Sunday, July 20, 2014

Small House, Big Problems

How much could maintaing a 1082 sqft house possible cost us. Uh, a lot. Our realtor was anxious to get her Christmas Money, and our home inspector was a joke, add to that our ignorance, and viola! We bought the house knowing the furnace was old but didn't think to much into the duct work in the almost un-navigatable crawlspace. We've been trying to get estimate to replace the furnace with a heat pump or HE furnace, plus rewrap/replace the ducts. Either people come out and never call us back, or just plain don't show up for the appointment at all. One company that had the nerve to come out for an estimate and didn't call us back, claimed to be a "Christian" organization. I hate when people use Jesus to sell stuff. I guess we're out in it now, aren't we.
So I'm brain storming. What are some creative, perhaps off-grid options for us? Our current AC unit is only 3 years old, so getting rid of it to convert to a heat pump might be kind of wasteful. The issue is with the furnace, it's 31 years old and has a cracked heat exchange and is leaking carbon monoxide into the house, just a tad. I don't think it's fixable.
This post is mostly brain storming options.
1. Just use the fire place
Well, it was built without a permit and cellulose has drifted into the fire box. I can dam it off and get the cellulose out. That's a easy fix. Fire places are smoke, dirty, and inefficient. Is there a better way?
2. Space heater?
3. Window AC unit only?
4. re-wrap and mastic/seal the ducts ourselves.
Just need a babysitter, or a little hazmat suit, and mask for our daughter

In thinking about not heating and cooling the entire home, I wonder if this would aggravate the failing paint situation I already dealt with this past winter. I think the seller did not live in the house for the 6-8 months it was on the market, and therefore did not run the HVAC system. This causes wide temperature and moisture fluctuations, which can cause paint to peel, for one thing.
So maybe going backwards with the HVAC setup isn't what I want to do. Plus, I want to improve the resale value, if I can, not turn this place into a hobo shack. Yes, my current, and slow paced landscaped projects might suggest otherwise. But I want to make this place better than how I got it, AND eliminate any trace of the previous owner. Since he pissed me off so bad.
So that leaves getting under the house and rewrapping and sealing it ourselves. Not the most pleasant idea, but there it is. My husband just had to go under there to re-glue a pipe that popped apart from a joint that wasn't glued right, or has to much pressure on it. Basically, our crawl was a grey water space for some time. The drainage field dried out and began cracking too. Derp. We thought it was the drought, no, there was no water going into the septic. Oops.

Well, here's hoping we get the HVAC squared away by November.

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