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Old 03-24-2016, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
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Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
That is so true. I can tell you that should we build a house in TN we are going to have two heating systems in the house. The primary will be the heat pump that is prevalent there and the other is going to be a forced hot water system running through the floor. It is called a radiant heating system where the entire floor of the house warms up the house. That is what we have in our house minus the heat pump which I wish we had for those quick spurts of cold weather.

In TN I would just have forced air heat going through the A/C ducts. That's how our Arizona house is set up and it works just fine. In Alaska, very few houses have radiant heat. It's very expensive, and if you ever have a leak, it's a huge nightmare. It also takes a long time for temperature changes to take effect. The most common application is in aircraft hangers and industrial garages, where you're not changing the temperature setting.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
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Heat pumps are designed with a back up heat system, either electric coils in the air handler or a natural gas/propane furnace (what we have). The back up system is set to heat the home when the outdoor temp drops below a setting (usually around 36-40 degrees) because at that temp it takes excessive time to heat the home using only the heat pump. If the home would not heat properly in cold weather, than either 1) the system was not functioning properly, 2) the lockout switch was set too low, or 3) the back up heat was turned off by a breaker or blown fuse. I worked for the electric utility and HVAC contractors for 20 years working with heat pumps as the manager of the HVAC rebate program, so I do know what I'm talking about here.

We moved to TN not solely for the lower COL, although that was a factor. We moved here because of the beauty of nature, nice 4 season weather w/o much snow, the ability to have a lake/golf lifestyle on our middle class budget, and the absolute kindness and generosity of everyone we met here. It's as if I've come home at last. We're not one-percenters, but we live a wonderful life in TN.

As for it being a "hard place to make a living"...
According to this website: Knoxville Tennessee Household Income | Department of Numbers (you can change the state and city to view any other place)

the median income for the state of TN (the entire state, not just the cities) is only $3000 less per year than the state of FL. So I wouldn't think it would be a big change. The statewide unemployment rate is only slightly higher than the national rate (5.4% vs 4.9%) and in the cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga the unemployment rates are lower than the national rate.
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
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Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
...As for it being a "hard place to make a living"...
According to this website: Knoxville Tennessee Household Income | Department of Numbers (you can change the state and city to view any other place)

the median income for the state of TN (the entire state, not just the cities) is only $3000 less per year than the state of FL. So I wouldn't think it would be a big change. The statewide unemployment rate is only slightly higher than the national rate (5.4% vs 4.9%) and in the cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga the unemployment rates are lower than the national rate.
There's a huge difference between incomes in various parts of Florida. From uber-rich to dirt poor. I assume that's the case in most other states as well. I think the highest level I would look at in terms of demographics is the county level - which you can find here:

UNITED STATES QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

And then I'd get as much more local information as I could find. On a city-wide basis - a zip code basis - a neighborhood basis. Because there can be huge differences within counties. E.g., Palm Beach County in Florida has uber-rich people in Palm Beach and dirt poor people in Belle Glade. So looking at averages or medians can be very misleading. Robyn
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,983,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
In TN I would just have forced air heat going through the A/C ducts. That's how our Arizona house is set up and it works just fine. In Alaska, very few houses have radiant heat. It's very expensive, and if you ever have a leak, it's a huge nightmare. It also takes a long time for temperature changes to take effect. The most common application is in aircraft hangers and industrial garages, where you're not changing the temperature setting.
Another factor is if you're trying to get something built that isn't common in a particular area - it can be impossible to find someone to do the work (especially at a reasonable price) - or to do it properly.

The only time I ever ran across radiant heat was in Stockholm. It was kind of a novelty for this Florida girl . Robyn
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,983,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
Heat pumps are designed with a back up heat system, either electric coils in the air handler or a natural gas/propane furnace (what we have). The back up system is set to heat the home when the outdoor temp drops below a setting (usually around 36-40 degrees) because at that temp it takes excessive time to heat the home using only the heat pump. If the home would not heat properly in cold weather, than either 1) the system was not functioning properly, 2) the lockout switch was set too low, or 3) the back up heat was turned off by a breaker or blown fuse. I worked for the electric utility and HVAC contractors for 20 years working with heat pumps as the manager of the HVAC rebate program, so I do know what I'm talking about here.
When we encountered the heat pump system that couldn't keep up - the temperatures were in the low teens or single digits at night and the low 20's during the day. It was - admittedly - some very off the charts weather when it comes to central NC and other parts of the SE.

Christmas Coastal Snowstorm: December 22-24, 1989

I don't have a clue what normal low winter temperatures are anywhere in Tennessee (suspect a lot depends on elevation). If temperatures like this are a once in a lifetime event (in Tennessee or elsewhere) - I'd probably just grin and bear it. If they're normal on a regular basis - even for a few days - even every couple of years - I would plan for them when designing an appropriate HVAC system.

At what temperatures do you think heat pumps become insufficient/ineffective? Note that we have a heat pump with the electric coils you mentioned. It has been ok for everything we've had in the last 20 years (at worst - high 20's for a few hours in the late night/early morning for a few days during a cold winter - this last winter was a warm one). Except for the electric bill (we can spend more to heat our house in a cold winter month than to cool it in August).

I've never seen a propane HVAC system here. Some people have them for stoves - perhaps a hot water heater - but not an HVAC system. Was never interested in putting a propane tank in the ground (which is what our HOA requires). Apart from everything else - when we get tropical storms with lots of rain that raises the already pretty high water table - they pop out of the ground. Is your tank in ground or above ground? Natural gas lines would be nice. But very few places in the SE that I've seen have it. Robyn
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
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Just a point here. It is not as expensive as you think. It don't take a lot of work to do it. It can be done by anyone once they see it in action. I know I have it on all three floors of my current residence. It is amazing and as AlaskaE says it is slow reacting but once going you would not regret being able to put your bare feet on a warm wood floor from bed or out of the shower. Another selling point there are no radiators or baseboard systems that you dare not block with furniture. The key is to keep all loops in a particular zone the same length and do not go more than 300 foot. The pipe is plastic and you can even create your own manifold if you choose. The manifold is where you bring the main line in to reach all the loops in a zone. Oh forgot you can use even electric wire to do the same. The water system is better though.

Last edited by oldsoldier1976; 03-24-2016 at 02:55 PM.. Reason: Adding info
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,983,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
...Agreed the lack of retail selection can be problematic, but that goes for small towns and rural areas everywhere. It's not just a Tennessee or Southern issue. Even ten years ago, I was able to order most everything I wanted/needed that I couldn't find locally online. Sophisticated medical needs in upper east TN often end up at Vanderbilt or Duke if they can't be treated in Knoxville. It is a problem, but if you're looking at lightly populated areas, it comes with the territory. If you need that elite level of medical care, move close to a major urban center...
I too buy a lot of things on line. Some are things I can buy cheaper on line. But many are things that fall into the category of "who wants to hunt through a lot of stores to buy that". Like floss threaders . Sometimes things I can't find locally. Even if they sound dumb. Like sugar packets that have exactly one teaspoon of sugar (most packets have about 2/3-3/4 of a teaspoon these days).

I'm not sure you're right about only sophisticated medical needs. I had a dentist appointment today. My dentist does a lot of implant/bridge/denture work and similar. Which I don't consider all that sophisticated. He has 3 locations. One is in central JAX - in an area that isn't as nice as it used to be. OTOH - it is close to I-95. Apparently the office has lots of clients who come from south Georgia or the eastern part of the Panhandle or Nassau County (extreme NE Florida). So the proximity to I-95 is a plus for them. He has his eyes open for a new location - but one of his requirements is being close to I-95.

Also - what I observed with my inlaws in NC is they got mediocre/less than state of the art medical care at their local community hospital - which eventually resulted in their need to get sophisticated care to deal with the resulting complications elsewhere (my late MIL was a particularly sad case - and she died before 80 after years of living like an invalid as a result of a botched up surgery).

BTW - I looked it up - and Vanderbilt is a 3 hour drive from Knoxville - Duke is 5. When it comes to older people - and I am talking about anyone over 65 or even 60 - going local is always the path of last resistance. Even though it is often not the best one. When my late mother needed angioplasty - she and my father were determined that she have it in the closest hospital - 15 minutes away. Because that was most convenient in terms of driving. Even though that hospital didn't have the capability to do cardiac surgery if the angioplasty failed. I argued with them for hours (getting many headaches in the process) to get the procedure in the closest hospital that could do cardiac surgery. Which was only 30 minutes away (we're not talking about any 3-5 hour drive). I finally succeeded. Well - needless to say - my mother's angioplasty blew out - and she needed emergency cardiac surgery. She would have died had she had the procedure at the closest hospital.

My husband and I did a lot of medical malpractice work as lawyers - and know more about this stuff than we know about HVAC systems . I wouldn't want to get all but the most routine care - like monitoring my BP and getting BP meds if necessary - at a community medical center/hospital in a small town.

Quote:
Frankly, once you get outside the major metros, a lot of native Tennesseans and Southerners aren't fond of northern retirees. I was in Asheville, NC last spring and met a retired couple who from NYC. They were fawning over how cheap the place was and how a lot of things "just aren't like they were back home." Yeah, I guess it is cheap for them, but it's not cheap at all for the locals who are mostly working $10-$15/hr service jobs (all you'll find in most of the small town South), while rents and property prices have been bid up by a crush of northern retirees and remote workers not dependent upon the local labor market. Also, if you're going into a culture substantially different than your own (I can barely think of two more unlike cultures than rural Appalachian and urban northerners), then tell everyone all your complaints, of course the locals are going to be ticked off by it. They prattled on for awhile and I told them to just back "up nawth" since it's so much better.
I've lived in Florida for 4+ decades - and that's the way most people from up north are here. They barge in - appreciate low prices - but don't do anything to learn about the areas they're moving to - or to respect the people/culture where they're moving. As a lawyer who moved here at a very young age - who eventually developed a statewide law practice - I traveled around the state a lot and learned a lot about it. Especially from people whose families have been here a lot longer than I have been there. Whether they were old time southern people. Or Cubans whose families came here in the 50's. Or the Minorcans up here in NE Florida whose families came from Spain in the late 18th century (I had an insurance agent named George Garcia - his family came here hundreds of years ago and he speaks with a southern drawl). I don't think I've ever learned anything from anyone who retired here from NYC - except they complain a lot and can't get their voting straight in Palm Beach County (where a lot of NYC retirees tend to congregate).

I don't know what to make about the influx of people - young families with children - not retired people - coming from the NE to my county now. We have a high rated school system. But it seems like at least 10-25% (or maybe more) of these people have kids with all kinds of claimed disabilities - and it seems like they all want their kids to have their own personal teachers (or similar). We can't afford all their kids - much less all their kids with "special needs".

I'm about ready to put that old bumper sticker on my car:

WE DON'T CARE HOW YOU DID YOU UP NORTH. Robyn
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:04 PM
 
14,283 posts, read 24,064,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
BTW - I looked it up - and Vanderbilt is a 3 hour drive from Knoxville - Duke is 5. When it comes to older people - and I am talking about anyone over 65 or even 60 - going local is always the path of last resistance. Even though it is often not the best one. When my late mother needed angioplasty - she and my father were determined that she have it in the closest hospital - 15 minutes away. Because that was most convenient in terms of driving. Even though that hospital didn't have the capability to do cardiac surgery if the angioplasty failed. I argued with them for hours (getting many headaches in the process) to get the procedure in the closest hospital that could do cardiac surgery. Which was only 30 minutes away (we're not talking about any 3-5 hour drive). I finally succeeded. Well - needless to say - my mother's angioplasty blew out - and she needed emergency cardiac surgery. She would have died had she had the procedure at the closest hospital.

In all fairness, if you live in Knoxville, you will not be running to Duke or Vanderbilt very much. When I was researching Knoxville, there is a medical school that is considered to be very good and could probably meet the needs of about 99.5% of all the needs of Tennesseans in the region.

I chose NOT to relocate to Knoxville or E. Tennessee. Health care or the lack of it was NOT an issue.

I know that in this this day of constant advertising by a few of the concierge hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo would lead you to believe that you have to travel to get decent care. And that is what they want you to believe.
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,983,779 times
Reputation: 6724
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
Just a point here. It is not as expensive as you think. It don't take a lot of work to do it. It can be done by anyone once they see it in action. I know I have it on all three floors of my current residence. It is amazing and as AlaskaE says it is slow reacting but once going you would not regret being able to put your bare feet on a warm wood floor from bed or out of the shower. Another selling point there are no radiators or baseboard systems that you dare not block with furniture. The key is to keep all loops in a particular zone the same length and do not go more than 300 foot. The pipe is plastic and you can even create your own manifold if you choose. The manifold is where you bring the main line in to reach all the loops in a zone. Oh forgot you can use even electric wire to do the same. The water system is better though.
You have obviously not dealt with any small town southern contractors. When we moved 20 years ago - they were the norm here (even though we're not in a small town). We were lucky to find a quality builder who moved here from Tampa a few years before we did who built our house. He went bust post-2008. Today the norm here is mass market builders - the publicly traded companies. Who are often as bad as the old small town outfits - but in different ways. Tell one you want a radiant heating system - and he'll probably laugh in your face.

There were other dumb things we found here as well. Like old time residents took it as a point of pride to spend full list price for things like plumbing fixtures and appliances. Coming from Miami - where 25-30+% discounts off list price were the norm - well that left me scratching my head. In the end - I told the plumbing/appliance outfit our builder recommended - which also had a place in Miami - that I wouldn't pay a penny more than I would pay in Miami. And I got my normal discount.

What I have observed in my somewhat low COL area (when it comes to Florida) is a lot of vendors try to take maximum advantage of people who have a relatively large amount of money to spend when it comes to local standards. Robyn
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,869,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
You have obviously not dealt with any small town southern contractors. When we moved 20 years ago - they were the norm here (even though we're not in a small town). We were lucky to find a quality builder who moved here from Tampa a few years before we did who built our house. He went bust post-2008. Today the norm here is mass market builders - the publicly traded companies. Who are often as bad as the old small town outfits - but in different ways. Tell one you want a radiant heating system - and he'll probably laugh in your face.

There were other dumb things we found here as well. Like old time residents took it as a point of pride to spend full list price for things like plumbing fixtures and appliances. Coming from Miami - where 25-30+% discounts off list price were the norm - well that left me scratching my head. In the end - I told the plumbing/appliance outfit our builder recommended - which also had a place in Miami - that I wouldn't pay a penny more than I would pay in Miami. And I got my normal discount.

What I have observed in my somewhat low COL area (when it comes to Florida) is a lot of vendors try to take maximum advantage of people who have a relatively large amount of money to spend when it comes to local standards. Robyn
That maybe but.... They have never met someone like me either. I did the general contractor on my house.
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