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Ranch vs. 2 story

My husband and I are debating b/t a ranch and a 2 story right now. He has always favored ranch's and insists that it will make our heating/cooling bills down. It makes sense but does anyone know if it is really thay much of a price difference?
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Re: Ranch vs. 2 story

  • When I lived in a desert climate it absolutely made a significant difference between cooling a single story versus two stories. But I can't say if it makes an appreciable difference in this type of climate. Not very helpful, I know. 
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  • We have a 1 story house (with a basement) and I will say that now that we have a LO I am SO glad that we chose this house vs. a 2 story house...I will also say that as for heating/cooling things I would guess it would make at least somewhat of a difference b/c its less square footage to heat/cool whether its a sizeable difference is debateable---What are some of the other pros/cons you have between the ranch and the 2 story?

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  • You can always call Duke Energy or whoever does the heating/cooling and ask them what previous bills looked like.  We did that when we were house shopping, just give them the address and they can give you the average monthly bill for whatever season you're interested in.  When we were looking we called for a few different homes and there really wasn't much of a difference between the different home styles.  
  • It all depends on how big the square footage of the house is, how good the insulation is, venting/ductwork, etc.  My first house was a cape cod which isn't far off from a ranch and my bills were pretty decent to heat/cool the place.  The average gas/electric bill cost that I got from Duke for that place was more than I ended up paying the majority of the time.

    That being said, my current house is a really old, and extremely large 2 story.  Its old as heck, had no insulation what so ever (we just had it installed about 2 months ago), and has very old ductwork/venting so it costs quite a bit to heat/cool.  Since we had the insulation done its been better.   When I was making an offer I checked the average bill for the previous owner and they were a little less than we end up spending but I think they were on even billing so it balanced out what they were paying more.  HTH!

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  • I think it has to do alot with insulation.  We have a 2 story and used to have a bi-level, which are both supposed to be hard to heat/cool.  Our 2 story is twice the size of our bi-level, but only $30 more/month.  The bi-level was older and didn't have good insulation. 

    We have friends with a new ranch up the street from us and their Duke bill is the same as ours.  I don't know if we have a higher efficiency furnace or what, but we pay the same and they have less square footage. 

    If I did it over again I would stick with the 2-story, but put the master bedroom on the first floor. 

  • Your DH is right. Our second floor (where the bedrooms are) is always too warm to sleep comfortably during the summer. To make the temperature bearable, we have to crank down the a/c, thus freezing out the main level and the basement. It's such a waste. I wish we had a separate thermostat for the upstairs and downstairs--that would be the way to go.

    ETA: I should add that all three levels are vented, so by the time the air gets from the basement up to the second floor, there isn't much force left. If only your main floor and second floor are vented, it won't be as bad as our situation.

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  • image taylormillgirl:

    Your DH is right. Our second floor (where the bedrooms are) is always too warm to sleep comfortably during the summer. To make the temperature bearable, we have to crank down the a/c, thus freezing out the main level and the basement. It's such a waste. I wish we had a separate thermostat for the upstairs and downstairs--that would be the way to go.

    ETA: I should add that all three levels are vented, so by the time the air gets from the basement up to the second floor, there isn't much force left. If only your main floor and second floor are vented, it won't be as bad as our situation.

    Have you tried closing off the vents at all?  Not sure how much it helps, but is worth a try at least.

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  • Yep. Not only did it not work, but the a/c guy told us closing off too many vents will build static pressure and weaken the heat pump unit.
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