My house is around two hundred years old and has been an expensive project.
The house is big and just about everything is original.
Very few updates have been made over the years. We needed to replace wiring, plumbing, the roof and the entire HVAC system. Trying to heat and cool such a huge house is a nightmare. Because of the high ceilings, the heat tends to rise up and leave the area close to the floor chilly. The house seems to trap moisture in the summer yet becomes overly dry in the winter. The windows were definitely allowing a tremendous amount of our heated and cooled air to escape. Standing in front of any of the windows during cold weather, it was easy to feel a significant draft. In the summer, I blamed the excessive amounts of bugs coming inside on the windows. Despite the fact that most of the windows were painted shut, they were not airtight. They were also single pane and not Energy Star qualified. I made it my mission to replace the windows. Each window cost several hundred dollars, but I saved some money by learning how to install them myself. It took several years to get all of the many windows updated. Each one made an improvement in comfort and the cost of heating and cooling. I ended up spending several thousand dollars on new windows, so it will take awhile to recover the investment. However, tightening up the house not only increases efficiency but helps with air quality and reduces wear and tear on the furnace and air conditioner.