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Community and Q&A

How to make my 1966 home more thermally efficient?

GBA Editor | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I am retired and faced with very large heating bills. The weather in NJ has been quite cold and snowy for us. Our home was contractor built
in 1966. 2×4 walls with 3″ on insulation. The windows are wood but not as tight as today, but the stroms windows leak to a point that we get snow
between them and the window. The house is a colonial salt box, The front is one storey, two stories in the rear. There was no insulation in the frount. I have tried to put some over the years but not sure how much good it really does.

With limited funds what is your guess as to the place to start.


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  1. user-723121 | | #1


    Is there an attic to this house?, if so, I would start there with some air sealing, proper venting and some additional insulation. To make a house more comfortable, start at the top and seal those attic bypasses.

  2. Jesse Smith | | #2

    Tom - NJ currently has some of the best incentives in the country to do what you're describing.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    You need to start with a good home energy audit. Find out from your local electric utility or state energy office whether there are any programs or incentives for subsidized audits in your area.

    Depending on your income, you may be eligible for free weatherization from the Weatherization Assistance Program. Income limits for this program were raised last year.

    A good home energy audit should include a blower-door test, and will probably involve the use of an infrared camera. After the energy audit, the auditor or home-performance contractor should provide you with a list of recommended weatherization measures.

    In addition to air sealing (and possibly adding insulation) to your attic, it will probably be worthwhile to perform air sealing work in your basement, especially around the rim joist area.

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