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Rockville Connect
Sustainable Strategies

Energy Audits

  • A thorough energy audit is the first step to achieving energy efficiency. Local utilities and state energy agencies offer assistance with audits to help homeowners target leaks and identify cost-effective options for sealing them. See the City of Rockville's page on energy for more information.

Windows and Doors

  • Weatherstrip or caulk historic windows and doors in order to make them weather tight.
  • Install interior or exterior storm windows that are compatible with the historic windows already in place.
  • Retrofit windows with protective films to enhance insulation benefits.
  • Maintain or install historically appropriate shutters and awnings.

Weatherization, Insulation, and Ventilation

  •  Insulate unfinished spaces in your home, such as attics, crawl spaces and basements.
  • Avoid blown-in insulation in walls. This can prevent moisture from moving out of the building, cause structural damage and affect retention of exterior paint. Addressing air infiltration at electric outlets, doors and windows with weather-stripping, will reduce energy loss and raise the interior comfort level without introducing potential new maintenance problems.
  • Use low-expanding spray foam to stop leaks around pipe penetrations.
  • Use techniques such as caulking and weatherstripping to seal air-leaks.

Heating and Air Conditioning

  • Retain and maintain efficient HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems. Only upgrade HVAC systems to increase energy and performance within normal replacement cycles. Make sure to take into account whole-building performance when installing an energy-efficient system. Make sure air ducts are properly connected.
  • Use less intensive measures to supplement HVAC systems, such as programmable thermostats, ceiling fans, timers and vents.
  • Install high-efficiency, ductless air-conditioners when appropriate. These may be a more sensitive approach than installing a new, ducted, central air-conditioning system that may damage historic building materials.

Landscaping and Site Features

  • Maintain existing landscape and site features, including trees, shrubs and pathways, noting that mature landscapes are a typical historic element in a historic district. Use native plant materials as much as possible in your landscaping, to avoid either plant loss or extensive plant maintenance requirements.
  • Selective tree planting can help control excessive heating/cooling in your house. Plant deciduous trees on the south side of your house to screen summer heat; plant conifers on the north side to screen winter winds.
  • Maintain historic roofing materials that are in good condition.
  • Maintain existing stormwater management features, such as gutters, cisterns and natural topography.
  • Consider the installation of rain barrels to use on your garden as needed; and install rain gardens to control run off and soil erosion.

Building Materials

  • When repairs, upgrades and alterations are necessary, use recycled materials instead of newly manufactured products. The construction materials that have the greatest potential for recycling include the following:
    • Framing lumber
    • Dimension lumber (such as 1x boards)
    • Molding
    • Windows and Doors
    • Hardware
    • Wood flooring
    • Sinks and tubs
    • Kitchen stoves
    • Brick and concrete
    • Lighting
    • Wood and steel windows


  • Use low -VOC paints and adhesives when rehabilitating your historic home.
  • When applicable, use lead-safe paint removal methods. The federal government provides helpful information about lead.

New Elements

  • Identify primary and secondary elevations of your historic property.
  • Propose installation of solar panels or skylights on secondary elevations.
  • Consider geothermal energy when replacing your heating/cooling system.

Go Green Everyday

Anyone can easily use these methods to make their home greener and more energy-efficient… 
  • Use compact fluorescent light (CFL) or LED bulbs – one bulb will save you $30 over its lifetime and it uses 75 percent less energy and lasts ten times longer than incandescent light bulbs
  • Use light timers, occupancy sensors and dimmers to cut down on the time and amount of light use
  • Use flow-reducing washers in sink faucets and showerheads to cut your home’s water consumption by up to 50 percent
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products that are compatible with historic finishes
  • Use bio-degradable trash bags
  • Select an energy provider who uses renewable resources such as wind or solar power

How do I implement these measures in the City of Rockville?