Abstract: Sechelt Home Inspector note on heating a 1980’s cottage.
Our buyer was considering purchasing a waterfront property on the inlet side. The house was lightly used. The agent stated that it was a vacation property only, although the house was a built as a complete 4-season residence, with electric baseboard heating. There were minor issues throughout related to a house being over 30 years old, but the sellers were clearly meticulous and made essential maintenance, repairs and updates as needed to the the kitchen, bath, roof, deck and windows.
We did point out to the buyers that since the house was built to codes from the 1980’s, the insulation values in the vaulted ceilings and walls would be likely half or less of current standards. So be prepared for higher utility bills. However, due to the house design, adding isulation is not a viable option without a major renovation.
There was a 1982 wood burning stove in the living room. A wood burning stove from that era is not particularly efficient. But modern wood stove technology has greatly improved over the decades. A new airtight with a secondary combustion chamber will not only sip fuel (compared to that 1982 model) but can be sized to more than adequately heat the whole house. The existing electric baseboard heaters can then be used for ‘trim’ heating only.
By replacing the wood stove, the buyer can overcome the heat loss due to the dated insulation values and improve occupant comfort in cold weather.