Finishing Work — Part 2
Log Home Diary Entry #28
This entry continues with the discussion of mechanical considerations — heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC). There are many choices to consider in this area. A couple of options we considered were radiant heat, and geothermal heating and cooling. Both of these we ultimately rejected because of the additional cost. For us to have used either of these, our motivation would have needed to be something other than money. Of course, the operating costs of geothermal caused us to give great thought to this. However, installation costs and the greater efficiency gains made with heat pumps makes the payback on geothermal take longer than acceptable to us.
Natural gas would have been our next choice, but that is not available in this area. So we ended up opting for a heat pump with a propane backup. Again, the choices are many, and to avoid boring details, let’s just say this ends up being a personal decision that hopefully is right for us in the long term.
As mentioned in the last entry, we had some decisions to make regarding the cold air return for the main-level system. None of the duct work mechanics were in our plans from our log-home builder. For efficiency, it’s best to keep as straight of a run as possible to the mechanical room (off the lower level garage for us) where the furnace is located. After considering options, we chose to have it next to a hall closet on our bedroom wall. We tried to take advantage of this by building an extra linen/storage closet in the master bedroom, which incorporated this large cold air return. As for the upper-level furnace, the problem is minimal, as the furnace is located in the attic and the return is in the ceiling in a small hallway.
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