That’s how long it’s been. What’s happened:
After our crazy hydro bill, Thomas and I went ahead and called the gas company about switching over our water heater. While the technician was here he mentioned that we could use a more efficient furnace. A newer furnace would save on the hydro it uses to run the fan and use gas about 15% more efficiently. Sounds great but we own the furnace we have and we’re not in a position to buy a new one. We’d have to rent one and that comes in at $90 a month. I did the math and we’d save about $30 on hydro and maybe $20 gas each month, for a total savings of $50. But we’d be spending $90 on the rental so in the end we’d be paying $40 a month more than we are now. Not to mention that the furnace comes with a 7 year contract – the cost of renting over 7 years would buy three furnaces.
We only considered the new furnace because of a government grant that is available until March 31. We paid for an energy audit ($339) and because we did, any of the recommended changes that would make our home more energy efficient are eligible. A new water heater gets us a grant of $375 (which more than covers the cost of the audit) and a new furnace would get us a grant of $790. Again, sounds great but when we’d be paying $40 more a month, $790 would cover two years and we’re still stuck with a 7 year contract.
Our furnace is 9 years old and has life in it yet. Our hope is that within 7 years, we’ll be able to purchase a high efficiency furnace ourselves.
We are going ahead with an on-demand (or tankless) water heater. It also comes with a contract but we’re already renting a water heater (electric) and on-demand water heaters can be very expensive to maintain. I’m happier renting and not being stuck with huge repair bills.
And because nothing in Our Old House comes without complications, we need to create a new vent. Fortunately, my dad is more than happy to cut a few more holes in our house and will do so when the technician is here to install the heater. We need to hurry to get our government grant so we’ll be switching over soon. I’ll keep you posted!
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