Learning from my dog

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a strong respect for animals. Early on, I had the idea that dogs might actually be smarter than humans, that they just had different priorities and ways of looking at the world that we could not wrap our heads around. I had more faith in this idea when I was a child, but fragments of that reasoning still hold now in my adult life. I still live with dogs, and I think it’s important to make the distinction that I live with them, and that I do not own them. I think of them as family. I benefit from their company, and they benefit from mine. My thinking on climate control was actually turned upside down by a perspective I learned from my dog. Usually the air conditioner stays on for my pooch buddy while I am away at work. I realize that the HVAC system may not be something that a lot of people factor into their dog’s needs, but I like the A/C on when I’m home, and I like to make sure my buddy has all the same comforts. So when the thermostat crossed my mind early on in my work day recently and I realized I forgot to set the air conditioning, my stomach dropped. After racing home after work, the lack of air conditioning was painfully obvious. My dog however was happily lying on the cool kitchen tiles. The HVAC system being off didn’t faze him at all; he just adapted. Ever since I have been inspired to use the A/C much less.

Airplanes that are freezing cold

Three weeks from now, I am heading off on a tropical vacation for fourteen days.  I have rented a condo on the beach, and I’m going to relax and enjoy myself.  I am so excited to escape all the stress and responsibilities of my everyday life.  I am not eager to travel on an airplane for twelve hours.  The flight will be a long and horrible nightmare.  Whenever I fly on an airplane, I end up with a terrible headache, and I often get sick.  I am convinced that it is a combination of the temperature and air quality.  I have no idea what type of heating, cooling, and ventilation system is used on a plane.  It’s not like they can install a whole duct system with a forced air HVAC unit.  They certainly can’t install a boiler or a heat pump.  However they manage the temperature control, the system doesn’t work very well.  I always pack a jacket to wear while I am traveling on an airplane.  I just can’t get warm enough.  They have those ridiculous little vents overhead that can be adjusted to blow more freezing cold air at the top of my head.  If I complain about being too cold, the stewardess offers a blanket that feels like a paper towel.  I would like to have some type of temperature control in the seat.  Each person would then be able to adjust the temperature to their liking.  I would crank up the heat, so that my seat would be toasty warm.  If my butt were sitting in a heated seat, I would be much happier.

temperature control system

Hard water is hard on the plumbing

I have lived in my house for about twenty-five years.  During that time, I have remodeled and updated almost every aspect of the house.  I have replaced windows, walls, and ceilings.  I’ve torn out and renovated both bathrooms and the kitchen.  I had the entire house rewired for electricity and added outlets in every room.  I’ve even had a new roof put on the house, and a new driveway added.  I have spent a fortune on the plumbing, but there is nothing I can do about the hard water.  Where I live, we rely on well-water, and the quality of the water is terrible.  There is a great deal of rust and minerals in the water.  We tried digging a second water well, but there was no improvement in the cleanliness of the water.  I hate dealing with hard water.  My faucets, pipes, washing machine, and everything the water touches are clogged with mineral deposits.  My sinks and tubs are stained brown because of rust in the water.  My water heater wears out in three to five years, and needs to be replaced.  I notice the affects of the hard water on my skin and hair.  Soap doesn’t lather very well in hard water, which leads to using excessive amounts of soap.  This is very bad for drains and pipes.  I am constantly dealing with slow moving drains and clogs.  I frequently need to dump harmful chemicals down the drains and use a plunger on the toilet.  I often take apart the faucets in the house and clean the aerators.  The hard water in the house is hard on the plumbing and causes a lot of damage.

water quality 

Why we fight

Some couples fight over finances, some fight over politics and still others fight over their kids, my husband and I fight because I insist on bringing a blanket with me when we go to the movies.  I have been to many, many movies throughout my lifetime and it is always, inevitably freezing cold inside the theater.  Now that so many theaters offer the reclining chairs for their customers, I started to bring a blanket with me to combat their air conditioning.  This appears to embarrass my husband but I insist on bringing it, he is just mortified that I walk in with a blanket on my arm.  Every time we go to the movies, he tries to convince me not to bring the blanket.  Although, the last time we went to the theater the a/c unit was particularly aggressive and even he snuggled under the blanket.  Now he thinks I’m a genius!  I just can’t understand why they keep it so cold.  I get that the a/c is nice when coming in out of the heat and that when you have a lot of people in the same room it tends to warm up the room.  However, I seriously think that they need to hire an HVAC contractor to figure out a happy medium because it is just too cold in there.  I’m thinking there has to be a way to adjust the temperature so that if there are less people in a theater they can turn the a/c down and make a difference in the temperature relatively quickly.

air conditioner service 

HVAC zone control

My one passion in life is fashion. I love buying and selling clothes, going to fashion shows, and reading about all the latest designers. Most of my extra money goes toward buying myself new clothes. I have a huge walk-in closet, but it gets full really fast, so I have to get rid of old things regularly to ensure that there is space for new things. A few times, I noticed mold on some of my old clothing. I was disgusted and I started doing some research. I found out that the humid climate can cause mold to grow on clothes. That day, I decided to invest in some dehumidifiers and better central air conditioning that flowed not only through my bedroom, but also into my closet. What is the point of buying a nice article of clothing if it’s going to be ruined by mold? The HVAC company sent over a technician who installed the air conditioning unit and showed me how it worked. He explained how I could change the HVAC zone control so that the cool air would also flow into my closet and keep me clothes mold-free. After the technician left, I called a few of my close friends and told them they needed to make sure their air conditioning was reaching their closets. I was so pleased with myself for getting the HVAC installation out of the way that I went to the mall and bought myself two new dresses. I no longer worry that my clothes would be ruined. Now I can buy as much clothing as I want until my closet is full again!

HVAC installation 

Prolonging your HVAC system’s life

My grandmother is one of my favorite people in the world. She is a whopping 98 years old and still lives a healthy and active life compared to anyone else her age. Most people do not even live to be 98. My grandmother has a few common health issues that tend to affect older individuals, such as arthritis and cataracts but overall, she is happy and healthy for her age. She wake up in the morning, drinks her tea, watches her morning television and then goes for a walk. She enjoys the outdoors and loves to be as active as she can. The church she belongs to is right down the street from her home so every Sunday morning, she walks to mass then goes out to breakfast with her friends afterward. Everyone in town loves my grandma. One time, I asked her the secret to living such a long, healthy life. She told me a few different things, but one of them shocked me and honestly made me laugh a little. She told me that living in an environment with a clean, functioning HVAC unit that gets inspected once per year has helped her to stay healthy. She keeps really good care of her home and everything in it, including her heating and cooling unit. Since she has it inspected and cleaned out once per year, there is never any dust or debris that gets caught up in the air ducts. The air she breathes in from day to day is completely filtered and fresh, making it easier to breathe and healthier as well.

A restaurant that’s too hot

Although I have not had the opportunity to work in a restaurant setting, I imagine it is difficult to know what should be the right temperature to make sure customers are comfortable. With the kitchen having ovens and stoves going all the time, I would think it would be hard to keep that area cool for the cooks and their staff and still manage to keep the customers not too cool and not too hot. I have been in many restaurants where it was a bit too cool. Thanks to a tip from my mother early on in my life, I tend to carry a sweater in my car for just such instances. However, I would rather a restaurant be a bit too cool rather than too hot. In one such instance of being in a restaurant that was too hot, my friends and I thought that perhaps the restaurant was having an issue with their air conditioner. We waited for a long time before any server came around to get our drink order. It was clear the servers were uncomfortable too, and they were in long sleeves with a serving apron on, and we were in shorts and short-sleeved shirts. We were sweating just sitting in the restaurant, so we felt very sorry for the servers who must have been absolutely miserable from the heat. When we asked our server if the restaurant was experiencing problems with their air conditioner, the server said there was not a problem with the air conditioning unit, but that someone had forgotten to turn on the air conditioner before customers started arriving for their lunch service. While it did cool down over the course of our meal there, it was still an uncomfortable environment to enjoy a meal in.

HVAC service 

The HVAC system I used to have

As a child, I lived in an ancient mobile home. It had ancient appliances, ancient floors, ancient cabinets, and an ancient air conditioning system. Because it was so ancient, it was extremely inefficient at cooling our home, and this issue was compounded by the fact that we lived in a very warm region. Most of my childhood, as a result, was spent outdoors. The temperature may have technically been warmer outside, but at least there, the air was moving. Indoors, our poor air conditioner, no matter how many technicians came and looked at it, was simply too decrepit to do anything worthwhile. It still felt stuffy and overly-warm. I can vividly remember dreading summer because of how hard it was to fall asleep during those hot months. I no longer live in that house, but I go back and visit often. My parents have changed some things: updating appliances, putting in new flooring, and replacing furniture. They have also added a window air conditioning unit (they could have brought out an air conditioner technician to look at the central unit, but probably wanted to avoid hearing that there was no hope for it) in the living room to supplement the central one, meaning that the living room and dining room (when my dad actually remembers to turn it on) actually can feel decently cool. My room, though, still feels about the same. I can still walk into that room and be transported back to my childhood whenever I like. It is comforting, in a way, knowing that no matter where I go in life, some things will never change. I think about it sometimes when I am feeling philosophical. Then I go back to my home, to my properly-working air conditioner. air conditioning unit

HVAC breakdowns

Lately a lot of unexpected things have seemed to be happening at my work. First, a whole bunch of employees got into a huge fight and instead of just putting their differences aside or even taking any issues up to our head boss, they just decided to quit. Without any warning either, they just marched into the manager’s office and resigned. Isn’t that crazy? Obviously we had to have more employees to fill their spots, and somehow one of my cousins managed to get hired, though I don’t think he was really all that qualified. Then, out of nowhere, the HVAC systems all across the whole entire building quit working. At first, we thought it would be temporary, and that we would only be without heating or cooling for a few days. We called an HVAC provider and they said that the earliest appointment they had was later in the week, so we dealt without HVAC until that day. It was pretty rough. Even though there was no air conditioning, there was no heating either, so you would assume that it would not get all that hot in the office. However, it did, and it was steaming. It was almost as if the heating had been turned up on high the whole day! It was really hard for me to survive all the way until the day that our company made an appointment with the HVAC company. We did not even need a functional heating system after that occurrence, though. To be honest, I never wanted another again!air conditioner repair

An inventor that’s held hostage

Working as an investor always seemed like a fairly safe job. I show up to work at around nine in the morning, work until one, take a lunch, and then finish my day up and get out around five in the evening. It is supposed to be a very reliable job without any serious excitement or problems that would interrupt my personal life. I have three kids and a wife, so whatever job I take directly impacts their lives as well. Just recently the routine I had developed in my life came to a screeching halt. A gunman came into our building last week and locked a bunch of the investors up and held them for ransom, and I was included in the group of hostages. It was a very strange experience, the gunman keeps ranting and ranting about how hot the building was and the lack of an air conditioning. The other investors were equally as confused as I was and had no idea why the gunman would be talking about air conditioning units or the HVAC system configurations within the building. There was a considerable length of time when the gunman said nothing, but then like an explosion he started hollering about how cold it had gotten and the cruel jokes we were playing on him by turning the heating system off completely. At this point it was clear the gunman was deranged, evident by the fact he would only talk about the HVAC equipment within area. Soon after that outburst about the lack of heating  security was able to apprehend him and I just hope he is given the medication he so dearly needs.

HVAC equipment