Residential comfort

When I can’t afford to fly, I stick with buses  for cheaper transportation to go visit family and friends. Their routes take longer due to detours for other stops, but it’s affordable. Except every single one I’ve been on has had something go wrong. From the bus having to pull over and kick people off for smoking, to the bathroom door getting stuck and us not being able to leave the station until they managed to pry it open, to the luggage compartment not wanting to close, I’ve dealt with every manner of inconvenience when travelling via these buses. The worst of them, though, have been when the bus has to stop due to the air conditioner not working. Something in their policy mandates that the bus can’t leave if the AC isn’t working. While I wouldn’t be thrilled with riding on a hot, overcrowded bus, it would be better than waiting five hours for the air conditioning to get fixed or for a new bus with a functioning AC to arrive. And I don’t know what it is about those buses, but they have these AC problems far too often. Once, after waiting two hours to board the bus because of the air conditioner malfunctioning, everyone was finally able to board. Except then we had to wait another two hours for a bus driver to become available due to our previous driver no longer having the time to make it to the next stop before he would have to stop to sleep, due to how long he had been driving already. That is insane! If all of their buses have busted ACs, and they are so important to the trip, they clearly need to come up with a more permanent solution than always delaying trips for temporary fixes.

HVAC repair 

There is a great furnace down there

A group of my girl friends and I like to schedule a girls’ night out once or twice a month to bar hop all the local establishments. It’s one of the few occasions where I allow myself to go out drinking, when I’m not the designated driver, but I do head out on my own from time to time when looking for a fun night out or when celebrating. It was on one of those solo outings where my husband and I first met. I wasn’t looking to meet anyone, but it just sort of ended up happening, and I owe it all to the bar’s AC. From where I was sitting at the bar, the AC vent overheard was blowing down directly on top of me. The cold air conditioned air had me feeling freezing! And since I was dressed up to look cute, and not to stay warm, I hadn’t brought a jacket with me. I looked around and couldn’t find anywhere else to sit with how crowded the bar was so I was stuck sitting there under the air conditioning vent, freezing my butt off. That was when a guy approached me, offering me his jacket and taking a seat on the stool beside me. I was skeptical of his intentions at first, but I was cold and he seemed sweet and after a while we really started to hit it off. We exchanged numbers and one thing led to another, and we got married! He’s admitted to me since then that if I hadn’t looked so cold, he would have never had the courage to approach me. The air conditioner making me feel like I was turning to ice ended up being our perfect ice breaker!

heating products 

Spending time outside

 I have been living in the southwest for ten years now. I love being here because it’s absolutely beautiful, and I live in a wonderful community. The one thing that I learned early on is that the weather here is much different from how people think it’s going to be. Most people imagine it as being hot here year-round, but that’s not the case. We experience some pretty frigid winters, and that’s why I have to make sure my heating system stays in good shape.

           My house has baseboard furnaces. I like that I have them because I don’t have to worry about getting air ducts cleaned, as they don’t need them. However, I do have to make sure that I clean the dust and dirt out of them at the end of each winter. One way I do this is by using the vacuum. The vacuum lets me get most of the dust and dirt. When I finish with that, I take a rag that has been drenched in cleaning solution and give it a good wipe down. Finally, I have to cover the baseboard heaters when I’m not using them so they don’t accumulate more dust and dirt while they aren’t being used. \

            By doing all of this, I am ensuring that my baseboard heaters will stay in good shape for a long time. That’s good news because I would hate to have to replace them too often. Unlike what most people think, winters in the southwest can get chilly. We experience snow and sleet, and I become really dependent on my heaters then!

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Gas heating technology

 I think that I am going to have to start looking for a new apartment soon. When I moved in, I had no idea that my air vents were connected to my neighbor’s apartment. We have separate HVAC units, so this wouldn’t be a problem if he wasn’t a heavy smoker. The smoke smell somehow gets into my apartment, and it is constantly giving me a headache. I can’t stand the smell of cigarettes. I have tried to remedy the problem by adding an air purifier onto my cooling system, but it is just not doing the job. I thought that the air purifier would up the air quality and keep the smoke smell out, but it can’t.

           If the landlord isn’t able to do something about this soon, I’m going to have to break my lease and move somewhere else. I realize that there’s not a no-smoking policy, so they can’t keep him from smoking in the apartment. However, I really wish he would be more considerate and only smoke outside. If there was a way to rig up the air vents of our HVAC unit so that they weren’t connected, that would probably solve all of our issues. I just don’t know if it’s possible to retroactively do that.

           I’m going to give this about a month’s time, and if nothing changes, I’ll start looking for a new place to stay. The first question I will ask the new property owners is whether or not their HVAC units are connected through the air vents. I just can’t handle the smoke!

HVAC contractor 

Furnace filters and damage

I’ve always wanted to buy a new car, but realistically speaking I know it’s way out of my price range, plus you can get slightly used cars for a fraction of the price due to how cars immediately depreciate in value after being driven off the lot. I was in the market to get a new car recently – well, a car that would be new to me anyways – when a buddy of mine suggested I check out this one local used car lot. He claimed to know the manager, and if we went together he could help me get a great deal. I decided to take him up on the offer and go look around the lot with him over the weekend. He and the manager did seem to be really close, greeting each other enthusiastically, and the manager let me know that if I wanted to take any of the cars for a test drive around the back lot to just let him know. I tested a couple cars, but they each had some issues I couldn’t ignore, like broken ACs, heating that barely turned on, trouble braking, and so on. I was about to give up when one more car caught my eye and I asked to give it a drive. The car was perfect. It drove beautifully, and when I went to test the air conditioner I was blown away by how cool the air blowing from the AC vents were without needing any time to get going. It was a gorgeous car without many miles on it, but it was the air conditioner that really sealed the deal for me and led to me approaching the manager to purchase the car. I drove out of that lot a happy man, with my new car’s AC blowing on high.

air conditioner tune-up 

The sun raises utility bills

I live in the southeast, and we are about to enter another hurricane season. Isn’t it crazy that we have a whole season of the year dedicated to hurricanes? When I was younger, I used to do so much work when a hurricane was threatening our state. I would put plywood over the windows. I would bring in every single outdoor item. I would  help the neighbors do the same. I would fill up the house with water and nonperishable food. Now that I am older, do you know what I do? I leave. I don’t do very much work at all, and I just pack my stuff and I leave. The main reason I choose to go somewhere else? I don’t want to do without air conditioning! No matter whether the storm hits directly or not, chances are very good that we will all lose electricity. No electricity means no air conditioning! Since hurricane season being June 1, it is always hot during hurricane season, so we all want our air conditioning. Many people will buy generators so they can have a/c after the storm. Some people go sit in the car and run the a/c several times a day after a hurricane hits. I am too old to play all those games. I just pack up my clothes and my dog and find a hotel with good HVAC. Hotels that are far enough away to provide safety but close enough to drive to are perfect. I always just start driving and then when I have driven for several hours, I start calling hotels and asking if they have rooms and if they have air conditioning. If they have a/c and empty rooms, that is where I go.

energy saving tips 

Talking with the ladies

I used to be a teacher; unlike all the other teachers, when a student asked me what I thought about him going to college, I sometimes would tell them that if they don’t want to go, they should look into doing something else. One of my students did just that. Instead of going to the big university that is right here in our hometown, he chose to go to a trade school. When he went there, he did not know what he wanted to learn. He started out in the barbering school, but then he decided he didn’t like it. So then, he went into plumbing and suddenly realized he would have to work in sewage. That’s when he discovered their HVAC program. He went straight through the HVAC repair classes. Then he took HVAC advanced technology, which I think was related to modern HVAC technology. When he took all the classes they offered, he went to work as an HVAC technician and worked hard for about ten years. Then, he broke loose and opened his own heating and cooling company. Now he works for himself, and not only that, he has eight employees who work for his heating and cooling company! I am so proud of him. Then, just the other day, I was reading the newspaper, and there he was on the front page of the local section. They were featuring him and his a/c business because he was donating the HVAC system to the new homeless shelter. What a great guy!

air conditioning company 

Why is this so expensive

Do you have any family members who have secret recipes? More than likely, those relatives keep those secret recipes close to their hearts and will never reveal how they make anything. Well, the same is definitely not true when we are talking about the secrets of helping your a/c keep your house cool. If you want to save money by helping your a/c run for fewer lengths of time, it is best to have trees in your yard. Trees provide shade and the shade helps the a/c work a little less hard. It is also a good idea to have awnings over your windows. Many people think awnings are just for curb appeal, but that is definitely not true. Awnings are especially found on older homes in our state. Back in the day, when there was no such thing as residential air conditioning, the awnings were put there to help cool off the house or office building or store. Now that we have air conditioning almost everywhere, some places no longer have awnings, but it is a good idea to keep them anyway because those awnings help keep the sun outside where it belongs, and the more you can do that, the better off your a/c will be. The idea is to lower the thermostat reading inside your house without actually adjusting the thermostat setting. Covering up your windows with room-darkening blinds or draperies is also recommended. I have what are called blackout drapes on my front window, and my house stays much cooler and my a/c thanks me. And I think myself when the a/c bill comes due at the end of the month!

furnace repair 

Not ideal heating and air conditioning

A few Tuesdays ago, my husband and I attended the soft grand opening for his friends’ newest restaurant! I wasn’t terribly excited for the event, honestly. I didn’t personally like the guy, and I sort of thought he was laundering money for the mob. Still, though, my husband was managing one of the other restaurants he owned, and so we kind of had to attend the event. The interior of the place was fantastic and stylish, but I thought it was a bit overdressed with a lot of expensive crap on the walls. The menu was featuring lots of fancy main dishes from the chef. Each dish was inspired by our local cuisine in town. The first course was a soup of black beans, spicy tomatoes, and fire roasted shrimp. The second course was filet of poached salmon with lemon hollandaise. That course was my favorite! By the time we all got to the third course, I started feeling a dripping on the back of my head. The air vent up above our dining table was leaking water and it was falling on my head. I moved my chair over, but the leak continued to get worse throughout the next two courses of the meal. My husband alerted the manager of the restaurant and he said that they seemed to be having the same concerns all over the whole dining room. Other people were complaining about leaky air vents above their tables also. I assume that’s the reason for soft openings. It’s probably best to work out the kinks sometime before the actual grand opening night. My husband and I left right after our dinner was done, so I do not even know if they managed to repair the leaking air vents or not. I don’t think we will be dining there again anyway.


The fur in the HVAC system

Dogs and cats have took over our home!  It is absurd that we have all these animals around.  What once started with one pet has now turned into a pet menagerie.  The hair, fur & dander that comes from these animals is crazy. Our overwhelmed HVAC method gets choked up on all this detritus from all these pets.  I am forever increasing the filter changes on the HVAC unit and I have even replaced them with the special filters for the air system. These filters assist but it still seems that our Heating, Ventilation & A/C is laboring.  It just doesn’t look like the system can turn the air over often enough. I realize the home must have too many pets but the whole place just smells rank and gross all the time. Both of us are working to mitigate the demands on the HVAC unit by taking the pets outside each afternoon then combing them out there.  This is a bit better with the fur and hair being all over, but the Heating, Ventilation, & A/C seems to only struggle. I want the atmosphere to have at least some hint of freshness to it. Both of us have scheduled for a service program that brings a certified, professional Heating, Ventilation & A/C professional to the home season of the year.  The professional comes to the house and cleans out the inner workings of the a/c. He removes unhealthy pollutants plus other particulate that comes from the pets, but the HVAC professional told us how our method is old and just not entirely up to the workload that the family and I put on it while still being operational. He said that the extra service will help supply us time, so the people I was with and I can method for installing a up-to-date Heating, Ventilation  & A/C central air plan with whole-home air purifier. And then perhaps the home won’t be like the inside of a cage at the zoo.

air quality