We need some updates

Every year I try to do some new home improvement project or updating, I can’t afford to do all that my home needs at once so I have been spreading it out over the past few years since I bought my home. Last year I focused on the plumbing and this year I am finally tackling my HVAC system. I was really nervous about what the cost would be, I knew I couldn’t afford to get a brand new system installed, but I also knew I needed the ductwork cleaned and replaced and I was hoping to go from an electrical furnace to a gas powered one. It has always been my dream for gas lit fireplace in my room. The added benefit of a gas powered furnace is should the power go out from a storm or a blizzard, I would still be able to heat my home. Living up in the north those kinds of things happen often. The majority of homes have a fireplace or wood stove just for that reason, unfortunately my home was built without one. When the power goes out, so does my furnace, and spare space heaters won’t bring any relief either. So I reached out to the local HVAC companies to get an idea of what they could do and shop around for the most affordable price. I finally settled on this one HVAC team that really understood what I was looking for and quoted me for a fantastic price. In a week the HVAC team is all set to begin their installations. I can’t wait for my bedroom gas fireplace!

space heater 

Servicing my furnace

I decided I wanted to host Christmas for our family this year. I just got my own place and it was exciting to have the opportunity to invite everyone over for the holidays and show them my new life.  We had been returning to our parents house for years, my sister was apprehensive of the change of routine but I promised, as long as the family was together, Christmas will be perfect! My family was scheduled to stay over until the new years, my sister was coming a few days early to help me get everything prepared. When she arrived that evening I was in total panic, my furnace was apparently shot and not working. This was a disaster, I was crying that Christmas was ruined and the Megan was right, we should have all just gone home. There was no way I could call an HVAC team this time of year, they were all either fully booked or leaving for the holidays. As I was pulling out all my closeted space heaters and knitted and wool blankets, my sister got out the phone book and started calling the listed HVAC companies. Just like I expected many were either fully booked or out of town. By sheer luck she called one HVAC company and actually got a tech who answered! Thank goodness my sister was able to keep such a level headed during this time. She explained our furnace problems and the need for a timely repair. The HVAC tech was able to get in and service my furnace and by the time my parents and brother arrived, the radiators were creaking and furnace was firing. Christmas at my place was a hit!

space heater 

Cleaning my heating system

The only place that I have air conditioning in my home gym. I have a really neat addition onto my home. There is a door that opens to a long, patio like area. If I knocked down the glass windows, the area would be a patio for sure. Instead I left the door and windows and I made it a workout room. I can see the pretty outdoors through the glass but have temperature control when working out. In the Winter it is nice since the snow looks so pretty but I am toasty warm. The sun comes through the glass and naturally warms me. However I added a ductless heat pump to the room for some added heater use. I also really needed the ductless unit for cooling power. In the Summer that work out room gets toasty. The sun coming off the glass gets to be hot. I almost feel like a bug under a magnifying glass. So I crank up the AC with the ductless device. The air conditioning comes from a wall mounted unit and keeps me cold enough to work out for as long as I want. I like having a ductless AC unit since it takes up no space. Also not messing around with ductwork is super great. It is simple to clean, maintain and the temperature in my workout room never affects my whole home. I can use the air conditioning for working out and still have a nicely warm kitchen. It is great for comfort and money reasons. No use paying for cooling in rooms that I don’t want it.

elk HVAC 

My mom won’t let me turn the heater on

I hate when the weather just starts to turn cold. I never know if I can put away my Summer clothes or not. I put them away about three weeks ago. Then I had to take them back out due to us experience temperatures in the 90s. Now, our weather has been consistently cold. I want to put the clothes away, but should I? Also I hate it because my mother never allows me to turn on the heater. I think my mother believes that once we turn on the heating system, Winter is here. She refuses to give up on Summer and throw in the towel. So for all of Fall I essentially freeze my butt off. She does not want to turn on the heating when she feels it could warm up. Also I think she is hoping to save money. The longer we go without the furnace on, the lower our energy bills are. We don’t own AC, so there is no expense there. Her bills go from zero to seriously high once the gas heater turns on. I get it, nobody wants to start paying a hefty bill. But, when it comes to comfort, isn’t it worth the expense? Our home is super cold right now. I actually feel our house is colder inside than outside. Outside at least has sun. We are shaded and our home is not airtight. I have to wear pants, a jacket, socks and gloves in the house I am so cold. I just checked the temperature on the thermostat too. It is 57 degrees in my home. That is just ridiculous.


A cupcake disaster

One of my most favorite things to do is make cupcakes. I love to make cupcakes. I would make cakes for a living if I could. However I do not want to open up my own business. I do sell cupcakes on the side though. One night I was making cupcakes for a party. I had made them the day before. I let them sit out overnight. I would never have done this had I known my HVAC system was going to break down. I would have put them in the fridge to keep them cool. My HVAC system got stuck on the heating setting. In fact it kept getting hotter and hotter. I was really concerned. I did not realize it until the next morning. I was very comfortable sleeping that night though. I woke up in sweats. I turned on the fan. I didn’t really feel like going downstairs to turn down the thermostat. But when I awoke the next morning I realized how hot it was in my house. I had to turn the HVAC system completely off. I also contacted my HVAC company right away. When I went into the kitchen right after that I noticed that the icing and the frosting on my cupcakes had completely melted off of it. Needless to say I was not very happy. I had to remake all of these cupcakes. However I was not going to be able to remake these cupcakes in a hot house like this. Luckily the HVAC technician had showed up just in time for me to be able to make another batch of cupcakes.

HVAC service plan 

Letting my dog lay in the sun

My dog absolutely loves to be warm. I open up our front door so that she can lay in the sun. We also have another door there. The door that is there is all glass. So the sun likes to shine through it. My dog also likes to lay in the Sun that shines through the door. However I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Now that the weather is getting cooler I don’t want my front door open. I feel as if my front door being open is letting cool air inside my house. Now that the weather is cooler I don’t want that cool air inside my house. I am even running the heat sometimes. It’s getting so cool that I need to run the Heat. However by letting in the sun it will also keep my home warmer. So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I don’t know if I should keep the door open to let in the sunlight. But at the same time it also lets in the cool air. My dog also really enjoys the warm air that the sun puts into her house. She loves to lay in the Sun. So she would be happy. My house would also be heating up. I guess it evens out with the sun heating my house. It evens out the cooler air that would enter my house through the door. It is fairly well insulated. However it is not well enough insulated for the winter. Once it starts to get really cold I guess I might as well shut the front door. The sun will have to just come in through the front window. She’ll have to find a new place to lay.

climate control 

AC for the family

As a kid, I never stopped hustling. Growing up in the big city, everyone in the family had to hustle every day to make enough money to scrape by. I went to school during the day, then as soon as the final bell rang I went to my assigned corner and started selling the evening edition of the city newspaper. It was a horrible job, and paid minimum wage, but I kept at it, and saved up every nickel and dime. My two brothers had the same jobs, just on different corners, and we all competed to see who brought home the most. One week I ended up pulling down some nice tips, so I showed my brothers up by bringing home an air conditioner. You should have seen their faces when I wheeled that AC unit in through the front door, as a gift for the family. Our apartment had never had any AC, in fact there weren’t even vents in the place, so there wasn’t any heating either. So me spending a whole week’s worth of pay on a box style AC unit to mount in the window was sort of a big deal for everyone. And boy what a huge success it was, I left it in the living room so my mom and dad could enjoy the AC more than anyone else because they worked the hardest. Over the years I’ve had a lot of jobs, and bought a lot of things, but nothing has ever given me the satisfaction I derived from that AC unit.

cooling unit 

What I look for in a HVAC system

When you are looking to buy your first home, there are a lot of different factors to consider. It’s not as easy as renting a place, or fixing up a condo, because of the complexity of maintaining a house. You need to make sure the foundations are good, for example, and the so-called “bones” of the house, the framework and supports. Check the levels of insulation in the attic and in the walls. Make sure to take a good long look at the plumbing situation, and the drainage in the yard and surrounding neighborhood. If the house you are looking at is a lot older, then also make sure to inspect the entire HVAC system. Yes, the entire system, that includes all the air ducts as well as the central HVAC components. It will take you a little extra time, but I promise you it’s worth it because having an entire central heating and cooling system removed and replaced might make the house more trouble than it is worth. It’s a lot easier if you just need a new furnace, or an upgraded air conditioner, those things are fairly simple to install. But some old houses have hundreds of yards of ductwork in them, and a broken air duct or seal can cause even the best air conditioner to have little effect on your indoor air quality. If you find a good house with a bad system of air ducts, you might be better off just ignoring that HVAC system and buying a new ductless mini split AC system instead.

central heating and air 

Adjusting the temperature

Can I talk to you for a minute about the health of your lungs? No, this isn’t a lecture and I’m not trying to sell you on anything. I just wanted to talk to you from the perspective of a lifelong smoker who only recently discovered how much better life can be if you treat your lungs properly. Only a year ago I couldn’t climb a flight of steps without being winded, and if for some reason I needed to run then I was plumb out of luck! All my clothes stunk like stale smoke, even right out of the dryer! But thanks to a little help from my new HVAC system, I’ve been cleaning up my act, and my vascular health. When people think about HVAC systems they think about air conditioners and furnaces, and that is normal. But these modern HVAC systems can do so much more for you than simply adjusting the temperature of your home. They can also drastically improve the indoor air quality of your home, which brings with it a great many health benefits. By quitting smoking, and improve my air quality with the air filtration system in my HVAC equipment, I can now breathe a lot more easily. The improved air quality not only helps me and my clothes smell better, but it helps me sleep better as well. The air filters, along with the dehumidifier, help me to enjoy a higher standard of living, along with better health and having more energy. So take my advice, and invest in a new HVAC system or at least a portable air filter.


AC for the best price

If you look hard enough, and use the internet to do the right kind of research, you can find almost anything you need for a good price. Sometimes it’s easy, you can just go to Amazon or one of the major sites and click to order, whatever you want can be delivered within a few days. Sometimes the web doesn’t have the right answers, or the item you want is too big and bulky to ship inexpensively. That’s when you have to get creative. You need to peruse swap meets, flea markets, and garage sales, and start hunting through online classified ads. It happened to me recently when my central air conditioning system broke in my home, leaving me sweltering in the summer heat. Ordering a used one offline was ridiculous, they are so heavy the shipping for the AC unit cost more than the thing itself. And to buy a new air conditioner meant going through a dealer or an HVAC contractor, and those were also out of my price range. So I started thinking smaller, and looking for the box style air conditioning unit that you can mount in your window. Since they were not current technology, I found there were a lot of these old AC units out there, and could be purchased for a fraction of what a nice new HVAC system would cost me. I found an old but working window AC unit at a nearby flea market, and it wasn’t the prettiest thing you’ll ever see, but it’s job was cooling down my room, and it did it’s job very well.

AC service plan