My porch has a great view of the wetlands. Most mornings I will wake up, begin brewing my first pot of coffee and just enjoy the view while the sun begins to rise. The diversity of birds and wildlife is really an enjoyable thing to see, especially with all the development making it harder to enjoy the natural landscape. One downside of living so close to a wetland is the increased humidity level in the air, many times temperatures in the nineties can feel like it is in the hundreds. Also, I live in a older home and was noticing a slight musty smell in certain rooms in my house lately. I tried cleaning the carpet, lighting candles, and using room sprays but none of it seemed to work. So, I called my HVAC service technician to come take a look at my mechanical system to make sure the unit was functioning properly. He told me that the musty smell was due to the humidity level being too high in my home. This can cause health problems and it also may eventually cause mold damage. I scheduled an appointment to have a dehumidifier installed to lower the humidity in the air, this also may save me some money on my cooling bills by making me feel cooler at lower temperatures. The dehumidifier removes moisture from the air by passing it over a refrigerated coil with a fan, the cold evaporator coil causes water to condensate and the excess water is removed. Soon, thanks to my newly installed dehumidifier, I can enjoy a home with great views and that is free of musty smells.

HVAC provider

My new heating system

Soon after my husband and I got married, we bought the perfect little house.  As newlyweds, we really didn’t mind being right on top of each other all of the time.  When he left his socks on the kitchen table, I thought it was cute.  When I draped my pantyhose over the shower curtain rod, he thought it was adorable.  We could keep that little house warm and toasty, and pay very low energy bills.  We could cool the whole place in the summer with a portable air conditioner.  When our son was born, conditions got a little cramped.  I started getting angry when I found dirty socks on my kitchen table.  I’m pretty sure my husband was tempted to strangle me with my pantyhose.  Since we were saving so much money on energy bills, we had a tidy sum available to invest in an addition to our house.  A big new room meant expanding the HVAC system as well.  We decided on a heat pump so that we could have both heating and cooling.  We had one outdoor and one indoor unit installed, and used this room as our master bedroom.  We left the crib in our former bedroom.  Everything was going along fine until my twin daughters were born. Suddenly cramped again, we invested in another remodeling project.  We added two more bedrooms, and bought two more indoor units for the heat pump.  Our decision to buy a heat pump really paid off.  It was easy to expand the system.  Each room now operates from its own thermostat, which comes in handy.

heat pump 

Air conditioning

A good friend of mine and I got an apartment together last year, and putting us together was probably not the best idea. First of all, neither of us are very clean people, so my living room was a mess, and don’t get me started on our bedrooms. The dishes would pile up in our sink, too. We also had these two old cars that we never changed the oil in until we started having issues. We were basically just two very forgetful people sharing a home together. Well, we had an air conditioning unit in one of the closets, and you are supposed to replace, or at least clean, the air filter every month or two. If we couldn’t remember to get oil changes, there was no chance of us ever checking the air filters for our AC. Well, we paid the price for our negligence. One hot summer day, we came home and the AC was completely off and it felt like a sauna in our living room. We ran over to the thermostat and started messing with it, but it wasn’t really working. My roommate reminded me that we haven’t checked the air filter in about six months. So, we go to the closet and check out the neglected AC. I pulled out the filter and it was literally covered in dust, debris, and a lot more. We were disgusted with ourselves. I had to go straight to the store and buy a pack of clean filters, and I replaced the filter, which felt like an accomplishment in itself. Since then, we’ve had a big note on our refrigerator that says check the air filters!

air conditioning filter

Trying to make my zone control better

Thanksgiving is here, and that means just one thing: you’re going to get stuck listening to your annoying family members brag about their life accomplishments. I have to say, most of these accomplishments are either made up, or I’m really not impressed at all. Cousin Lou just got married? Good for him. Uncle Jim just bought a farm and he’s raising cattle? That doesn’t impress me. Worst of all, some people will be bragging about their children and how great their lives are, while I am sitting there shoving my face in my hands and remembering I’m still single. Last year, the only person who I talked to was my Uncle Bob, and he had just updated his HVAC system. When he started talking, I thought to myself, here we go again. I’m going to have to listen to Bob ramble about how much money he dropped on some fancy HVAC system that he didn’t need. He actually had some pretty interesting information. He remembered that I have always hated cleaning my air ducts, and told me about his ductless mini split. The fact that I wouldn’t have to clean my air ducts was pretty appealing. Then he told me that he could have zone control heating with this. His wife is really annoying and she’s always finding something to complain about. With zone control, he can heat rooms that she is in and keep her happy. I asked if the zone control worked with air conditioning too, and he said it did! Of course, he was bragging all about the fancy thermostat too but I learned a lot from him and it was better than hearing about a baby.

air duct cleaning

Cooling your home the smart way

For the last few months, I was not sure what to get my wife for her birthday. It is hard to shop for her because I feel like she goes out and buys everything she really wants anyway. It is hard to surprise her with something she has wanted for a long time because she usually just acts on it herself and goes and gets it. I knew I couldn’t get her jewelry, clothes or shoes. That didn’t leave me with many options. FInally, it clicked. I decided to get an air conditioner installed in our house for her birthday present. An outsider may think that sounds like a strange and terrible gift to give a woman on her day of birth. However, that is something she could never just go out and purchase herself. However, she had been begging me about it for the past couple years. I had an HVAC technician install the new cooling equipment while I sent her on a day at the spa. When she got home, I brought her downstairs and showed her our new machine. She actually cried for a bit and was so happy I had done that. We are now going to be way more comfortable next summer instead of constantly sweating in our own home. Now I can only hope that this new HVAC system stays healthy and doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg in operating costs or repairs over the next decade. I just want it to work as well as it should and provide my family with the cool summers we have been wanting for several years.


Furnace service is like a workout

If you think exercising is important, I can probably talk to you for hours. I feel like I have a real connection to those who take working out seriously. As a kid, I never really played any sports and shied away from athletic activity. However, when my weight became an issue a little while back, I took my doctor’s advice and started working out heavily. I needed to be the very best at what I did while in the weightroom. I was a competitive person, but had never applied that mentality in a gym atmosphere. I fell in love with it. I found that I could prepare my body for different things by training differently. It’s like a science. Although it may seem like a stretch, I applied this same logic to my HVAC equipment. Much like my body in my teenage years, I neglected my heating and cooling equipment for a long time. I never changed any air filters, never had them serviced by a professional, and never paid attention to energy efficiency. It was really bad. Once I started paying attention to these things, I saw my equipment, especially my furnace, get much more effective. It was very refreshing. It was like my furnace began acting like I did after I lost all that weight. It started performing a lot better. I was very happy with myself and I think my HVAC provider was quite pleased with me as well. I will exercise and take care of my HVAC system for as long as I live. I promise you that.HVAC tune-up

Water heater

How many times have you heard that nothing lasts forever? I bet you have heard that a hundred times by now. It really is true. Nothing can last forever. Some things can last a long time but they will never last forever. Expensive equipment can last a very long time. I would hope it would last a very long time considering the fact that it is expensive. No one wants to have to pay for that again frequently. One other thing that does not last forever is a water heater. Many people may think that these last forever. They do tend to last a long time. They will eventually get old and stop working. They will even stop working efficiently for your home. You will have to get a new one. Your best bet is to call a plumber. They could tell you what would be best for your home. There are two different types you may wish to have. There is the standard storage water tank. This type of system works easily. As the water gets used the tank gets re-filled with warm water. You may notice that you run out of warm water sometimes. A tankless water heater heats water on demand. So it does not have water waiting around for you to use. This heater will heat the water on demand. You can never run out of hot water. The only reason you could run out of hot water is because the water heater is broken. Some people prefer one over the other. Think about which one would be best for you. Have a professional help you.

sump pump


Handling my comfort in all seasons

A lot of people like to complain about the dreary weather we get in our area once the fall rolls around. Overcast skies seem to be the worst possible thing that could happen to them, as if they did not get enough sunshine during the summer. I for one really enjoy the absence of the sun. I also do not mind the rain that often times goes hand in hand. I just feel more relaxed and comfortable when the sun is subdued and I can finally take off my sunglasses. Of course, at that time of the year, it always starts to get colder and windier too. Again, this does not bother me, but my indifference is probably thanks to the HVAC system I have at my house. It is about as good as they get. There are practically no weather conditions that can faze me because I know my climate control at home will make it all better. The summers do not get too hot around here, so my air conditioning is rarely necessary. Still I like to make sure the whole system is up on its maintenance. The heating and cooling repair service comes by once a year to swap out air filters and clean out the air ducts. Mainly I make sure of this so that I do not need to worry about my furnace failing me in the long cold winter months. I assume those that constantly complain about weather, probably do not have a quality HVAC system at home, or they do but they just do not keep up on the maintenance.

air conditioning system

Ice maker

Have you ever heard of portable ice makers?  They are a small kitchen appliance that does the same job as an ice maker installed in your refrigerator freezer.  If, like me, you have a problem with hard water, you can’t automatically make ice in the freezer.  A portable ice maker provides clean, pleasant-tasting ice, and it does it very quickly.  It generates ice much faster than the ice maker in a refrigerator.  A standard ice maker usually requires about an hour and fifteen minutes to complete a cycle of ice making.  A portable alternative can cut that time down by 95%.  They are simple to use, easy to maintain, and don’t cost all that much.  I am hoping that I can teach my family how to use the portable ice maker.  So far, I have been unable to teach them how to pour water in plastic ice trays.  I am the only member of the household with the skills to create ice.  Try hosting a party and providing enough ice by cracking cubes out of trays.  It’s not possible.  And I hate buying ice from the store.  The bags are heavy and always leak water everywhere.  The ice usually freezes into one giant-sized nugget and I end up hacking away at it with a meat cleaver.  Portable ice makers come in different sizes.  You can decide if you need a little ice now and then, or if you have a high demand of ice.  Maybe you have parties constantly, with lots of friends who require plenty of ice in their drinks.  There are portable ice makers that can make up to 35 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period.  That is a whole bunch of ice!  

residential refrigeration


The main reason I always wanted to move to the plains was for the huge horizons. I wanted to know what the wind felt like in those great open spaces. My father bought me a telescope when I was little and ever since I have been hooked on the idea of living somewhere where I could observe the whole universe on a clear night. So after I got married and we were discussing where we could see raising our family, I was elated when my wife agreed. We found a beautiful big old house but we were not thinking about the winters when we bought it. The home had a decent HVAC system and when we moved in in the summer, everything seemed perfect. The air conditioning made it super comfortable anywhere in the house and the heat outside stayed outside. The furnace honestly worked just as well, but what we did not account for was the crazy wind on the plains. We found out pretty quickly that the warm air from the heater would leak right out because the house had terrible insulation. With the wind chill coming in through all the drafty cracks, the HVAC had no chance. So we had no choice but to take out a loan to put in new insulation so the furnace could finally do its job. After two weeks of shivering the project was done and we were finally warm again. The heater does a great job now and though we still hear the wind, we do not feel the chill anymore.heating repair