Heating solutions in the PNW

4 Replies

Hello, I am finishing some a remodel on a 1911 home with an ADU in the Seattle area.

The home was previously heated by two gas stoves with very little ducting. As part of converting the upstairs unit to a 2 bedroom, I had to remove the upstairs stove. The upstairs (~1000 sq ft) is heated by 3 electric baseboard heaters and has been at a pleasant temperature at all times of day.

The plan for the downstairs ADU (also ~1000 sq ft) was to do a combination of baseboard heaters and the existing system, however the existing system is not working and my contractor says was not installed properly. I have been living downstairs with 2 baseboard heaters, and the mornings are rather chilly, but the temperatures are already fine. I'm considering several options for heat and would like to hear some other opinions:

Option 1: Remove old system downstairs, add a third baseboard heater downstairs ~$100

Option 2: Install new gas stove downstairs, fix chimney, use existing ducting, possibly use no baseboard heaters ~$3500

Option 3: Install a ductless mini split system for upstairs and downstairs ~ $7500

It's fairly typical for homes in my area to not have AC so the mini split system would be a good selling point. I am a little concerned about the costs of running a bunch of electric baseboard heaters (I'm house hacking right now and plan on splitting utilities with the tenant for the 1-2 years I live here). I understand that long term it will be the tenant's responsibility, but I imagine it will impact what I can charge/tenant's inclination to stay.

By “gas stove” do you mean a free-standing stove, kind of like a wood burner, or are you just talking about a furnace?

I’ve been going Cadet (in wall) heaters over baseboard. Same price but better efficiency, although they are noisier. 

Cadet or baseboard is my vote- decide early on if your holding the property or selling it- it might make sense to go mini-split in a high end flip but don’t over-improve your rentals!

Originally posted by @Michael Haas :

By “gas stove” do you mean a free-standing stove, kind of like a wood burner, or are you just talking about a furnace?

I’ve been going Cadet (in wall) heaters over baseboard. Same price but better efficiency, although they are noisier. 

Cadet or baseboard is my vote- decide early on if your holding the property or selling it- it might make sense to go mini-split in a high end flip but don’t over-improve your rentals!

Yeah, by "gas stove" I mean a free-standing stove. 

I've been using the Farenheat portable electric baseboard heaters, but I think it is a bit too much for the current breakers. As I can't run much on the same breaker as one of them

I'm a little unsure of my long term plans. I'm definitely going to live in it for the next year. Plan A is to rent out both units and find another value add house hack with a reasonable commute. However if the market skyrockets I could see myself staying an additional year and selling to avoid capital gains. I don't really see any scenario where I am living in the property longer than that.

If you're not going to stay there for long, just do cadet wall heaters. They look nicer than baseboard heaters. Mini splits are too expensive unless you are planning to stay there long term. I would also remove the "gas stoves" before selling the home. 

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