What Did this all Cost?

Here’s the summary and costs:

We decided to do a Hydronic heating system consisting of a partnership between solar heated water and a Rinnai, gas fired, tankless water heater.  The water thus heated would heat forced air for the house using a Hydronic Air Handler (donated by the Rinnai corporation), as well as under tile heating of the kitchen and bathroom floors (Uponor).  This system will also supply the domestic hot water for the house.

Here is the cost breakdown for the entire Energy Efficient makeover :  If you just went with the solar water heating panel and Rinnai tankless water heater and Hydronic furnace, you are looking at about $15,000.00

Total cost of all Energy Efficient upgrades: $31,102.47  (Insulation, windows, other peripherals)  

 With that, we commence our tour around our Solar System:

We begin with the roof where we have a 4’ x 10’ panel from Sun City Solar. www.SunCityEnergy.com

 This panel is a ‘closed system’  This means that pipes passing through it circulate a mixture of distilled water mixed with food grade Glycol to be heated by the sun.  This mixture is in a closed loop and the mixture never mixes with the actual potable water for the house.  Instead, this mixture circulates through the panel with the help of a small photovoltaic solar panel connected to a pump, goes down into an 80 gallon storage tank, in the kitchen, and heats the 80 gallons of potable water to 170 degrees.

This water is then circulated through the Rinnai Tankless water heater.  At this point the tankless determines and mixes the water  if necessary, until the water is 140 degrees and sends it on to the Hydronic furnace, (located in the hall closet)  The furnace operates very much like the radiator on a car in that is has many, many ‘fins’ for transferring the heat from the water to the air.   The air is then blown through ductwork into all parts of the house.

Simultaneous to this, the hot water from the Solar tank is sent to Rinnai tankless, who cools it down to 70-80 degrees and sends it though an Uponor track system of plastic tubing under the tile floors in the bathrooms and kitchen.

Also simultaneous to this, the Rinnai tankless will moderate the water to 120 degrees when domestic hot water is called for.

Kitchen Uponor before tile
Floor after tiling

Cost breakdown:

Water Heating and House Heating systems:

 Sun City Solar:  $4,120.81

Includes:  Solar hot water heating panel, lightly used ,  plus 80 gal tank

North Star Plumbing: (ricknsp@dluxlink.com)

$10,341.34* (see also ‘real cost’ below)

         Includes: Rinnai gas fired, tankless, water heater:  $1,159.03

Rinnai Hydronic Furnace:  donated

Uponor underfloor heating track system: $5,225.05

Installation of whole-house plumbing, w/toilets, showers, sinks, etc.

Here is our commendation:  Rick and Ed at North Star were  instrumental in encouraging donations or wholesale from Rinnai corporation and Uponor. We believe their efforts saved us $4662.92 in the plumbing department:

*Real Cost of Energy Systems

Air Handler, Rinnai,  donated        $1,800       = savings:  $1,800

Tankless Water heater, wholesale: $1,159.03   original cost $2,317  = savings:  $1,157.97

Uponor, wholesale: $5,225.05       original cost $6,930     =savings:   $1704.95

                       Savings total (donated value):     $4,662.92


Hvac and Air Conditioning

Ozark Mountain Air: $6,131.22   


Includes:  2Ton 2 stage Rheem Air conditioner: $2718

Ductwork, labor

Natural State Insulation:  (discounted)   $4255.00


Includes:  Attic blow -in, 12”   $975

Visqueen in crawlspace,  plus open cell foam under floor     $1890

3” open cell exterior wall insulation $1390

Hanke Brothers Windows: (50% off  retail) $4865


Includes: Low E, Argon filled, double pane, 2 sliding doors and 7 windows

EcoVantage Skylights (2)     $858.25


Home Energy Consultants: RESNET rating (discounted  rate) $530.85


Price of Happy Hollow,  purchased  August 2010:      $74,000

Price of Energy efficient Improvements:                     $31.102.47

Total:   $105,102.47

 Summary:  Since houses in the neighborhood of Happy Hollow appraise for $107,000-$114,000, our total is acceptable to the investment.

The HERS Index clocked in at 51 (down from 118!)  That means this house is 67% more efficient than it was originally. Utility bills (electricity, gas, water) projected at $600 annually.

The house received an Energy Star rating of 5+ stars (the highest)

Ahhhh    but this is not the end of the story.  You see, the house was not habitable when we bought it.  Sooo….how much more money did it take?  Was it worth it?  Did we commit the unforgivable sin and overprice the house for the neighborhood?   Da Da Da Dah….Stay tuned….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: