Energy Upgrade to our house - Nov 2011 (since sold)
It all started innocently enough. Char and I had each taken our vehicles into Salmon Arm for a transmission flush. After the flush Char did her 'thing', and I went my way. We then met for a coffee. Char suggested that we take in the Home Show (a place where all the overpriced vendors ply you with their overpriced goods/services). We hadn't been to one for 15 some years - so why not? One stall was the same as the next until I spotted this lovely young 'thing' selling natural gas (Fortis Gas). Or was she? No, she was parroting all the usual eco friendly 'save the planet stuff'. All of which we all have memorized by now. However, she was so delightful (professional) to listen to that she got me thinking. Maybe I can 'save the planet' or rather 'save my pocket book'? Anyway, it must have been time to wrap it up - Char was nudging me on.
A few stalls further on was a guy hawking, 98 1/2% efficient gas furnaces (overpriced by at least $1500). How convenient, seeing my 20/25 year old faithful furnace was not so faithful anymore and certainly not as efficient. The guy was slick - too slick. Time to move on again. Many stalls on were two more eco heating displays. Boy was I on a eco roll! The first of these two vendors was selling a tankless water boiler that could double by heating my house and my hot water. Sounds good, but unsuitable for my situation. Overall too expensive to install in an existing home. Even the dealer volunteered that later after looking at my house.
My situation is unique. We have an expensive, super-efficient Blaze King Princess wood stove. It is a little over sized for our humble abode of 1600 square feet, so we just use it from Nov to March. Amazingly, we only need about a cord of wood per winter. Seeing I cut and split it myself, that makes for a pretty cheap heating bill for the winter. The other thing we have to consider is that our heating ducts run through an unheated crawl space that steals 34 to 40 percent of the heat. Rectifying this situation is a major expense and really not practicable.
This brings me to vendor number three - Fujitsu heat pumps. I've been interested in heat pumps for a long while. They heat for less than half of anything else. However, they are expensive. Especially for us, because we already have an expensive wood stove that does our heating for the five coldest months. We only need something to take the chill off for the warmer seven months. This where a Fujitsu unit fills the bill. They are relatively inexpensive and very efficient. Plus, they do not need to make use of our existing 'heat stealing' duct work. Bingo! No contest.
Now vendor number one comes along, learns my choice. He says no problem, I also sell Fujitsu. Nevertheless, he over specs my requirements, so his Fujitsu sale is now as expensive as his overpriced 'efficient' gas-fired unit. He was going to make big bucks off me, no matter which way I choose to go. Wrong.
Vendor number three sells me the right Fujitsu unit. He installs it beautifully. It works as expected. I couldn't be happier. After the Gov't eco grant, I'm out barely $2500. My payback will be less than three years.
Now, if Char hadn't mentioned going to the Home Show, none of this would have ever transpired. As usual, it's always her fault. Char disagrees. So what's new. She says the _ _ _ _ _ at the Fortis Gas booth is to blame. So what does Fortis think - so who cares?
For more info see:
Update -Feb 28. 2012
We just got our first full two month electrical bill. The bill is less than the combined electrical and gas bill was last year. Besides we have saved burning a huge amount of wood.