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Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

These heating, cooling systems will last

A longtime listener who was rebuilding her home after a fire asked questions about energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, instant hot water systems and soft water systems.
Here's our advice on systems that will save money and last for decades to come.
1. A central heating system with a supply register and a return air grill in every room is absolutely our No. 1 choice. The system requires twice as many ducts because of all of the extra return air registers. So expect to pay more.
The inlet register should be placed on the floor beneath the largest window or door in the room. The return air register (outlet register) should be on the ceiling and across the room. With supply and return grilles in each room you won't believe the evenness of the temperature that will result.
And the heating or cooling efficiency and comfort are unbelievable.
Some areas of the country offer dirt-cheap electric prices. In these areas be sure the system is electric -- otherwise use gas.
Get the most energy-efficient furnace you possibly can purchase. Make sure it has a variable speed motor and a dual flame burner. Follow these tips and your comfort system will rule.
2. Of the three types of tankless water-heating units that we've used we are most familiar with the Rinnai. Rinnai was one of the first two brands sold in the U.S.
Our friends in the plumbing fixture industry have continued to rave about the brand. Because your new home is so large, we would recommend installing one 235,000 BTU unit at each end of your home. Tankless water heaters take a moment or two longer to supply hot water at faucet's end, but you pay nothing to warm water during 90 percent of the day when you don't need it.
Don't forget, tankless units can be easily repaired. We suggest one tank for bathrooms and one for kitchen and laundry. By the way, if there is no water shortage where you are, you will love the endless showers.
3. Soft water can be supplied directly to any part of the home that you wish. It's a simple matter of running the water lines accordingly. Besides your bathrooms and laundry we suggest that you also include your dishwasher. Your plumbing contractor will know exactly what to do.
With such alkaline water we suggest the addition of a two-gallon reverse osmosis system under the kitchen sink. You will find that the system provides an ample supply of alkali and bacteria free water that smells and tastes great.
We have always used Aqua-pure because we are still able to get filters for systems that we purchased more than 22 years ago -- really important.
For tips from James and Morris Carey, go to www.onthehouse.com or call the listener hot line, 800-737-2474, ext. 59. The Careys are also on KRKO (1380-AM) from 6 to 10 a.m. every Saturday.
Story tags » Home Improvement

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