I’m about to talk about something we all hate. Doctor’s offices. Why are medical offices the least pleasant places on earth? It makes no sense to me that they seem to be purposely uncomfortable, to the maximum degree. It seems obvious that if you’re visiting a doctor in the first place, you probably already aren’t doing your best. Why, then, do they make the waiting room cold, dry, and silent? Why are examination rooms hard, fluorescent, and freezing cold? I’ve heard the theory before that the environment is created to establish a sense of sterilization and safety, and supposedly the cold indoor air is used to reduce bacterial growth. I’m not certain how effective this measure is for controlling air quality and airborne contamination. Bacteria can grow in an immense range of temperatures and environmental conditions, and there are undoubtedly plenty of strains floating through the air that don’t mind the 60 degree thermostat setting. If we’re talking about other sources of illness and airborne contamination, don’t even get me started on mold spores and viruses. They are highly resistant to temperature challenges, and are largely unaffected by these air temperature strategies. I would argue that these tiny friends are more dangerous than bacteria, as well as being too tiny to catch with traditional AC and furnace air filters. That’s why I recommended to my doctor’s office that they invest in a media air cleaner system as soon as possible. With proper HVAC equipment, they can actually filter tiny microbial contaminants from the indoor air, providing their clients and staff with superior air quality and continued health. Despite my working history in cellular biology, the doctor was not grateful for my suggestion.
Once in a while we go to a little town in the mountains in the southern part of the country. My favorite thing about this place is how the whole town smells like fresh air, wood smoke, caramel apples, and funnel cakes. I love it there. You can rent awesome little cabins up in the hills and even though the cabins are furnished and outfitted with state of the art HVAC systems, we always prefer to use the fireplaces and wood stoves for heating instead of the furnace systems that they provide. It just gives the place a more rustic feel and it makes it seem like we’re really “roughing it” out in the woods instead of in a fancy cabin a mile from town. Last time we visited, it was in the middle of winter and it was super cold. There was even a little bit of snow on the ground. We loved chopping firewood and bringing it inside to burn in the wood burning stove and in the fireplace. A couple of times I was tempted to go over to the digital thermostat to just click the on button and raise the temperature in the house a few degrees, but my husband was adamant that he wanted to be a mountain man. He wanted to keep his woman warm with nothing but an axe and some firewood. I laughed and told him that was fine, but if the weather got any colder, his woman was going to be turning on the oil furnace and sitting by the heating vents.
Last night we went to a restaurant in my hometown. Every Wednesday, they have a big buffet with all kinds of pizza, salad, homemade salad dressings, pasta, soup, and breadsticks. It’s my absolute favorite place to go to eat. The one problem that I have with the place is that sometimes it’s impossible to hear the person you’re trying to have a meal with. It’s not that the place is that crowded or anything, usually. The issue is with the loud HVAC system. Whenever the heating comes on in the winter or when the air conditioning kicks on in the summer, the problem is always the same. The heated or cooled air comes rushing into the big dining area through the ventilation ducts in the ceiling. The vented air is so loud that you wouldn’t believe it. It’s loud enough that you can barely even hear yourself think, much less carry on a conversation with dinner companion. Since I’m a regular customer there, I know most of the employees. Last night I talked to the assistant manager, Kip. I asked him (well, I more or less had to yell the question at him, since the A/C was on and running so loud!) what the issue is with the loud HVAC unit. He said that the heating and air conditioning system has been on the blink for the last couple of months and that they are trying to decide if it’s worth the cost to replace it. At least that’s what I think he said! I could barely hear him over the roar of the air conditioning!
My sister called me yesterday morning to tell me that she’s getting married. I couldn’t believe it, because she’s always vowed and declared that she will never ever tie the knot. When I asked her who the lucky guy was, she surprised me by saying that she met him when he was servicing the furnace system at her house. He was a professional HVAC maintenance technician and it just so happened that he owned his own heating and plumbing business in the city where she lives. He doesn’t usually go out on maintenance calls himself anymore since he has so many other people working for him. Well, on this particular day, he had three different furnace maintenance guys who were out with the flu and so he had to go to my sister’s emergency furnace maintenance call himself. He said that the minute he walked into her freezing cold house, he knew that she was the woman for him. My sister said that she got a real bargain on her furnace service, because he told her that if she’d have dinner with him, then his labor was free! She said that it was a deal she couldn’t turn down, especially since she thought he was really cute in his little blue HVAC service maintenance uniform. I’m very excited for her! It sounds like this guy is a very hard worker who knows what he’s doing with work and with his business. I hope that he is very successful with his HVAC company and with his relationship with my sister!
I may be a bit of a cheapskate. I’m ready to admit it, and I don’t feel nearly as much shame as I thought I would. I want to live a nice life and everything, but I don’t like to spend money if it isn’t necessary. I will find thrifty solutions to my problems if it’s ever an option. For instance, I’ve always been obsessed with my home heating and cooling system. I have wanted to update it for at least 10 years now, but feel too guilty spending all of that cash to promote my own personal comfort. The biggest reason that I want to replace the heater and air conditioner, however, is that my current temperature control equipment is so inefficient. I know that I could save money over time by getting a more energy efficient and reliable HVAC method for my house. However, if I’m going to get a whole new ventilation system, I might as well get zone controlled heating at the same time! That way I could easily regulate the temperature in each room. I would only have to pump hot or cold air into the exact room I was occupying, rather than filling the entire volume of the house with treated air. That sounds great, but now we’re talking about some major expenses. I understand that I would save money on my electric bill over time, but the staggering investment is too much for me to handle. That’s why I’ve tried to come up with a new strategy for DIY zone controlled heating in my place. For the past two months I’ve been using heavy college textbooks to cover the air vents in empty rooms, forcing the air out through the open vents in my workroom. It works great… until you stub a toe.
I’ve recently been following my oldest passion in life; creating arts and crafts all day long. I never thought I could actually make any money doing something that I loved so much, but in the past year or so I have turned a new leaf. I’ve decided to stop being scared of the potential for failure, and to jump headfirst into my a career I would actually enjoy. That’s why I’m currently investing in a new workspace for my art studio. I don’t need much; just four walls, a roof, and some lighting, in order to be happy. Well, all of that and some form of modern temperature control, too. It would be insane to try to work without any updated heating and air conditioning in my workshop, obviously. That’s why I’m looking deeply into connecting a new room to my current house. That way, I could walk straight out from the living room into my workspace without ever leaving the comfort of the indoor temperature control unit. I could simply extend my current centralized heating and cooling methods to service the new addition, as well. If we were able to run more ductwork into the workshop, it could easily become a part of the standing HVAC system without having to buy new equipment. I know that some people do not recommend trying to extend your heating and cooling equipment into larger areas because they can become inefficient to operate, but I don’t see what the big deal is. I might spend more money to run a struggling heating system and AC unit, but I’ll make up for it when I become a famous artist.
I think that there needs to be much more emphasis on work environments in the future. I feel like our culture is moving towards establishing more positive work experiences, but it could definitely pick up the pace. Is it really necessary for everyone to work in claustrophobic cubicles? Do we have to be at the office 9-5, when most of our business takes place 12-3? Should the office manager really have complete control over the office temperature control? Clearly the answer is no! I can tell you, in my last position I was always uncomfortable. It was crowded, loud, and poorly heated where I worked as an office specialist. Every day when I walked into the building, I was greeted with a rush of frigidly cold air. It didn’t matter whether we were experiencing winter or summer weather, the indoor air quality was sure to be reminiscent of an arctic tundra. I wore at least 3 layers of sweaters to work every single day, and kept a drawer full of spare hats, gloves, and socks in my desk. I often asked my workmates what they thought about the indoor temperature control settings, and they answered with a sad sigh as their breath crystallized in mid air. I honestly could never understand how our cubicles and conference rooms were so brutally cold, when the office manager wore skirts and short sleeves to work every day! Was she a machine? I got my answer one day as I walked past her office just as the door swung open. A blast of hot, humid air came flowing out and wonderfully surrounded my body. That’s the day I realized she had several electric heaters running behind closed doors.
I started my own business when I was twenty one years old. I went to cosmetology school and I knew that I didn’t want to work for a big corporate salon. So, I worked really hard and saved up enough money to open up my own shop. I am so proud of the business I have built and hopefully one day I can pass down the business to my daughter. She is currently in cosmetology school and is working part time at the shop to help out with school. This also means that she is getting great experience and will have an upper hand with her classmates. I hope that she learning how to run the business by watching me everyday. There are many things you don’t think of when it comes to owning your own business. One of those things is scheduling regular HVAC maintenance. SInce it is my business I can’t afford to be out of work for a couple of days. I normally have a local HVAC company come out every couple of months just to make sure that everything is running smoothly. I have a contract with this particular HVAC company and they have been great to work with. I have introduced my daughter to the HVAC technicians and she is starting to make connections with them as well. I am trying to teach her things like the HVAC maintenance so she will know what to expect one day when she is calling the shots. But in any business HVAC maintenance is so important for air quality control on a daily basis.
I am in my last year of graduate school and I have to admit that I am over it. I started school when I was eighteen years old and now at twenty seven I am finally about to finish. I can’t wait for the day that I don’t have to go to work all day and then go to class at night. I really want to just be done, but I have put in a lot of work and I don’t plan on quitting until I finish my degree. After all my years in school, I have come to realize the importance of a proper study environment. I know this might seem like common sense to some people, but a great study environment can be the difference between an A and a B grade on an exam. I have found a great local coffee shop that is the perfect place for me to study. I like to go late at night when no one is around and spread my papers all over the table. I also know the importance of good air quality while I am studying. I know that if it is too hot or too cold then I won’t be able to get as much done as I would normally. That is why I am drawn to this coffee shop. Many people don’t even know it exists, but I am happy about that. The heating and cooling system is always set to the perfect temperature and I know that will never be uncomfortable with the HVAC temperature while studying here!
I normally like to spend at least two hours at the gym everyday. I know that might seem like a really long time to be spending in the gym after working for eight hours during the day. However, I have gotten used to it and I really look forward to my workouts while I am at my day job. When I know that I am going to the gym it helps to keep me motivated while I am at my desk working. It honestly gives me something to look forward to. On my drive to the gym from work the cooling system in my car started to make some strange noises. I thought maybe it was road noise and didn’t think about the cooling system again. I had a great workout at the gym and when I left I was drenched with sweat. I was ready to get in my car and feel the air conditioner blasting on my skin. However, when I turned the knob for the air conditioning nothing happened. I did know what was going on but I bet it had something to do with the strange noise my cooling system was making earlier on my way to the gym. I was so annoyed and covered in sweat. I was now going to have to call a local HVAC company that specializes in make HVAC systems for cars. I knew that it was going to be an expensive fix and I was not looking forward to it one bit. Hopefully I can get it figured out this week!