April 29, 2009 2:15 PM Subscribe
Are there any good low-capital alternatives to electric Cadet heaters for warming and cooling my house?
My old (1900) house has only Cadet heaters (circa late 1990s) for warmth, probably because a previous owner ripped out a furnace to convert the basement into a rental unit (which it still is). 3 stories -- bsmt, main floor, attic converted into master bedroom, 2900 SF. There is no ductwork at all right now. Weatherization is weak.
Are there any practical alternatives? Even just better brands of heaters? My electric bill is quite high in winter, as you can imagine -- this is in Portland OR -- and I don't have the $14,000 I was quoted for a central heat pump, even with the $2K or so in tax rebates I could get. It's a shame though because the attic gets pretty hot and the heat pump sounded nice.
Could I get a relatively inexpensive ductless heat pump just for the attic, and how would that compare to a window AC unit? Is there a way to install a heat pump there without tying up the only window? I see web pages quoting around $1,000 "per ton of cooling capacity" -- what does that mean? Or would I be better off putting any available money into better windows and insulation? Thx