RS: we’re so radiant, except not

Allow me to answer sixteen questions at once:

Yes, it is summer.
No, we cannot move in without heat.

Not unless you want these guys hanging out on your ceiling:


See? I didn’t think so.

We opted for radiant heating. If you’re new to the concept, here’s my short layman’s description: hot water shoots through tubes in the floor, eliminating the need for slippers (and thereby saving you money and stockpiles of unworn slippers that have plagued you until this point in your life).

My parents installed it in the house that they built fifteen years ago and have never regretted it. The heat is even and efficient, less dry in the winter than forced air, and, because it doesn’t stir up dust, a plus for people with allergies.

The down side is that it cost us about $2,000 than forced air would have, and it made central air an extra $5,000. That’s because we would have needed new duct work, since the old duct work was gross and, honestly, I didn’t like having the ginormous grates on the floor (I have memories of burning my feet on the ginormous grates in my grandmother’s house).

Ultimately, we opted not to install central air in the house because

  1. um, five thousand dollars.
  2. the house is shaded most of the day. The only sun we get is mid- to late-afternoon.
  3. we live in the Appalachian foothills where summers don’t usually produce many scorchers.
  4. the house is tiny (1200 sq. feet) and now (thanks to the removal of a central wall on the first floor) fairly open. On the hottest days we can pop a window unit in on the second floor (FREE from a friend who was upgrading) and call it a day.

After months of waiting (with bated breath), we were very happy four weeks ago when a crew of HVAC folks bustled into our house and started making this happen:


It’s beautiful.

After this, since Josh has finished wiring (!!!), we’re on to insulation, dry wall, and generally making it look like a house again.

Problem is – we seem to be at the bottom of the HVAC customer totem pole. We’ve encountered this before (we’re kids, we’re poor, our house is not so much the looker) and assumed that we were done with the rejected-on-the-basis-of-our-glaring-unimportance part. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

Four full weeks into the process, by our estimations, the crew has been at our house a grand total of five days. Josh has pestered the secretary, she’s promised to look into it, and the owners still haven’t called back to explain. Virtually all of our projects are on hold until this one is done.

We’re assuming that there’s been some giant HVAC emergency and that this story will have a happy ending, so I shan’t name names.

But this breaks my heart a little. I believe in the little guy, in local economics, in the HUMANITY of small business — and I REALLY need to get into my house. Half the reason I spent nearly a year’s earnings on this job was to save time and sanity. We’ve wasted time and sanity is definitely dwindling.

Maybe we’ll get a discount because we waited so long.

It happened at Pizza Hut once.


3 thoughts on “RS: we’re so radiant, except not

  1. Pingback: RS: is it because i’m a woman? | la corbeille

  2. Pingback: RS: plagues and missing the point | la corbeille

  3. Pingback: RS: basement: before & during | la corbeille

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