Heat/ac options for extremely low budget
A relative has a condo, it's no more then 1000 sq ft-maybe closer to 800, it's the middle floor unit of 3 floors, windows only on one side, about 25 years old.
The a/c has failed and also the heat. I believe something was leaking gas in the heater and they were told not to try to use it. She has used some kind of amazing space heater that she says keeps them warm. No idea of electric bills for that. (might be one of those "amish" ones). The a/c sort of worked last year. I think for the last years it has cooled them, but has iced up and then they wait for it to thaw and then they can run it again. Her electric bills for a/c this summer were over $400/month, more than my 2800 sq ft single family.
She has ZERO money, she lives paycheck to paycheck figuring out which bills to pay each month. The extreme electric bills didn't help. Hopefully there will be some $ from tax refund but there is no way she can afford to replace the whole system, and the mortgage is underwater.
Is a heat pump a cheaper alternative to the traditional a/c-furance? Can she just get a heat pump with heat strips cheaper than an a/c with furnace? I think she'd be ok w/ just an a/c and use her electric heater in winter, but I'm not sure what that's costing. She can't use window a/c due to condo rules.
She won't qualify for any of the assistance that's out there because she makes too much for that, it's her bills that are the problem...not her income.