A Luxury More Than a Necessity.
Next to not having a full basement, the most scarce amenity in the typical San Carlos home is probably air conditioning. If you’ve tripped through enough open houses in San Carlos, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the conspicuous absence of air conditioning in the vast majority of homes. But as the temperature in San Carlos has been teetering around the 90 degree mark over the past few days, that nagging thought always starts to creep into the mind of homeowners — should we get air conditioning?
The reason most homes in San Carlos don’t have air conditioning is that they don’t need it. Why? Today is a perfect example — at 6:00 today in San Carlos it was about 85 degrees — certainly warm enough to get an itchy trigger finger to flip on the AC (if you indeed have AC). But at exactly the same time in Half Moon Bay, only about 10 miles away as the crow flies, it was 62 degrees and socked in with fog. That’s a 23 degree difference in a relatively short distance. Two hours later in San Carlos, it’s a perfect 70 degrees.
That’s why most homeowners forgo the expense of an air conditioning unit – because Mother Nature already provides the service for free. On the typical summer day while the rest of the country is sweltering, the marine layer that pushes onto the coast every afternoon and evening provides natural cooling for communities on the north peninsula.
The Two Week Exception.
Because Mother Nature likes to throw things into reverse every so often just to see if we’re paying attention, there’s usually two or three weeks in the entire year when the marine layer goes surfing, so to speak. This reverse weather pattern brings in all of that distressed and foreclosed air from the central valley toward us and makes things downright uncomfortable as temps then top the century mark. It’s particularly noticeable in older homes that aren’t that well insulated, and in the upper floors of multi-level homes. For those in San Carlos who do have air conditioning, it’s during these times that you’re able to laugh at the rest of us tightwads. But those heat waves only last a few days to a week at a time, and then we’re back to our typical blissful weather.
So if you’re new to the area and wondering why you don’t see air conditioning in most of the homes, now you know why. Hey, if you’re going to shell over a million dollars (or more) for a home, something better be included, right?
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