Geothermal heat pump system

When we decided to design our own house from the ground up, I looked into strategies to make our new home super energy efficient. I wanted to reduce the price on heating and cooling the space, and also minimize the carbon footprint. Although the more energy efficient heating and cooling equipment is far more expensive to purchase and install, it definitely will cover itself in time. To handle our year-round temperature control, my husband and I finally chose a geothermal heat pump. This required a closed loop system to be professionally installed underground, which was an expensive and complex project for us. The loop system connects to the small electric heat pump that is located inside the house. The entire system requires a minimum amount of electricity to run, because it takes advantage of free energy located underground. The earth absorbs sunlight and remains on a relatively stable temperature all year long. The geothermal heat pump then simply moves heat wherever needed. In the winter, it draws heat from the earth, compresses it, and pumps it within the house. In the summer, heat pump reverses the direction of operation, transferring heat into the ground. This process is so beautifully energy efficient, that it only costs cents on the dollar to power our home temperature control. And, the heat pump does not burn fossil fuel to develop heat, which eliminates greenhouse gas emissions. Not only is the heat pump exceptionally energy efficient, it also operates cleanly, and requires very little outside maintenance. It does not introduce contaminants within the in-home air, is effective at working even under excess humidity, and doesn’t overly dry the environment during the winter.

energy saving tips

The mouse odors

I just resolved a severe problem in air quality in my home. Every single time that the furnace started up, my whole home stank of dead mouse. The smell was completely overwhelming. Since the outer temperature was around 30 degrees, I had no choice but to still use the furnace. I set the thermostat to the lowest degree possible, but the furnace still kicked on all the time. I tried spraying air deodorizer, lighting all my scented candles, and puffing baking soda inside air vents. I would have loved to crank open the windows and get fresh air. I hoped that the odor of decomposing small animal would not last for many days. However, after over two weeks of living with that horrendous stench, I finally gave in and contacted my HVAC contractor. I explained the unpleasant circumstances, and he recommended a ductwork cleanup. He came over and brought in a machine that resembled a vacuum. There was a sturdy hose using a brush attachment that fit well in the duct system. It both vacuumed the debris and contaminants without making any mess in my home or damaging the old HVAC ducts. I was skeptical that the vacuum would eliminate the problem, but I was soon pleased. Not only did the duct cleaning get rid of the stink of dead mouse, it also resulted in my furnace providing more warmth, running less often, and my monthly heating bills were significantly lower! I believe the health of my family and cleanliness of my home were also improved. While the dead rodent was unpleasant, the results were definitely worthy.

furnace repair

Working on the HVAC

I genuinely can’t stand having to deal with an air conditioner that can’t be relied on. For years, I worked as a manager for a small office, and I was required to oversee facility maintenance. Something was wrong with the building? I was on the phone, getting someone there to fix it. The HVAC system at our office was the single largest cost for repairs, and I was constantly in touch with the local HVAC mechanic to have the thing serviced. This caused a massive disruption during each visit, because the heat was quickly rising in the office when it was off. The office would be too hot to work in within a few hours, and I can’t blame my employees for not getting substantial work done in such conditions. An air conditioner is something everyone needs to be comfortable in hot environments, and I desperately pleaded with my company to just replace the system. I understand that a replacement will be expensive – and sure, there are times when it is better to just repair something. However, this system was breaking down so often that I was spending far too much time on maintenance issues. Eventually, I called my superiors and said that I needed a real fix for the shoddy air conditioner, or I was going to find a new place to work. They decided it was more important to save money, so I left the company. I didn’t want the responsibility of dealing with repairs every hour of the day anymore. More companies should take into consideration how disgruntled their employees can get when dealing with these issues. It is worth it to spare big costs and subject your employees to harsh work conditions? One thing’s for sure: If I’m ever lucky enough to run my own organization, I will always listen to my employees and heed their words carefully, because I don’t want my star employees running off!

HVAC system

Poor cooling system

I am currently a graduate student, halfway to completing my PhD. I’ve been in school for the past few years, and it took every passing day to get to the routine I have now. It took some time to adjust to the workload, as it’s much more difficult than getting a bachelor’s degree. I’m constantly working, save for when I’m asleep or taking a shower, as I’ll work while I eat each meal. Taking on this much work means I’ve got to have a tolerable place to do it, and a big part of that tolerability hinges on my HVAC system. Since I go to school in a horrendously hot part of the country, superior air conditioning is critical. Some Summer days, we see temperatures well into the hundreds, and the best thing I can do on such days is stay home and work in the cool air. Grad school is hard enough without the god-awful heat waves, so I don’t think I could’ve done this well if not for the comfort my house provides. I’m religious about keeping my HVAC equipment in excellent condition, ensuring I won’t see a breakdown when I need it most. I had problems in my last house, where the AC died on me every other week because I didn’t tend to it. It’s hard enough to try and take on this level of work in a climate-controlled space – I didn’t need to be pouring sweat onto my work too! I’m just thankful have a hushed, comfortable place to get my work done. It won’t be long now ‘til I’m finished with school, and hopefully I’m able to begin a teaching job!

HVAC installation

The room’s air conditioner

I recently attended a major graduate school’s continuing education seminar. I work as a paralegal who must obtain a particular amount of continuing learning credits each year in order to keep my credentialing as well as maintain my position with my supervisor. The school itself was beautiful. The campus was very large, alive and bright, with a variety of trees as well as flowers. Some of the buildings were very new and modern looking, with big tinted glass windows as well as shiny doors, but then there were others looking very seasoned as well as classic, with red bricks as well as old old wooden doors. The building I took my class in was in the oldest of the older buildings. Though it was very old, it was very beautiful as well as kept in great condition, my only issue with the building was the ancient centralized a/c. I was grateful that the older buildings had any a/c at all, because this graduate school is in the south of the US as well as I attended this course in the middle of July.  In the lecture hall, the a/c would turn on only to blast all the students with severely cold air. The freezing cold air made all the students very uncomfortable; As soon as the a/c would click off, the temperature of the room would quickly increase again and all the students would begin to roast with heat. When the a/c clicked back on, it would blast the students again. This cycle continued on and on for several afternoons in a row. The cold air made some of the students noses stuffy as well as some even felt as if they would catch a bad cold. The extreme heat the students also felt when the a/c clicked off made some of the students hot and very upset. The a/c was also insufferably loud as well as made it hard for the students to listen to the lecturers. Some of the lecturers were forced to wear microphones because of how the a/c drowned out their voices.  Overall, I enjoyed all of the lecturers, the class as well as the graduate school, but I really wish they would improve their centralized a/c to better suit the needs of the lecture hall.

cooling industry

Cooling systems and the breeze

There are several great reasons why all of us should review all the aspects of the heating, ventilation, as well as cooling provided by our homes’ central systems. Start with the source of power available in your site – electric, bottled/tank gas, or pipelines.  Part of the inspection should focus first on the mechanical parts of the method – for example the furnace, boiler, or heat pump (which was until recently only used in moderate temperatures), as well as the delivery system – for example HVAC ducts, steam pipes as well as radiators.   

Your local Heating A/C supplier can inspect your system and explain its really workings to you, then focus your attention to any spaces or parts of the method which need close attention.  But there is another factor contributing to your system’s overall efficiency.  How well does your house retain the warmed air in the Wintertime or the cooled air over the Summer?  In the dead of Winter, stand at the window as well as hold your hand just one inch from the glass.  Does your hand get too cold abruptly?  If so, your older windows may be inefficient and leaking the sizzling air out as well as greatly increasing your heating costs.  On the other hand, the Summer heat may as well be leaking sizzling air into your home causing your a/c bills to rise.

Heating A/C Technicians are educated in the math of heat as well as cold transfer, and they can readily make recommendations for improving your heating as well as cooling efficiencies.  It is possible to even estimate the excess costs over time to add up how much of an investment in new windows will pay over what stage of time.  The bonus here is that  some newer window designs will knock your socks off!  

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Air conditioning mounted

My mom purchased an seasoned 1920’s mansion. It was cordoned out out into several living units numerous a long time ago & now has a total of four separate apartments; Many upgrades have been completed throughout time on this property but with the age that it is, there will be more upgrades to come.  One upgrade he plans to make is to get rid of the individual window wall units & replace them with a brand new Heating, Ventilation, & A/C system.  My mom will be getting numerous quotes from several Heating, Ventilation, & A/C corporations for the installation of a new HVAC system.  With 7 units & over 5,000 square feet of floor space, my mom knows it will not be cheap.  With the architecture of yesteryear, my mom will let the Heating, Ventilation, & A/C companies give ideas about the best route as to what kind of undefined & heating my mom will be getting.  My mom is a smart businesswoman & she knows that my mom will get the currency back from the cost of the new Heating, Ventilation, & A/C plan byu improving the property value & before that, the tenants rent checks.  What research my mom has conducted on Heating, Ventilation, & A/C systems, especially for this type of housing unit, leads my mom to guess that my mom will genuinely want quotes on a ductless Heating, Ventilation, & A/C plan or mini-split system.  The ductless Heating, Ventilation, & A/C plan is an unequivocally more energy efficient plan in that ductwork is nonexistent and the energy is not lost through the air ducts. In the average residence, you end up losing 25% of the air through the air ducts.  Unlike wall air conditioning units, the ductless mini-split plan requires only a small hole be made in the wall which will be making the ductless plan less vulnerable to air seeping out.  Another reason my mom will honestly get this ductless plan is because each individual home will have it’s own temperature regulation.

ductless air cooling

Our office place heating and air

I work in an office all day long staring at computer data.  I review many thousands of computer data yearly.  I know, it sounds like a snoozefest but someone has to do it & it might as well be me.  The office building is incredibly large.  One of the  greatest in the area.  I genuinely feel like I am quite lucky to work here & since I like computer data, it’s a natural for me, and this substantial building is separated into many interesting departments & each department has multiple sections of desks with partitions throughout their particular floor.  I had been now working in the same area for years when I was told that our group of workers was being moved to another floor.  My office would genuinely be closer to the bathroom & office furniture all looks alike anyway, so I did not give a hoot.  Boy, was I mistaken! I’m chilly everyday & I was not before.  My thermostat is not under control.  My desk has been placed under the undefined vent.  Why was that not seen & prevented by the building facilities people?  They actually guess where the a/c will be blowing.  I complained to my floor shift leader who assured myself and others that he would change it.  So far I’ve been sitting under the a/c vents now for 6 weeks & nothing has been fixed or changed.  I’ve had to resort to wearing a constant sweater inside at all times to combat the extremely frosty a/c temperature that is everywhere in my area daily.  One day I happened to bump into the building facilities manager & I told him how freezing cold I was under the a/c vents & the next day Patrick, his assistant, came by & made some measurements.  In less than a week, my little cubicle was moved to the other side of the seating plan, in a much warmer cubicle without the a/c vent right overhead. I know now it’s all in who you talk to.

A/C vents

How to make a lot on a heat pump

A week ago, my oldest customer called me and asked if I come to their house to repair their heating system. They advised that the HVAC equipment had just quit working earlier in the day, and they weren’t clear on what the problem was. I said that I would get out there as soon as I could, and then I made it to their home later that day. When I arrived at the house, the customer showed me to the heater and told me I would be paid double for rushing to help them. This customer had been so good to me, plus they seemed to be rather well off. I started by inspecting the heater, and initially I was not able to find a problem with the system. So, when this happened, my next step was to do a trial and error approach on each part of that heating system. If you test that each part is working, you will eventually come to discover the problem part. Regarding his particular unit, his problem was that the heating pump wasn’t working. As I began to look over the heating pump, I just couldn’t find any kind of immediate issue. But, after further inspection, I saw that there was clearly something inside of it. After I removed the item, I understood that it was a sack of hundred dollar bills. There was at least five thousand dollars in the bag. Being unsure on how to handle this situation, since I assumed that the customer had to have known that a bag of money was stuck in the heating system, I thought I would just hand over the bag to him without asking any questions.

geo heat pump

coolant on the AC damaged me

Working on appliances that you have no understanding of is a really bad idea, however that didn’t stop me from wanting to fix my own air conditioning unit. Before I started the work on the air conditioner, I checked that power to the unit was cut off starting at the breaker. I was at least aware enough to know that servicing items with energy running to them would not be very smart. I figured that stopping the power would ensure that I would not suffer any bodily injury. So, I began the task of fixing the air conditioning system, I noticed that the compressor just wasn’t working. So, after reading up on the issue using the web, I knew that I would need to replace the compressor. Naturally, I began to remove the compressor, and that’s when I heard a loud popping sound and saw a large cloud of mist all about me. I looked down to my hands, and they were both completely frozen. I learned later that the condenser had released every ounce of the refrigerant through some discharge control device. That refrigerant had covered my hands and I had the worst case of frostbite conceivable. I had to be transported to the hospital, and the week that followed was not very enjoyable. At that moment, I decided that I’d personally never do work on any air conditioning unit again. Simply unplugging the electricity from the A/C unit didn’t cancel the risks involved with trying to repair the unit.

air conditioner