When my husband and I purchased a historical home in Orland Park, we were delighted by the hardwood floors, doors, molding and staircase.
- We looked forward to sitting on the wide back porch and enjoying the view of a pond with ducks.
We didn’t realize some of the unique difficulties of a historical home. Our house was built in the 1800’s and retains many of the original features. We soon realized that the electric wires and panel weren’t up to code, and there was rarely more than a single outlet per room. The ancient plumbing caused problems with water pressure, drainage and water quality. One of our biggest challenges was temperature control. The house has no conventional ductwork. In Orland Park, the weather is severe just about year round. We deal with temperatures in the high eighties and excessive humidity in the summer. During the winter, sub zero temperatures aren’t a surprise. The wind chill makes conditions feel much colder and we set records for snow accumulation. Spring and fall are unpredictable, providing anything from torrential downpours, hail and high winds to intense heat. Trying to get by without centralized heating and cooling was horrible. The former owners had used a collection of window air conditioners, box fans and electric baseboard heaters. With one electrical outlet per room, this was especially inconvenient. Plus, our home was overheated and sticky for half the year and chilly for the other half. I constuled with a local HVAC contractor in Orland Park and learned about the opportunity of high-velocity heating and cooling. This type of system utilizes flexible mini-ducts that were able to be routed through our plaster walls without causing damage.