My husband, Joe, and I recently purchased a very large, extremely old house. It is in need of some major renovations. We’re planning to replace the roof, install new windows, gut the kitchen, and update the wiring and plumbing. We hope to make the home far more energy efficient. Because of the many rooms, high ceilings, and big windows, the heating and cooling bills are going to be a major drain on our budget. Improving insulation, weatherstripping and caulking are necessary projects. Joe and I are also looking into making some upgrades to the heating and cooling equipment. We’ve been consulting with a local HVAC contractor, who’s provided some helpful and knowledgeable recommendations. He suggested we invest in a zoned controlled system, which would enhance comfort while saving us money.
With the installation of a thermostat in each room and a series of valves within the existing duct system, we would be able to set independent temperature. There’d be no need to heat or cool empty rooms, and we could cater to personal preferences. We could target those rooms that tend to feel a bit overheated or chilly. Joe and I are still debating over whether or not to replace the furnace and air conditioner. While the heating and cooling units are still operational, they are old and not exceptionally energy efficient. Combining modern, efficient components with zoning capability would significantly trim our monthly energy bills. Despite the expense of the project, I think we would recover our investment within five years. Plus, the heating and cooling system would be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, eliminating any repair costs.