What a rough headache

My family has been involved in the grape farming business for nearly a hundred years.  The grapes are usually harvested, shipped and squeezed for juice, jam and jelly. A couple years ago, my dad and I started playing around with wine making.  The wine we bought turned out so amazing, that we ended up getting a license to sell it. We’ve gradually grown production to the point that we can no longer handle the process in my parents’ basement.  To satisfy our growing business, we built a dedicated winery. This allows us tons of room to store the carboys while they age. However, it’s necessary to maintain a steady, cool year round temperature.  It took us awhile and a lot of research to figure out how to handle heating and cooling in the winery. Since we were just getting started and investing a great deal of money into the construction of the building, there weren’t a lot of funds for a complex heating/cooling system.  With the extreme weather conditions in our area, we needed a component which could combat outside temperatures between ninety and negative twenty. Ultimately, we decided on a ductless heat pump. Because we required a commercial model, it was rather costly, but the installation was simple and the unit is wonderfully energy efficient.  The indoor component is slim, lightweight and mounted up high on the wall, where it is completely out of the way. The system provides both heating and cooling capability, and maintains a very even temperature. It’s clean, quiet, easy to operate and has totally satisfied our requirements.

I’m getting torn up by bugs

My cousin, Samantha, got married last month and it was an extravagant affair.  She spent over a thousand dollars on her dress, and stressed over everything from the flavor of the cake to the exact shade of pink of the roses in her bouquet.  She dedicated a year to the planning of the wedding, and yet decided to hold the ceremony and reception outside. While she chose a lovely meadow with a small lake, wildflowers and a view of the mountains, there was no access to either heating or cooling.  In the area where we live, the weather is both extreme and unpredictable. Between the sub zero temperatures of winter and the humidity in the summer, there’s rarely a time when we can go without some type of heating or cooling. Samantha went to great expense and effort to ensure everything was perfect.  Every chair was tied with a big pink bow and there were twinkle lights decorating the trees. Unfortunately, the temperature was eighty-nine degrees, with no hint of a breeze and excessive humidity. It rained the night before so the ground was terribly muddy, and because of the proximity to the lake, there was an abundance of mosquitoes.  Instead of enjoying the perfect temperature of an air conditioned venue, we sank our heels into the mud and nearly got heatstroke. The entire wedding party ended up with severe sunburn, and one of the flower girls passed out. Rather than adjust the thermostat to the ideal setting, the wedding party was drenched in sweat, the cake melted, and most of the guests left early.  

climate control unit 

My house is not as comfortable as I’d like

Before I invested in central cooling for my house, I spent a lot of my summer days at coffee shops, theaters and the mall.  I took advantage of the free air conditioning but ended up wasting a lot of money. While I couldn’t tolerate my overheated house, I believed that air conditioning was unnecessary.  In the area where I live, the summer season doesn’t last very long. We often get a lot of rain, but the humidity is horrendous. Opening windows and running box fans doesn’t provide much relief.  Plus, with the windows open, I get a lot of dust, pollen, exhaust fumes, dust and exterior noise pollution. The fans look ugly, are noisy, and blow dust all over the place. The only reason I finally invested in central cooling was because of a special deal offered by my HVAC contractor.  When I needed to update my furnace, I was able to add cooling for very little money. Now that I have central air conditioning, I’ve realized the many benefits. Because I can keep my windows closed, my house is so much cleaner, safer and healthier. I’m no longer woken up every time my neighbor’s dog barks.  I simply set the ideal temperature on the thermostat and my home is perfectly comfortable. The air conditioner is quite energy efficient, effectively filters out contaminants from the air, and does a pretty good job handling humidity. It is a relief to enjoy my home instead of wasting my days shopping at the mall.  I now sleep much better, have more energy during the day, and I typically run the air conditioner even when the weather is fairly mild.

Climate control can change your home

Growing up on the northeast part of the country meant that I was used to cold winters and mild summers. About a year ago I was given a great promotion at work, but, it required me to relocate to our offices down south.  I took the offer right away as I felt it was a great opportunity and sort of an adventure. It was Spring when I arrived in the sunny south! The weather was beautiful, typically sunny and not too hot with pretty low humidity.  The apartment I had rented had a central air conditioning system, however, I had not even turned in on yet. In the north most people hardly ever use air conditioning so I wasn’t in any hurry to do so. I liked just opening the windows and letting in the fresh air. Besides,  I was busy with the job and working a great deal so most of my time at home was spent sleeping. As summer approached, the temperature kept rising and so did the humidity. Some days the air felt like you could cut it with a knife. It was time for me to turn on the A/C so that I could be more comfortable at night.  Sleeping is hard when it is too hot or humid but when I turned on my HVAC system for the first time nothing happened. I could have kicked myself because I really should have at least tried it before to see if it worked. I called my landlord and he was really great about it. He had a HVAC technician come out early the next day.  In an hour or so the serviceman had the unit working and cool air flowing from all the air vents. Now I would be comfortable at night after a long day at the office.

HVAC installation 

This was a fun trip

Have you ever gone on a long train ride. Last winter I made the mistake of taking a train across country to see the sights and the ocean along the west coast. I say mistake, because in light of the events that were to unfold on that particular train trip I would have been much better off taking a plane. To start off with, the train never seemed to run on the schedule and we always seemed to be late. Once I got on board, I found my sleeper car I instantaneously noticed that the area was dirty and obviously had not been cleaned since the last passenger had occupied it. I said something to one of the train workers but all they said was that they would see about having the cleaning crew come by if they had a chance. Some service! Once I got settled and cleaned up the clutter I went to the dining car for a much needed cocktail and calm down a bit. The train was advertised as having wireless but it was spotty at best so I could not log onto my social media account which was annoying. The drinks were outrageously priced which was even more annoying. Suffice it to say, I was ready for the trip to end, right from the beginning. To top things off, the train itself was freezing. I assumed that the train’s heating system or whatever they use was not on, but I was told that everything was in working order. When I went back to my sleeper car and I could feel freezing air coming out of the vent. It was as if the a/c was on instead of the heat. I complained again to the inept staff and this time they did something about it. All of a sudden hot air was coming out of the vent in my car.

click this link! 

It’s time to relax

When my buddy called me the other day for help moving, I was eager to help. I like to think that if it was me in that position, he would do the same. Afterall, what goes around, comes around, or so many people say.  I realize that this is a self-serving way to look at things, but we, as humans, tend to be a self-serving race. I ran into a situation recently where one of my friends came to my aid with a huge way and I hope that one day I can return the favor. Over the past summer I purchased a new home and as you can imagine there have been a lot of expenses. , My bank account has been left looking rather empty so when a problem arose with my HVAC system,  I found myself in quite the dilemma. With little to no money to pay for an expensive repair, I was worried that I would be in trouble with winter quickly approaching.The oil furnace in the house is well over 15 years old and not under warranty anymore so I was left on the hook to pay to repair it. However, this is where my buddy comes into the picture. He is a licensed HVAC technician with many years of experience. I had literally no extra money to do the repairs and he offered to fix the system for me.  He even got the parts at his discounted prices. I guess it does pay off to be helpful to people in need because it certainly came back to me in a huge way with regards to my HVAC system. Thanks to my friends kindness I will be warm and comfortable all winter long.

HVAC maintenance 

This electrical system works

Last Winter one my colleagues from work went on a train trip through the Appalachian Mountains.  It was all she talked about for months ahead of time and I was looking forward to hearing about her adventure when she returned. I couldn’t believe it when she said that she had made a huge mistake of taking a train. In light of the events that transpired, she said that she would never ride a train again. To start off with, the train was late picking her up at the station. She had booked a sleeper car for the trip and it was not only uncomfortable but it looked as though it hadn’t been cleaned from the last few passengers. She said that the staff was less than helpful when she mentioned it to them but that this wasn’t the worst part of the trip.  To top things off, the train itself was freezing. Seeing as though her trip was taking place during the winter, she assumed that the furnace on the train would be running all the time. If it was, she sure couldn’t feel it. She ended up spending much of the trip either huddled under the blankets in her sleeping car or wearing many layers of clothing to survive the observation car. She said that the mountains, what she saw of them, were beautiful. Although, she says that if she ever wants to take that trip again, it will be by car. At least then she is in control of her own temperature and she can book clean comfortable hotels along the way.

new heater 

This is very exciting

My parents always tried t instill in me the “Golden Rule”. You know, treat people as you want to be treated.  I have to say that I try and apply this in every aspect of my life. I am someone who is willing to help out their friends when something pops up that they can’t handle on their own, and the way I see it, if I am there to help them out in their time of need, then they will do the same for me whenever the opportunity arises. For the most part, this too had held true in my life.  I recently ran into a situation where one of our friends helped me out big time and I am not sure what I would have done without them. He is a great guy and I have helped him out over the years with various things so he said that it was the least he could do. I moved into my house not long ago and as you can imagine I have had many expenses associated with making changes and repairs.  My bank account has been left looking rather bleak as a result so when my HVAC system broke down, I wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t go to the bank as I had just signed a mortgage and my credit limit was at the top. The furnace is 15 years old and not under warranty anymore, so I was left on the hook to pay to repair it. However, I had literally no extra cash in my savings account to cover it. This is where my friend came in. He was nice enough to lend me the cash to get the furnace fixed and didn’t even ask me when I would be returning it to him.  I have been making payments to him and I am very grateful for his help..

HVAC technology 

This is money I shouldn’t spend

Last Winter I made the mistake of taking a train across country. I had always wanted to see the country in this way and I was really looking forward to it.  I planned the trip during the winter so I could see the mountains veiled in white. I say the trip was a mistake because in light of the events that unfolded on that train trip.  I would have been much better a plane for all the issues that I experienced. To start off with, the train was forty five minutes late picking me up at the station. Once I got on board and got to my sleeper car I immediately noticed that it not only had a strange odor but is seemed that it hadn’t had a good cleaning in months.  I said something to one of the train workers however all they could do was look at me and shrug, so much for service with a smile. Once I got settled and cleaned up the clutter I went to the beverage car for a much needed glass of wine. The train was supposed to have WIFI but it was sporadic and barely worked at all. The drinks were way expensive which was even more annoying. I know I wanted to travel in the winter, but the worst part of the trip was the fact that the entire train seemed to be cold all the time.  I guess I assumed that the train’s furnace or whatever they use would keep me warm throughout my travels. This was certainly not the case. When I went back to my sleep car I could feel the cold air coming out of the vent. It was as if the air conditioning system was on instead of the heat. I complained again to the staff and this time they did something about it. At least that made part of the trip more bearable.

gas heater 

Laying in front of the air conditioner

I guess some would describe me as being “generous to a fault”. I have always been the one to call on if you need help moving, organizing an event, or even a loan.  If it is within my means, I will be glad to help out. I am willing to give of my time or money when asked. The way I see it, if I am there to help them out in their time of need, then they will do the same for me whenever the occasion arises! I realize that this is a self-serving way to look at things, however we humans tend to be a self-serving race. I ran into a situation recently where one of my friends came to my aid with a rather large expense that I could not have covered myself at that time. I moved into my house about five months ago and as you can imagine there have been a lot of expenses. My bank account has been left looking rather empty so when a problem arose with my HVAC system I found myself in quite the dilemma.  Apparently the ignition switch had fused meaning that the furnace had no way of lighting which was certainly a problem, and one that I could not afford to fix. The problem was one that was not covered under my pre-purchase inspection so I knew I couldn’t hold the previous owners responsible. I also wasn’t covered under my homeowners insurance. The furnace is 15 years old and not under warranty anymore, so I was left on the hook to pay to repair it. However, I had literally no extra money in my savings account to cover it. This is where our friend Steven came in. He was nice enough to lend me the money to get the furnace fixed.

air and heat