Originally Posted by LifeInLI
^^I agree. You should be able to save quite a bit of money if you go this route. Keep your hot water heat.
You don't have to lose your hot water heat if you install CAC.
I have OHW and installed CAC after the fact. My house is on one level, so the ductwork was run through the attic. The main unit sits in the attic in an area in which one could only crawl. The hosing to the outside unit is run discretely down a rear wall and encased giving it the appearance of a gutter downspout.
We have one section of the house which was not accessible by way of the ductwork (cathedral ceilings in that room and the rooms leading to it.)
We had a seperate Sanyo unit run to that room. I can close off the French wood doors to the area and leave the AC off when no one is home.
As far as mess -- very, very minimal. A little dust where the sheetrock was cut for the return and the duct covers. Again, being on one level meant the bulk of the work was in the attic. We didn't lose much attic space, either, as the flexible ductwork was run along rafters in the larger attic space.
The Sanyo unit installation also produced minimal dust. The only downside is that you do end up with a decent sized unit on a wall in the room in which it is installed. The unit my room required is approx 12Hx10Dx36W. This model was installed a year ago; I don't know if they are making them any smaller.
I was a very much against CAC because of the initial cost, thinking it would make a mess. Now that I have it, I kick myself for not doing it sooner. I am an asthmatic and it made summer much easier on my lungs than using window units.