If you, like many of your fellow Americans, call an old house a home, then you’re probably wondering what you can do for your property. Industry experts are pointing to promising signs like moderate increases in real estate pricing and sales, an increasing population, and an improving job market to paint a promising housing portrait for 2016.
So in these delightful days of increasing home values, there are a number of ways you can increase your aging home’s life expectancy, value, and energy efficiency.
One of the very best courses of action is to replace old, wasteful appliances and fixtures with modern, energy efficient models. Regardless of whether you’re looking to increase your resale value or enjoying the long-term benefits of reducing energy consumption and slicing your utility bills, installing updated Energy Star appliances is a safe bet.
So let’s talk about water heaters for a moment. If your existing water heater is of the traditional, tank unit variety, and is approaching the end of its productive days (8-12 years from date of installation), then now’s the time to consider upgrading to a new tankless water heater.
Keeping Unwanted Water at Bay
It’s a well-documented fact that when old water heaters fail, they tend to fail spectacularly; flooding basements, crawlspaces, and closets with a torrent of sediment-filled water. And for many old homes, water is the enemy. A tankless unit is smarter than your traditional water heater, as it heats only the water you’re using, on-demand, as long as you need it. No tanks, no floods.
Saving Energy (and Money) With Tankless Water Heaters
Fortunately, in 2016, residential tankless water heaters are better and more popular than ever. These demand-type water heaters bring in big bucks in the long term. Because these continuous flow water heaters only heat the water you need (not the 40-gallons sitting around in an aging tank) when you need it, most household report a monthly saving of up to 40%, which leaves you with more cash to apply to additional energy-saving upgrades. Like that ultra low-flow showerhead you’ve had your eye on.
Long-Lasting Tankless Technology
Because tankless water heaters last more than twice as long as a traditional unit -- up to 25 years -- you can focus your home improvement enthusiasm elsewhere, like water efficient dual-flush toilets, perhaps?
Increase Functional Storage Space
One of the glories of a tankless water heating system is that they take up much less space than your traditional tank heater. And for a majority of old house dwellers, space is a valued commodity. Not only do on-demand water heater take up a lot less real estate, but if space is truly tight, they can even be installed outdoors. Leaving you more room for that high-efficiency furnace.
Keep it Clean
Lead is the bane of old homes. And while lead pipes are a thing of the past, and undoubtedly one of the very first home improvements made by subscribers to This Old House, it makes good sense to install a sediment-free, tankless water heater.
Whether you’re looking to move or settling in to your old home for the long haul, making some key energy-efficient improvements are a great way to give your aging house a cost-effective and minimally invasive facelift.