Can This Home Be Greened? Ohio Overhaul: Giving a 1940s Home an Efficiency Upgrade

Despite an energy-conscious couple’s best efforts, their utility bills remain high. Their 1940s Cape Cod-style home needs an efficiency upgrade.

| July/August 2010

  • Carpet traps allergens that pets track in from outdoors.
    Photo By Eric Elizondo
  • With aluminum siding, single-pane windows and an uninsulated basement, the house is drafty and inefficient.
    Photo By Eric Elizondo
  • Homeowners Maureen and James Bumgarner need to upgrade their Cape Cod-style home's efficiency.
    Photo By Eric Elizondo
  • Increasing efficiency by sealing leaks and installing new windows and awnings would reduce the cost of solar energy down the road.
    Photo Illustration By Nate Skow
  • The home's large windows make it sunny, but single-pane glass loses a lot of heat.
    Photo By Eric Elizondo
  • Maureen and James can refinish the hardwood under their carpet.
    Photo By Philip Beaurline
  • Ohio offers an $8,500 incentive toward solar panels in addition to federal tax credits.

“Can we maintain the authenticity that comes with a 1940s home and neighborhood while honoring our commitment to sustainability?”
Maureen Bumgarner

Maureen and James Bumgarner's 1947 home in Dayton, Ohio, is a typical post-World War II residence with a concrete foundation wall, aluminum-sided exterior walls framed with two-by-four wood studs, and a wood-rafter roof. The house is charming, but it wasn’t built for efficiency. Though Maureen and James are very energy-conscious, their utility bills are high.

A few minor changes could greatly increase the older home’s efficiency and offer a lot of bang for the couple’s renovation buck. With the money these improvements save the Bumgarners on utilities, the couple should be able to afford to give the old home the major renovations and cosmetic fixes it also needs.

1. The original windows are outdated.



Problem: The home’s many windows are inefficient and outdated. The original wooden single-pane windows are in poor condition, and the storm windows have many air gaps.

Solution: Windows are a big investment, but they greatly improve a home’s energy efficiency and acoustical qualities. The Bumgarners should invest in high-quality windows to save the most energy. Federal and state governments offer tax credits to help offset the windows’ cost, though the federal dollar cap is set at $1,500.

Cost: $15,000 for 17 windows (including basement windows); federal, state and local tax credits may help offset cost.

2. The carpet is old and traps allergens.

lillianhofstader
1/9/2014 7:19:27 AM

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