As much as we enjoy a stroll outside on a chilly December day, brisk winter air is best enjoyed outdoors.   We’re fortunate to have some beautiful, vintage homes throughout the Central Coast that offer ideal spots to spend this time of year, but we’ve come across quite a few that allow that cool winter air inside through cracks, gaps, leaks and holes. And while it may be among the most common issues we see, it’s also one of the most cost-effective to fix.

Let us know if this or any of these other common troubles sounds familiar.

Window Air Conditioning Units: You have hot rooms and beating weather on the South and West walls, which radiate that heat into those rooms, and it’s worse upstairs. So you think, “let’s pull the hot air out with window air conditioning units or attic vents.” This is an ineffective way of sucking hot air out of your home, and over your home’s lifetime it can add to the problem because you just gave the outside an easy source of entry into your home. Plus, it’s another unnecessary electrical load. So, what’s the solution? Glad you asked because that leads us to...

Air Sealing: Sealing the cracks and gaps that allow airflow to the outdoors, crawlspace and attic is your most cost-effective strategy for an uncomfortable home and many other energy efficiency issues.  When you have a well-sealed home, it can hold the comfortable temperature and quality of air you pay for. Additionally, the outside stays out, including reducing or eliminating sources of entry for bugs, rodents, or birds. The quality and amount of fresh air from known sources comes back within your control.

Insulation: The home population from the 1940s to the early 1990s could benefit greatly from an objective evaluation of their insulation. Insulation is a common-sense measure, and how well it is installed, and the material used, directly affects its cost-performance ratio.  Does it make sense to spend money on anything that doesn’t perform as promised or expected?

Indoor air quality and safety: While you’re planning your energy efficient home, consider how your home will impact your well being. Many local homes still have asbestos, which can contribute to many respiratory issues. It’s also a good idea to check the water heater, as improper installations are frequent. Fortunately, water heaters tend to have easy fixes, but significantly improve safety and performance.