by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Ding, dong the beast is dead! No, I’m not talking about a witch, but my electric furnace/heat pump. When I bought my house eighteen years ago, I had this marvelous heating and cooling machine that worked great for about six years, then it started getting cranky.
The first time was a winter night when I heard a Huey helicopter landing upstairs in my office; except there was no chopper. When I called HVAC guy to come inspect, it was a block of ice in the heat pump thingy that the fan blades were clanging against.
Turned on the emergency heat strips and proceeded to devise a gravity drain using my orange bucket and leftover aquarium tubing to catch the melting water. This contraption would prove invaluable over the coming years.
A year or two later sitting in my living room I heard drips. Never a good sign. There were not supposed to be drips. Followed the noise into the kitchen and found my ceiling was peeing water into the silverware basket of my dish drainer. From upstairs.
The drain line which goes outside from the heat pump had frozen, backed up the water and then more peeing ensued.
So there followed many more instances of peeing ceilings. After they ripped the innards out and put in bigger pipes in the unit I had the kitchen ceiling fixed. Not long after, more peeing once again. Gave up and left the hole as artwork.
So on a hot day in August, ninety-seven degrees to be exact, peeing and no cooling. Yes siree folks, the entire unit officially died dead.
Next came the bid rodeo. It came down to replace the electric furnace/heat pump with a split unit/furnace or with split unit/ductless. All in all the cost was either $12,800 or $13,600ish. Ack!
Doing my due diligence I called Energy Trust to ask the big question. Turns out the electric furnace is a major power suck, no matter how efficient.
Also, given how my row house is arranged, I wanted to improve the air flow and be able to regulate the temperature in each room; the only way to accomplish that was to go ductless. The best part? They would rip out the peeing beast, take it away and I would get a new closet. SOLD!
So for three days in October two great guys and one wild electrician were in every room of my house, the crawl space and the attic while drilling, sawing and making noise. Spec Ops Cat was not amused. They also covered all the carpet with floor coverings, so the entire house looked like it had a diaper.
Found the crawlspace door I had not touched in eighteen years. Then spent time chasing Spec Ops Cat to stay out of it! Most of the time he camped under my bed, unless they were working in there too.
I could sit in the LaZBoy or at the kitchen table since every other area was a construction zone. Managed to sort my tax receipts and read.
They dragged the metal beast out of the house in a driving rainstorm complete with thunder and lightning, which proves my point it was the devil’s spawn. It didn’t want to go. I did pray they were not lit up as lightning rods and they got back safely.
Now I am toasty warm. More so than I’ve ever been. I have to keep turning the heat down, the house is too warm. I’ve come to the conclusion the beast pretty much heated only itself in its final days.
Now I have four remotes, one for each unit. And yes, I have already stuffed things into the new closet, a staging space for when I can paint it pink and move in four more bookshelves and my personal yarn store.
Can’t wait to see my heating bill. Expect it to go down forty percent. Old furnace used 180 watts, all ductless units use 25 watts. More money for books!
Do you need a new closet?