Last July, my washing machine finally quit for good. While I hated to spend the money on a new washer, I had no choice. The delivery men arrived with my washer on the hottest day of the year. Since my laundry room is on the second floor of the house, moving appliances in and out is quite a challenge. They needed to remove the old washing machine, carry the new one up the stairs, and get it properly installed. The staircase is very steep and narrow, and it took forever for them to maneuver the bulky appliances. Unfortunately, they kept entering and exiting my house and leaving the door wide open. I have central air conditioning in my house, and the outside temperature was in the mid nineties. The humidity was brutal, and my air conditioner was blasting at maximum capacity. Every time the delivery men opened my door, my air conditioned air literally blew right outside. I finally had to shut the air conditioner off, and let the house heat up. I felt sorry for the guys moving the washer, because they were sweating profusely. I’m sure they would have loved to feel the relief from my air conditioner. By the time my new washer was installed, my house was horribly hot and sticky, and there were tons of flies inside. As soon as the delivery men left, I turned the thermostat down, cranked up the air conditioner, and got out my fly swatter. I am very happy with my new washing machine, but I wish my old one had not broken down in July.
In the summer months, I am active, healthy, and happy. I keep busy with all sorts of activities, from gardening to playing tennis with friends. I host barbecues at my house, swim every morning, and lay in the sun whenever possible. I don’t bother with air conditioning in my house, because I absolutely love the warm temperatures. I don’t mind when the temperature climbs into the nineties, but when the humidity is so heavy it makes it hard to breathe. I am just so happy for the blue skies and bright sunshine, and I wish it could last forever. Unfortunately, the summer season is fairly short in my part of the country. By September, it’s already turning colder and the days get much shorter. It isn’t long before it’s snowing, and we need to start up the furnace. At that point, I know that I will be stuck inside for months on end. There will be no glimpse of the sun, and I will depend on my furnace to survival. With the furnace running at all times, the air in the house gets way too dry. The dry air causes me to have dry, itchy skin, chapped lips, and frizzy hair. I pay a fortune in monthly gas bills, trying to keep warm, and I am bored out of my mind. I don’t dare schedule any activities, because the icy roads can be super dangerous. I just sit around and wait for spring to finally arrive. If I do set foot outside, I need to bundle up in a million layers of sweaters, wool coats, hats, and gloves. I waddle as fast as possible to my car, then let the heater run forever to warm it up enough to melt the ice on the windshield.
I am very conscientious about keeping a clean house. I even get excited when it’s time to tackle spring cleaning. I spend hours scrubbing floors, washing windows, cleaning curtains and bedsheets, and shampooing the rugs. I clean out and organize every closet, shelf, and cupboard. I also take apart my appliances and clean lint traps, filters, and every component I can safely access. Last spring, I got a little carried away, and decided to take my air conditioner apart. Instead of leaving the work to the proper HVAC professionals, I went after the air conditioner with a screwdriver, scrub brush, and vacuum cleaner. I was meticulous about scrubbing the fan blades. The fan was coated in dust, disgustingly dirty, and I was so proud of myself. Unfortunately, when I was finished, I realized that I had severely bent those delicate fan blades. I did my best to straighten them out, and put the air conditioner back together. When I started it up, the system made a terrible sound. I ended up calling my local HVAC contractor and scheduling service. My HVAC technician also attempted to straighten out the fan blades, but it was no use. My cleaning efforts ended up costing me a fortune. I had to cover the cost of the service call, the replacement fan, and labor to install it. From now on, I will leave the fate of my air conditioner in the hands of the professionals. Although I am tempted in cleaning the furnace, I have learned my lesson and have scheduled maintenance from my HVAC contractor.
About ten years ago I started working for the White House. I work on a special maintenance team for the president. It becomes especially hard because I have to not only keep the White House looking nice and up to date, but I also have to make sure that the equipment we install will be secure. The president really likes a good, clean smelling office, so that’s something we always have to consider when choosing the design. We were recently given the orders to completely update the HVAC system in the oval office. We met with a satellite HVAC business in the area. Usually we go through an external HVAC company and just order through them. Then, we inspect everything before it enters the White House and install it properly. We decided to install a ductless HVAC system that helps with the smells. This air conditioner has a built-in filter, so now the whole HVAC unit will filter the air and test its temperature. There is also an HVAC zone control unit installed. So each room of the White House is tested hourly. The products have to also test the air for any kind of chemicals that could be potential terrorist attacks. Even the president needs heating and cooling help. It can really get tricky because the HVAC system has to be so advanced. If the White House were to ever be on lockdown, the whole thing switches the air conditioner and furnace to pull air from a secret location. It can comfortably keep the White House for months on the supply of air that is filtered.
Last winter we had a heck of week of snow and ice. We don’t often get those kinds of storms in my area, so when it happens the city sort of shuts down. Since our city doesn’t regularly employ snow plows or salt trucks, there is no service to clear roads. We just have to wait until it all melts. The waiting can be frustrating. No one can get to work or school, and even if you have snow chains on your car, going to a store is meaningless since it’s not going to open anyway. During our “snow days” of the storm, we realized our heat was not getting to the back of our house, especially in my bedroom. It was very strange since the rest of the house was toasty warm and comfortable. Of course I made a call to our HVAC tech, but no one could get to the house for a few days. I made it through with extra blankets and a space heater, but it was still uncomfortable and cold. A few days later the tech was able to get to our house and started in right away checking the furnace, ductwork, thermostat and wiring. It turned out there were a few issues. He said the ductwork needed to be cleaned and resealed in several places, but there was also an issue with the fan which was causing the furnace to shut off before warming the house. He was able to repair the fan, but needed to return a few days later to service the ductwork. Once he had completed the job, the heat was about 200 percent better than ever. I also noticed our monthly bill for electricity went down a great deal once it was working so much more efficiently.
Last year, I had a fantastic get together at my apartment complex. It was my girlfriend’s birthday, so I wanted to surprise her with a party that she would never forget. Her birthday is in June, but I started planning for this party in April. You can never start too soon, when planning a wonderful party. Her birthday weekend came up and coincidentally, our area got hit with the hottest and most humid spell of weather that we have ever head. Needless to say, our HVAC unit was running at maximum capacity for hours on end. The morning of the party was one of the most humid days on record, in my area. I was strolling through the kitchen, when I heard a loud “pop!” noise. I looked out my window and to my horror, the air conditioning unit was smoking! I quickly ran outside and tried to begin the repairs. I am no HVAC technician, but I am good with tools. I had repaired my furnace over the winter, but the A/C unit was proving to be much more difficult. The party was about to start and there we were without a working unit. I was running out of time, so I did the only thing that I could do: I called a local HVAC business. Amazingly, my air conditioning was serviced in under an hour. I couldn’t believe it, because that was the fastest repair that I had ever heard of. That is the last time I try to repair an HVAC unit.
My second husband and I decided to make a fresh start together. We both had been married before, had kids and we had our own homes. We decided what the right thing to do was to get one home together. We wanted a traditional log cabin style home. The problem was, our dream home did not exist. So what we did is have is built from scratch. In the meantime we had to live in a trailer with our kids all crammed together. That time was difficult with showers, bathroom time and temperature control. We all managed though and ended up with a great home. Since we had the house newly built, we could get any HVAC unit we wanted. We had a HVAC technician come in and install ductwork into the home. When the ductwork is installed in the initial installation, all goes better. Our air conditioner will experience less problems. The HVAC ducts are less likely to crack and get damaged when they are installed with the house. For heating, we really treated ourselves. We looked at a hydronic heating system for our home. What this means is that there is a boiler in our basement. The boiler heats our home’s water and water for the radiant flooring. We have piping all inside our floorboards throughout the house. Everywhere the piping extends, the warm water travels through. This gives us heated floors for the winter time season. It was worth the time we spent in the trailer to get the HVAC systems we really wanted for our home.
My boyfriend has always been obsessed with the idea of a tiny house. He desperately wants to purchase a tiny home and live in it. He is a bit cheap, so I think he likes the idea of saving money. We would have no space for any type of furniture, so we would not have to buy any. Basically a tiny home is one room. The bedroom is situated above the kitchen. I could hand him toast while he is in bed. The bathroom is literally directly behind you in the kitchen. That is about it for a tiny home. It sounds like a horror movie to me. I am not the type of girl who lives in a tiny home. My boyfriend keeps pushing the savings idea. He thinks we will save money on electric, water, heating and cooling. It does make sense that we would not need to use as much HVAC. We really would only need one small air conditioner for the summer. Probably a ductless mini split air conditioner would work. It could easily cool the small home to the right temperature. In the winter we could not put in a furnace or a boiler though. We could not afford the space. Really what we would have to do is use small space heater. The space heater could be strategically placed all around our tiny home. It would look like crap, but it would save money on energy bills. I do not care about the money though. I would pay more to have central air conditioning, a gas furnace and a normal sized home.
I remember playing hockey growing up. I played all of my life and I even played it in college. I remember the smell when you walk into an ice rink. It smells like old ice, old sweat and a slight odor of fried food. I can remember the feel of the sticky tables in the warm rooms. I remember the feel of the cold metal bleachers in refrigerated rink. What I remember most about hockey is the temperature though. All the smells and sights are not as important as the temperature. When you play hockey, it is natural to get cold. Coming to the rink you are prepared for the conditioned air. The locker rooms were barely heated. You would be cold from the outside weather and then would change in an unheated locker room. Taking off your clothes and putting on slightly damp equipment was quite the wake up call. The locker rooms could not have a heater in them though. They were usually right by the ice rink. The rink needs to be a climate controlled environment. The ice needs to stay hard and cold for the game. Once I was on the ice and skating, I was the right temperature. I was thankful for the heavy A/C because of my equipment. The pads get heavy and hot after awhile. Skating and playing makes you sweat and the cold ice is a relief. After the game, the unheated locker rooms were a relief. If they were heated, I probably would not have made it.
When I was a senior in college, I rented a house with 6 of my friends. We were really excited to get out of the dorms, and have a house to ourselves. We were stoked to have a place with off-street parking, a backyard, and a front porch. We each had a bedroom, and use of 3 bathrooms. With all of us going in on the rent and utilities, we thought we could afford it. We moved in at the end of August, and the weather was wonderfully mild. We did not have to run either the air conditioner or the furnace. We were a little upset that most of the windows were painted shut. By the end of October, the weather had turned colder and we decided it was time to turn up the thermostat. We quickly discovered that the furnace was not in great condition. When the furnace started up, it sounded like a jet taking off from an airfield, and the walls in the house actually rattled. The furnace spat dust out of every vent, smelled a lot like the dead, and provided very little heat. We blasted the thermostat but were still cold. With the high ceilings, big windows, and multitude of drafts, the house was impossible to keep at all warm. When we got our first gas bill, we turned the thermostat down and wore our winter coats in the house. The winter that year was especially cold and long, and the climate in the house was not much different than outside. We were so happy when the weather warmed up. Then we tried out the air conditioning, and got another disturbing surprise.