Creaking radiators the sounds of home

There were only a few days, a week maybe two, that were just so hot during the summer I envied my friends who had air conditioners in their house. I even had one friend who had a pool AND central air in there home, that was pretty unheard of at the time for our area and even our climate. But nowadays, as new homes are being built, it is not uncommon for a central heating and cooling unit to be included in the blue prints. My home growing up was built in the 1800’s, even the basic construction did little to naturally heat or cool the home. It was a charming home with an expansive back to back brick fireplace. The radiators that were put in goodness knows when, bordered the baseboards along the bedrooms, hallways, kitchen, and family room creaked as they expanded and contracted when the furnace kicked on. A haunting sound to some, but will always be the familiar sounds of home to me. It was easy to complain about the heat, that always made me more irritable than even the coldest nights, but the truth is it was harder to stay warm in that house than it was too cool down. An a/c for the those few days in August would be nice, and I am sure our family would have seen a lot less fights break out during that short period of time if we could have hooked an a/c up to the family room, but that’s what Emily’s house with her fancy central air was for!

heater

A/C saved the day

I was just getting over a pretty serious bout of food poisoning and feeling well enough to go back to work. I had turned my a/c as low as it could go at home, it was only thing that really helped with cold sweats and nausea, a nice cold, sterile environment. My roommates didn’t care it was so cold or didn’t bother to check the thermostat and see it was set to 67 degrees, I don’t know how cool they would have been with that. Monthly bills can be a touchy subject, but thankfully this went over their heads. I soldiered through most of my first day back at work, peppermint tea combated the nausea that could get overwhelming, (and thank goodness for that upstairs bathroom way out of earshot and hidden away for those needed private moments!). I was also thankful for the central cooling unit we had at work. Before I would complain about the air vents being right above the front counter where we would get the full force of the cold air, but today it was my saving my grace. Under the guise of going to the back to check my email, I would lower the thermostat down one degree throughout the day, hoping it would be less likely to be noticed by the rest of guys at work. The more the air vents piped cold air the better I felt, it was the moments of pause the nausea and cold sweats had my tummy churning. At closing the smells of the store was getting the better of me, counting the drawer it was hard to concentrate, especially when all you wanted to do was throw up! But alas, I made it through the day!

a/c tune up

Starting off on the Right foot

   A few weeks ago my family and I moved into a new home.  My daughter started school this week and I finally had some alone time.  I spent my time unpacking boxes and organizing our new home.  I moved through the unpacking phase rather quickly and had my whole house unpacked in only a  week.  On my first day with no unpacking left to do I looked around at what I could do, and I decided I was going to vacuum out the heating vents.  They were so filthy and layered with dust and pet hair.  After I had finished vacuuming I decided to check the filter in my furnace.  I wasn’t at all surprised to see that the filter was also disgusting.  I decided then and there that I would be calling my HVAC technician to come out and check out my heating system.  I wanted to be sure it was in good working condition before I am forced to turn it on in the mornings.  The HVAC technician was able to come out that same afternoon, he inspected our furnace and changed the filter.  After he was done he told me that our heater was in great working condition and we should have nothing to worry about this winter.  I am so glad I decided to play it safe and get it checked out before we had a major problem.  I can’t wait until fall is in full swing and I can turn our furnace on for the very first time!  

ac provider

A cool night in front of the fire

Just the other night, my wife and I decided to go for a long walk. It wasn’t too cold outside when we first started our walk. We walked all over the place and into the park. It was a really good time and we were just talking about a lot of different things. Then it started to cool down a lot. It was a good thing we were wearing our jackets. We also had hats and gloves to keep warm. I really enjoyed this quality time with my wife. Something I was really starting to look forward to was our amazing HVAC system back at home. We have a smart thermostat so I could easily adjust the thermostat remotely with my phone. I loved that smart thermostat. We were heading on our way back home and I had the HVAC system set to the perfect temperature. I told my wife that I would build a nice fire when we got back to our home. We had a fireplace at home that was really nice. I loved spending time with my beautiful wife in front of the fire. It was very romantic. I love just holding my wife in front of the fireplace. It turned out to be a very cool night, so I knew it would be the perfect setting for the rest of the evening. My wife said she thought I was reading her mind because all she wanted was to lay in front of the fireplace with some delicious hot cocoa. It would be the perfect night to just hold each other and cuddle in front of the fire.

smart thermostat

Winter storm

Two winters ago, we had one of the coldest winter seasons I’ve ever experienced in my life. Maybe it was just that the heat was going in my car, or that the ice in my driveway made me think the situation was worse than it really was. But I really don’t think I was exaggerating. The temperatures spoke for themselves. It was so cold that some of the main power lines in our town froze, so we were without power for the night. And boy, did we miss the heat from our HVAC system. You really take things for granted when you have them every day. As soon as our heat source was gone, we pulled out all the blankets, candles, and hand warmers we could find. We huddled up together near the fireplace and kept adding wood to stay warm, but it seemed like way too much work with very little reward. And to think, people used to live this way when there was no such thing as an HVAC system. The amount of work that heating system does to keep our house warm every cold winter night is absolutely astonishing. I can’t imagine life without it. The next day, after the power was restored, the furnace came on again. That noise was the most beautiful noise I’d heard all night. To feel that heat on our skin in the midst of the chilling storm was like heaven on Earth. We all just sat near the vents in our rooms until we were completely thawed out. We all rejoiced in our blanket-free lives once again!

furnace

Cleaning my Ventilation System

My husband has been telling me for years that I am terrible at keeping things clean. It is not that I am a dirty person, but I tend to leave piles of my things all over the house. I like to know where my things are but I know exactly where my stuff is even if it is in piles. But my husband thinks I should start taking responsibility for things around the house. We need to take more time to clean areas in our house that really have an effect on our day to day life. For example, our ventilation system needs to be cleaned in the worst way. Sometimes, when it is sunny outside and the air kicks on, I can see the dust being blown right out of the vents. My husband blames the dust build up on my collective piles, but I know it is because we haven’t taken the time or money to clean our own HVAC system. So, before he blames me, I am going to be the first to call the HVAC company to come clean our ventilation system.  It doesn’t cost too much to have the ventilation system cleaned out, but I am worried that they will discover another issue that will cost us a ton of money. I took a look at the ventilation system on my own before calling a company, but I really don’t think I would be able to successfully clean it. Looks like I am just going to have to leave it to the professionals and hire them to clean the ventilation system for us.

air vents

Wishing for a New A/C

I just moved into a new apartment to be closer to my job. The location is perfect enough that I can walk to work. Not only does it save me on gas money, but it also allows me to sleep in a little later! The apartment is equipped with just about everything I need, and I only needed to move in a few items from my old apartment. One of those items happens to be my air conditioner unit. I cannot seem to sleep unless I am in the comfort of cool air and the sound of my air conditioner running. But, I think something went wrong with my air conditioner in the moving process. Ever since I moved, the air conditioner seems to be extremely loud when it first turns on. It never was loud before and I am worried that a piece of the A/C equipment might have broken off or come loose during the move. It was definitely installed properly because I hired an HVAC contractor to do it for me. I should have had him run the A/C before he left, though, to make sure everything was in good working condition. As much as I love the sound of the A/C at night, I don’t appreciate the banging and rattling of whatever piece is broken. Now I am at a loss of what to do about the air conditioner. I don’t have enough money to buy a brand new one, but I think I could really use an up to date A/C.

learning in one click

Heating is too much for shopping

My mother and I always enjoyed going Black Friday shopping together every single year. It has become a tradition to get up very early and spend all day knocking out our Christmas shopping. There are some really fantastic deals and we save quite a bit of money every time. In my area, the weather is usually cool but pleasing in late November. The last year, we experienced a sudden cold front. The outside temperature dropped all the way to the low thirties, and there was six inches of snow on the ground. My mom and I bundled up in sweaters, wool coats and winter boots before we left to go shopping. We had to park quite a distance from the entrance, and the walk across the parking lot was bitter chilled. We were anxious to get inside the heated building. Unfortunately, the mall had the HVAC system blasting, and all the stores were horribly overheated. We immediately took off our winter coats, and then were stuck carrying them around with us. Because of the excessive use with the heating system, we actually bought tanktops to keep cool. With these enormous HVAC supply vents all over the place, there was no escaping the influx of heated air. In lieu of a pleasant experience, that shopping trip was a disaster. We were exhausted by the end of our shopping, and it was so nice to get out of that heated mall, and step out in the open air, into the freezing cold with the snow. I’m sure it cost a king’s ransom to run the heating system at such a high temperature. It simply made each of the shoppers entirely uncomfortable and anxious to leave.

furnace machine

The ductless HVAC In the workplace

My own hobby of refinishing antique furniture has gradually changed into a small side business. I often attend garage sales, flea markets, estate sales, and antique shops, looking for deals on old pieces of quality furniture. I am always looking for tables, chairs, dressers as well as other wood items that are found in bad shape. These pieces have usually been painted on several occasions, and I can often buy them for a cheap price. I then spend a great deal of time stripping off the color with chemicals, sanding it down to the bare wood and applying various coats of varnish. The process creates a great deal of dust and fumes, and must be in a clean environment with stable heat. Since I live in a space that deals with very extreme weather conditions, I needed to setup an internal workshop with great temperature control. I decided to construct a small building at my property for my refinishing initiatives. I did not want to spend a fortune on an HVAC system since I don’t make a lot of money with the work that I do. I was searching for an inexpensive, compact unit that would provide both air conditioning capabilities as well as heating capabilities. The system also needed to include powerful filtration to handle the large amount of dust my work generates. After some investigating online, I discovered ductless heat pumps. A ductless heat pump is extremely small, lightweight, and requires a small hole in the wall as well as electricity. I decided to hire a licensed HVAC contractor to deal with the installation. I wanted to be sure that the sizing, location and complete installation were all handled properly. The ductless heat pump has provided the proper solution for my operation.

heat pump installation

Bakery air quality

I enjoy baking cookies, cakes, breads together with pies from scratch. It started out as a simple hobby and has gradually turned into a company. Friends, family members, and neighbors have spread the news around, and my baked goods are constantly in demand. To keep up, I’ve had to expand my kitchen space in addition to having my appliances updated. I tore out the walls to combine the kitchen and dining room, installed extra cupboards and counters, and invested in a decent commercial grade oven, refrigerator, dishwasher and a mixing machine. Baking in the winter is simply not a huge problem, because it keeps the house pleasantly warm. Running the oven for long periods of time in the summer, however, creates a problem. We had never even bothered with air conditioning, but the house was becoming terribly overheated and additionally sticky. Opening windows and setting up electric fans wasn’t sufficient to combat the warmth from the oven. I hired a local HVAC contractor to install a central cooling system with zone control. This allows me to cool our kitchen to a lower temperature than the rest of the household, to offset the effects of the oven. There is also the problem of the smells from everything baking. Although baking pies and cookies smells great, my family gets tired of living with it month after month. I added a ventilation system which incorporated into my HVAC system. The ventilator is actually just like opening a window, but with no energy losses. It helps to reduce excess humidity and odors, and makes the indoor air smell and feel much better. I’m not sure I’ve sold enough baked goods to purchase all of these improvements, nevertheless I’m sure enjoying them a great deal.

ductless cooling