Fixing up a historic home can be the ultimate in green living. If you own one of Pasadena’s gems, you’ll preserve precious natural and cultural resources when you choose to restore rather than demolish and rebuild, and you’ll add to the growing treasure trove of historic properties that give our community its unique character.
Follow these tips from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to keep your vintage home eco-friendly:
• Keep the original windows. If you caulk and weatherstrip all doors and windows, studies show they seal out cold and heat just as well as new ones.
• Stay cooler in summer with light exterior paint, and plant shade trees on the south and west sides of your house. (Check www.PWPweb.com for shade tree rebates.) Restore your porch, awning or shutters, which remain a timeless energy-saving innovation for providing shade. Older homes were designed cooler with cross ventilation from plenty of windows, so throw open the sash and use fans instead of turning on your AC.
• Older homes can be drafty in winter. Cut your heating bills by 20 percent by insulating the attic, and install an attic door cover, dryer vent seals and a fireplace draft stopper to cut energy waste by 30 percent.
For information on tax breaks for restoring a historic Pasadena home, visit
www.cityofpasadena.net, keywords “Mills Act.”