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Combo Window Heat and A/C unit.

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Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
I have a house that has it's second floor heated by a combo window unit heat and cooled system. Is this considered permanent heat? I tend to think it would be OK but it could be easily removed like a WU air condition. What do you all think?
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Don't know that I've ever seen one of those things....but, I might imagine it to be quite noisy when in operation. Is the heater part an electric coil with a blower fan ? Is it a heat pump concept in the summer, like a refridgerator ? Does it only treat the single room in which window it is mounted....when the door is closed ? Is this a former attic area which has been lived-in and is served by this unit ? As surely as it was installed it can be un-installed. Calling it permanent might be a stretch. Take a picture of it and let the U/W determine. How this occupant has utilized that upper level may not be readily perceived by your market the same way. Develop your report as if that room may, or may not, be counted in total living area. How many sq.ft. are we talking here ?
 

Caterina Platt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
Ross brings up some excellent questions.

Maybe this additional info would help?? HUD guidelines as I understand them accept 'add in' heating systems as long as they are 'hard wired', not merely plugged into the wall, and have an automatic thermostat. The minimum requirement is to keep the living area at no less than 50 degrees year round. There is no requirement for cooling. You didn't mention this is an FHA, however the market tends to follow (or bow should I say) to thier guidelines in these types of grey areas. My feeling, if it's good enough for HUD at 97+% government backed financing, it should be acceptable for others who typically have much less stringent guidelines. As for being removed, theoretically, anything can be removed. A freestanding lavoratory in a hall bath for example wouldn't be much harder to remove than a window A/C unit. Like Ross said, shoot a pic, label it, give some pertinent particulars, let the underwriter make the call.

As to the useful living area, etc. it will be based on your inspection of the upper floor and it's access. Ceiling heights should be a minimum of 5' to be counted as living area; finish level at least equal to the house, accessible by a young child or elderly (functional issue with the stairwell), etc.
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Catrina, it is a conventional loan. Ross, I think it is a heat pump type system. I guess I should find out for sure. It is very quit and it is attractive. It heats the hole upstairs. It is not an attic, but a regular floor. It has around 600 SF.

I hear they sell these thing for $799 at home depot. We are beginning to see them often in Sunrooms, finished attics, bonuse rooms, and converted garages.
 

Caterina Platt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
From your description, sounds like you have 600 SF of living space upstairs. My only other thought on this subject would be does the market treat this type of system the same as central forced air? In my market, I see about $1000 downward trend for gas space heaters (wall furnaces) vs. CFA. If there are 2 or more rooms involved, this may be a consideration for you. Granted, this downward trend may also be due to the fact that the space heaters are typically older and less efficient $$$. If you feel this newer unit would adequately do the job, is hard wired and has a thermostat, nuff said.
 

David S. Roberson

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
If it's hard-wired, it would seem to be as permanent as baseboard heating, wouldn't it? If it just plugs in & can be easily removed, I wouldn't call it permanent.
 

George W Dodd

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
I've been using a window heat pump for a couple of years in my office. It looks like a through the wall ac unit. It's very quite and energy efficient. When I did the office I was gonna use electric baseboard strips and a window ac unit but the electrican told me about these units and I haven't had any regrets in any season.

I would consider it to be a fixture and therefore part of the real estate just like a stove.

Just disclose what it is and maybe a comparison to an alternative heat source such as the electric baseboard strips which are inexpensive to install (but expensive to heat with).
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
These heat pump units have been used for over 20 years down here and are acceptable in our market for lower-priced homes. I simply disclose that these are window AC/Heat pump units, not unusual for the market, and adjust vs. CHAC, no difference between panel heat or space heat.

Roger
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Thanks everyone!
 

Ted Martin

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Kansas
If you want to see one of these in action check in to the closest Motel6 or Super8. Most of the ones I've stayed in use these systems for the guest rooms.
 
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