Port Austin Bible Campus; PO Box 474, Port Austin, Michigan 48467 989-738-7700 www.portaustin.net/pabc
Port Austin Bible Campus, 8180 Port Drive, PO Box 474, Port Austin,
Michigan, USA, 48467.  •  989-738-7700  •  pabc@portaustin.net
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Heating the House of the Homeless

Thank you very much for your interest in helping the homeless people in Michigan's Thumb. As of this writing (Dec 8, 2011), it is getting colder and our men's dorm with 10 people in it relies on expensive electric space heat. We have acquired a used wood stove very cheaply. For $2,700 we can install a chimney system that would accomodate a wood stove on each floor. For a few hundred dollars more, we would be able to install a means to distribute the heat to various rooms. This would still leave a very warm lounge room and colder sleeping rooms, but would be much cheaper than what we have now.

Professional Estimates for Conventional Heasting Systems

Our building that need heat are two-story, 3000 square feet per floor with a bathroom on each floor. Our vendors all recommended installing heating units in each floor with ducts above the ceiling going to each room. However, budget-wise people have said that we can probably heat only the bottom floor and still use the top floor as there is no insulation between floors and heat rises. However, upstairs heat would be uneven and non-adjustible. We would probably need to supplement with space heaters, but this is far better than trying to heat with only space heaters as we are now.

The estimates, below, are as we received them from local vendors with the following adjustments:

  • $300 per floor added for the cost of making a closet for the furnace, running the electrical circuit and moving the suspended ceiling in our halls down eight inches to make room for the heating ducts.
  • $500 per building for Consumer's Energy to run gas pipe and install a meter.
  • For the PABC installs, $70 for tools we would need and $200 for a permit for each furnace.

Heating Method

Installed by Phil's Plumbing and Heating

Installed by Schmalz Plumbing & Heating

PABC Installs, parts from Schmalz Plumbing & Heating

Gas Heat on one floor in one dormitory. Some electric heat required to use the top floor.




Gas Heat on both floors of one dormitory. Lesser ongoing cost to use the whole building.




Gas Heat on both floors of two dormitories. Room for at least 20 more people.




#4400 wood boiler stove fitted for one floor in one dormitory—has capacity to heat second floor, but ductwork not included.
Will pay for itself in 2-3 years of no heating bills.



(approx.)  $10,000

#6500 wood boiler stove fitted for one floor in one dormitory. Stove is big enough to heat both floors of both dormitories



(approx.)  $19,000

#6500 wood boiler stove with all duct work for both floors of both dormitories.



(approx.)  $29,000

These prices are all based upon new furnaces and new parts. If we did the work ourselves, it might be possible to find good used furnaces (gas or wood) and reduce the price substantially. At this time, we have the people here at PABC who are sufficiently skilled to do this work. If funds are available, we would prefer any of the wood-fuel options as they do not require ongoing charges. However, it is obvious that the gas furnaces are the least expensive way to provide heat for this winter.

Both vendors want half of the cost of the project up front to pay for the materials, and the rest within a month after completion.

If anyone would like the vendor's original estimates or any other information, please let us know. If those desiring to help are concerned about how their funds would be used, we would be more than happy to have an outside comittee collect the funds and pay vendors directly.

Again, thank you for your concern for Michigan's Thumb area homeless people and PABC's efforts to share the love of Christ with them. For more information on how you can help, click here and scroll to the bottom.