The old home I inherited from my parents has been a labor of love. Sadly, both passed away within a few weeks of each other last December. As strange as it was, they both died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from years of smoking cigarettes. Thankfully, that is one habit I avoided completely. Yet, I’m reminded of it everyday as I keep trying to repaint all of the slowly yellowed white walls all throughout the four bedroom home. Their plumbing wasn’t up to code and there was a partial blockage from root damage, where tree roots literally grow into and break PVC or metal piping. None of these fixes were cheap, but I was lucky to have some money left from the inheritance to get the house to a place where it would be comfortable for me. That also meant replacing all of the flimsy crank style windows with brand new, energy efficient double pane glass windows. These drastically improve the performance of the central heating and cooling system. The other area I wanted to adjust to increase HVAC performance was the location of the return vent. Before, it was at floor level and struggled to keep good circulation throughout the house. Now, I have several return vents on the ceiling in different zones of the house, drastically increasing efficiency simply from distributing the load across multiple lines instead of one. I ended up having to replace the ductwork entirely since the modifications would have been too difficult otherwise, always opening the possibility of damaging the existing ventilation when trying to add more. The cost in the end was well over $5,000 because of the size of this house.