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Historic Homes: Heating 101

Historic Homes: Heating 101

In the Lakewood and greater Denver-area housing markets, finding a home with historic value is like finding a diamond in the rough. To have enduring character while meeting modern code and lifestyle standards is the perfect icing on the cake for a substantial investment in one of America’s most competitive housing markets. Plus, historic homes easily shine in the midst of master planned communities and modern suburban developments across the Front Range.

But, many belief heating and cooling a historic home successfully calls or more dated techniques and so-called ‘compatible’ technology from the past. This simply is not true. One common myth about central air in a historic home is that a modern duct system, furnace unit and air condenser unit may ruin the integrity of the house itself. This is not true, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are small-duct central heating and cooling systems that may be more suitable for a historic home, as those homes are generally smaller in size than more modern ones.

Historic homes tend to be drafty, simply because of their older structure and, in certain cases, hand-built renovations. The best way to face potential insulation problems in a home with these historic features is to focus on window and door openings. These openings are easily made draft-free with proper weather sealing. Plus window and door frames in older homes tend to be made with heavier, more substantial lumber, so sealing up the gaps between them and the doors and window panes inside is all you will need to ensure air doesn’t sneak in or out.

But, it’ no crime to utilize the heating mechanism of the past. Using that central wood-burning stove or chimney can easily heat an old house in minutes, and with the right ventilation, they can keep the house cozy all winter long. Ask a local HVAC expert about the most efficient, cost-effective options for keeping a historic home comfortable and dry this heating season.

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