So we got the home audit report. Ouch.
There are apparently a ton of holes to seal up, thanks to all sorts of wiring that runs up there. (I’m looking at you, ceiling fans.) The ducts also need to be sealed. Altogether, it’d be around $1,175. I’m sure we could do some of it ourselves, but frankly I’d prefer to leave that to the professionals.
We’d pay around $1,900 to get R-38 blown in. I asked about R-49, and it’d be another $400. (Oh, and $250 to pull up the various and erratic planking in the attic.) I read through a few articles on the web, and it looks like the higher value would save us around 3%. Given that APS has different rates for summer/winter/peak/off-peak, it’s pretty difficult to quantify how much we’d save.
All said, it totals right around $3,100 — $3,475 if you count the recommended sun screens (better than film) for the guest house.
Loose calculations show we’d save an equivalent amount in three years. We’d also get $500 in rebates. Still, youch.
I’ve made an appointment with Home Depot to get an estimate on the insulation through them. I should probably call another APS-approved contractor to at least get a quote on insulation. But having them give a full second estimate would technically be another home audit and $100.
No matter who we use, I accept that this needs to get done. I need to make peace with it… and our shrunk savings account.
The other major issue is the guest house.
Turns out, there actually is insulation in the roof. So that’s not the issue. Instead, it’s the south- and west- facing windows. Besides the screens, there’s just one solution: a mini-split HVAC. (“Split” just means that the compressor is outside.)
Did I mention it’d cost us $3,600?
I could probably save a little money by buying a unit myself, since contractors tend to mark up their materials. Even so, that cost would just about gut savings. The savings that is supposed to be earmarked for Tim’s dental implants and double pane windows.
One problem: It’d be $3,600. I might be able to buy one and have the guys install it in order to save money. After all, contractors tend to mark up the cost of materials. Even so, the cost would nearly gut the savings account. You know, the one that’s supposed to be earmarked for Tim’s dental implants and/or double pane windows?
The unit is just going to have to wait a year. The guest house is warm, but not unbearable. And this will give us an idea of how much the changes for the main house are saving us. I guess we’ll be creating an HVAC savings account and trying to shunt money in there each month.
The one bright side, which I am focusing on with all my might, is that we technically have the money — without even touching the emergency fund. That’s pretty cool.
Granted, a lot of it is thanks to the World’s Best Boss and his ridiculous yearly bonuses. But the point is that we have it. And we’ll be putting more money aside this year, between the $92 from DISH and the monthly $120 that we’ll be saving from the refi.
That’s something, right?