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  1. #1
    Lucia Smith's Avatar
    Lucia Smith Guest

    Default CA; Heating Alternatives for OLD OLD House

    Hello, fixing/restoring/updating/cussing a 1901 House. Pulled out permits for heating, and city is ok with either wall or a whole heating/cooling unit on attic etc.

    I do not have the funds for an expensive heating/cooling unit as for now since other on going projects are going on, and am not really loving the wall units that are sold at Lowes/Homedepot.

    What other up to code heating alternatives exist for CA?
    Lucia

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    2,478

    Default Re: CA; Heating Alternatives for OLD OLD House

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucia Smith View Post
    Hello, fixing/restoring/updating/cussing a 1901 House. Pulled out permits for heating, and city is ok with either wall or a whole heating/cooling unit on attic etc. I do not have the funds for an expensive heating/cooling unit as for now since other on going projects are going on, and am not really loving the wall units that are sold at Lowes/Homedepot. What other up to code heating alternatives exist for CA?
    Lucia
    Wall heaters are my least favorite methods of heating. I do not feel they provide much heat beyond the immediate area of the appliance itself.

    Floor heaters were commonly used in Victorians (at least in my area). I have known people who have burned their feet. Not sure if you can still purchase floor heaters or not.

    Electric baseboard has a low purchase/install cost, but is expensive to operate.

    Heat pumps would probably be a similar purchase/install cost to forced air, but are more expensive to operate.

    Hot water/radiant is not used much, is very comfortable, reportedly efficient and has a high install cost.

    Wood burning stoves have a lot of EPA regulations on them and, in some areas, cannot be installed at all.

    The most common and arguably the most cost-effective heating used in CA is forced-air. I would recommend a high efficiency, variable speed gas forced air. If you are not in a remarkably hot part of CA, you can add air conditioning later, as long as the system was designed with that in mind.

    Your best bet is to contact a licensed heating contractor and they can give you options and costs. Most can also provide an estimated operation cost as well.

    Hope this helps

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  3. #3
    Lucia Smith's Avatar
    Lucia Smith Guest

    Default Re: CA; Heating Alternatives for OLD OLD House

    Thank you! I finally got some ideas, I got tired of asking the gum chewing kid at Lowes who had a blank look.

    I agree, the wall unit is BLAH. The hot water radiator you mentioned got my attention, so I'll look into that also, along with the high efficiency unit.

    Thank you again!
    Lucia
    P.S. I do cuss but still love the Old house.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    2,478

    Default Re: CA; Heating Alternatives for OLD OLD House

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucia Smith View Post
    I got tired of asking the gum chewing kid at Lowes who had a blank look.
    Hey, they provide a useful function... Much needed carbon dioxide for our plants to absorb.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: CA; Heating Alternatives for OLD OLD House

    If the house is 2 storey, it is likely balloon frame, where they built the walls full height and then hung the floors inside the frame. In any case, the walls were originally left uninsulated, and plaster was applied over wood lath on the inside. You will want to fill the exterior walls as well as possible with blown-in insulation. If this has been done, the insulation will settle in the walls over time and may need to be topped up. The ceiling of course should be well insulated, This will help with cooling in the summer as well as keeping the heating costs down.

    If the house has ductwork for central heating, have all the ductwork checked for leaks and have all the asbestos wrap and tape removed.
    If there is no ductwork, check out the Mitsubishi Slim Jim heat pump systems.

    As Gunnar has mentioned, baseboard heat is quick and relatively easy to install, but will cost over the long term. Also, electric heat will only be an option if your electrical service has the capacity for it. Baseboard heat has the advantage of being controlled with a thermostat in each room. You will find less need for heat upstairs as the heat rises quickly in an old house. The problem is often getting the lower floor warm without overheating upstairs. Install ceiling fans. Many of the old houses had a door at the foot of the stairs - good idea.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Sparks,NV
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    109

    Default Re: CA; Heating Alternatives for OLD OLD House

    I would avoid electric heat. Electricity is expensive in CA and depending on your utility there the more you use the higher the rate goes. The best thing to do for one is get the house as efficient as possible. Air seal and insulate. This will allow you to reduce the size of the heating system and cost less to operate in the long run. In an old house like that your energy saving payback will be quick. I agree a 90+ forced air furnace is the best solution. You could also zone it for upstairs and down and not need two units if you purchase the right set up.

    Nevada IOS#1730
    Nevada Energy Auditor #30
    775-342-4767 www.homecsi.com

  7. #7
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
    Garry Blankenship Guest

    Default Re: CA; Heating Alternatives for OLD OLD House

    Perhaps contrary to your budget; but ductless heat pumps are awesome. There are amazingly efficient, they do move the air and they automatically come with cooling. Often there is utility sponsered rebate money available with ductless heat pumps. The disadvantage of having a one location heat source can be augmented by electric wall heaters which should only serve as back-up and have the lowest up front cost.


  8. #8

    Default Re: CA; Heating Alternatives for OLD OLD House

    How about radiant floors or ceilings?

    --Welmoed

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

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