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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We need to rewire this system

I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of the term “gaslighting,” but I can tell you all about it. This phrase refers to the psychological mindgame of making another individual think that they are going crazy. It usually appears in abusive relationships with manipulative people, but I can also tell you a story about my thermostat gaslighting yours truly. It started gradually; I would be at home working on a project or doing chores during the day, and suddenly I would feel a drastic change in the indoor air temperature. I would go to the thermostat to make sure that the program hadn’t been accidentally adjusted, only to find out that the temperature settings were completely normal. Within an hour or so the air quality would even out, and I would forget that the ordeal ever happened. This went on time and time again for weeks before I really took note of the strange occurrence. Every time I was shocked to find that the thermostat had the appropriate temperature programming because it seemed apparent that the HVAC system was not operating, only for the problem to magically disappear before I was bothered enough to call our our heating and cooling company. I felt like I was losing my grip after a while, but didn’t want to make a fuss. Finally, my husband noticed the same strange temperature fluctuations and made the call to our trusted HVAC specialist. It turns out I wasn’t going crazy at all; our HVAC was in desperate need of rewiring and all the components had been misfiring for months.

local HVAC 

We love these heated floors

I have been looking at houses for many months, but nothing seemed to check every box on the list. My wife and I were looking for a home in the country, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Most of the homes in the country only have three bedrooms, so it has been quite a chore to find the perfect dream house. My wife and I knew that we wanted to have several acres for the kids to play, and a large fenced-in backyard. When we finally found the perfect house, we were excited about all of the frills. The house had been remodeled in the past five years, and radiant heated floors were installed in both of the bathrooms. My wife and I had never dealt with radiant heated floors before, but I was pretty excited to try them out. We moved into our home in the middle of November, and the first thing we did was turn on the radiant heated floors. The radiant heated floors have a set of pipes installed underneath, and those pipes carry hot water from our boiler furnace. The hot water heats up the floor, and allows the excess heat to emit into the air. The radiant heated floors are very wonderful for the bathrooms, because it’s always very chilly in the morning. The kids constantly complain about getting dressed, when it is 15 degrees outside. Now the kids have radiant heated floors in their own bathroom, and they fight over who gets to get dressed in the bathroom. My wife and I are very happy with our new home purchase, and we are glad that we took our time to find the perfect house.

radiant heating 

My new air conditioner

My wife and I live in the midwest, where we are lucky to be able to experience all four of the unique seasons. Spring and fall happened to be my favorite, because I love to be able to walk around in jeans and a t-shirt. The winter season can be very cold at times, but we hardly ever have snow on the ground for very long. The summer season can be warm at times, but we have been able to survive without an air conditioner. Lately, it seems like the summer seasons have been getting hotter and hotter every year. I’m sure this is a result of global warming, and our summers are beginning to feel excruciating. My wife and I were talking about purchasing an air conditioner this summer. To date, we have never had the need for an air conditioner at all. The normal summer temperatures are in the 80s, but the humidity levels are rather low. We have been able to get away with using ceiling fans and other traditional oscillating fans. Now that the heat is becoming immense every summer, my wife and I are thinking about purchasing an air conditioning system. We talked about having an air conditioner for our bedroom, but I think that I would like to have an air conditioner for the living area also. I don’t think we require a central air conditioning system, but a window air conditioning unit might be just what we are looking for. They can be inexpensive and very easy to install. If we find a window air conditioner with a great Seer rating, then we will likely see no raise in our monthly utility bills.

new air conditioner