Did You Know?

There are tax incentives available for improving the energy efficiency of your historic building. Not only could your project qualify for a historic preservation tax credit, but it may also be eligible for federal income tax incentives for energy efficiency. Learn more about these credits from the non-profit Tax Incentives Assistance Project.

Weatherizing and Improving the Energy Efficiency of Historic Buildings

Weatherization means implementing cost-effective measures to make a building's envelope more energy efficient. Weatherizing a historic building requires undertaking those measures in ways that have minimal impact on the historic building's design and materials.

Graphic drawing of a house, showing air leakage pathways.

Common Air Leaks
Air infiltrates into and out of a home through every hole and crack. About one-third of this air infiltrates through openings in ceilings, walls, and floors.

Energy Audit

An energy audit should be undertaken before energy-improvement measures are implemented. The audit evaluates the building's current thermal performance and identifies any deficiencies in the building envelope or mechanical systems.

Modify User Behavior

User behavior and climate have a great effect on energy use and should be considered before developing a weatherization and energy efficiency plan.

Develop a Plan

Developing a plan tailored specifically to your building, site, climate, and occupancy will be an effective tool in reducing energy consumption.

Air Infiltration

Air infiltration is the exchange of air through cracks and gaps in the outside shell of a building. There are many simple, low-cost improvements that can reduce air infiltration in your historic building, such as caulking and weather-stripping.

Windows & Doors

Historic windows and doors can often be repaired or upgraded to improve energy efficiency and occupant satisfaction.

Efficient Systems

The efficiency of mechanical and electrical systems plays a large role in energy use. Ensuring that existing systems are functioning as efficiently as possible or upgrading to new, more-efficient systems can substantially reduce energy consumption with minimal impact on the historic building.

Install Insulation

Installing insulation in certain spaces can be a cost-effective solution to heat loss. However, determining where to install insulation can be a more complex decision than many people realize.

Efficient Appliances

When choosing new appliances for your historic building, select products labeled ENERGY STAR, which meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

Shading Devices

Installing appropriate awnings on your building or planting deciduous trees can provide shade in the summer and reduce energy needs.