Browse Month: May 2018

Those cold winters

If there is one thing we have a lot of in the southeast, it is humidity. I always realized it was humid, of course, but I never really knew how humid until I visited my brother in the western part of the country. The air is so dry there that everyone, absolutely everyone, spends a fortune on lotion. Here, though, where there’s so much humidity, one thing we can do to help feel less sticky is to lower the fan setting on the central air conditioning thermostat. Both southeasterners and southwesterners use air conditioning because we both have tons of heat. It’s hot here and there, so we all love our a/c.. That being said, in the southeast, the HVAC systems generally also have dehumidifiers. In the southwest, the HVAC systems generally have a humidifier. Humidifiers put more moisture in the dry air in the southwest, and dehumidifiers take away moisture from the air in the southeast. Is there anywhere that is perfect and needs no a/c or furnace? I wonder! So, if you are in a humid location, it might behoove you to change the setting of the fan speed on your thermostat. On the thermostat, you will see fan speed low, high, or automatic. On humid days, the a/c works diligently and you feel hot anyway. On humid days, go to your thermostat housing unit and turn down the fan speed to low. The slower the air goes through the HVAC system, the more moisture is taken away from the air. Also try other cooling methods. Make good use of water. Take a cool shower, place a damp cloth on your pulse points, or spray yourself with one of those fans that have water in them. Also, get yourself some shade for your house or townhouse with trees or awnings and you could also install window film. All these tips will help you save money on your heating and cooling invoices and also keep you feeling fresher.

A/C filter 

I can’t live in a dirty home

Have you ever noticed how weird kids can act? I am being honest, kids can do some of the weirdest things in the world.  Some things that would never even cross the mind of a grown adult. I have the perfect example. Last summer, I babysat for my two nephews for a couple of weeks while my sister and her husband went on a vacation without the children. I didn’t really think much of it. They seemed to be a lot louder and more rambunctious than my daughter ever was. But after the two weeks past, all their horseplay was forgotten. That is, until the fall weather arrived and we got hit with a cold spell and I needed to turn on the furnace. I flipped on the heater expecting no problems. Well, the heater made this loud racket that sounded like metal grinding on metal. I was completely clueless as to what that furnace noise could be, so I turned off the heater until I could get an HVAC service man to come figure what was happening. You will never guess what he found! He found a bunch of kids toys magnets all stuck down in the ductwork. I asked him how on earth that stuff could have gotten down the HVAC ductwork. He told me he thought it was probably the children throwing them down the air vents to hear the noise and see what would happen.  Who in their right minds would ever think to drop toys down into air vents? Crazy kids.

duct cleaning 

The heat is being absorbed

I should have listened to my father. Before I left my house on a week long vacation, I decided I was going to turn my heating system off. I did not want to waste money heating an empty house. It gets the furnace a break, my bills would be lower and I don’t have to worry about the heater while on my trip. My father was all over me that it was a bad idea. My father wanted me to leave the heater on a low heating mode. This way, the apartment still has some heating in it. He told me that turning the heater off completely would cause my piping to freeze. They then would burst if they expanded too far. I didn’t believe him, and I turned off the heater for a week. I then arrived home to a wet house. My bathroom piping did in fact blow up. I have so much damage now too. I need to get a plumber into my home to fix all of the piping. I need someone to help me rip up all my carpets or I will get mold. I also need to get a heating business in and have them look at my furnace. A ton of water got into the heater. Does this mean my heating system is wrecked? I am thinking it is possible the heater could rust with the water in it. Honestly, I want to ask my dad for advice. But, I don’t want my dad to know that I did not take his advice.

heating equipment 

I played the game

I work as a part time instructor for a gymnastics studio. The woman who runs the studio rents her space from another owner. The studio is technically a basement in a grocery store. It works really well though. The basement is always nice and cool for the summer. We never have to worry about our students sweating and slipping. In the Winter, the boiler system is located in the basement. The boiler turns on to heat the grocery store, and inadvertently heats the studio space. It really works quite well. Well, this Winter was a huge problem because the boiler busted. The boiler was a hot water one too. So I arrived to work one day with gallons of dirty water all over the waiting room. I had to soak up the water, clean the floors and take out mats in 30 minutes. I also had to go upstairs to the grocery store and complain to somebody to fix the heater. I got a 17 year old boy that basically setup wet floor signs. That whole week of work basically was me going upstairs to complain, cleaning the floors, and warning students about the mess. Finally, the grocery store did hire a heating business to do the repair. It took them a whole and the HVAC contractor was not fast at his repair. That is the price of doing business when you rent from another source though. I know if the studio woman was the one who technically owned the boiler, we would have had a heater repair on day one.

furnace filter 

Some type of air conditioner

If it were up to me all groceries and produce would be sold at local farmers markets. I love knowing where my food comes from, and buying locally sourced things is very important to me. I know a lot of people shop at grocery stores because they are convenient, but they can get most of what they need and more at a farmers market. I once had a friend tell me that she didn’t go to markets because she preferred to do her shopping in the air conditioning. I thought that was absurd! People should be willing to get outdoors and deal with the heat from time to time without an A/C. Or, maybe there should be a grocery store that only carries local things so that people like my friend would shop there. I find the A/C to be an odd reason for not wanting to go to the market, but, heck, it does get pretty hot where we live. Somedays the temperatures can reach the high 90s, and when that happens I tend to feel pretty lethargic myself. I suppose people will have to be innovative in the way that they market if they want to draw in the biggest amount of people. I feel pretty passionate about food, and I’m always thinking about things like this. It’s a long term goal of mine to have a small organic farm, so maybe I should keep my friend’s concerns in mind. I’d like to sell my produce at a place where people will shop and feel comfortable, so the cooling system will be something important to keep in mind.

air quality 

Not paying the HVAC repair

I have decided that it is time for me to take up a new career.  I am going to be a leader. I am going to rise up and convince my coworkers to unite.  We need to do something about a situation that we have in our office, and it is not going to fix itself.  The company is having a feud with the HVAC company and they seem to be at a stalemate. The HVAC company wants to be paid for the work they did a year ago, and they refuse to fix the air conditioning until the bill is paid.  The company refuses to pay the bill for no good reason. Unfortunately, they have a contract with the HVAC company and the company can’t hire another HVAC company because of it. The company we work for needs to pay that bill and get the air conditioning working again.  It has now been almost a month that we have gone without air conditioning, and the weather is only getting hotter. I feel that we, as the people who are going without air conditioning, need to take a stand and tell them they need to pay the bill, or we will all quit and walk out.  We need to strike until this situation is resolved. I’m sure we can all find new jobs, but this company has an ace crew working for them. They need to show that we are worthy of our positions and get our air conditioning back on, post haste. None of us want to take this stand, but it is becoming a matter of AC or us.

I can come up with a new repair

My favorite part about living in the south is the warm weather. I’ve never been one who cared for the cold very much, so I thoroughly enjoy being in a place where the temperatures reach the nineties on a regular basis. The only downfall to the hot weather comes with my utility bills. During summer months especially I find that I overuse my A/C. I really need to figure out some ways to conserve energy a little bit better. One thing I know I should have done is have someone come out and make sure that my windows and doors are sealed really well. This would keep air from escaping my house, and I’m sure it would keep my A/C from having to work so hard to keep the temperature down. I’m sure there are more things that I could do. A friend of mine recently mentioned to me that she uses a smart thermostat to run her A/C. This means that she can control her thermostat using an app on her cell phone. If she ever leaves the house and forgets to adjust the temperature, she can do it from her phone so that the cooling system doesn’t run when she’s not using it. I’m not sure how much it would cost to have one of those retroactively installed, but I bet it would be well worth the expense in the long term. I think I’ll give my local HVAC company a call this week. There’s no sense in putting these things off any longer. I need to cut back on my energy use, and these all seem like good ways to do just that.

HVAC unit 

Want to see my HVAC technician again

I just had a huge fight with my sister because I told her that I am not obsessed, but I am persevering.  I keep trying to tell myself that there isn’t anything obsessive about what I am doing, but even I’m not convinced.  When I realized I had hung up on the operator at the HVAC company for the third time that day, I knew I had a problem.  I was becoming one of those fanatical people who chase other people around. It all started a month ago. I woke up in the middle of the night and my furnace had quit working.  I knew that I needed to have immediate service, but I didn’t want to pay the huge bill that came with service in the middle of the night. I also live by myself. I called the HVAC company expecting to get an answering machine, but someone answered on the first ring.  I told him about the heating and how I had none at all, and he said he would be there in an hour. He was so sweet and so darn handsome that I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I even made him coffee, and some muffins while he was working. He was so nice and he did a great job on my furnace, plus he gave me a discount.  I’ve got to find out if he is as interested as I am, but the only way I can get in touch with him is through the HVAC company. I just don’t want to sound like a little girl with a crush, so I am hoping that he picks up the phone one of these times, when I call.

HVAC unit

I think that was nice

I think there’s something to be said for knowing how to take care of things around the house. When I was a kid, my parents always made me help out with household tasks, and it really paid off. I always complained about it, but now that I have my own place, I’m so glad that I am able to take care of most things on my own. One of the main things I’m glad that I learned about was the HVAC system. Heating and cooling units require a fair amount of maintenance, and I know exactly how to keep one in good shape. Because mom and dad made me help when I was younger, I know exactly when the air filters should be changed, how to clean the coils, and I am able to do some basic maintenance without having to call an HVAC technician. These might seem like relatively light tasks, but I have a number of friends who didn’t know the first thing about taking care of their A/Cs when they bought their first homes. So, I was a little ahead of the curve. I always complained about doing chores when I was younger, but I wouldn’t have if I had known then just how handy all of my household knowledge would be in the future. Now, if I decided to have kids at any point, I’ll be sure to teach them some things around the house too. Many people don’t learn maintenance tasks until they are in a bind, and I think it’s best to avoid that!

A/C products 

Smart thermostat in a good place

You know, there are a lot of things that could be more efficient in this world. Chipotle lines, for instance, could definitely be improved upon. But I have more serious things in mind, myself. If it were up to myself and others all people would have far more energy efficient homes, no matter their income. When I eventually learned about how much power we waste in our houses on average for Americans, I became much more aware of how this was affecting myself and others in many ways personally. Aside from paying an unnecessarily high power bill to contend with on any budget, I learned right away that wasting energy is awful on the environment, and that’s especially something I felt that I wanted to make more of an effort to address. This is the precise why I had someone come right over to my apartment to make sure that all of my windows and doors were properly installed and well-sealed. I knew this would keep the cool air produced by my whole A/C from escaping so easily, and it was clear that with the additions it would keep the Heating as well as A/C component from having to come back and continually work overtime just to keep the apartment comfortable. After dealing with all that, I had an Heating as well as A/C worker come out and make sure, with his expert eyes, that my Heating as well as A/C component was in nice shape for us all at home. It was reassuring to know that it was running as efficiently as it possibly could, finally, and we had verification. Finally, I had a smart control component installed. This new temperature control system allows myself and others to adjust the temperature in my apartment from my phone or PC somewhere. I will no longer have to stop and think twice when I accidentally leave the air conditioner running. I cut my utility bill down significantly, and I know good now that I know my apartment is more eco-friendly. Everyone I know should have this done.

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