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RE: Viking, Wolf or DCS 30' dual fuel range: which to get? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: samr on 06.15.2008 at 10:34 am in Appliances Forum

None of them. We had a professional range for several years. We have friends who have professional ranges. They are nothing but trouble. These stoves are incredibly difficult to keep clean. Consume enormous amount of gas and most of the produced heat go to heat the kitchen. The lighting mechanisms are defective. Close to impossible to get proper service. No home kitchen needs four or five 15-22 KBTU burners. We had difficulty cooking rice, heating milk, heating or making soup, making tea. These burners are so big that they are only good for large fry pans, very large pots but not regular utensils. They are certainly good for restaurants for chefs with assistants but not for home cook who needs to do a number of different cooking, not just stir-fry, in a home setting.

Consumer reports gave a very succinct recommendations about home ranges. We found the recommendations are right on the money. In particular, they recommended that a perfect range should have two high powered burners (like 15 or 18 KBTU) and one or two medium (9 to 10 KBTU) and one low (5 KBTU). That is a perfect combination. New ranges with such combination are coming to the market.

We sold our restaurant-style pro range and bought an electrolux stainless steel range for $2199 from Loew's. It is simply outstanding. It is stunning looking range with all five burners from 5-18 KBTU, two ovens with timers and controls. The convection is about twice as fast as our ex-prorange in baking potato, pizza etc. It fits with our Thermadors extremely well. My gas bill is down almost 50 Therms.

In summary, the restaurant-style (or true restaurant) pro-ranges are gimmicks and inferior. Basically these are cheap restaurant ranges marketed with hype to unsuspecting consumers. That is teh summary of our experience with pro-range.

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clipped on: 10.17.2008 at 07:43 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2008 at 07:43 pm

RE: Heat: Propane vs. Electric - Thoughts? (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: sniffdog on 01.24.2008 at 08:43 am in Building a Home Forum

You don't need a geothermal system to have reasonable heating & cooling bills. There were 2 options that i looked at and both were about the same cost and would have provided about the same efficiency. For both options, I selected high efficiency windows with e glass and argon gas as well as doors that have 3 point locks and tight seals all the way around.

The first option was the geothermal system with blown cellulose insultation in the walls & attic. For the attic, I specified R38 insultation (about 11 inches of cellulose) - the minumum code in our area is R30.

The second option was a spray foam insulation package and high efficiency heat pumps. In this option, the foam in the attic would have been sprayed onto the inner side of the roof so that all space inside the house would be insulated space, and the foam does the best job at blocking air from entering or leaving the home. With this option, an air exchanger system would be needed on the HVAC to bring in a fresh supply of conditioned air inside the house periodically.

The spray foam cost is a lot more than the cellulose, but the heat pump HVAC system is a lot less than a geothermal heat pump system (mainly due to the extra cost of digging the pit or wells for the geothermal pipes).

In the end, both of these approaches would have cost about the same. I chose GT because that is what I always wanted for my dream home, it was as simple as that.

I know a heat pump system can work in a temperature zone like the Blue Ridge Mountains in the mid-atlantic region where I live, provided that the house is insulated AND air infiltration is minimized - well beyond minimum code requirements. You might look at buying a heat pump that has propane as the auxilairy heat (I believe they make these now). As mentioned above, if you live in a really harsh climate zone like Wisconsin - then a heat pump might not be the best choice.

Spend extra money on the insulation package, put in the very best windows & doors, caulk the interior of the house - every nook and cranny, insulate under the foundation slab - do all the things you can to insulate and minimize air infiltration and then you can keep your heating and cooling bills down. I suggest looking at how new homes in Canada are built (check out Holmes on Homes) and build to their standards - the Canadians seem far ahead of the U.S. in building codes for energy efficient homes.

Have you selected a builder yet? If not - make sure that you pick one who really knows how to build energy efficient homes. Don't ask them open ended questions - let them tell you all the steps they take and extra things they do to make the house as energy efficient as it can be.

If you only insulate to minimum code and don't take the extra steps to minimize air infiltration - your monthly bills will be high no matter what HVAC power plant you use.
These extra steps I mention cost money. But it is a pay me now or pay me later proposition. If you plan on living in the house for a long time, then it would be wise to make the investment now, when it is most cost effective to do so.

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clipped on: 03.16.2008 at 12:25 pm    last updated on: 03.16.2008 at 12:25 pm

crown molding on vaulted or two story ceilings?

posted by: onourway2nc on 10.31.2007 at 04:24 pm in Building a Home Forum

I've been reading this forum for quite awhile and love the easy exchange of information. It's the first place I come whenever I have questions about our build. Our situation is different than most on here as we're in the process of having a townhome built in NC although we're still in PA. Our builder is a local builder who has allowed for quite a few changes in the floorplan at minimal cost to us. We have ten foot ceilings on the first floor with crown molding everywhere and are debating whether or not to use crown molding on the great room, the ceiling is about 19' or more as the second floor rooms have 9' ceilings. Anyone have pics to share, please, if you've used crown molding? Thanks!

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clipped on: 11.02.2007 at 09:04 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2007 at 09:04 pm