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HVAC - R. Andrews
March 13th, 2014
07:32 pm

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HVAC
This is the first, and hopefully last (at least for a long while) unexpected expensive house thing.

We had the thermostat set to 62, I think, so the heater would keep it warm-ish at night. I came in on Sunday and noticed that there were some little black flecks of crap on the floor in the living room and one of the bedrooms (but only there). They didn't smell musty, more burnt, so I think they were soot from the heater. This isn't great because it means the heat exchanger may be cracked, which is bad (dangerous) for a gas heater. So I shut the gas off to it, and called an HVAC guy to look at it and do an annual maintenance thing, just tell me what was up.

The heat exchanger isn't cracked, but it's also in bad shape. Apparently there are two HVAC systems in the house, one main one and one little one for the den. The air conditioners are old (20 and 10 years, respectively) but the furnaces are ancient, 35 years. So the whole thing needs replacing. I expected this, it was in the inspection report, but I was going to put it off for a year.

The first guy I called, from a company called Dave Lane, was pretty bad. He said he looked at some stuff that he clearly didn't touch, because when I went up there yesterday to clean it it was held shut with tape that hadn't been touched in years. They also quoted me ten to twelve thousand to replace it, with another couple thousand for replacing the ducts.

My realtor is great though, and I got her to recommend me someone. They're coming in Saturday to replace the whole thing for eight thousand, and he says most of the ducts don't actually need replacement.

Anyway, annoying. I was kind of freaking out last night because the house was broken and it reminded me of living in a shitty falling-apart-house as a kid. I was getting really upset by the whole thing, so I think replacing it now is worth it. Sucks a little bit because I didn't expect to have to do it immediately, but I am financing it and the part I'm putting down on it only puts me about $1000 over what I expected to spend on house repairs / changes. Meaning, about $1000 over what the sellers paid of my closing costs to cover repairs / changes.

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