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The Scary Attic Heats Up

130 year-old attics are scary. If you have to spend any amount of time in the area above your normal living space, you could pretty easily fall through the ceiling or find yourself face-to-facemask with a sparkly spaceman. And in our case, (in addition to the latter), our attic is especially haunting (maybe literally?) with it’s crumbling wallpapered ceilings, tumbleweeds and miscellaneous items from the decades before us.

And that’s after a good cleaning. Round 1.

Other than acting as a(n inter)stellar spaceman hangout, our particular attic was pretty unusable until a few short days ago. With the demise of our disgustingly dangerous floor-standing space heater thingies, we were in serious need of a second floor heating solution – enter Adrian and his team from Adi’s Heating and Cooling to find a use for our peaked third story space. (After collecting a handful of quotes, we were happy with not only their price, but their crew is fast and friendly, too. We’re now 4 digits lighter in the wallet, but we took this into account when we signed that stack of papers on closing day. Side note: Their Yelp page has an incorrectly listed phone number, so if you’re interested in their services, let us know!)

Adrian took our spooky, (mostly) empty attic and turned it into the model of modern HVAC efficiency. Rather than give up floor space somewhere on the second floor with a big bulky furnace, he installed a horizontally-oriented furnace above our kitchen-turned-bedroom. He then carefully cut about a dozen or so holes in our ceiling and ran insulated ductwork to every room on the second floor to keep things toasty through our brisk Chicago winters.

Goodbye sad, old space heaters. Hello modern ceiling ducts! Yup, this is how we spend our money these days. We’re so grown up.

We took this one step further and opted to pay a nominal fee to have his team return; yesterday, Adrian combined two of our three (!) current gas meters, which will get the first and second floor onto the same billing statement.* The minimal cost of this last step will not only pay for itself in less than a year, but it also brings us one step closer to restoring this place to its former single-family glory.

Not to mention, how cool does that shiny new machine look?

*We later found out – after confirming with the gas company that they, under no circumstances, could do this themselves – that they could, indeed, do this themselves. For next to nothing. (No third party needed.) The helpful rep from the gas company said that if you’re ever unsure about the extent of their services, ask for a supervisor. After feeling slightly ragey about this revelation, we thought, you live, you learn.

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  • Three cheers for central heating and air! … and maybe only two for combining the gas meters? Bummer that you paid for it, but at least it’s done and it sounds like it was pretty small compared to the other work.ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.3.13 - 10:15 AM

      Heather, yes, 2 cheers should do it! It was a small charge, but it’s always a bummer to try and cost save in so many areas, then find out that you didn’t need to pay for something in the first place. Negative 3 cheers for misinformation directly from the gas company!

      Lauren, that’s a totally valid question. I’m not sure what your soon-to-be space heaters look like, but ours were severely outdated and likely not up to the safety standards that standalone space heaters are today. Because they’re out in the open, there’s always the chance that they could tip over, since they’re not nearly as sturdy as they might look (I was able to move it around by myself, and on our unlevel floors, they were a real concern). Perhaps you can Google your model number and research reviews or issues. If you have safety points that need to be made, it wouldn’t be out of line to bring your concerns to your new landlord!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren10.3.13 - 10:00 AM

    I tried to comment from my phone earlier, so apologies if this ends up being a double post… I have two of those big space heaters in my current apartment, and I’m curious about them. Our landlord said they are really efficient and our heating bills will be low… at the same time, we rent a pretty old place in Ukrainian Village, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just saying that and trying to cover up the fact that they are dangerous. What did you find out about them that points to them being dangerous? We just moved in at the beginning of September, so we haven’t used them yet, but now I’m a little nervous.ReplyCancel

  • Laura at Rather Square10.3.13 - 10:23 AM

    Goodbye scary attic! (although it would have served a nice purpose for Halloween….)ReplyCancel

  • Julia @ Cuckoo4Design10.3.13 - 4:03 PM

    Wow, I learned something new today too. I can’t believe that they could do this themselves for next to nothing after all.ReplyCancel

  • Kim10.6.13 - 11:06 AM

    Julia, I know, right? So frustrating, but we’re happy to spread the word now that we know!ReplyCancel

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