Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Heat, no seriously!

So anyway, long story short(ish) because I'm sort of tired of writing about it...we have heat.  Although, we didn't get it finished until Feb. 2nd, after the coldest winter in 20 years.  We ran four electric space heaters almost continuously, which ran our electric bill up over $400, and only kept us maybe 15 degrees warmer than outside temperatures.  Didn't freeze any pipes, amazingly enough, but it wasn't very comfortable.

We have two separate central heating systems, one for the downstairs and one for the upstairs--a necessity in an existing house like this.  The basement unit is a 93% efficiency unit and vents through PVC out the side of the house...which makes it a little odd seeing water vapor billowing up outside the dining room windows.  The upstairs unit is an 80% efficiency unit, because I was told that they don't really recommend higher efficiency for attics due to the condensation that they create.

I can whole heartedly recommend Hanna to anyone in the Wichita, KS area (ask for Danny).  They were the lowest priced bid that we received and the most professional acting company that we called.  They completed the downstairs--including the installation of duct-work and setting the unit--in one week and then finished the upstairs the next week.  The work is top notch and the units run efficiently and quietly.  They also did a commendable job at keeping the duct-work up and out of the way in the basement and against the walls in the attic to preserve as much floor space as possible.  And when the city inspector came to OK it, he couldn't say enough good things about the quality of the work.

So anyway, because I feel like I don't post enough pictures, this is what it looks like:

I think these are the first photos that I've posted that really show the basement.  This is only half of it, but there's not really much duct-work to show on the other side.

This unit resides in the unfinished back attic room that is directly over the sun room/sleeping porch.

And this shows the crazy looking flex-duct returns that have some extra kinks in them to cut down noise.

And there's the attic duct-work.

So anyway, all in all, not the best experience of my life, but I'm very pleased with the results.  If anyone's contemplating a similar project, let me break the costs down a little for you.  We spent about $1400 on electrical improvements: new breaker box, upgraded service to the house, wiring for the upstairs unit, and so on.  The actual installation of the duct-work and units cost $9500, but keep in mind that we still aren't set up for central air-conditioning, and that would probably run another $3000 or so according to one estimate we received.  Now the city did come through with $5000 to offset the installation cost because we qualified for some low-income assistance, but in order to get that money we also had to pay another contractor about $1200 to seal up any cracks in the basement floor and walls since our house sits over a contaminated water plume.

So $12,100 minus $5,000 equals $7,100, minus what we negotiated the purchase price of the house down to, and we didn't really come out too bad.  But as someone who actually isn't independently wealthy, it's painful writing checks with so many zeros.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Conan and Katherine, I know this kind of an old post, but I figured it could use some comment and congratulation at the end, so: Congratulations for finishing project heating! I absolutely love your blog, thank you! I think it is especially cool that you not just write about the new look you gave to the rooms but that you share all your smart and creative going-ons with the house (I also LOVE the search for the first owners of the house!) Looking forward to read even more! Greetings from Belgium, Elisabeth


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