A summer deal

Everything moved along much faster than my partner and I anticipated. We were married in March, honeymooned for a month, and got our first house in July! We were ecstatic! My dream was to purchase a fixer upper and we purchased one well below our budget. Everything was transitioning smoothly and we were at about 87% completion by mid August. We decided to take a well earned break one evening, so we rented a horror movie and ordered a pizza. All of a sudden, the AC turned off. We turning the thermostat on and off again but then we heard a steady drip coming from the dining room. We went to investigate and noticed water dripping from the overhead vents and it was causing damage to the drywall and the furniture! It turns out we had installed our AC unit incorrectly by attempting to do it ourselves. It was late in the evening so there was no way we could contact a qualified professional for heating and air conditioning installations. We grabbed as many towels as we could to mop up the condensation and turned the thermostat off. The next morning we contacted our local HVAC company and luckily they weren’t very busy. They came within the hour to inspect our problem. We messed up big time. He suggested to do a major reinstallation and start from the bottom. He told us about his company’s HVAC service plan which was their end of summer deal. It would save us a great deal of money, however it would take some time. We rented a hotel for the month while their fixed our heating and cooling system. I’m not interested in investing in a fixer upper ever again.    

ventilation

I have been there before

My Mother has always been impulsive, so when she bought a hotel, I wasn’t very shocked. It was on the northeastern side of the country which was unfamiliar for me. I was expecting it to be a colder climate than I was accustomed to. I was excited when we went shopping for coats, mittens, and earmuffs. However we moved towards the end of spring, beginning of summer; the mittens and earmuffs were useless. Who knew it could get get so humid in the north? There was a cottage on the southside of the hotel that I mother and I moved into. It was an older house build in the 1700s which meant the exterior was beautiful but internally it needed a lot of maintenance. The furnace in the basement was outdated and a danger if we were to turn it on. The central air conditioning in the house and hotel were not running efficiently. I took the initiative to try and change the filter, but that didn’t seem to help anything. My mother assumed the the air conditioner would fix itself if we just allowed it to run continuously over two weeks. The night we officially opened the hotel, all of our guests made complaints saying their rooms were too hot. Their vents were blowing hot air rather than cool. I convinced my mother to call our local HVAC provider first thing in the morning so we wouldn’t lose our customers. Our HVAC repairman came before the sun rose. He came to look at our hotel first and suggested we get a full tune-up. Start all the way from scratch because everything was so outdated. He recommended that we get central air conditioning in the main lobby in order to save energy as well as improving the air quality for those that have allergies. We were worried about the price of everything, especially since we needed our heating and conditioning unit fixed in our cottage as well. Thankfully the HVAC technician gave us a deal since we were new in town!

HVAC maintenance 

I wish there was a way to have AC

I wish there was a way to have air conditioning on my bike. I love going for bike rides. I bike to work, college and to friends’ houses. I also bike for fun, for a workout or just to clear my mind. If I am not on my bike, I am not happy. I love the wind in my hair, my music playing, and watching the cars whip by. I feel so healthy and alive on it. The only thing I am missing is air conditioning. When it is cold out, I just bundle up tight. I have no need for heating, I just pedal faster. I wear my biking gear and helmet, and I really like to keep my body temperature up. In the summer, it is much harder to cool off. If I bike hard enough to get wind pumping, I work up a sweat. If I casually bike, the sun beats down on me. Either option makes me want A/C. I feel there should be a way to do A/C installation on a bike. There are portable air conditioners, let’s make one for a bike. I get it, the cooling system needs power. You need electric, an outlet and a whole lot of other things going on. The air conditioning businesses should be working on this though. How about a battery operated cooling system? I would buy one and clip it right to my bike. I could even get a pretty sizeable one and set it in my basket. I would love to work out with A/C blowing on me. I would be exercising, getting tan and being chilled all at the same time.

cooling equipment 

This AC is just horrible

One of the hottest times in my life was going to an outdoor concert. The seats were long benches that fit as many people they could squeeze in. I got stuck in the middle of the bench and became hot and sweaty with all the bodies next to me. The whole venue was packed, and there were tons of lights on the stage. Additionally, the outdoor venue just had a little roof and that was it. I get that for an outdoor concert, you don’t exactly have air conditioning. Not having any AC was horrible. The bench seat, the body heat, the lights and the moving around at the concert was rough. I had never sweated so much in my life. My shorts and tank were completely soaked through with sweat. I ended up chugging tons of water the whole time. I actually felt really bad for the musicians too. They had to move and be directly under those hot lights. When they went off stage, they were not going to an AC filled area either. There was literally just a curtain that shielded them. You could tell that they were dying up there in their rocker outfits. If anyone should have gotten AC, it should have been them. How hard would it have been to set up a little both with air conditioning in it? The venue could have made money off it too. People could have paid money for 10 minutes in air conditioning. I would have paid anything to enjoy some AC. The closer to the musicians’ AC booth, the more expensive it could get.

AC installation 

This is better management

My husband and I both work full-time jobs with very long hours.  We have four children, who are all involved in a wide range of extracurricular activities.  We seem to spend the majority of our time in the car, and are rarely at home. Because of this, we’ve done everything possible to simplify our lives.  There is no extra time to handle needless repairs. I often forget to turn lights off, locks doors, or adjust the thermostat before I leave the house. Investing in a home automation system was the smartest thing we’ve ever done.  We have created a smart home which allows management from our smartphones. Whether I am at home, at work or sitting at a football game, I have the ability to monitor the systems in my home. I can raise or lower thermostat settings, adjust air quality, turn off the lights, lock the doors, and even watch real time video.  While I’m away from home, I get alerts if there’s a fluctuation in temperature, if there’s movement inside the house, or if a door is opened. This system helps me to take far better care of my home, keep up with necessary maintenance and avoid malfunctions. I get notified when it’s time to schedule maintenance for the furnace, air conditioner, or water heater.  The home automation system even reminds me to replace air filters. Plus, it automatically tracks the location of our smartphones. When my family is out of the house, the system makes changes to thermostat settings to conserve energy. When we’re on our way home, the thermostat is once again adjusted to welcome us to the perfect temperature. The home is far more comfortable, and yet I save a tremendous amount of money on energy bills.  

HVAC maintenance plan 

This ductwork is not working great

I recently did some remodeling on my home.  I gutted the entire downstairs, tearing down the walls to the bare studs.  This was the perfect opportunity to access the plumbing, electrical wires and HVAC system.  Since the house is well over a hundred years old, none of these essential systems were energy efficient or even up to local building codes.  I was tired of spending a fortune on utility bills and worried about property damage and safety. I definitely needed to replace the wiring and install additional power outlets.  The water pipes were obviously corroded, blocked with a buildup of minerals and actually leaking in spots. While I was not anticipating any big problems with the heating and cooling system, the ductwork was an unpleasant surprise.  Once I exposed the duct system, I realized the seams were not properly taped, there were quite a few small holes, and the pipes were succumbing to the moisture from the plumbing leaks. I called in an HVAC professional to evaluate the duct system and provide a recommendation.  I expected that the duct system would need to be entirely replaced and was not looking forward to such an extensive, messy and expensive project. The HVAC technician, however, told me that the existing duct system could be properly cleaned and sealed. The entire process only took a couple of hours and didn’t cause any mess or disruption to the house.  The HVAC technician brought in a bunch of sophisticated-looking equipment which handled the cleaning and sealing quickly and effectively. Once the duct service was completed, I made sure to add insulation to the walls for optimum energy efficiency.

heater repair 

It is now getting too hot

For much of my life I have only noticed the thermostat when I want it hotter or cooler.  The thermostat just stays there doing its job. I rarely consider what is the best way to use the thermostat.  When the cold wind blows, I turn it up. But I am in the southern United States so I don’t have to do that much.  The summer is a different situation. It gets so hot here that cooling the house gets expensive. I cringe when I push the dial lower in the summer.  So, I thought maybe I could learn more about thermostat efficiency. I went on line to HVAC sites. I learned that it is most costly to widely vary settings.  The best idea is to use the smart thermostats. They are very efficient. But I don’t have the money for that. I found that the recommended setting is for seventy eight degrees during the day.  That allows the house to warm but start cooling before getting too hot. Turning off the unit when you are out is a mistake. The HVAC cooling system must stay on. Allowing the air conditioning to cycle on during the day saves money.  If there are wide variances in temperature the efficiency goes down. I attempt to do no more than a five degree change from day to night. Seventy eight is fine for the day. But I need a cooler seventy three to sleep comfortably at night.  Think about your thermostat and it could save you big money.

heating 

There’s a blockage in here

This past summer was particularly hot.  The summer saw temperatures in the triple digits for days at a time.  There seemed to be very little relief. Our house got so hot that I found it quite uncomfortable.  The air conditioner ran at all times. Air out of the vents didn’t appear to be cool. I placed my hand over the vent but hardly felt much airflow at all.  I opened up the filter cage to check on the filter. I had replaced it just months before. The filter was dark in color with loads of dust on it. I couldn’t believe it.  I got another filter to replace the dirty one. Replacing the filter helped the HVAC catch up on cool air right away. Still, the A/C did not stop running when it was near one hundred degrees.  Unless I set the dial on eighty five degrees, our cooling unit continued to run. I called the HVAC provider that had installed the unit. The Heating & Air guy said that I should also check the moisture run off tube.  He told me where to find it. It was outside next to the fan unit. The tube was full of grass clippings. The HVAC pro suggested using a Shop Vac to suck out the blockage from the run off tube. I did just that. Once the hose was unclogged, I could tell that the HVAC unit was running more smoothly.  I reset the temperature on the thermostat to seventy four degrees. The house quickly got cool while the HVAC cycled on and off as normal.

heating and AC 

I need heat everywhere

I have had the worst luck with the weather lately. I am in the process of moving down south. So I have to pack things in the north, drive or fly them to the south, and then come back. With all the back and forth, you would think I would get some nice weather. Nope, no matter where I am it is cold. When I left the north to take things down south, it was windy and cold. I had to keep my heating system on a low heat mode. I was worried about the pipes breaking or coming back to an icy cold house. I then anticipated the warm weather in the south. By the time I arrived, the southern state was experiencing monsoon like weather. High winds, tons of rain and cold was waiting for me. While I was setting up my new southern place, I had to use my heating system. I hated that I was moving to the south for warm weather and was cold. I was hoping to never use a heater ever again once I moved. After I finished my trip, I saw that the weather in the north was currently warm. By the time my plane landed, the warm weather was gone. I was thankful my heating system was on and ready. It seems that I bring the cold weather with me, no matter the location. I am hoping that since Summer is approaching, I will eventually experience hot weather and maybe use my AC system. I would even settle for just not needing heating.

That is the worst type of heater

I have been waiting for my gas furnace to die. I hate my gas heating system more than anything in the world. The moment I bought it, I have regretted it. The actual heating system was expensive and the heater installation almost lead me to bankruptcy. The HVAC contractor charged me a ton for the gas hookup and flue installation on the system. The heater is not even that great to warrant so much money and attention. The gas furnace is a forced air system, which means that it is stupid. The heater gets set to a temperature, and then strives to achieve it. The heater will not shut off or heat less as it works to achieve the temperature. So, most people put their heating system in the middle of their home. This is so the heated air reaches most of the rooms. But, since the furnace is set to around 65 degrees, the furnace will never shut off. It can’t get to 65 in the entire house, it is just beyond its capabilities. So the heating system will work and work. It eventually will overwork itself to the point that it will overheat. The heater has no natural defense either, it just allows this to happen. Also the heater will be absorbing dirt into it as it heats. The dirt then allows it to overheat faster and hinder your air quality at the same time. It is amazing how the furnace can prove time and time again how useless it is. It costs more money than any other heater and works half as good.

HVAC maintenance