We want something better

Where I live, we have two distinct seasons.  We really need to have an air conditioning system for the summer, because we often have long periods of temperatures in the nineties and high humidity.  Winter can be just as crazy with weeks of subzero temperatures, and life threatening wind chills.  Without a furnace, you would soon succumb to the weather.  I need to have the air conditioning or the heating on all year round.  In order to restrain the bills a bit, I made sure that I got the best HVAC system that I could find.  I wanted to have the best in ultimate comfort and in energy efficiency.  I have a gas furnace that can handle even the coldest of weather, but it uses a tremendous amount of fuel.  Last year I invested in an electric heat pump to help offset the fuel costs.  As long as the temperature is at or above freezing, the heat pump is a perfect source of heating.  By finding the ambient heat in the outside air, the compressor can bring it to the inside in the form of heat.  It is highly efficient, because it doesn’t use any fuel other than electricity.  Another great feature of the heat pump is that it can also work as an air conditioner, simply by reversing the direction in which the air flows.   When you combine a heat pump with a furnace, you have a dual fuel system, meaning you use two sources of fuel.  This give me the ability to save on my energy bills and I should be able to save enough to pay for the heat pump, in about a year..  

indoor comfort 

Where did the bugs come from?

I have worked as a second grade teacher at the local school for the last ten years.  The school is part of a small farming community, and our budget is limited.  The actual school building is extremely old and has received very few updates over the years.  The school is heated by an ancient boiler system, and it’s a problem.  Because we are located in the northern part of the country, the weather is cold for the majority of the school year.  The boiler is started up during the first month of classes and runs for nearly eight months straight.  Those classrooms which are situated closest to the boiler are always overheated and stuffy.  The classrooms which are further away are typically chilly.  There are large, old radiators installed in all of the classrooms, and there is no way to regulate them.  Whenever the heat kicks in, these radiators hiss and clunk and disrupt the students.  The heated air is dusty, smells like burnt hair, and is a problem for anyone with allergies.  I frequently send students to the nurse’s office because of headaches, sore throat, and flu-like symptoms.  I also worry about the students burning themselves on the radiators.  I have repeatedly complained to the school board and asked them to consider replacing the heating system.  I believe the boiler is polluting air quality and wasting taxpayer money on unnecessarily high energy bills.  Unfortunately, the community is way more concerned with the condition of our football field than our heating system.  I am now working on the possibility of getting a government grant to cover the cost of a new heating unit.  

I know I have work to do

Every autumn before it colds super cold, I schedule an appointment with the local Heating, Ventilation as well as A/C company to look at my gas furnace. It is the best way to keep the furnace running efficiently and reliably.  I began this practice after the furnace quit in the middle of a giant blizzard and left me without heat for many days. The furnace was only a couple years old. It was relatively new, and so I didn’t expect to have any concerns with it.  I saw no need to spend a small fortune on typical maintenance when the heating component seemed to be operating perfectly.  I don’t have a lot of extra spending money and figured I could get away with it. I never thought about the amount of dust accumulating inside the heating unit, and how much destruction the buildup could cause. During the blizzard, the temperature dropped below zero, putting a hard demand on the furnace. It eventually overheated, and quit. I right away called for furnace repair, but the Heating, Ventilation as well as A/C contractors in the area were so busy, I was unable to get an appointment for more than two days. My home was severely cold, and I then ended up paying a small fortune for repair.  The Heating, Ventilation as well as A/C company then told me that the concern could have been actually avoided with seasonal upkeep. I have now enrolled in a repair plan for my heating system and I hope to avoid having a complete breakdown in the middle of Winter ever again.

AC pros air 

HVAC products

My wife Rachel and I got married and decided right away that we wanted to combine our finances and own a home. Unfortunately, all of us had truly little money, as well as absolutely no idea of how to maintenance a house.  Rachel and I I bought a terribly old, rundown home, which needed a tremendous amount of repairs.  Rachel and I couldn’t afford to hire a team of professionals to handle the complications with the plumbing, electric lines as well as HVAC system. We invested in a good set of tools as well as taught ourselves how to complete these jobs on our own.  Rachel and I figured out how to update pipes, wash drains, as well as install a up-to-date water heater.  The two of us spent time learning how to safely update the old wiring, install overhead light fixtures, as well as add power outlets.  One of the largest challenges was the heating as well as cooling system. Rachel and I didn’t have the budget to purchase a new gas furnace as well as central cooling system, however, the existing equipment was old, dirty as well as corroded.  We meticulously removed the buildup of dust, webs, rust as well as even dead mice from the HVAC ducts.  Rachel and I were shocked by the tremendous amount of debris that had accumulated within the inner workings.  Along with dust, lint as well as dander, we discovered mold thriving inside. Cleaning of the components was time-consuming and  intensive, however, the two of us saved a good deal of money by handling the process on our own.  Once everything was put back together, all of us were relieved when both the gas furnace as well as cooling system started up nice and smoothly.

indoor comfort 

Fall maintenance facts

Every October, I schedule an appointment with the local Heating & Air Conditioning company to repair my gas furnace.  It is the best way to keep the heating method running at peak efficiency, capacity, & reliability.  I began this method after my new gas furnace quit in the middle of a January snowstorm and left myself and my family without heat for multiple days.  The gas furnace was approximately two years old, so it was still relatively new. I really didn’t expect to have any concerns with it.  I saw no need to spend money I didn’t have on proper repair when the equipment seemed to be operating perfectly.  I never stopped to consider the amount of dust accumulating inside the heating unit, and how much it could harm the heating unit. During the snowstorm, the temperature dropped to ten below zero, putting a demand on the gas furnace.  Because of the level of debris in the inside of the furnace, airflow was restricted, forcing the heating equipment to work even harder.  It eventually broke down. I instantly called for gas furnace repair, but the Heating & Air Conditioning staff at the local HVAC business were so busy, I was unable to get an appointment for four days. I set up space heaters, but they were insufficient to provide comfort. My home was severely cold and I then ended up paying a small fortune for repair. The Heating & Air Conditioning company then told me and my wife that the complication could have been avoided with seasonal upkeep. I have now enrolled in a repair plan, which includes a thorough cleaning, tuning, and an inspection every October.  By resolving small issues before winter even starts I hope this never happens again.

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Learning about my bathroom

My husband insists that he should be the only one to do repairs around the house, because he is the man.  I raise an eyebrow at his machismo, but it really it is funny.  Unless something is in emergency status, he feels that he can take the time to troubleshoot the problem and fix it.  When our air conditioning went out, he went into his Mr. Fixit routine, and he refused to let me call the HVAC company.  It was scorching hot outside, and I just wanted to have my air conditioning fixed.  My husband puttered around with the air conditioner for a while, and he turned it on, but nothing happened.  I bit my lip to muffle a smile and I asked if I could please call the HVAC company now.  An hour later he was still puttering when he tried to start the AC again.  It still refused to start, and I didn’t smile this time, but I asked if I could please now call the HVAC company.  After his third try he told me to, “Call the HVAC company!!”  I called the HVAC company but they couldn’t do much until the next day.  We set up all the fans we could find and spent an absolutely miserable night with air conditioning.  The next day the HVAC technician showed up.  I knew I had given my husband a really bad time about the air conditioning, but I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings.  He was only trying to help.  I hope this doesn’t keep him from trying to fix things in the future.

HVAC tune-up 

I keep looking for equipment

When spring came around, my husband had the green thumb fever.  He wanted to plant a garden and grow fresh vegetable and beautiful flowers.  We had plenty of lawn space to use for his garden, but neither of us had any experience, and I was allergic to the sun.  Even in the winter, I break out in hives if I am out in the sun for very long.  I remembered a friend of mine who once worked with a greenhouse.  She was more than happy to come out to the house and show my husband what all he needed to do and what equipment would be necessary.  She helped him to do the planting and every couple of days she would come out and work on the garden while he was gone.  She would then come in and relax in the air conditioning with me, before she went home.  By summer, his garden was thriving.  We had already had a first cut of some of the earlier vegetables, and the flowers were stunning.  He came in late one Saturday afternoon, and said how amazing the air conditioning felt.  He went in to take a cool shower and change out of his work clothes.  When he returned, he complimented me on how well I took care of him and our home.  We sat in the air conditioning for several hours and then he asked me to go out to dinner with him.  The sun was setting and I didn’t need to worry about breaking out. We had a wonderful time in the air conditioned restaurant.

eagle mechanical HVAC 

Finding new weather

My wife hates the idea of calling a professional when something breaks, because it is usually very expensive.  She knows I am a really good electrician and mechanic, and I am an electronics engineer, but even with all of that knowledge, I still get stuck on some things and one of them is the HVAC system.  When our HVAC shut off, she pulled her, ‘you can do it’ routine and I had to try to fix it.  I worked on the air conditioner for over an hour, but nothing happened.  She asked me to try it again, but an hour later and still nothing happened.  I was getting frustrated and she was getting upset because she didn’t I was trying hard enough.  It was getting uncomfortably hot in the house, and I wanted to call the HVAC company for assistance.  Finally she relented and called the HVAC company.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t do anything for us at this time of day, and they said it would probably be the following afternoon until they could get a HVAC technician to the house.  We got all of our fans out and set them around.  Neither of sleep very well that night, because of the lack of air conditioning.  When the HVAC technician showed up the next day, he quickly located the problem.  It didn’t take long for him to fix it and then he showed me the problem.  She was right.  I could have fixed the problem, but I had been looking in the wrong area.  I guess I’ll have to listen to her a little more the next time.

heater 

HVAC installation facts

My daughter was talking about how much she wanted a garden in her backyard.  I knew she had a lot of work ahead of her, because I used to garden when I was much younger.  I talked to a friend of mine who did all of her own gardening and I asked if she could give her some pointer.  I spent most of my time with the heater, but they had their heads together and she gave my daughter a list of everything she would need.  They wanted to make sure they had plants that was indigenous to where we lived.  They spent hours outside, hoeing and planting.  About once a week, my friend would come over and tend to the garden while my daughter was in work.  When summer finally rolled around, I was in the house with the air conditioning, but I had to admit that the garden was stunning.  All of their hard work had paid off.  I headed back into the house, to turn up the air conditioning and relax.  When my daughter got home that afternoon, she headed outside and started to prune.  She brought a large armful of flowers and put them in a vase.  She told me she was going to get a shower and change her clothes.  When she came out she said how nice it was to come home to a pleasantly air conditioned house that smelled as good as the outside air.  I had already prepared dinner, and we sat in the air conditioning and relaxed with a large garden salad.

air conditioning unit 

Contacting a professional for help

My husband is a lunatic when it comes to home repairs.  He really doesn’t like to call for help with anything.  Sometimes I think that it is best to call a professional, but he puts his foot down and says he should have a chance to try to fix the problem, before we waste our money.  So, when our air conditioner quit working, I really wanted to call the HVAC contractor, but I knew what his answer would be.  I gave him the chance to get his tools and try to fix the cooling system.  After an hour of working, he turned it on, and nothing happened.  I asked if I should call the HVAC company, and he mumbled something but he was back to working on it again.  Another hour went by and he once again turned on the air conditioner.  Again nothing happened and he wasn’t a happy camper.  He grudgingly told me to call the HVAC company and have them send out a repairman.  The HVAC company told me that if I had called an hour earlier, they would have been able to have a repairman there already, but now we were going to have to wait until the following day for someone to be free to come out.  I told my husband, and we began to set up fans to help us get through the next twenty-four hours.  Neither of us slept very well because of the lack of air conditioning, and we both woke up grumpy.  When the HVAC repairman finally showed up, it took a short time to diagnose and fix the HVAC.  He told my husband what was wrong, and he gave me a look that said he could have fixed the air conditioner.

heating and air conditioning