Saturday, August 23, 2014

HVAC Mahem

I can't sleep, but what's done is done. Monetary loss later. Was it worth it. I'm not sure. We just sunk an uncomfortable amount of money into an HVAC revamp. I'm not sure how much was really needed. It all started with the 31 year old furnace paired to a 3 year old AC unit. Heating and cooling wise the house stayed comfortable. Met what ever demands we put on it. We demand a lot. A constant temp of around 70 degrees F. The utilities want you to set your stuff at 78 in summer and 65 in winter, so basically, don't ever run your stuff. I suppose where I live, I might just be able to do that. But the house would get humid. I'm second guessing our decision to replace the ducts and switch from a propane furnace to a heat pump. If the utility bills drop enough, maybe it will have been worth it. But my logic keeps going back to the same formula I run for every investment in this house. It's a tiny house. So putting a HE new HVAC system on it, doesn't negate the fact that it's still a tiny cottage of a house and only is of interest to a niche market. It's like putting a fancy HVAC system on a trailer. I guess if we live here long enough, then it was for our own comfort and that's OK.
It was a difficult decision. The AC was new but the furnace was not and was leaking carbon monoxide into the house. Plus, it's set up some how passed the code inspection, but is not up to code. Welcome to Podunk.
The cheapest thing would be to just replace the old furnace with a new HE furnace.
But the ducts where half unwrapped and 30% air leakage, not that 30% is really terrible. I read most new houses test at 30%. I wasn't sure what state the ducts where in. I did know that animals had been nesting in it. So it seemed like they where dirty, and had gaps.
We where told it would be cheaper, and maybe required to replace the ducts with new ones up to code. We went with a company who advertises being efficiency focused. Still, the new ducts still tested at 13% but, one vent wasn't fully covered, so maybe more like 8-10%. Is that good?
The new unit is gigantic, I wish they would have mentioned that, and asked if I might want it in a different spot, I would have said, "Yes." It's a 4'x3' eye sore. How am I going to hide it? It's ruining the esthetics of the little country house, with the big ass AC unit. Sigh.
I had kept saying maybe we should go with a lesser unit, less SEERS, maybe new ducts and an HE furnace. It's so hard to say. Because you don't know how each scenario will play out until you're in it. Know we have a new AC unit in our shed, and 250 gallons of propane. I feel, that maybe we made another hasty decision. We have a carbon monoxide detector. We could have at least used up the propane.
So what the hell happened? I guess we got tired of thinking about it, tired of estimates. Wanted to get it taken care of already. It's nice to have new ducts, but on a house with a foundation issue, pillar post beetle and termite damage, and wood rot, maybe we sunk our money into the wrong thing.
It's another reason I want to get away from these things all together.
Just do simple stuff, window unit, wood stove, no lawn.
I'll never be able to replace the money we just spent. And I just don't think it's going to increase the resale value of the home that much.
Not with that gigantic gray eyesore outside in plain sight, next to the drive way.