With two boys and two dogs we decided to purchase a larger house back in April – God decided the house was too large for our current little family, so, we are set to welcome baby boy #3 in less than a month (Feb. 6 due date – though Dr. expects this month). A few weeks ago the temperature plummeted here in the Midwest, subzero temperatures prevailed. We live in Kansas so that means we typically have a significant wind chill as well. This led us to discover an unfortunate, and significant, flaw in our HVAC system.
To simplify the explanation, the way the duct system was installed leads the internal portion of the furnace to overheat and shutdown – typically for several hours. The ducting of our house has puzzled three different HVAC technicians. The HVAC setup coupled with an uninsulated walls (multi-layer brick with plaster immediately on interior – which did not come up during home inspection prior to purchasing the house) has caused temperatures to drop as low as 40° in the house. In the meantime we have applied, and been accepted, for the “Weatherization Program.” Initially I had been working with them, hoping they could provide a solution – however because of the way they are funded, they cannot. (They will still insulate our ceilings and create a vapor barrier underneath the house (crawl space). This issue led me to send Dani and the boys to spend two of the last three weeks in Wichita so they could be somewhere warm.
We do not have the financial means for any kind of solution at this point. Space heaters have been tried – they failed miserably. There are three options to be considered.
1. Add a second HVAC system for the downstairs. This would include purchasing a new system and having to tear down drywall, etc. and rerun ductwork throughout the house. Estimate the cost would be in the $10 – $15k range.
2. Add, what is called, a split-mini system to the upstairs or downstairs. This is an electric, ductless HVAC system with wall mounted vents. Estimate the cost would range from $3-$5k but would also significantly alter our utility bills as electricity is relatively expensive in Sterling (we have our own power plant.)
3. Install a wood-burning stove. We have a somewhat large dining room which is centrally located in the house is a perfect location and vents could be cut in the ceiling to allow warm air to reach upstairs as well. This is what I am hoping to do. I can get wood for free so I would have no ongoing fees – apart from a yearly chimney sweep. I estimate the cost would be $5-$7k for it to be done properly and professionally.
I wavered in deciding to post this or not. I have struggled with letting go of the situation and allowing the LORD to take full control. I am not sure if trying this route is doing that or not, but it definitely is forcing me to let go of my pride and admit we are in need of help. I am praying to have a solution before the baby is born. I am asking that you only give if you feel led by the LORD. I know the LORD will provide and in His timing. Thank you.
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