Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Historic Homes.

Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Historic Homes.


This is, by far, one of the best pieces you and Rob have written.

This is PRECISELY what I have been saying to many of my clients who are purchasing older homes, for years now.


I have one comment about air sealing and windows. When installing new storm windows to a historic building proper air sealing of the cavity must be completed so the storm window will be effective. Most older buildings, 100+ years old, have large voids between the window jamb and wall frame. these are called weight pockets. The weight and pulley system is what balances the sashes and allows the to open and close easily. I have seen very large windows in historic buildings that actually have 3-5 pound weights, sometimes made out of solid lead.

When installing storm windows to increase energy efficiency many times the scope of work will call for the original sashes to be removed and refurbished. Then the weights and pulleys are removed and dense pack cellulose insulation is installed, not only in the weight pockets but under the sill and above the header. A vinyl track is usually installed to allow the sashes to operate easily and then the storm window can be installed and be effective.

Just my 2c worth.

Great article!!! Thanks.

I don’t like this Global Warming hysteria crap:

" the public becomes increasingly aware of environmental dangers associated with the burning of fossil fuels, home energy efficiency has become more than a fringe concern."

I don’t see any mention of adding blown-in insulation to wall cavities. This is not difficult, especially on wood sided homes.

No mention of updating HVAC systems, adding insulated ducts, etc.

Great job overall.

Very nice.

I will add a link to this article on my web site.

I did a 1929 energy performance job yesterday and it in fact was better built and performing above all of the multi-million dollar new homes I inspected this month, except the air leakage rate. The new windows did not address the area between the window and framing. Leaks everywhere! Simple and cost effective to repair, but was a huge efficiency liability.