Best HVAC system for birds in multi story house? Temp heating solution?

ravvlet

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,349
7,085
Seattle WA
Parrots
Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Broccoli - Dusky Conure - 3?mo old (July 2023 -)
~~~
(Rehomed) Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-2023)
(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
Hey y’all! I’m in the PNW and I love making an expensive problem more expensive.

The electric in-wall heater in Kirby’s room suddenly started sparking today. It could be dust, but I do not enjoy the look of an obviously-on-fire coil! I reached out to the company who makes them (King) and they said the coils don’t have nonstick or anything on them, and I don’t know what I’m even looking at, so I’m calling the electrician in the morning. I’d called him originally because the unit reeked of burning dust; he told us to clean it so we did - but one of the coils came loose. We may end up replacing the unit for now, but as it’s been hellishly hot in the summer we are looking at getting a quote for an HVAC system.

Kirby up in our bedroom now in his pak o bird and I get to run to the store to get a temp cage for him because his cage doesn’t fit upstairs. It gets too cold down there at night to leave him, and the Home Depot by my house does not have the radiant oil heaters I see posted on here all the time. If a ceramic one is safe I might grab one? I don’t want him stuck in a modified kennel or small bird cage while we sort this out…

We have a three story townhouse. The floors are narrow. I’m thinking we could probably do a mini-split for heating & cooling as that would be cheaper than ductwork and a full on air conditioner, but I have almost no idea what I’m talking about. Would that work? I’m so over these crappy wall heating units! The ductwork to put in a true air conditioning unit may not even be possible given these houses weren’t built with those in mind; I’ve never had a mini split though! Argh.

In the mean time though, as that is all going to take time and effort, should we just replace the in wall unit? Should we instead get a plug in oil filled radiator? I cannot find one locally so we are stuck for tonight with his highness upstairs in a temporary cage either way.

I’m so over this dang house!!
 
Hey y’all! I’m in the PNW and I love making an expensive problem more expensive.

The electric in-wall heater in Kirby’s room suddenly started sparking today. It could be dust, but I do not enjoy the look of an obviously-on-fire coil! I reached out to the company who makes them (King) and they said the coils don’t have nonstick or anything on them, and I don’t know what I’m even looking at, so I’m calling the electrician in the morning. I’d called him originally because the unit reeked of burning dust; he told us to clean it so we did - but one of the coils came loose. We may end up replacing the unit for now, but as it’s been hellishly hot in the summer we are looking at getting a quote for an HVAC system.

Kirby up in our bedroom now in his pak o bird and I get to run to the store to get a temp cage for him because his cage doesn’t fit upstairs. It gets too cold down there at night to leave him, and the Home Depot by my house does not have the radiant oil heaters I see posted on here all the time. If a ceramic one is safe I might grab one? I don’t want him stuck in a modified kennel or small bird cage while we sort this out…

We have a three story townhouse. The floors are narrow. I’m thinking we could probably do a mini-split for heating & cooling as that would be cheaper than ductwork and a full on air conditioner, but I have almost no idea what I’m talking about. Would that work? I’m so over these crappy wall heating units! The ductwork to put in a true air conditioning unit may not even be possible given these houses weren’t built with those in mind; I’ve never had a mini split though! Argh.

In the mean time though, as that is all going to take time and effort, should we just replace the in wall unit? Should we instead get a plug in oil filled radiator? I cannot find one locally so we are stuck for tonight with his highness upstairs in a temporary cage either way.

I’m so over this dang house!!
I have a heat pump (also referred to as a mini split in some regions) and I LOVE it. Even here in Maine it has made our cold winters comfortably warm and our hot summers comfortably cool. For a three story town home you would need more than one- one for each floor.
 
Hey y’all! I’m in the PNW and I love making an expensive problem more expensive.

The electric in-wall heater in Kirby’s room suddenly started sparking today. It could be dust, but I do not enjoy the look of an obviously-on-fire coil! I reached out to the company who makes them (King) and they said the coils don’t have nonstick or anything on them, and I don’t know what I’m even looking at, so I’m calling the electrician in the morning. I’d called him originally because the unit reeked of burning dust; he told us to clean it so we did - but one of the coils came loose. We may end up replacing the unit for now, but as it’s been hellishly hot in the summer we are looking at getting a quote for an HVAC system.

Kirby up in our bedroom now in his pak o bird and I get to run to the store to get a temp cage for him because his cage doesn’t fit upstairs. It gets too cold down there at night to leave him, and the Home Depot by my house does not have the radiant oil heaters I see posted on here all the time. If a ceramic one is safe I might grab one? I don’t want him stuck in a modified kennel or small bird cage while we sort this out…

We have a three story townhouse. The floors are narrow. I’m thinking we could probably do a mini-split for heating & cooling as that would be cheaper than ductwork and a full on air conditioner, but I have almost no idea what I’m talking about. Would that work? I’m so over these crappy wall heating units! The ductwork to put in a true air conditioning unit may not even be possible given these houses weren’t built with those in mind; I’ve never had a mini split though! Argh.

In the mean time though, as that is all going to take time and effort, should we just replace the in wall unit? Should we instead get a plug in oil filled radiator? I cannot find one locally so we are stuck for tonight with his highness upstairs in a temporary cage either way.

I’m so over this dang house!!
If you only need climate control for the floor where Kirby's room is one heat pump/mini split unit would be fine. If there is more than one room on that floor and you want one heat pump unit to service the whole floor you need to position it as centrally as possible, keep the doors open, and use ceiling fans to move the "good" air around to control the temperature in all rooms. If there's less than 500 square feet on Kirby's floor it would work well.
 
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If you only need climate control for the floor where Kirby's room is one heat pump/mini split unit would be fine. If there is more than one room on that floor and you want one heat pump unit to service the whole floor you need to position it as centrally as possible, keep the doors open, and use ceiling fans to move the "good" air around to control the temperature in all rooms. If there's less than 500 square feet on Kirby's floor it would work well.

Ah, butts! It’s less than 500sqft, but I keep Kirby’s door closed because of the cats. I really need to look into how these units work - it seems like there’s an outside unit, and then the things in the wall that do the air exchange? Or am I misunderstanding?

Our house is 1250sqft, which doesn’t include the DADU that Sammy is in (which is a roughly 100+sqft office, and has its own breaker panel and a mini ac/heater). Kirby is on the “first floor” (from the backyard; it’s the basement in the front as we are on a hill - his room has a giant glass patio door looking out on Sammy’s office/ the yard). I’d love ideally to have something to control the climate for each floor…but our floor plan sounds like it would make that very tricky! The middle floor is an open floor plan that would work wonderfully, but the top floor is 2BR & a BA, and those doors are almost always closed, and Kirby’s floor is a rec room & bathroom in the “basement” half, and my office/his playstand/my kids craft table in the half facing the yard.

See what I mean by an expensive problem? Haha!

I have the foreman for the electric company we use in my contacts so I texted him to let him know we have a coil awry in the unit; hoping to get someone out before the weekend to look at or replace it, but he also gave me the contact info for the HVAC guy they work with. They’re the same folks who installed the electric for the DADU that my partner uses as her office/Sammy lives in, so I trust their work!

Thanks so much for a breakdown on how it works. I am from the Deep South where everyone has an air conditioner system with ducts and everything because it’s 80 during the winter down there, haha.
 
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Ah, ok, I finally did some googling now that Kirby is asleep in my room where it’s nice and toasty (I moved his air filter and his humidifier up here too). Looks like I can get a multi zone mini split (up to 5) that would allow me to have a separate unit in his room versus the rest of the basement. Not exactly cost effective but I have yet to meet an aspect of parrot ownership that is…ha!
 
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Update; Kirby is not impressed by his temp cage in our bedroom but we found a local electrician who can come out and look at the heating element today. I’m hoping they can just pop the coil that got knocked out of place by our cleaning back in and call it sorted - I was afraid to do it myself because I wasn’t sure it wouldn’t just come back out again, and it’s a fire hazard and needs to be able to safely run unattended… whew!

In the mean time I’m going to start calling HVAC companies and see about having someone come out for an estimate. Last years project was a bathroom repair - this year may well be an HVAC system.

Edit: yay, the electrician is replacing the heater in there with a more powerful one for a pretty penny tomorrow morning (the old unit was energized in places it shouldn’t have been, so there was some kind of short!) but it turns out their company does heat pumps/mini splits, so we are gonna see about having them come out for an estimate for that so I can add it to my ever growing list of home improvements, lol.

That means one more night for Kirby’s sleepover. It got pretty warm outside today, so I’m checking the temp in there, but I think I can safely put him on his playstand for the afternoon while it’s warm enough so he still gets his regular out time! He doesn’t love being in my room, but he’s taking it okay.
 
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Ah, butts! It’s less than 500sqft, but I keep Kirby’s door closed because of the cats. I really need to look into how these units work - it seems like there’s an outside unit, and then the things in the wall that do the air exchange? Or am I misunderstanding?

Our house is 1250sqft, which doesn’t include the DADU that Sammy is in (which is a roughly 100+sqft office, and has its own breaker panel and a mini ac/heater). Kirby is on the “first floor” (from the backyard; it’s the basement in the front as we are on a hill - his room has a giant glass patio door looking out on Sammy’s office/ the yard). I’d love ideally to have something to control the climate for each floor…but our floor plan sounds like it would make that very tricky! The middle floor is an open floor plan that would work wonderfully, but the top floor is 2BR & a BA, and those doors are almost always closed, and Kirby’s floor is a rec room & bathroom in the “basement” half, and my office/his playstand/my kids craft table in the half facing the yard.

See what I mean by an expensive problem? Haha!

I have the foreman for the electric company we use in my contacts so I texted him to let him know we have a coil awry in the unit; hoping to get someone out before the weekend to look at or replace it, but he also gave me the contact info for the HVAC guy they work with. They’re the same folks who installed the electric for the DADU that my partner uses as her office/Sammy lives in, so I trust their work!

Thanks so much for a breakdown on how it works. I am from the Deep South where everyone has an air conditioner system with ducts and everything because it’s 80 during the winter down there, haha.
A heat pump unit hangs high on the wall inside and is connected to a unit outside on the other side. What happens between the two is "magic" above my payscale but it works! You have a pretty good understanding of your situation and a heat pump may or may not be the solution. They are great for open floor plans but not so great for areas with closed rooms. Work with your professional to make the best choice for your home.
In the meantime an oil filled electric radiator would work well to safely warm a room without any scary exposed red hot elements but they are rather expensive to run (all units are) and do get hot to touch. You can purchase one for less than $100 at a Lowes or Home Depot or on Amazon use until you get a more permanent solution.
Update; Kirby is not impressed by his temp cage in our bedroom but we found a local electrician who can come out and look at the heating element today. I’m hoping they can just pop the coil that got knocked out of place by our cleaning back in and call it sorted - I was afraid to do it myself because I wasn’t sure it wouldn’t just come back out again, and it’s a fire hazard and needs to be able to safely run unattended… whew!

In the mean time I’m going to start calling HVAC companies and see about having someone come out for an estimate. Last years project was a bathroom repair - this year may well be an HVAC system.

Edit: yay, the electrician is replacing the heater in there with a more powerful one for a pretty penny tomorrow morning (the old unit was energized in places it shouldn’t have been, so there was some kind of short!) but it turns out their company does heat pumps/mini splits, so we are gonna see about having them come out for an estimate for that so I can add it to my ever growing list of home improvements, lol.

That means one more night for Kirby’s sleepover. It got pretty warm outside today, so I’m checking the temp in there, but I think I can safely put him on his playstand for the afternoon while it’s warm enough so he still gets his regular out time! He doesn’t love being in my room, but he’s taking it okay.
Isn't it fun being a homeowner? Always something.
 
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It really is. It almost makes me miss our rental, haha. But I’ve forgotten most of the things that made that place a mess, as my mom is keen to remind me! It’s just that when things were constantly breaking there it was never my problem, ha!

Poor Kirby. It was a touch too cold for me to feel good about putting him out on his playstand. He’s obviously bored. Today I guess was just a nap day. They’re going to install the new wall unit (it’s an upgrade, 1000 watt unit instead of the 500 watt we had before bc it’s all they had in that size and brand haha) tomorrow morning so I am hopeful we can get him back in there tomorrow afternoon.

I bet that the radiant heater would have been less expensive by far than replacing the wall heater, but we can’t really have something that gets hot to the touch in there, myself and my kids are all klutzes.
 

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