Browse Month: November 2017

Staying at the range

The only thing I remember vividly from my childhood is the first time my father took me out hunting. It was a cold winter morning, but probably one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen. I was super excited as one could imagine. I had wanted to go out and learn how to shoot since I understood the concept. It was sort of a right of passage event. My first shot at a deer missed, but I still remember the overwhelming rush of energy I got from it. That was the beginning of my life-long passion for guns. Nowadays, I own and operate a shooting range, in hopes that I can help others discover the enjoyment of the sport. The climate control system is really my only source of frustration in regard to the business. Some heating and cooling component seems to be defective and it has a tendency to throw the whole HVAC system off. It is a mystery in a way. In the last year, I have had five different climate control repair services inspect it. The problem is that everything with this stupid heating and cooling setup either works or randomly will go down, then come back on. Every time the A/C stops working, I call in a repair service, but by the time they arrive to inspect the HVAC equipment, it is up and running again and they can’t find anything wrong with it. I have bought several climate control DIY manuals in hopes that maybe someday I will be able to fix all of this HVAC nonsense myself.

central air conditioner 

My energy bills keep going down

Ever since I got out of the hospital, several of my family members and friends suggested I take up a new hobby to help with the general recovery process. I guess keeping my mind off of the pain is the main idea in this case and probably not a bad one. So I started looking around for things to do. I tried to do a group painting session, but found that I was no good with a brush. Then, I read an article about a kid who took up real estate as a hobby. He had a large inheritance and made the best of it. So I looked to make the most of my settlement money in the same way. My HVAC technician background actually helps quite a bit in this too. It turns out that often times, climate control equipment can be the reason for why a house on the market at a cheap price. Old heating and cooling equipment can be a nightmare for a homeowner who would have to hire an HVAC service crew to clean up or otherwise fix defunct equipment. In my case, I could do all the climate control repair work myself and then flip the house for profit. If all I have to do is fix an air conditioner to make a large profit, I could do so with very little time invested. The more I debate this HVAC centric real estate hobby, the better it sounds. Aside from doing the necessary heating and cooling work, there is also a wealth of other corresponding home improvement skills Iook forward to learning.

efficient HVAC 

A newer HVAC repair

If you drive to just about anywhere in the country, you are very likely to find at least one supermarket. The average supermarket has over fifty thousand square feet of space in their store, and they consume over $150,000 per year in electricity. This large energy consumption has led to a very competitive market for commercial HVAC systems for these stores. Supermarkets account for over six percent of all commercial energy consumption in our country. There is no bigger commercial market for a HVAC company or manufacturer to focus on than the supermarket industry. Given that HVAC systems account for over seventy percent of any energy bill, these supermarkets are spending over one hundred thousand dollars each year for their HVAC systems. This does not even include the maintenance costs that they incur to properly maintain such large HVAC units. All of these supermarkets are constantly looking for ways to improve their energy efficiency and drastically reduce costs. Recently, many of the major HVAC manufacturers have started focusing their efforts on the refrigerant aspect of the supermarkets. They have found that the true energy saving area is in reducing the cost to operate the many refrigerant needs of a supermarket. Many of them have partnered with refrigerant suppliers to offer total HVAC/R packages to these supermarkets that offer a significant reduction in overall ongoing costs. Regarding the maintenance aspect, most HVAC companies have not made the transition to focusing on the refrigerant portion. This is due to a significantly diverse technical expertise requirement between these two industries. At some point, a HVAC maintenance company will find a way to offer a better overall maintenance package to the supermarkets.

HVAC maintenance 

A cracked heat exchanger

When I started having troubles with my furnace, I thought it was a minor issue.  I had neglected the annual maintenance for a couple of years, and I assumed there was a considerable buildup of dust and other pollutants within the system.  The furnace was running a lot longer than usual, and struggling to keep up with demand.  My house felt a bit chilly, and yet my monthly energy bill was unusually high.  I also noticed a significant amount of dust circulating around the house, and I needed to vacuum and clean more often.  I hoped that scheduling professional maintenance from a local HVAC contractor would resolve all of my concerns.  The HVAC technician inspected all of the components of the furnace and told me that the heat exchanger was cracked.  I had no idea that a hairline crack in the heat exchanger meant I needed a whole new furnace.  Apparently, the cost of a new heat exchanger is higher than a replacement furnace.  Because I had overlooked proactive service for a couple years, the furnace was no longer covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.  I had to cover the entire cost of purchasing and installing a whole new heating system.  My budget was a bit strained at that point, and so I needed to take out a home improvement loan.  I have now enrolled in a maintenance plan with my HVAC company to fulfill the warranty stipulations and take better care of my investment.  The HVAC contractor comes to the house twice per year to clean, tune and troubleshoot the various components.

heating equipment 

Energy efficiency

About six months ago, I did some major remodeling in my house.  I tore down the walls in the living and dining rooms in order to change the configuration of the space.  I ripped out rugs, replaced windows, added new electrical lines and invested in new overhead lighting.  While everything was torn up, I took the time to sand down and varnish the hardwood tongue-and-groove I discovered under the rugs.  I improved the level of insulation in the walls, and after installing new drywall, painted everything.  It took a couple of months to complete the project, and there was dust and debris everywhere.  I was thankful to get my house cleaned up and back to normal before the weather changed.  My remodeling project was finished in early October, and by November, I needed to start up the furnace.  I immediately noticed that the furnace was not working right.  Although the weather was still fairly mild, the furnace struggled to meet demand.  It ran for extended cycles, provided an insufficient amount of hot air, and there were cold spots in various rooms.  I scheduled service with a local HVAC contractor, and he thoroughly cleaned the inner workings of the furnace.  He said that he’d found an excessive buildup of debris within the system and recommended also having the ductwork cleaned.  I had never considered that the dust from the remodeling project had infiltrated the HVAC system.  I definitely should have covered the vents and heating components to protect them.  I was lucky that the furnace did not overheat and require replacement.  Once the ductwork and furnace were professionally cleaned and serviced, everything seemed to be running just fine again.

HVAC provider 

Making things right

After standing there awkwardly at the man’s door, I decided that the man truly did not have any idea regarding the used air conditioning system that I was looking to purchase. I sent the person I had been talking to a message asking for them to confirm the address again, and they verified that the address I was at was the correct address. I responded by telling them that the person at the door had no idea regarding any air conditioning system for sale. The person sent me a message back telling me that I must be at the wrong door, as they were currently standing outside waiting for me to get there. I looked down both sides of the street to see if I would be able to find anyone standing outside eagerly waiting to sell an air conditioning unit, but there was no one at all standing outside. I sent another message to the air conditioning seller advising that I was definitely at the address that he had given. I waited for a couple of minutes to see what message I would get back, but I never received a response from the A/C unit seller. I sent him a message again, and he wrote back advising that it was all a prank. He said that he never had an air conditioning unit for sale, but he wanted to see if he could convince someone that he really did. I was very frustrated that someone had lied about an air conditioning system and wasted so much of my time. I debated what my options were in terms of retaliation, but I ultimately decided to go home and look for a different A/C unit to purchase.

A/C unit 

Cranking my heater way up

I recently had a big problem with the cooling system in my house.  Somehow a swarm of honey bees managed to penetrate the inner workings and build a nest.  I continually had bees flying out of the supply vents.  My little girl actually got stung on the face, swelled up, and needed medication.  My husband and I tried spraying bee killer into all of the supply vents.  We also sprayed pesticide into the outdoor components, but nothing seemed to kill the bees.  Lowering the thermostat and operating the air conditioner only made the situation worse, because the bees became extremely aggravated.  We were finding dozens of bees in the house every day, and definitely killed over a hundred of them.  There seemed to be no end to the number of bees.  We finally had no choice but to tape plastic over all of the supply vents so that the bees could not access the home.  Unfortunately, this left us completely without air conditioning during a very hot and humid summer.  We did not invest in central cooling to then suffer an overheated and sticky home.  When the outside temperature climbed into the high eighties, my family was sweating, unable to sleep at night, and totally aggravated.  I wasn’t sure if I should call an exterminator or a licensed HVAC contractor.  I called the HVAC contractor first, and the guy inspected the cooling system.  He confirmed that there was a very large nest concealed inside the air conditioner, and recommended that I hire an exterminator.  It was a huge relief when the bees were finally gone, and we could once again use our air conditioner.

furnace repair 

I’m a very compassionate person

I had never realized how easy t was to lose track of time before last week! I had a huge project due last Friday, and I kept putting it off until the last minute. It just seemed like I kept getting swamped with various “emergencies” throughout the week. I just couldn’t seem to concentrate. The first thing that had thrown me off schedule was an issue with my home’s HVAC system. It all started on Tuesday when we had an appointment with an HVAC technician for some regular maintenance. That HVAC system maintenance turned into a nightmare! When the HVAC technician examined our ductwork, he found tons of tears and holes throughout the system. I couldn’t figure out how the ductwork could have gotten that many rips in it. The HVAC technician told us that the only possibility was that a small animal had somehow made it’s home in the ductwork. He did a thorough search of every inch of the ductwork system, but he still couldn’t find any signs of animal life. He scratched his head in wonder. Regardless of how the tears ended up in my ductwork, it still needed to be repaired. If I didn’t get the ductwork fixed, it would end up costing me thousands of wasted dollars! I told the HVAC technician to stop looking for “:signs of life and just get started with the ductwork repairs. There must have been some other source for the rips in the ductwork. It took him the rest of the week, but he was finally able to finish up fixing my HVAC system.

HVAC service plan 

My classroom is so cold

This last winter was sure a brutal one! During the month of December we had one blizzard after another. There must have been 8 feet of snow in my backyard! Needless to say, life went on. I was taking night classes to get certified as a therapist, and sometimes the drive to class was horrendous. I’ll never forget one night when the heating system in my car wasn’t working. I was absolutely freezing! I tried everything I could think of to get the car’s heating system to work. Nothing seemed to do the trick though. I rubbed my hands together, slapped my face a couple times, and drove to class without my heating system. I was definitely awake by the time I got there, that’s for sure! When I walked into class, my heart dropped in despair. There was no working heating system at my school either. It was freezing in there too! I looked around for my teacher, but I couldn’t seem to find him. I began to wonder if they cancelled class because of the broken furnace. That would have made sense. It was way too cold for class! I finally found a janitor, and he informed me that all classes were cancelled until the furnace was repaired. I must not have gotten the email! I walked out to my car, rubbed my hands together once more, and gave my face a couple of quick smacks to get the circulation going. I was soon back home in the comfort of my own furnace. The furnace was thankfully fixed within the week.

commercial HVAC 

I’m going into debt

Last Tuesday started like every other day of the week. I rose up from my super comfy bed, fed my three crazy kittens, and brewed myself a nice cup of chamomile tea. As I was drinking my cup of tea I was thinking about all of the money I owed to various institutions. I didn’t really owe too much money in the grand scheme of things, but I did owe a pretty good amount. My first debt I wanted to pay off was for my HVAC system. My HVAC system had suffered a break down last winter, and I ended up having to get the furnace replaced. I also had to get a lot of repair work done to the ductwork. While the HVAC technician was conducting all of the repairs, he even found an old rat nest deep inside the bowels of the ancient ductwork. Needless to say, the HVAC system repairs ended up adding up to a hefty sum. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to pay off the HVAC system bill in it’s entirety. Fortunately, however, the HVAC technician allowed me to go on a payment plan. I was so grateful for the understanding that the HVAC technician exhibited in regard to this outstanding bill that I owed him. Over the course of the last few months, I managed to pay off the majority of what I owed to the HVAC technician. I was now down to my last hundred dollars. It was going to feel so good to pay off that last little debt that I owed. After my tea that morning, I signed the check, and mailed it off to the HVAC technician.

whole home comfort