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From Draughty To Cosy | Transforming Older Homes With Modern Solutions

10 Apr 2024 | home & cosy

(collaborative post)

Do you live in an older home with charm to spare but draughts that could chill you to the bone? You’re not alone. Many beautiful vintage homes come with quirks, including a lack of modern insulation and heating systems. 

However, fear not! Upgrading your home to be warm and energy-efficient doesn’t require sacrificing its character. Let’s walk through some smart, modern solutions that can turn any chilly old house into a cosy, warm haven.

Double or triple glazing

Older homes often come with single-pane windows, which are notorious for letting out heat and letting in cold. A straightforward fix is replacing them with double or triple-glazed windows. This upgrade can drastically reduce heat loss, block out external noise, and cut down on your heating bills. 

What’s more, modern glazing can be designed to match the aesthetic of your home, so you don’t have to compromise on style for the sake of comfort.

Heating systems overhaul

Many historic properties are stuck with outdated heating systems that are as efficient as a sieve is at holding water. If this sounds like your home, consider installing a modern boiler. Or, better yet, a more sustainable option like a heat pump. These systems are better for the environment and significantly cheaper to run. 

For those with a fireplace, why not swap out an old, smoky wood burner for a cleaner, more efficient wood-burning stove?

Smart thermostats

One of the joys of modern technology is smart thermostats. These devices allow you to control your heating remotely via your smartphone. This means no more heating an empty home or coming back to a cold house. They learn your schedule and adjust temperatures according to when you’re home, saving energy and money in the process.

Insulation upgrades

Insulation is often out of sight, out of mind. However, it’s a hero when it comes to keeping your home warm. Start with the loft—heat rises, and without proper insulation up top, it’s just escaping out of your roof. 

Wall insulation is next. If you have cavity walls, filling them is a simple project. For solid walls, external or internal insulation might be the way to go. Companies like Next Energy UK offer external wall insulation that can dramatically reduce heat loss without disrupting the interior of your home.


Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. Old homes can be draughty, but sealing up gaps in floorboards and around windows and doors can significantly cut down on cold air entering your home. Draught-proofing is one of the most cost-effective ways to make your home warmer and more energy-efficient.

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LED lighting

Replacing old incandescent bulbs with LEDs is not only better for your energy bills but also for the environment. LED bulbs last longer and use a fraction of the energy, which means less waste and fewer changes.

Renewable energy

If you’re ready for a more substantial project, consider investing in renewable energy sources like solar panels or a small wind turbine. Not only could this reduce your reliance on the grid and lower your bills, but you might also benefit from government incentives for generating your own energy.

Reclaimed and sustainable materials

When it comes to renovations and repairs, selecting the right materials is not just a matter of style—it’s an environmental decision too. Using reclaimed wood not only brings a piece of history into your home but also reduces the demand for new timber, which helps to preserve our forests. 

Similarly, opting for recycled glass in windows or as decorative elements can add a unique charm to your property while minimising your carbon footprint. Sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, and recycled steel are other great choices that are durable and have minimal adverse effects on the planet. 

Update your appliances

Old appliances aren’t just eyesores—they’re energy hogs. Many older models were not designed with energy efficiency in mind, which means they can significantly increase your electricity bills. 

Replacing them with new, energy-efficient models can reduce your home’s electricity use dramatically. Not only will these appliances reduce your carbon footprint, but they also operate more quietly and effectively, bringing modern convenience to your home without sacrificing style. 

Garden considerations

Finally, viewing your garden as an extension of your home can transform how you interact with your outdoor space. Planting trees and shrubs isn’t just about beautification; many plants can act as natural windbreakers and improve your home’s insulation. 

During the winter, they can reduce the wind chill affecting your home, and in the summer, their foliage provides shade, keeping your interiors cooler. Strategic planting can also enhance privacy and reduce noise pollution, creating a tranquil outdoor retreat. 

Final thoughts

Transforming an older home into a cosy, efficient space is definitely achievable with these modern upgrades. Each step not only contributes to a more comfortable living environment but also respects and preserves the historical integrity of the property. 

Start with small changes and work your way up to bigger projects, and before you know it, your charming old house will be as warm and welcoming as a new build—without losing any of its character.

This post was published in collaboration with a content partner. The article is meant to inspire you how to live a slow, simple, soulful and sustainable lifestyle and may contain (affiliate) links to articles, websites or products/services that may be of interest to you.

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