Living in an older home means enjoying plenty of charm and stylish details that you just don’t see in new construction anymore. However, it also means living with items that can create potential problems if they start to break down or simply aren’t as efficient as what we have today. If you have an older home, consider replacing the following items.
Windows and Doors
Image via Flickr by InAweofGod’sCreation
Even though they don’t build houses like they used to, when it comes to the windows and doors on your house, what you can get today is vastly more efficient. The glass in old windows and doors is single-pane, which doesn’t retain the heat like today’s dual-pane windows do. In fact, modern dual-pane windows are about twice as effective at holding in air conditioning and heat as single-pane windows from just a few decades ago. Additionally, there are often leaks around the old panes and sills.
Old electrical wiring in a home has two main issues: safety and convenience. Electrical wiring lasts as long as the wire’s insulation. Once that goes, the wire becomes exposed and the risk of short circuits, shocks, and electrical fire increases. Wiring installed before 1960 will last around 70 years, while new wiring installed today can go at least 100 years. Additionally, homes with older electrical wiring often don’t have enough outlets to handle all the electronics we use today.
Your biggest risk with old or substandard plumbing is having the pipes burst and dealing with water damage in your home. A serious flood could mean thousands of dollars worth of damage, leaving your home uninhabitable for weeks. There’s also the risk of mold problems that form because of leaks. While copper and brass pipes can last around 50 years, steel pipes sometimes don’t make it 20 years. If you know the pipes in your home are old, you might want to upgrade to plastic pipes that can give you another 40 or 50 years.
Depending on the age of your home, you might not even have a HVAC system or central air conditioning. If you do, keep in mind that the average life span of a furnace is 15 to 30 years, and the average life span of a central air conditioning unit is around 20 years. If you still have some years left on this equipment, don’t forget about the ducts. Most experts recommend a duct cleaning every three to five years to improve air quality inside a home.
It’s a given that older homes have older roofs. The problem with an older roof is that you could have issues with water damage, pest damage, and inefficient insulation. Once leaks begin to occur, it could cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair the damage. If the problems are in one area, you could repair that section. However, if the roof is widely damaged, it could make more sense to replace the entire thing.
As you continue to enjoy the charm and character of your older home, make sure you’re prepared for the things you might need to replace down the road.