How do I keep the 150 year old farm house warm during the winter
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!
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It might feel better if you can get rid of some of the dampness. Are you running a dehumidifier? That might really help. :)
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.
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.
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. http://www.oldhouseweb.com/blog/adding-wall-insulation
If you plan on doing any interior renovation it sounds like that is the time to add insulation.
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.