My A/C unit broke

As a married couple with four children under the age of ten, my wife and I do not get a lot of quiet time. This isn’t a complaint, just a reality. It was our choice to live this life, and we are very happy with our children and our home. But still, sometimes we just want to get out for a little while and have a date like in the old days. Paying for babysitting for 4 kids isn’t cheap, but once every couple of months we spend the money and have a little escape.

          Last weekend was our date night. We had planned it, but we hadn’t planned on the AC in our house breaking down. Now not only were all of us sweltering hot without any cooling system to help us out, but we were also looking at another extra bill to get it fixed. Common sense said that we should put the family first and forgo the date night so we could spend that money on HVAC system repairs.
         Instead I called up the babysitter like normal, and offered her a few extra bucks to watch the kids in a house with no AC in it. She wasn’t thrilled at the idea, but the extra cash made up for the lack of a cooling system this time. So while the kids were at home, we went out to a nice air conditioned diner and had a nice quiet meal. Then we went to a movie, had a great time, before going home and only then figuring out what to do about our AC problem.

kabran AC and heating 

AC equipment and the pets

 I love my girlfriend, I really do, but I have a hard time dealing with her pets. She is an animal person. She used to work in a zoo, before an accident with a giraffe made her retire on disability, and now she keeps a mini zoo in her home. Well, now it’s our home, but if we don’t find a way to make it work I won’t be living here for much longer. I like animals, don’t get me wrong, but liking them and sharing my space with so many of them are two different things. I may need to do something expensive like upgrade the entire central HVAC system for the house, just to keep living here.

           It’s not so much the noise, even though the birds and cats are all very loud, it’s the indoor air quality. Animals stink by nature, especially when they relieve themselves on a newspaper on the floor, and the air filters and vents in the house just aren’t getting the job done. I don’t even care about temperature control that much, I’m pretty easy going when it comes to running the AC. But our current HVAC system is only a few years old, and it has HEPA air filters in it which are the best you can buy, and the house still stinks!

          I have an appointment with an HVAC contractor next week, where he will show me some options for air filtration units that may solve of my problems. Otherwise, I have to decide between AC, the animals, and my girlfriend.

air conditioner for sale 

I’m going to fix this air conditioner

Some people invent things, and then other people take apart those inventions, study them, and make them better. Both types of people are inventors, it’s just that one type works on big ideas, and the other type takes those big ideas and modifies them to become more useful. I have a friend who is part of the second group. He likes to buy electronics equipment, take it apart, and see if he can make faster, stronger, or more powerful. He can’t build a stereo, but he can take your stereo and make it louder!

          He never went to night school, and never got certified as an HVAC repair technician, yet he can strip a window AC unit down to its bare parts and rebuild it better than new. I’m the one who convinced him he should start charging for his time, because he was fixing air conditioners for free and could have been making some cash. He works on a lot more than just cooling systems, of course, but we are in the middle of the dog days of summer, and people are running their air conditioners 24/7, so his skills for that are in demand at the moment.

       In a few months, when the cold days really hit the area, I’m sure he will have a lot of requests to work on furnaces and space heaters. If this keeps up, he will have a real HVAC repair service on his hands, which means he will probably have to make it legal and start paying taxes for all the AC units he fixes.

HVAC maintenance plan 

Saving a huge amount of money

Last week I was holding a very important business lunch meeting in my home. I was not taking any chances with anything going wrong. I even hired a caterer for the occasion! If I made this business deal, it would result in a substantial increase in my family’s income level. I truly needed to make this deal happen. The night before the big lunch meeting, we had a miniature HVAC system disaster in my home. I was sleeping peacefully, when all of a sudden I woke up to a very hot home. I groggily woke up and went to check the thermostat to see what it said. The thermostat informed me that the air handler was running, but the indoor temperature read at a steamy 91 degrees! I could hear air coming out through the vents and ductwork, so I knew the air handler was in fact working. I grabbed a flashlight and went out to look at the other half of my HVAC system. I own a relatively new condenser unit out in my backyard. I went outside to check on it, and sure enough it wasn’t working. I was hoping it would be a simple HVAC system fix. I haven’t had the capacitor replaced in quite a few years, I sure hoped that was the case! I knew how to change the capacitor on my own, so it would save me a huge amount of money that I would have to otherwise spend on an HVAC technician. When the sun came up I asked my neighbor to borrow hsi HVAC system tools. Sure enough, it was the capacitor! I drove over to the store to get a new one, and soon had my HVAc system repaired and working. My lunch business meeting was also a huge success!

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Writing gets cold

I love my job. It allows me to work from home, which is an amazing change for me. I never realized before how much I truly hated having to rush out the door every morning to go sit in an office building. Often I was there for no reason, and I was counting the things I’d rather be doing at home. It felt like torture to watch the minutes tick by, knowing I had so many other activities that I could be tackling. Now I can get everything done and schedule my work around my own life – it feels amazing! The hardest part of the whole job is sitting still for several hours on end. I tend to get very, very cold when I’m sitting in one place, and even with the ability to change the thermostat, nothing seems to resolve my problem. I have tried bumping up the indoor air temperature a few degrees, but feel entirely guilty for the amount of energy I’m wasting. The extra warmth doesn’t seem worthwhile when I’m paying to heat up the entire house. Every time I hear the furnace chugging along, I feel immensely anxious and immediately start thinking of my energy bill. I’ve tried to wear extra layers instead of using the heater, but even with extra sweater, socks, and gloves, I still catch a chill when I’m staring at my computer. The cost of heating my house during the weekdays never even crossed my mind before. I honestly had no idea that the HVAC system would cause me so much stress.  

air and heating 

Painting the bedroom

After moving into a big house, I realized that there was a new problem at hand; I didn’t own any furniture. I’ve managed to live in apartments until now, and I hadn’t collected any large furniture at all. Looking around at all the empty space, I realized it was going to be quite a feat to get enough stuff to fill the space. I immediately got to work purchasing cheap old furniture, and redesigning it with a fresh coat of paint. I took to the work so quickly, in fact, that I decided to continue painting and selling the furniture in order to make some extra money. Painting projects require some specific environmental conditions, however, so now I’ve been working on setting up a designated painting room. I need the air temperature to be quite cool so that the paint will settle easily, so I installed a cheap AC window unit in the room. Because the unit is separately controlled from the rest of the house, I can keep the area much cooler without wasting energy on cooling the whole home. I also needed to remove as much humidity from the air as possible, and I knew that the air conditioner wasn’t able to adequately remove enough moisture from the environment. As such, I had a dehumidifying unit installed in the space to pull extra water from the indoor air. Now my painting projects are completed more efficiently than ever, and I can count on my high quality indoor air to help my pieces dry quickly and flawlessly.

bay area cooling 

Energy saving is key

My mother has been slowly gifting us appliances over the past few years, replacing our older  models with brand new ones. I didn’t understand her motives at first, because our old models worked just fine and it seemed wasteful to get new ones, but eventually realized that there was a method to her madness. She was purchasing the most energy efficient models of every appliance for us, in order to save money on our energy bills in the long run. She wanted to make sure that we had equipment which would last many years to come, and was energy star rated to operate for a fraction of the money required by older instruments. Looking around, we had a brand new refrigerator, stove, washing machine, and microwave. The only item we hadn’t replaced to be highly energy efficient was our old HVAC system. The heating and cooling devices had been installed for at least 15 years, and we didn’t doubt their inefficiency. In fact, the air conditioner seemed to run constantly in order to augment the indoor air temperature, and the heater barely even made a difference during the coldest winter nights. I know that our energy bills go through the roof every time we have extreme weather, and this could be improved with a new system. I looked into several new HVAC systems and found that they weren’t unreasonably expensive, considering all the money they save in the long run. I’ve been setting aside money little by little, and I can’t wait to finally invest in our upgraded HVAC.

energy saving tips 

I’d like to find the perfect house

I’ve agreed to make a big move in the coming months, but only if I can have the ideal setup when I arrive in my new city. I feel as though I’m giving up so much by leaving my current town, that I need to have an amazing home when I arrive in my new location. I’ve been searching for the perfect house for months now, waiting to find the place that meets my exact specifications with no chance of settling for less. I have been scouting neighborhood papers, online postings, and taking tips via word of mouth, and I finally found an amazing house that I can really see myself living in. The place is big and spacious, with an awesome porch and big private back yard. I love everything about the home, except for the HVAC unit that is currently installed. I know better than to jump into a large investment without factoring in all the financial impediments, and replacing the central heating and cooling system is going to be a substantial amount of money. The HVAC system is at least 15 years old, with the thermostat being even older than that. The air conditioner is rusty and makes a strange humming noise 24/7, while the furnace is almost black and produces huge banging sounds when it operates. I’m glad I put the temperature control system through its paces before signing the papers, at least I can get a detailed quote from the local HVAC repair shop and make an educated decision on my purchase.

heater

Enjoying the holiday weekend

I always thought that long weekends were supposed to be fun and relaxing treats, but I don’t feel like mine usually end up being very enjoyable. I can remember several that involved contracting severe illnesses, so I was trapped in bed sweating and vomiting for 3 days straight. Another one also comes to mind involving a burst pipe and several dozen gallons of dirty water all over my living room floor. The most obnoxious long weekend disaster was this past Memorial Day, though. I was at home, preparing a relaxing breakfast for my husband, when I realized that it felt a little stuffy in the house. I went to the thermostat but found that the temperature setting was accurate. I lowered the temperature a few degrees, but didn’t notice a change in the air quality. The air conditioner did not seem to be turning on or pumping any cool air through the air vents, and the indoor air temperature was continually increasing as the minutes ticked by. The kitchen was getting way too hot and my husband finally woke up to find the unfortunate situation. He called the nearest HVAC company, but after calling several locations we couldn’t find an available technician. Because of the long weekend everyone was on vacation or already tied up servicing other busted HVAC systems, so we weren’t able to schedule a heating and cooling specialist until at least Tuesday. We spent the whole weekend sweating through our shorts in the sweltering heat without any air conditioning. So much for our “relaxing” long weekend!

heating

I’m glad I work indoors

I’ve recently been off work, at least in the most traditional sense of the word. I stopped going to my boring office job in the name of following my passions, and I have to say that I’m loving the transition so far. Sure, I’m not exactly doing what I love yet, but it’s amazing to stay at home every day and make my own schedule. Even better, I love that I’m in full control of my working environment, including the temperature control. It’s so nice to be able to adjust the thermostat at my every whim, rather than having a corporation control the indoor air conditions for me. This also got me thinking about how lucky I am to work indoors at all, whereas some people have to be exposed to the outdoor air conditions for their 9-5. I can’t imagine being at the mercy of temperamental weather, rather than having the power to control your own environment. I take modern heating and cooling for granted, especially when it comes to my work week. I have the ability to easily modify any indoor air condition to my exact liking with only the push of a button. I can even make this thermostat adjustment from my cell phone, rather than having to visit the temperature control box. I have reliable and accurate air conditioning and heating at my disposal all the time, and I barely even appreciate it most days. All those years that I was complaining about sharing a thermostat with the entire office, I should have been grateful for having temperature control at all!

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