Relocating from rural Illinois to the St. Louis area, Brian Bauer sought to move to a historic home within the City of St. Louis. With prior experience rehabbing houses and a love for historical architecture, Bauer found his ideal home in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. Adjacent to Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the nation, Bauer fell in love with the charm of a 1909 two-family flat and immediately saw its potential.
With six rehabs under his belt, Bauer contacted architect Gail White of White and Borgognoni Architects. Under their counsel, Bauer decided to gut the entire structure and start from scratch. White recommended installing a Unico System for the home’s indoor comfort needs.
The revolutionary Unico System is a small-duct, high-velocity product. The ducts are one quarter the size of conventional ducts, allowing them to be placed in the house through original ductwork or existing wall cavities. The system has flexible ductwork that can be tailored to any engineer’s specifications to provide excellent indoor comfort.
White referred the Bauer family to Premier Heating and Cooling in St. Louis. Because the home was a complete rehab, a wide variety of heating and cooling systems were viable options for the property. However, after looking at the energy efficiencies and the aesthetic benefits of Unico, Bauer decided to upgrade to the superior system.
The 2,600 square-foot home’s design plans included three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths in the two-story structure. After specifying the property, one major challenge arose in the ductwork. Because of the size of the house and the brick structure, Premier suggested installing only one system in the home with a thermostat on the second floor. This required the main trunk line to be run from the unfinished basement to the attic.
The contractor decided to run the main trunk line through a hall closet on the first floor and a second-floor bathroom closet, only losing about a foot in each closet. Because of the flexibility of the Unico System, the installers were able to jog the trunk line in the floor between the first and second floor because the closets were not directly above each other.
Unico outlets are customizable circular or flat pieces that come in varying materials or wood finishes. The first-floor outlets were made of pine and stained to match the floor. The second-floor outlets were painted white to match the ceiling. All the outlets are inconspicuous.
The Bauers are extremely happy with the results of the home rehab. Compared to their prior home with hot-water heat, the Bauers have seen their winter heating bills reduced to about $255 as opposed to $500. Additionally, in the spring and fall months, their electric bills are only $80 instead of $125.
“It is remarkable the comfort those little vents give you,” said Bauer. “We love our Unico System because it is extremely quiet, it excels at cooling. Even in the high humidity of St. Louis summers, our house is extremely comfortable. We love that Unico is helping us enjoy our urban experience.”