A food truck

My best friend and I turned sixteen, about four months ago. Ever since then, we have been looking for a part-time job. The summer is almost here, and we both want to earn money for a car. Some of our friends already have jobs and cars. I wanted to earn enough money to buy a car, before the school season started again. We filled out applications all over town. Last weekend, we both got called for an interview. The new burrito joint was looking for cashiers and food truck workers. My best bud and I both got interviews on the same day. The following Monday, we both got hired. I was pretty stoked to work with my best friend. Both of us got stuck working in the food truck. The food truck sold burritos, quesadillas, and a variety of alacarte snacks. We had steak, chicken, black beans, or vegan burritos. All of the vegan burritos came without cheese, sour cream, and ranch. During the day, it was extremely hot in the food truck. We didn’t have any A/C at all. We often left the back door open, so a breeze could drift in and out of the truck. A month after we started, the owner decided to fix the A/C in the food truck. A few employees had complained about the awful air quality. After the A/C was fixed, my friend and I were the first pair to work the food truck. The A/C felt great, and we had two A/C vent above the prep table. It was still mildly humid inside, but the cool breeze seemed to help a lot.

Getting my dad an air purifier

My Mom passed away about three years ago, and my Dad has been alone since then. My sister and I live close, but we are very busy with work and the kids. We try to visit Dad at least a few times each week, but it can get busy from time to time. Sometimes, I stop by for lunch and check on my Dad. A few days ago, I stopped by around lunchtime. I had the afternoon off, and I was going to take Dad for some lunch at his favorite diner in town. When I arrived, Dad was asleep on the couch. It was stifling hot in the house, and Dad didn’t have the A/C running at all. I walked into the hallway, to adjust the thermostat and turn on the A/C. Nothing happened when I powered on the A/C unit. There was no flow of cold air in the house at all. I talked to my Dad about the A/C, and he said it had been broken for days. My Dad was drenched in sweat, and his face was red and flushed. I took out my cell phone and called our local HVAC provider. My Dad argued, but I didn’t listen. A few hours later, the HVAC provider showed up to our front door. He checked over the A/C unit, and found the issue. In less than an hour, the A/C unit was distributing cold air throughout the house. I don’t know how long my Dad went without A/C, but I’m glad we could get the system fixed today.

A/C unit 

There’s no heater on the train

Last year for Christmas, my parents bought me four tickets to see my favorite band in concert. I have three friends that are my best friends. My Mom and Dad made sure we could all go together. The concert wasn’t until the middle of January, so I had to wait. It wasn’t easy, because we were really excited. This was my first concert, and two of my friends had never seen live music either. Since the concert was in the city, we had to take the train. My parents were nervous about the 45 minute trip, but they trusted us. The train ride was really cold. I thought there would be a heater on the train. The weather outside was really cold, but I didn’t want to carry a jacket all night long. I dressed in my concert attire. The event was indoors, and I was dressed in jeans and a light t shirt. My friend had a sweatshirt and a jacket, so I borrowed his sweatshirt for the ride. The concert was a lot of fun, and I was warm enough. I think they even had the A/C running inside. When we walked back outside, there was two inches of snow on the ground. More was falling heavily to the ground, at a very rapid rate. I was freezing cold, and we had to ride back home on the train. I was so happy when the train arrived, and it had a working heater. The train ride home was warm and cozy. The heater vents above my head were pumping out warm air. The ride back home was much better than our trip to the destination.  

heater

I am looking forward to this

Amanda lived in the city for years.  She grew up around the hustle and bustle, and thrived on the noise and constant activity surrounding her.  She worked as a busy ad exec, and pitied those people she saw on television, who lived in small towns with nothing going on, not even a movie theater nearby.  She didn’t know how they survived the dreariness. Until one day, she was involved in a terrible car accident. Fortunately, over several months, she made a tough but miraculous recovery.  When it came time for her to go home and back to her normal everyday life, she suddenly had no desire for that same life anymore. She wanted peace and quiet, surrounded by nature. She surprised everyone by buying an old house in the country.  She was pleased with the purchase, citing documents that showed regular maintenance to all the major systems of the house, the furnace and air conditioning system, the roof, the various appliances. She felt she was pretty assured that nothing would break down on her.  All was well, until a year into living there, she called her local HVAC business to request some regular HVAC maintenance. The furnace serviceman took one look and frowned. Apparently, the gas furnace wasn’t burning clean at all. There was a soot build-up that meant terrible air quality and a potential disaster for Amanda.  She needed to have all the ductwork cleaned out and parts replaced, which was an expense she hadn’t been expecting from a heating system that should have been kept in working order. Upon speaking to the furnace repairman, he told her the previous HVAC company performing maintenance on her house was known for cutting corners, unfortunately.  She was miffed, but still much happier in this old house than she’d have been staying in the city.

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A portable air conditioner

My sister, Jeanne, was recently divorced from her husband.  It’s all for the best. Both of them seem much happier now. But for a while, there were a lot of particulars to sort out.  They needed to sell their house and decide who was keeping which furniture, which car. But now they’re both enjoying their new lives.  Jeanne told me they went out to dinner last week, and had a really nice time. I’m glad they’ll continue to be friends. I went with her to look for a new place, and she bought a really affordable condo; it’s two stories tall and an end unit.  As far as we could tell, the previous owners took good care of it. Last month though, she called me and told me there seemed to be a leak in her ceiling. When I went to take a look, I saw a huge wet stain up there. Summer had just begun and we really hadn’t had rain in recent weeks.  I suspected her air conditioner may be leaking. When I climbed up into her crawl space to investigate, I saw I was correct. I’m no air conditioning repairman, so we called up the local HVAC business in order to get an HVAC technician out to do some repair. Turns out the previous owners hadn’t kept up on their air conditioning maintenance, and the entire system needed repair. Jeanne didn’t have a ton of money to spend on her AC, so I told her I’d cover a whole heating and cooling system checkup, as well as get her signed up for an HVAC service plan.  I’ve dealt with enough problems with my furnace and my air conditioner to know that regular maintenance is invaluable.

furnace service 

I had an air conditioner in my house

Victoria lived in London her entire life.  She loved the culture of the city, the people, and even the weather.  Many people complained that London was dreary, but she enjoyed the gray skies. She like the ambience they provided.  After completing her secondary education though, she decided she’d like to see the world. So she applied with an agency that placed au pairs into American homes, providing an opportunity to work closely with an American family and see new things at the same time.  When her assignment was given, she was thrilled to see that she’d be working in the northeastern section of the country. The weather should be similar to what she was used to. She arrived in springtime, and moved into her new house. It was an older Victorian home with three stories.  Her bedroom was on the second. There was no central air conditioning system in the house, just window air conditioning units in the playroom and nursery on the top floor, but she didn’t mind. She’d never owned an air conditioner before. Once summer hit though, the heat began, and she needed to buy a portable fan for her room.  One morning she woke up to the baby crying upstairs. When she investigated, she realized the air conditioner in the nursery was broken, and it was sweltering. The air quality was awful. Her employers were away for a few days, so she needed to call the local HVAC provider and get an HVAC serviceman in there quickly. When he arrived though, he told her he didn’t deal with portable air conditioning units, and that she’d need to call the manufacturer.  She brought the baby down to her room and turned on the fan. If she ever moves to America, she’s definitely installing a central heating and cooling system in her house!

HVAC repair service 

A necessary tune-up

I have been married for one year and still often have questions about my husband’s behavior in certain situations.  One of his habits is that he over plans and expects the worst possible outcome in most situations. My husband explained that he was allergic to many things as a child.  His parents were very particular with him about what he ate where he played, in fact, they were pretty thorough and protective about most everything. Even though he outgrew most of his allergies, he still finds himself obsessing over the potential of being exposed to pollutants and dust.  We live in a warmer climate so he experiences some discomfort from high pollen levels. I knew that air quality of our home would be a concern of his when we purchased our first home together. We decided to go with a new build, but within a month of living in the house, my husband wanted to have the air ducts cleaned.  He believed that contaminants and pathogens would accumulate in the system if it was not regularly maintenance. I knew not to debate with him if one month was too soon to have the HVAC system serviced and instead enlisted the expertise of a HVAC specialist to explain if this was a necessary process. The service tech gave us a list of items that would warrant needing this service so soon.  One of the items was visible mold growth on the hard metal surface.  Another reason would be If our ducts were infested with rodents or insects. The last reason was if ducts were clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris that were actually being released into the home from our supply registers.  This explanation satisfied my husband for now.

HVAC supplier 

We are consuming a lot of electricity

My husband and I love historical sites.  We often vacation in European countries so that we can experience first hand the many ancient places that we have read about.  Because of its rich history, art and architecture we love to visit the country of Italy. On our list trip, we visited two cities Venice and Tuscany.  Of course, we love the ambience of Venice with its lovely canals, churches and shops. We choose to visit Tuscany because had hope to gain inspiration from the unique styles of these homes.  We just bought a ranch home and wanted to remodel it to resemble an Italian villa. Even though we live in a colder climate, I wanted our home to have ceramic tile floors and terracotta tiles for the roof.  The one modern touch that we added to our remodel was an in floor heating system. Before beginning this project, I wanted to make sure that installing the radiant floor heating was something that my husband and I could handle on our own.  After doing some research, I learned that to install an electric in floor system in an existing room the size of a bathroom, you’ll need a dedicated 15- to 20-amp GFCI-protected circuit to power the system. The average cost usually range from $400 to $700 depending on the cost of the tile.  The initial cost was very manageable considering that this system will only consume almost the same amount of electricity as three 100W light bulbs. It’s not a difficult job installing the heating system if you’re comfortable setting floor tiles. But the HVAC specialist did recommend that a licensed electrician hook up the new electrical circuit.

HVAC company 

I’d love a nice view

I love watching home improvement and travel shows.  I like to watch the process that the hopeful homeowners go through to purchase their dream home. I really love the couples that find their ideal home in a foreign or exotic location.  They often leave behind family and familiarity for excitement and adventure far from home. After watching many people over the years search and find their perfect forever home, I decided to begin the same journey myself.  I had lived most of my life near the beach with hot and humid temperatures, so it had been a dream of mine to have a mountain view with a true fall and winter season. I knew that the climate change would be the biggest adjustment for me, so once I found my new home, I enlisted the help of an HVAC technician to make sure my new home would be heated properly.  His recommendation was that I invest in a smart thermostat. He explained that the initial investment was more costly than the traditional thermostat. Depending on the brand and type of thermostat the cost range from $200 to $500. Some of the smart thermostats are designed so that you can install them yourself if you choose to. Some of the other models do not have that option and they require professional installation from a HVAC technician.  As I weighed the long term benefits of the smart thermostat, I had to consider the initial investment of the thermostat and the installation cost. My heating and air system was now going to be an essential aspect of my budget since I was no longer a renter but a homeowner. It didn’t take me long to realize that my yearly savings would more than make up for the initial investment in my smart thermostat.

residential comfort 

Cool air and zone control

I make it a habit to walk every day.  I enjoy being outside as well as I try to stay in the habit of exercising regularly.  I continue this ritual even when I travel. It’s a great way to get to know the area as well as see sites that I may not see while driving. One summer, while I was visiting a family member, I slept in later than normal so the day was already hot and humid.  I didn’t want to change my routine so I decided to walk even though it was pretty warm. I don’t know how far I actually walked that day, but when I returned, I was dehydrated and overheated. When I arrived inside, my aunt could see that I needed to cool down quickly. Fortunately for me, she had just updated her HVAC system and was now using a smart thermostat. She has multiple thermostats for zoned heating and cooling. With the zoned system each thermostat controls heating and cooling for different areas of her home. She uses a zoned system where both thermostats control the same system. This is very useful for her because her family enjoys sleeping with the thermostat set at a low temperature.  The zoned system, allows air to be directed to the bedrooms and blocks off the air flow to the other rooms of the house. Since both thermostats control the same HVAC system the zoned system uses dampers in the duct work throughout the house. When the bedroom requires cooling, the damper for that zone opens, directing the cool air to that zone. Luckily for me, my aunt led me to her bedroom where I could receive cool air without having to lower the temperature for the entire home or inconvenience the other members of her family who were quite comfortable with the temperature setting in the rest of the house.

thermostat