Tag Archives: Energy Efficient

Going Green (and keeping the green in our pockets)

I’ve mentioned  our troubles with our chimney/furnace in the past and how they desperately needed to be addressed. Our furnace was ancient, while our chimney runs right through the center of the house (and didn’t have a proper liner) both needed to be taken care of before we really started buttoning up the house with insulation. Our options were pretty limited, as there was a blockage (aka a “Fratus Fix”) to cover the beam that runs through the middle of it a stack of bricks were placed on the inside, thus restricting the air flow. So we decided to just circumvent the entire process and go with a direct vent combination unit. Let’s call in the big guns, Don and Charlie from The Gas Company (legit name). Before I get into the details, let’s take a moment and remember where we started:

Old furnace and hot water heater

It look a lot of space in our basement…

Replacing furnace and water heater

And did I mention old?

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It needed to go. So Don and Charlie came in and rocked this project for us. This was not a cheap project by any means. After doing some research on various models and chatting with a few other plumbers, we chose to go with the on demand Navien for their huge energy savings, and it was the appropriate size for the house. The quotes didn’t come cheap, but with installation, labor, parts, permits, the winning quote came in at $8,500. Don told us about rebates that we were eligible for so we could get some of that money back, which ended up being a total of $4,000. Pretty good!

During our inspection, the inspector found some improper vents that the previous owners had messed with, so we needed to fix it in order to move along with a giant pass sticker. While it truly stinks we had to fix someone else’s poor decision (seems to be a theme in this house) it’s ok, because now it’s fixed and we can move on! I  mentioned to Don that down the line we eventually want to turn the small shower on the first floor into a laundry area, and they were able to prep it so it would be easier for us to switch it over in the future. But enough about the not-so-great-stuff, let’s get to the after pictures shall we?

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Everything is so neat, organized and compact!

And what about where the old stuff used to be? Wide open space baby!

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With our new system, we are now 92% efficient!! Compared to what it was before, well, you can’t even come close to that kind of efficiency. We’ve been living with it for about a month, and so far we haven’t had any problems with it. The water does take a little longer to warm up, but we’re happy to know that we’ll see those savings come winter, especially as we add more insulation. Don also told us that with this type of heating, we won’t be able to run our future dishwasher and take a shower at the same time. Growing up in a household where you’d sometimes get a cold shower because someone else thought you were out and started the washing machine, well..you get used to it!

I still can’t believe that we went from this:
Old furnace and hot water heater

To this little guy that does what both of those behemoths used to do (and not efficient at all!):

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Have you had to make any large investments in your home recently? Any experience with direct vent/on demand heating systems? Share away!

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