Vents filled with dust

My wife has consistently suffered from horrific indoor pollen lung irritations.  She can be miserable for much of every Winter due to the quality of the air in our home.  The two of us decided it was now time to be a lot more proactive about the air quality & started with having all the air vents in our new home cleaned professionally.  The heating contractor both of us chose came out & worked throughout the basement and attic of the house. They would drill a small hole into the visible air ducts coming from the central furnace. And put a vacuum tube with a metal brush on the end into the hole & fed it up into the vent.  I was amazed at the amount of crud that came out of our vents. It is absolutely likely that this was the first time these vents had ever been cleaned. After all the heating vents in the home were clean both of us added a hepa filter to our oil furnace that would trap most of all particulates in the air such as pollen or dander or dust mites. They explained to us that these kind of  filters would need to be changed on a regular basis. Then both of us decided to add another thing to our improving the air quality plan: a humidifier on the forced air oil furnace. The air quality in our new home had consistently seemed very dry while I was in the Winters & both of us had issues with static electricity as well. This new humidifier made a big difference in how the air the home felt.  It was even better for breathing through the night. After all these improvements were completed. My wife started to suppose this was better right away & I noticed a remarkable improvement in our air quality. The hepa filters kept a great deal of dust & things out of our air. The two of us wondered why both of us had not made these upgrades and improvements a long time ago.

duct cleaning

Glad she gets a heater

I had been certainly close with my maternal Grandma for years. She was what is called a free spirit & did pretty well whatever she wanted to do all her life.  And so when she called me one afternoon & asked me to head over & help her out with a new oil furnace, I first laughed & then figured why not! When I arrived at her current locale, and found her in the large kitchen with brochures all over the round dining room table.  She poured me a cup of Tim Hortons Cappuccino & then started to carefully explain to me the different brand of gas furnaces she had been researching. My old Grandma had been certainly up on things ever since she discovered the internet. She would do research on things & learn things she could never dream of, or so she said.  She knew that she wanted to get a new oil furnace & it needed to be certainly energy efficient & that it should not cost her too much. The two of us chatted about many of the brands of natural gas furnaces she had researched. It was more love she was telling me which ones she liked & then the one she selected. I just smiled to myself & agreed with everything she said.  A week later my Grandma called me over again & said come over & see her new oil furnace. When my Grandma set out to finish something, she did it & usually in a sizable way. She took me to her basement to show off her shiny new natural gas furnace she has just bought. She explained how it was so energy efficient & showed off to me the humidifier she had added on at a certainly good price. At this point I felt a more than a little bit sorry for the Heating & Air Conditioning salesperson who had put up with my Grandma for this transaction.

portable heater

Need a/c installed soon

It is amazing how difficult it is to get a pool put in. I have the money saved, the area cleared and endless amounts of time. The pool service crew shows up whenever they want. They seem to charge me whatever they want. The installation of my pool is extremely slow moving. What I am hoping for is a rectangular shaped inground pool. I also plan to have an outdoor patio area that can be sealed against the weather. People would be able to get out of the pool and enter the patio area.  If it gets too hot and humid or begins to rain, I want that area temperature controlled. I also want to install a ductless air conditioner into this area. I have a professional HVAC contractor ready to roll on it too. I just need the construction of the pool and outdoor patio completed first. Then, all that is completed, the HVAC contractor can do his thing. The pool guys are delaying everything. First, it took them a long time to dig the hole for the pool. Then, they did not have the proper cement to handle the bottom of it. Now I’m waiting for pavers for the outdoor patio to arrive. My HVAC contractor is warning me that I might not get my AC installed when I want it. It’s nearly Summer and they are about to get busy. They can’t just wait for me to call them for an AC installation project. I am worried that the pool crew will be completed right when the HVAC professional isn’t available.   Not having access to AC by the pool in the heat of the Summer would be awful.

Want the heater tuned up but no money

My credit card was recently singled out for bank fraud. Apparently somebody used my credit card number and charged a lot of purchases to it. They went to Wing City, Olive Garden and the shoe store  several times. The guy was located in a state way far away from mine. Now due to this, my card is frozen. I was instructed to cut it up. I am currently waiting on a new card. Apparently my replacement card is in the mail, but it has been over a  week and I am in trouble without my credit card. I can’t make a purchase. I don’t have my bank account number memorized, and I can’t exactly offer that at stores. I only rely on my card and don’t have cash on hand. This has been a real frustration for me. The purchase I really need to make but can’t, is to schedule an HVAC contractor to come to the house  and service my heater. I need my heating program cleaned, turned and adjusted to peak capacity before Wintertime. There’s maybe a few weeks before the weather changes for the worse. I want my heating system cleaned and prepared in plenty of time. The longer I hold off, the less likely I am to get a heating appointment. Everyone requires repair for their heating unit in the middle of Wintertime. So I would end up on a waiting list, just hoping the HVAC professional calls me. I want to get the furnace inspected right away.  With no money, they are not eager to come to my home. I am not prepared to sign up for a payment plan, and I don’t want to provide them access to my bank account number. So I am sort of in a pnaic at this point in time.


A cooling system that really works

When I first started up my central cooling system this year, the air coming from the vents was super musty smelling.  I should have immediately called for professional service. Unfortunately, between work and household tasks, I was extremely busy at that time of year.  Plus, my budget was a bit tight, and I was hoping to save a bit of money. I didn’t want to invest in a system which seemed to be working. The air conditioner was effectively cooling the house.  So instead of taking care of the problem right away, I held off and hoped the air conditioner would work itself out. The smell, however, was bad enough that my family complained of headaches every time the cooling unit started up.  Since the weather was unusually hot and humid, the air conditioner was running just about non stop. I reduced the setting on the thermostat several times, because the house felt a bit hot and sticky. I gradually realized that the cooling unit was not putting out a sufficient amount of cool air to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature.  It was definitely struggling, and that showed up in my monthly energy bills. The cost was nearly double of what I expected. That’s when I finally hired a professional HVAC contractor to provide service. I realized I could actually save money by having the air conditioner repaired. The technicians thoroughly inspected the cooling equipment and discovered a significant buildup of mold and mildew within the system.  It was spreading contaminants throughout the house and presenting a health risk. Once the technician cleaned the inner workings, checked the refrigerant level and lubricated the moving parts of the motor, the central cooling system ran perfectly.


No concerns

My husband, Ralph and I recently spent a great deal of time, effort and money putting in a large patio on the back of our home.  We did all of the work ourselves, and it took us most of the summer to complete the project. We really enjoy spending time outdoors, whether we’re reading, getting some sun, cooking on the grill, or chatting with friends and neighbors.  Ralph and I were really looking forward to finally taking advantage of the finished patio. Unfortunately, by the time we completed the finishing touches and set up the grill and furniture, it was late August and the weather had started to cool off in the evenings.  Although we tried to sit on patio, we’d simply get to chilly and end up retreating inside. We then did some research into possible heating systems for the patio. We didn’t want to invest in propane heaters which would continually run out of fuel. Having the heater suddenly quit while we were entertaining guests would be extremely inconvenient.  We eventually found patio heaters which run on natural gas, and the cost of operation would simply be part of our monthly energy bill. The space heaters are permanently installed, fairly energy efficient and quite attractive. Ralph and I appreciate the ambience created by the flicker of the flames. We purchased four of them, and the cost added up rather quickly.  However, they provide sufficient heat to keep us nice and warm on those chilly fall or spring evenings. Because of the heaters, we get much more use and value from our new patio space.

central heater 

Radiant flooring

My husband and I are looking for our first home and there are so many decisions to make!  We know what town we want to live in, but other than that we’re pretty open to house styles and interior finishings.  We do know, however, that we will be very choosy on the type of HVAC system that’s installed in the home. Sure, HVAC systems can be modified but it’s best to have something well made to begin with before you start changing pieces and parts of the entire unit.  I know that I want a good HVAC system because I want to add on an air purification system to keep the house free from debris and dirt. I know from my parents that it’s important to clean out the air ducts regularly. Along with simple maintenance, I want to add a smart thermostat to my HVAC system so my husband and I don’t waste money on heating a house we’re not using.  Sometimes I have late meetings and can’t always predict when I’ll be home, so this feature would work well for our life. Personally, I really like radiant floor heating and it would be fantastic to have this type of heating system installed in the new home, but it can be added later, too. I’ve never lived in a home with radiant flooring but my grandparents have it and I’ve always loved it since I was a small child.  Buying a home is and expensive and exciting prospect and I can’t wait to see what we finally buy!

heater repair 

Stuffing my jacket

I’m 82 years old and have seen a lot of things in my life.  I first went to school in the country in a small single room schoolhouse with no running water and only a wood stove to keep everyone warm.  It was hard to learn when we were so cold as children. When I became a man and moved into the city, climate control was a little better because we would rig fans and cooling devices around the office and shops to keep cool.  Now, I can’t believe what modern air conditionings and heating systems can do. My grandson was showing me his remote thermostat for his apartment and he’s able to change the temperature where ever he is on his smartphone. I think that’s simply amazing!  When home thermostats came on and you could program them before you left for work, that was a great invention but this is even better. Now, if he has a long day at work that’s different from his normal workday, he can simply leave the heat or air conditioner off until he’s sure he’ll be home.  It’s smart of him to do because it also saves him money on energy bills. Another feature that I really appreciate is zoned control heating features. With this system, a homeowner can program the temperature in each room of the house. I think this is fantastic, because usually I like it slightly warmer in the house at my age, but I don’t have to turn up the heat in all of the rooms and make my guests sweat out of their shirts. Technology has come a long way, especially with climate control devices, and I’m glad I’m around to benefit from them!

HVAC service plan 

A lunch room break

My grandparents are getting older and my mom is their only child.  A few years ago we all decided that they should live with us because we had more room at our large house than we needed and could easily convert it to give everyone privacy. My older siblings had moved away so we converted part of the downstairs into a small apartment and installed a second kitchen just for my grandparents.  It’s fun having them live with us, but I know it will be more work later on when they get older. Our part of the house and theirs are very similar except for one thing: the heat! My grandparents like the house to be very warm and to me, it’s uncomfortable. They will turn up the thermostat even in the summer months. My parents consulted the local HVAC company for the best way to have both homes as comfortable as possible and they had a great answer in zoned control heating. I didn’t even know this heating and cooling technology existed!  We do many things as a large family, but both sections of the house are separated by sliding doors. When I visit my grandparents in their suite, it’s at least 15 degrees hotter than over on our side of the building. They love the zoned heating because they are very cost conscious and appreciate this heating system saves on heating bills. Also, they tend to keep their bedroom warmer than the rest of the living space and that’s an option with zoned heating. Any of the rooms in the entire house can be changed to suit anyone’s preferences.

Quality climate control

I spend a lot of time deep in the stacks of the library at my local college. I’m a student here but I also work part time at the front desk and doing whatever needs to be done organizing and helping other students find what they’re looking for.  Most of our books and materials are very easy to find, but some are locked away in a climate controlled room. These are our most precious volumes and texts. Some are very old and exposure to temperature extremes and lights will harm them. Others are worth a lot of money and have to be kept in good condition and under lock and key so they’re not pawned off by broke college kids.  I love going into the rare materials room because it’s always a comfortable 68 degrees and the air is perfectly clean and fresh because of the air purification system. Dust and debris could harm the books, so the air filters are changed regularly. When someone requests one of the books, we lead them into the room and they have to wear while cotton gloves so the oils on their hands don’t damage the pages.  The library itself was a very comfortable place to study and work, too. Unlike the dorm rooms and some of the smaller classrooms on the higher floors, the library’s HVAC system always guaranteed a comfortable environment. In the summer when I worked extra hours, it was always the coolest place on campus. The same is true about the wintertime, and all the students flocked to this cozy, comfortable building to remove the chill from walking all around campus outdoors.  Our library was the newest building on campus, so the HVAC system was likely the newest and most modern heating, ventilation, and cooling system within the college system.

A/C filter