Thursday, May 3, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

A year ago today I posted about viewing two old houses in Mt. Tabor the Mr. W and I were interested in potentially purchasing.  And today I am typing about it from one of them!  I can't believe how blessed we are to have been able to fulfill this dream!  It certainly wasn't an easy process, but I think it will be totally worth it in the end.
Were are all freezing inside right now.  The unseasonably hot weather we had on Moving Day has been replaced with more expected cloudy, raininess.  Mr. W thought the blower was out, but when I had an old HVAC associate out to repair it he informed we that the blower was functioning well for a house of this size, but rather the burner was kaput. Actually the blower switch was in an inconspicuous place and the old blower switch was still labeled as such so it wasn't surprising that Mr. W thought it was the blower that wasn't working.  Rebuilding the burner would take longer than the time slot he was allotted so he rescheduled to come back on Friday, which isn't until tomorrow!  So cold!  We also had an estimator out from the same company to provide us with pricing to convert to natural gas.  Everyone is impressed with the current furnace, and not necessarily in a good way, because it is the original coal burning furnace which was at some point converted to burn oil.  It is enormous!   We are hoping to be able to afford it next spring so we need to repair this furnace enough to make it through one more winter.  Apparently it is so old it is indestructible, it just isn't as efficient as it could be, and we'd rather not be using fossil fuels.
We asked him to provide an estimate to include the following:
  • Convert the furnace to natural gas
  • Convert the water heater to natural gas
  • Add a gas insert to the fireplace
  • Run a gas line to the stove 
  • Run a gas line to the dryer
  • Run a gas line to a future barbeque grill
The cost will likely be astronomical, which is why we need to wait until next year so we can save up.  We were told that the gas company doesn't charge to hook up to natural gas if you buy a new furnace and water heater. 
The cold has motivated me to get in contact with the insulating estimator I had out during the inspection process.  Once we discovered the seller and their agent went AWOL and we'd have to rescind our initial offer I became very discouraged.  I completely dropped the ball with the estimator since I wasn't sure we'd ever even get the house.  But now that we're moved in I've contacted him again to proceed with the estimate.
Our plan there is to add paper backed, batt insulation to the roof cavity of the attic.  When we discovered the house was balloon framed, I thought we could blow in insulation into the wall cavities too.  Upon further reflection, and consultations we realize that we'll still be left with cold spots where the insulation can't spread like under windows as well as any spots where there might be cross member blocking.  However, we figure some is better than none.  And in the future we can drill from the exterior to have insulation blown into those areas under windows, etc. where we no the insulation won't reach. I'd want to do this exterior drilling prior to a new exterior paint job.
While I was discussing the insulation conditions with a piano expert she recommended we contact Energy Trust.  I'm not sure if Mr. W would be interested in that, but it might be a good idea just to see what they say.  My understanding is that they also can provide you with tax credits based upon the work you do, so it seems like it could be advantageous.  We shall see.

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