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Rob and Les
No central heat in 1907 home

We are thinking of restoring a 3000sf, 2-story plus attic, 5-bedroom home built in a prosperous Texas community in 1907. It has only four fireplaces and no other heating or cooling system. We are wondering how common it was at this date to still be using wood fires as the only heating source and whether a house of this size would normally have had fireplaces in more of the bedrooms. As a side note, there is electricity, indoor plumbing, and the house is connected to city water and sewer.

If we purchase this house, might it be cheaper and less invasive to the structure to install gas lines to the existing fireplaces and install high-efficiency, vented fireplace inserts to use as the sole heating source? We would also forego air conditioning unless we can't take the heat and, in that case, we would use electric window units.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Re: No central heat in 1907 home

I think you're exactly right on less costly and less invasive. However, unless you're extremely northerly in Texas, the heat is something else, altogther. Sounds like you're fixin' to fry in the summer, and also have a bit of a cold winter. Still not too invasive are high efficiency gas in the attic with high velocity lines down central chases. Maybe Rich Trethewey could offer some advice?

Whatever you decide - good luck, and have fun - old houses are just so rewarding.

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