I have learned a few things in my years as a young adult, and one of them is to always trust old folks. Not only do they give the absolute best advice, with decades of relevant experience that surpasses any article you’ll ever dig up on the internet, it’s always worthwhile to stop and listen to the wisdom of older generations. Beyond that, they really take value in the things that they own, and can advise you in many practical ways about the importance of properly caring for your belongings. Of course, this means they have the best maintained cars, homes, and properties that you’ll ever encounter. That’s why my son and I decided we would only consider renting our next house from an elderly landlord this time. Boy, am I glad that we made that decision. Not only is the house in great condition, but the HVAC system is to die for! Whenever this new furnace and AC unit were installed, my landlords did not spare any costs. They had professional HVAC technicians come out and replace every single air temperature control component in the home, including the heating and cooling systems, the air ducts, the air vents, and the thermostat. Beyond installing the most updated and highly energy efficient HVAC system on the market, they also purchased a 10 year extended warranty program that included 4 routine HVAC inspections each year. Every season, an HVAC tech arrives to fully service our entire temperature control plan, and the landlord even calls to confirm that the diagnostics were optimal each time. I’m loving our new place, and I’ve never breathed easier!
Well, I always know right where I stand in our household, that’s for sure. I never need to worry about who is the priority when it comes to my boyfriend, our dog, and myself. Everyone makes it crystal clear that I’m the low man on the totem pole. If my guy isn’t leaving the house without telling me to take the dog on long drives, he’s bringing our furry buddy out on fun “date nights” where I’m not allowed to attend. When I’m not being kicked off the couch so the dog can join my boyfriend for evening cuddles, we’re spending more money on the pooch’s food than I spend on myself in a year. It’s crazy. Things have really been taken to a whole new level in the past week, though, when my boyfriend decided to finally update our old HVAC system… for the dog. Let me start by saying that our heating and cooling equipment has not been working well for over two years at this point. I’ve been asking my boyfriend to pay a professional HVAC team to fully replace the AC unit and furnace for most of this time, because I have an unusual health issue that makes me extremely susceptible to being cold. Has he ever cared about my personal comfort, or worried about improving the air quality in our home before? No. What finally made him come around to the idea of replacing the ancient central heating and cooling system? His dog was diagnosed with mild seasonal allergies the other week. Now we have a fully updated AC, furnace, smart thermostat, and air media purifier, and the indoor air temperature has never been so low.
Man do I love catching up with my big cousin Lenny and finding out about whatever whacky kick he’s on nowadays. He’s always into something new, whether it’s diehard hot yoga sessions that last 4 hours long, intense mountain rides through blizzards on his bike, or penning a romance novel about mid-century nuns. He’s constantly engaged in some brand new scheme to improve his body, mind, and life. Right now what’s the big deal you ask? Well, he’s decided he wants to be a professional English teacher. Not in american schools, no that would be too simple. He is living abroad and teaching the language to non-native speakers. In Ukraine, of all places on earth! Every time I talk to him, he has new stories to tell. I’ve noticed, however, that he’s particularly interested in the HVAC systems there. He says that many heating and cooling systems are at least 50 years old and hardly operate at all. He told me that there is no thermostat democracy, and the furnaces and AC units are programmed by air temperature control overlords in each building. He also told me, most disturbing of all, that there usually are no air vents located in the restrooms in that region. This means there’s no air circulation or ventilation to clear out the… problems… that can occur there. I thought that it sounded like a bad deal when he told me he couldn’t adjust his own heating conditions at home, but now I’ve reconsidered. The lack of modern air handling equipment in public restrooms is definitely the worst hardship I’ve ever heard of.
My mom bought a brand new car last winter. She hasn’t even owned it for a full year yet and she already hates it. She tells me that the reason she hates it is because the air conditioning stinks. It doesn’t work right, according to her. When she bought the car, it was winter, so it was cold out and she didn’t have the chance to test the A/C. Now that it is getting to a point in the year where it starts getting hot out, she has started to use the air conditioning in her new car.
At first she thought it was simply a malfunction of some kind. She took it into the dealer to have it repaired, but the workers told her nothing was wrong with it. One guy went so far as to say in hushed tones that the particular model she had was known for this exact complaint. The result was that the air conditioning in her car simply was not very good.
Needless to say, having spent a big chunk of money on this purchase, my mother is not happy at all. Whenever we go somewhere together now, she insists we take my car instead of hers so that we can have the ‘good air conditioning’ as she calls it. I personally am a windows open kind of person, so I don’t like the A/C much anyway but it is a big deal to her. She was so mad about it she vowed to test the A/C in any car she ever bought from that point on.
We were suspicious about renovating a house at first. We were worried that the budget would get out of control, but at the same time we also couldn’t afford a move in ready home. It really turned out to be our only option to get into a fixer upper in order for us to get everything we wanted in the new house. We found a place that had amazing character, but it was hidden beneath years of horrible carpet, wallpaper, and other such things. To save even more money, we decided to do some of the work ourselves.
Some things we just weren’t qualified to do. We knew we had to update the HVAC system, and we had negotiated the price of that into the overall purchase price of the home. We hired a local HVAC company to replace the system. When the heating and cooling specialist came out to start the project, the house was in total disarray. We had staining going on, we had wallpaper everywhere, and we had a ton of projects we were trying to get done while the HVAC installation was going on.
I got the feeling that the heating and cooling specialist was not happy about the state of the rest of the house. He was trying to work, and granted he was in the basement, all the noise upstairs was probably very, very annoying. We were trying to be nice about it. We brought him a cold drink while we took a break from our work. That did seem to cheer him up a bit, but I think he was happy to leave.
The day has been planned down to the last detail. The menu is set, invitations sent out, even the photographer is ready to go. At least this is how it happened in my dreams. When you are young and in love the only thing you think of the perfect wedding day. The reality of getting this to happen can be less than fairytale like for sure. Most of the preparations have gone off without a hitch. My biggest problem came when we decided to put huge candle displays on each table as centerpieces. To save money, we ordered all of the candles online from some overseas distributor. They were half the cost of anything we could get locally and the company offered free shipping if your order was over a certain amount. We ordered in plenty of time to allow for the two weeks shipping time and waited anxiously for them to arrive. When the notification came that they had arrived I was very excited to get home and open the box. Boy was I disappointed! The candles inside the box were not only the wrong shade of color, they were completely misshapen because apparently they had melted in route. I guess the “slow boat from China” didn’t have any sort of HVAC system and the voyage must have encountered some pretty hot temperatures. Now, I had a huge box of wax that I could do nothing with. The company refunded my money however now I had to go stores and try to find the candles, pay twice as much, and hope that it would all work out.
My dog is one spoiled critter. Anytime I leave the house I take her with me, and this includes when I go into my office. I work for a local business, and I rarely have customers in my office, and this is how I’m able to bring her to work. I started taking her along a few years ago when I realized how high my power bill was each month because I was always leaving the air conditioner on for her. It would have been cruel to leave her in the house without the cooling system running, so taking her to the office just seemed like a no-brainer. Now, she knows when it’s time to leave in the mornings. After I get ready, she’s always waiting by the door, eager to leave. At the office, she has a bed that’s directly beneath an air vent. This way she’s never far from some cool air from the A/C. Since I began taking her to work I noticed that my power bill at home has gone down significantly. Since I no longer have to run the A/C during the day, I can conserve energy and money. I know she enjoys her life, and I don’t think there are many dogs that have it easier than her. She’s definitely pampered, but I love having her around all of the time. She’s a great companion, and she knows to be quiet at the office so I can get my work done. She’s the perfect pet to take to work, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything!
When I plan family get togethers I’m always very conscious of the fact that my siblings are particular about their environment. I have two brothers who always insist on keeping the A/C running at full speed, so when we all rent a vacation home together, I have to keep this in mind. My sister and I are the opposite, meaning we would much prefer to be in a warmer environment. To satisfy everyone, I always find a rental house that has a zone controlled HVAC unit. This works really well because it allows my brothers to keep the air conditioner on in their rooms, and it keeps my sister and I from having to freeze to death. Before I learned about zone controlled A/Cs our vacations were always a battle over thermostats. Seriously, me and my sister would freeze to death in the evenings because our brothers would leave the thermostat on such a low setting. Now, we’re able to relax and spend time together without having to worry about something so petty. We don’t get to spend a lot of time together during the year, so getting rid of extra stressors like this so that we can just chill out and catch up really do make a difference. I love my siblings, and there’s no way that I would let a little thermostat war over the A/C come between us! A zone controlled HVAC unit was a great solution for our problem. Now we just have to figure out how to choose our restaurants so that everyone is happy with that choice too!
On the first Saturday of every month I have a work day at home. This means that I clean the yards, wash my car, and do any other routine maintenance that needs to be done around the house. One thing that I have incorporated into this routine has been a quick check-up on my HVAC unit. I do this because I live in an old house, and it can be difficult to keep it cool if the A/C isn’t in top shape. I have high ceilings, and there are some leaks in the windows where cool air tends to escape. I have to make sure that my A/C is cleaned out well so that at the very least it is not wasting excess energy. Every other month, I have to make sure that the air filters are changed and that the coils are cleaned. Doing this ensures that there is not a lot of excess dust and dirt continuously circulating throughout the house. This can sometimes cause an A/C to overwork itself, and that’s the main thing that I want to avoid. These household tasks aren’t fun. I don’t enjoy having to spend an entire Saturday on them, but this is just what goes into being a homeowner. Taking care of my place one day per month allows me to live comfortably the rest of the days, so it’s well worth it. When I think of my household chores in those terms, it’s much easier to get up and get them done. I love my house, so I want to make sure it’s well taken care of for a long time!
I just love spending time outside in nature. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember because my dad always took me along on outdoor adventures with him. He wanted me to have the chance to get outside of our neighborhood and see all of the pretty scenery that was just a short drive from our city. Now, when I go on trips, I still enjoy myself, but there are times when I have a difficult time convincing friends to join me. Summers where I live are brutal, and they’re always reluctant to spend the weekend in a setting that doesn’t have an A/C. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a cooling system in my house, but I would hate it if I was that dependent on it. For some of my friends, the only way to get them out into nature would be to tell them that I was bringing a portable A/C along for the trip. Maybe if I had a campsite with a power hook-up this would be a possibility, but I refuse to be the person at the campsite who has an A/C blowing in its tent. How ridiculous! People really should try to put themselves outside of their comfort zones more often than they currently do. I think we have become far, far too reliant on our appliances. An A/C is a great thing to have, but it shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our surroundings. I can’t imagine the world where I stay cooped up inside all weekend just because of a little hot weather!