How do I keep the 150 year old farm house warm during the winter

by Dan33195440

The old farmhouse has insulation in the attic but no insulation in the walls. It sits on a basement with fieldstone walls. It’s damp, drafty, and cold! I’ve replaced the windows and tuck pointed the foundation exterior. A new furnace was installed two years ago. Please tell me how to keep a house warm without central heat and keep it warm in the coldest of winter months in Pennsylvania? Brrr! It’s getting colder and the house is damp and chilly!

  5 answers
  • on Oct 16, 2018

    It might feel better if you can get rid of some of the dampness. Are you running a dehumidifier? That might really help. :)

    • Dan33195440 Dan33195440 on Oct 16, 2018

      Yes, thanks for the tip! I have a dehumidifier running in the basement which is helping but the house remains too damp and drafty. Incidentally, the house sits on an open lot not tree covered and has a South-North Exposure ( front to back.) The East-West exposures face mountainous terrain. The valley I’m in always has fog on rainy days.

  • Kauai Breeze Kauai Breeze on Oct 16, 2018

    If the walls are studs with an air space, you can have an insulation company blow in insulation between the studs. (They cut a circular whole in the wall to blow insulation in, but they are very good at patching it when they are finished). Being that the house is 150 years old I would bet the exterior walls are double boarded (no studs or space). You can pull out an electrical outlet to see what the walls are like behind it. Our house was like that and we gutted each room and added studs inside so we could add insulation and modern wiring. If you are not remodeling, the only alternative is to add styrofoam insulation sheets on the outside, under the siding. You would also insulate the floor between the basement and first floor. If the basement is damp, use foam sheets wedged between the floor joists.

    • Dan33195440 Dan33195440 on Oct 16, 2018

      I will start with foam insulation between the basement and first floor. Basement has dehumidifier running and first floor remains damp 75 percent with a humidistat. Blowing insulation maybe the next step! Thanks for your kind and thorough reply!

  • Linda Linda on Oct 16, 2018

    I lived in a 100 year old farmhouse when I was a teenager and I completely understand how cold it can be. Use insulated drapes on the windows to help block the cold from coming inside the window and give the window a caulk around the edges. Your floor pay be allowing cold to come in also. Consider large area rugs to help with the floors. And last good insulation in the attic. This is just a start but will hopefully help.

  • Gk Gk on Oct 16, 2018

    At some point you need to add insulation to the walls. I am not sure how your home is constructed but perhaps you can use blown in insulation but then again--maybe not in an old home--it would depend on whether or not it could get distributed evenly.

    If you plan on doing any interior renovation it sounds like that is the time to add insulation.

  • Emily Bryant Emily Bryant on Oct 16, 2018

    Rugs will help. You can get big tapestry rugs and hang them on walls as a sort of decor/ insulation. As well as all over the floors if no carpet is present.