When you should get a heat pump

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to HVAC appliances. There are different kinds of heating and cooling systems, but which one is right for you? These are things to consider before you pick out your HVAC technology. You need to consider the size of your home. You want your HVAC devices to be the right size. Too big means they won’t be efficient, but small units die quickly. But the first thing you need to consider is your environment. If you live in a warm climate, you won’t need a powerful heating system. Sometimes in colder climates, you don’t even need to invest in a cooling system. So what kind of climate are you dealing with? In cold climates, heating is the priority. Consider installing a boiler or furnace to heat your home. They last for a long time, and they’re the most powerful. Likewise, heated floors are a typical heating system for colder climates. You can even combine a gas furnace with a heat pump to make a dual fuel system. In this situation, the gas heater is the heating system and the heat pump is the cooling system. In warmer climates, the heating system should be a simple space or electric healer. For cooling, warmer climates should use a high velocity air conditioner. This is a powerful cooling device that lowers a home’s temperature in minutes. Moderate climates should consider getting a heat pump system because they use air from outside. Heat pumps are also the most energy efficient systems available. So which do you think you’ll get?

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Only AC on planes

Not long ago, I was on my last airplane flight for a while. I hate to travel by plane, thanks to their lack of temperature control. I left a warm tropical climate that was probably 85 degrees. I boarded the plane and it was just as hot. The air conditioner was on, but it wasn’t really doing anything. The AC hit the heat that was leaking into the plane. This left us with steam at the top of the airplane. It looked somewhat scary when boarding the plane. You would walk into a hot box of an airplane to see steam all over the ceiling thanks to the AC. Once we started to fly, the air conditioning either became more powerful or the outside air got colder. It changed from not enough cooling to too much air conditioning. I then had a layover that lasted four hours. The next plane I was on was in a much cooler climate. You’d think the heater would be on, but the air conditioner was still going strong. There was no steam on the ceiling this time, just a plane full of shivering passengers. I had to put on my jacket and shut off the air conditioning vent above me. This didn’t help, and I was still freezing. This had me thinking about my past flights. Had I ever felt heating on a flight? I really don’t think so. The planes always have those vents that blow cold air. Does this mean a plane can only have air conditioning?

air conditioner system

Problems with the ductwork

When you live on the east coast, you are all to aware of the hurricanes that threaten your home on an annual basis.  Everyone, for the most part, has an emergency bag packed and an evacuation plan in place.  They know that the storms can be devastating and loss of life is a real treat. The area where I live was greatly affected by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.  Some people are still feeling its effect and the battle with insurance companies for payment is maddening. My in-laws are among those people still dealing with the remnants. When the hurricane roared through our area my in-laws home that sits on a coastal marsh was impacted by way of flood waters. Unfortunately, this included the ductwork for their HVAC system that was located underneath the house. As the flood waters rose it completely flooded the HVAC ductwork. When they receded, they left behind a moldy, wet mess and damaged the HVAC unit itself.  They had the system checked and it seemed to function normally but they did not have the ductwork checked.  They just assumed that it would dry out like everything else and be fine. My in-laws did not see the extent of the damage until a couple of weeks later when they attempted to use the air conditioning and all became sick from the mold. They called the technician out again to examine the air vents. They learned the ductwork having been flooded by the storm surge was a cesspool of bacteria and debris. They needed to completely replace the HVAC ductwork in order to have a healthy environment. The estimate for the repairs were reasonable and the new ductwork would be located in the attic instead of under the house.  This would hopefully save it from future floodwaters. Now, if only the insurance company would cooperate, my in-laws could get back to life with a more normal existence.


Heating technology in the office

I think I have the best boss ever!  He really cares about his employees as always looks out for our best interest. For example, last week, when I got to work, I noticed the temperature in the office was downright cold. Typically, I am the first one to arrive at my office building and this day was no exception. I put my briefcase down and I wandered over on the thermostat to check the settings. My first thought was that because we had long weekend the program hadn’t changed back yet. The settings were fine but as it was set to 70 degrees and it was only 55 degrees, I knew something must be wrong. My boss agreed once he had checked the settings and we called the HVAC company we had on file to come out and look at the system. It was the middle of January and we definitely needed our heat working.  The temperature could get very cold if we were unable to have a repair done quickly.  Fortunately the HVAC company is close by and they said they could be there in about an hour or so.  Everyone kept their coats on while the HVAC technician worked to diagnose and fix the problem with our furnace. He was very knowledgeable and was able to fix the problem within an hour of arrival. My boss was thrilled and chose to enroll our company in the HVAC maintenance program. Now, twice each year an HVAC technician arrives to make any repairs and replace the filters.  It gives everyone peace of mind knowing that we won’t have to work in a frozen office again.

smart thermostat

Party time A/C relief

I absolutely hate planning birthday parties for my kids. They are picky and complain about everything. If it isn’t perfect, they get mad at me for weeks. I know it makes me sound like a terrible father, but it’s true. Something always seems to go wrong and ruin the day. But for my daughter’s recent birthday, I decided that I needed to be the hero and give her the best party ever. It was 1PM and all of my daughter’s close friends had just arrived and were running around the house playing. Then my air conditioner let out an unpleasant screeching noise and I knew we were in for some major trouble. The ice cream cake that was sitting in the kitchen started melting rapidly and I had to act quickly. I called an HVAC professional and he came by right away to help fix my system. He said it would take him about an hour to get the A/C back up and running Then, a light bulb popped in my head. I called out, “hey kids, it’s time to get ice-cream!” All of the children’s eyes lit up and they ran to the car right away. One hour and $100 in ice-cream later, all of the kids were smiling and my house was cooling down. The HVAC technician was a true hero in my mind. I am not sure the kids even noticed that the A/C had an issue. They certainly didn’t notice that the cake had melted. My daughter said it’s the best birthday party she’s ever had.

AC device

Baseboard heating is gone

I left my parents’ house about a eight years ago. I now own a lovely home not too far away, however, all holidays are still hosted at my parents’ place. A few weeks ago, my mom called me and explained that she didn’t want to deal with the stress of cooking for everyone and asked me to host this Thanksgiving dinner. I was anxious, but glad I finally got the opportunity. I spent a over a week cleaning and getting everything ready for the dinner, trying to make sure nothing went wrong. Of course, in the very last minute, my HVAC system decided to shut down. I was in the kitchen, prepping the turkey when my husband and I heard loud, bangin noise coming from the air vents throughout my residence. I ran over to the wall thermostat and powered down my heater right away. I gave my HVAC unit a few minutes and turned it up again, but every time I turned the heater back on, the entire thing would make that same terrible banging noise. I tried to get hold of an HVAC company, but as expected they were all closed for Thanksgiving day. Fortunately, I had put in a fireplace in my dining room a few years back that I almost never had to use. In a rush, I turned the fireplace on and let it roar with a massive fire and all the firewood I had available. As guests and family started making their way around, I tried to keep them within the dining room while I finished up with the kitchen. I kept the oven on all day long in order to create extra heat, but everyone was happy to be near the fireplace. Not a soul even pointed out that my HVAC died!

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Long, hot summer

I think it’s going being a long, hot summer this year. I am glad I have a new HVAC system at my house. I don’t use the furnace heat much inside the winter as it doesn’t get too cold here since I live in the South. Even so, the summers are another story altogether. You definitely need some cold A\C around through the summer time. I prefer to keep it nice and frosty in my house so I turn the thermostat down really low. I don’t know what temperature I keep it at but I am sure it is below the suggested temperature. I don’t care if my utility bills are high as long as I am really comfortable and have ice cold air conditioning in the summer months. The funny thing is I grew up without air conditioning inside my house. I guess that is the reason why I like the A/C so much. My brother is a totally different story altogether. He doesn’t like air conditioning at all and he’ll crank up his gas furnace heater in the winter time. I think he keeps his thermostat set on 85 degrees in the winter. Well, he is pretty skinny so I guess he doesn’t have a great deal of insulation to keep him toasty. The truth is that I’m of average height and weight but the two of us are just truly polar opposites on the subject of heating and air conditioning. Sometimes I go to stay with him and he won’t even turn the air conditioning on when I am there. I get back him by keeping my thermostat set low when he comes to visit me. I guess we should call a truce and become more hospitable. We need to make an arrangement where, while I visit him he turns his air conditioning on and while he visits me, I turn the heat up on the gas furnace.

HVAC company

Son wants air conditioner

My husband and I let our adult son move back in our house last year, and is still living with us. We enjoyed having his company at first, and through the first few months, we had a great time with him at home. Now this has been fourteen months, and he is still sleeping on a cot within the basement. He has a job, but he still chooses to stay here with us. I wasn’t terribly bothered by his presence, until he started to moan about the A/C on a regular basis. My husband likes to keep the A/C set to 75 degrees to save some money on the electric costs. The heat or A/C fails to affect me much, so the temperature is usually fine with me. My son has been complaining since the spring began, and he is constantly adjusting our thermostat. Whenever we complained about his adjusting of the thermostat, he went out and bought a little portable A/C unit for the basement. Unfortunately, our son didn’t think to getting a portable A/C unit with an awesome SEER rating, and it is costing a lot of moola to run the darn thing. Last month alone, the electric charge was higher by almost one hundred fifty bucks. My husband and I will have to sit down with this son of ours and explain the idea of supply and demand. He would have to start chipping in throughout the house, or he is taking his portable A/C somewhere other than our basement.

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Insomnia On Ice

I have lots of trouble sleeping at night. It’s been a part of my life as along as I can remember. I usually try to go to bed early, but I’ll toss and turn for half the night. I usually do not fall asleep until about one in the morning. Last week I had a really bad cold, so my sleep loss was much worse. I went around to bed even earlier than typical, but my house was freezing for some reason. The bad air quality made it impossible for me to fall asleep. I got up to bang on the thermostat so my heat system would kick on. I also got a big warm blanket to bide my time until warm air came rushing through the ductwork. I waited for quite a long time, but the air quality stayed cold. There must have been something wrong with my home heating system. I hoped it would kick on soon, because I definitely couldn’t afford to have extensive repairs done to my HVAC system. HVAC technicians were very pricey and money was pretty tight for me at the moment. I got up again to test my furnace. Maybe if I jiggled a wires around, it would turn on and start doing its position. I tried to get it to do its job, but the air quality just wouldn’t get warmer. I could ensure the furnace was trying to figure, but it seemed like there seemed to be something stuck in the ductwork. It was too cold to deal with this. I wrapped myself up in a very blanket and tried to imagine myself sitting close to a nice warm fireplace. I would call an HVAC technician that morning. I had no choice at that point.

heating repair

Freezing without my heater

I am an aspiring author. I want to write, but sometimes I can’t choose exactly when inspiration strikes. Just a couple of nights ago, I got the urge to get up around midnight and start writing. I couldn’t help myself at all. I got up, started writing, and noticed it was unusually cold. I assumed my air conditioner had broken again. I adjusted the thermostat and hoped for the best. No warm air came straight from the ductwork, however, so the air quality remained frigid. Morning finally came and I had produced to call my local HVAC technician in the future fix it. He arrived with all his tools and began to inspect the thermostat, ductwork, heater, air conditioner, and all other factors of the heating and cooling system. I chatted to him for awhile, and then he went back to job. He found there was a problem with my air conditioner, the heater, the thermostat, and blockage within the ductwork too. My whole heating and cooling system was useless! I couldn’t believe it. I had no choice but to pay for all of the repairs, but at least the HVAC technician was nice enough to show me some energy saving tips. I was happy for that at the least. I wasn’t too happy that I was required to fix almost every element of my heating and cooling system. It cost me a lot of money! I learned my lesson that abysmal day. Never again would I allow my HVAC system to go that long without an inspection. I would make sure to get my HVAC system inspected at least a few times a year.