowners who are dealing with these uncomfortable temperature differences in their older home may be able to solve the problem by utilizing some of these preparation and heating installation tips.
Minimize Potential Heat Loss Issues
While adding more insulation in walls, attics, and floors is advised, the cost and labor involved in properly insulating a larger, older home can be significant. Families who will need to put off this type of major home improvement project for awhile can still make smaller changes to make their home more comfortable during the winter season.
Some ideas for doing this include:
- hanging insulated draperies over windows that can be opened or closed to take advantage of radiant heat from the sun
- applying inexpensive, clear plastic film to windows to insulate and reduce drafts
- adding thick rugs to cold floors to make them more comfortable
- using draft stoppers under exterior doors
It can also be worthwhile to spend some time caulking around windows, baseboards, dryer vents, and other areas where cracks and openings allow heat to be lost or cold drafts to enter the home.
Install Additional Heat Sources
Older homes that are uncomfortably cold in winter may already have furnaces that are working properly. But the lack of insulation coupled with draft issues prevents these systems from keeping up with the demand for heat in all areas of the home. Below are some good options to address this issue.
Installing one or more additional heat sources is an excellent way to combat this problem, on either a temporary or permanent basis. One option that should be considered is a mini split system, which can be sized to heat (and cool) many different sized areas.
Mini splits are known for quiet, dependable, efficient operation. They are also well-suited to older homes because they do not use ducts to circulate heated air. This heating installation option can usually be installed and fully operational in just a few hours.
Gas or Electric Forced Air Fireplaces
Older home owners may also want to consider installing gas or electric forced air fireplaces in areas of the home most affected by cold interior temperatures. Many of these models can be safely installed on the walls of bedrooms, living areas, and enclosed porches and then used on an as needed basis.
Older home owners can learn more about successfully dealing with uncomfortably cold interior spaces by discussing their situation with a reputable heating installation contractor in their area.