When we purchased a second home down south, we got a great price because the property had been left vacant for quite a while.
The kitchen and bathrooms were horribly outdated and barely functional.
We turned our efforts to renovating those areas and crossed our fingers that the roof, water pump and heating/cooling unit would last a few years. Temperature control is handled by a very old, very large, single unit situated outside. The system provides both heating and cooling by way of gigantic ductwork concealed in the crawlspace. Despite very high exterior temperatures and humidity for most of the year, that old cooling unit is able to keep the house perfectly comfortable. It struggles in the winter. Although the temperature never drops below forty, the equipment often freezes over. We’ve solved this by purchasing an electric heater that looks like a wood burning fireplace. The electric heater required nothing more than to be set in place and plugged in. It operates by way of a cordless remote and supplies sufficient heat to supplement the whole-house system. After four years of reliable operation, the packaged unit suddenly quit providing cool air last summer. I called for repairs and the contractor found a small refrigerant leak. He refilled the system, charged the refrigerant and told us to hope for the best. The repair might last us several days or several years. I think we need to be prepared for the expense of a whole new heating and cooling system. While I know the cost will be high, I am looking forward to quieter and more efficient operation. It would be nice to have a winter that can keep up with demand.