Restaurant managing and HVAC

The restaurant business is a crazy context to find yourself in on a daily basis. There is only so much stress the human mind can endure, but some people, like myself also thrive on stress. So it’s really just a matter of finding that golden balance. As a manager at a busy restaurant, I have a lot on my plate, but that really just makes most of my work days go by quickly. Once I get in the zone, very little can happen to take me out of it. I like to think of myself as a big mean managing machine. Of course, bad days do happen. Recently, on a busy summer Sunday, the air conditioning cut out. Slightly short staffed, with a full house, and overbooked reservations, the air conditioner was the last thing I wanted to have to worry about. But what can you do? I checked the thermostats to make sure they didn’t get reset or anything like that. They were fine so I knew it was an issue with the air conditioning equipment itself. I am a pretty handy guy and am no stranger to climate control equipment as I’ve done installations at my house and helped neighbors when they upgraded their HVAC system, but today I had too much going on. So I decided to call our local HVAC repair shop and luckily they were able to send a team of their best HVAC technicians over within minutes. Somehow this busy Sunday was a slow day in the world of HVAC repair. Thank goodness for that!

air conditioner repair 

A barn heater

My parents have been life-long folkies. My earliest memories from when I was a toddler are of them playing their guitar and mandolin and singing all of the classic tunes for my brother and I. Nowadays they host a weekly barn dance event at their ranch outside of town. There’s no charge for attendees or other performers, so attendance is always very good. The first time they had it, about fifteen years ago, it was summer and conditions were perfect. But as the seasons turned it started to get too cold and they needed to figure out a solution. They toyed with the idea of installing a fireplace, but the construction could be tricky and it would have been too dangerous in a wooden barn. Instead a simple electric heating system seemed to be the better answer. The barn already had electricity, so adding a small furnace was no big deal. Of course some insulation was necessary, but in no time the heater was up and running. We actually consulted with our local HVAC supplier first to get recommendations on models so we would get the right size. Once we picked out a heater, they ordered it in for us, we picked it up, and handled the installation ourselves. I couldn’t believe how well that furnace could warm up the barn. With all those dancing bodies collectively acting as a natural heater, we rarely had to turn it past the low power setting. For years now that little furnace has gotten the barn dances through the winter and hopefully there will be many more to come.heater tune-up

Smoking and air filters

My grandma and grandpa are stubborn people. They are old-timers that believe the good old days were the best and that each generation has gotten progressively worse. It is very hard to change their minds on things like gay marriage, abortion or any other wedge issue that is prevalent in today’s society. I can’t really blame them for it. They were raised in a time where these things just weren’t talked about, let alone openly accepted. It doesn’t make their opinions any more valid, but it also doesn’t mean they are bad people. Other than societal issues, they are also a bit behind on modern science. For example, they still refuse to admit that smoking causes lung disease and cancer. Just take one look at their HVAC air filters and you will see that they do not give a hoot about smoking too many cigarettes. I think the HVAC technician that performed a heater repair at their house the other day was in disbelief of all the yellow nicotine and debris caught in those air filters. And to just imagine, all that stuff was being circulated by their furnace and air conditioner as well. I try to educate them by giving them basic facts on smoking and even had the tech show them the filters, but their beliefs will never change. I love them more than anything, but it is frustrating to be around people that reject change in every way possible. Perhaps I need the HVAC company to show them what their air ducts look like and then they will believe me.cooling

Working out with home air conditioning

I made a major life choice earlier this year after I looked in the mirror and no longer recognized myself. I looked like a different person and it shook me to my core. That is when I decided I was going to lose a bunch of weight. That is easier said than done, of course. Because I didn’t have enough money to pay for a gym membership each month, I decided to to do workouts in my basement instead. I searched online for simple exercises that I could do on my own with either no equipment whatsoever or just simple items around the house. I have lost 15 lbs since I began working out in my basement. The only problem I have encountered is the temperature. One would think a basement would be cool enough to work out in, but I have been close to getting heat exhaustion down there. Perhaps it is because of the climate I live in, but I wish I had an air conditioner down there to cool me down during my workouts. Money is still a little tight, so I can’t really just call up the local HVAC company and tell them I want some cooling equipment. If I continue to exercise and keep losing weight, perhaps I can save up some money for some new HVAC equipment to really motivate myself. That would be really cool and also somewhat inspirational at the same time. Who knows, maybe I can even entice my husband to come down there and do some exercises with me! Boy, would that be the day!

air conditioner 

There’s no food our heating!

The local weatherman is calling for subzero temperatures, feet of snow, and blizzard conditions.  There are snowplows driving around, throwing salt all over the roads.  So far, there is no sign of snow, but the wind is bitterly cold.  I know that I should head to the grocery store and stock up on supplies.  My refrigerator and cupboard are just about empty.  There is no good food in the house, and it’s getting close to dinner time.  I am very reluctant to step outside and drive to the store.  My furnace is maintaining my house at the perfect temperatures, and I am so warm and cozy.  I don’t want to bundle up in my heavy wool coat and winter boots, and climb into my freezing cold car.  It will take forever for the car’s heater to warm up, and by then, I’ll have arrived at the store.  If I’m real lucky, the blizzard will hit while I’m inside, grocery shopping.  I’ll end up driving home on slippery roads.   Then I’ll need to carry all of the bags into the house, and put all of the groceries away.  At that point, I still won’t have had my dinner.  I don’t want to cook a big meal, and then be stuck with dirty dishes to wash.  I blame my lazy attitude on my furnace.  I am so warm and happy on my couch, watching television, that I don’t want to do anything else.  I am tempted to order a pizza and have it delivered.  I feel sorry for the delivery guy, and hate to make him drive around on a cold and snowy night.

heating tune-up

A faulty heating system

About a year or so ago, my husband and I bought a new house.  We toured the house in the spring, and fell totally in love with it.  The gardens were all in bloom, and we could smell the lilacs from everywhere in the house.  There is a lovely back porch that overlooks a small pond, shade trees, and stone walkways.  The living room is small and cozy, and the kitchen is big and airy.  I was very impressed with the state-of-the-art refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher.  The kitchen cabinets are made of black walnut and the countertops are granite.  There is two very large bathrooms with brand new tubs, toilets, and fixtures.  Everything in the house was absolutely perfect, and we couldn’t wait to move in.  That summer, we discovered that the majority of the windows in the house were painted shut.  There was no way to open them to get a breeze, and with no air conditioning, the house got very hot and humid.  We ended up investing in all new windows, which was a large expense we hadn’t anticipated.  We would have liked to have installed air conditioning, but there was no money leftover.  That winter, we were very disappointed in the heating system.  The furnace isn’t very old, but I don’t think it has been properly maintained.  Whenever it operates, dust flies all around the house, and my husband and I end up coughing and sneezing.  The heater makes a very unpleasant, grinding sound that has me worried, and it smells like burnt hair.  We are now saving up for a new heating system.

fix my heater 

Radiant flooring in a nice hotel

Last week, I was travelling for work and my company put me up in a hotel that was nicer than I expected.  I was only there for a short time but it has changed my opinion on luxurious hotels.  My company normally puts me up in a standard hotel; queen size bed, no balcony or view, with maybe a desk for me to work at.  But there is a new person at the company making the travel arrangements, so that may be the reason for the change.  I’m definitely not complaining about this though.  This particular room where I stayed was so plush; a king size bed, beautiful view off a balcony and a jacuzzi tub. But to top it all off, it also had radiant flooring, a concept I was not familiar with until staying in the room.  Radiant flooring is another term for heated floors; this room had the flooring installed throughout the room, but I first noticed it in the bathroom, when getting out of the shower.  It was the most splendid thing!  I was so surprised and pleased when my feet were instantly warm after getting out of the shower.  Since I have stayed in the said hotel, I have been doing research on my own.  It seems that there are a few local HVAC companies near my home that install the radiant flooring, but it is quite pricey.  I’m glad that I now know about this neat feature, but I will have to save a lot of money to even consider getting it installed in my home.  

radiant floors 

Having a smart thermostat

My family loves the snow. We love to ski. We actually live very close to a ski resort. We often ski here. We spend all day skiing together. We spend whole weekends doing this sometime. This is when we get all of our quality time together. I am glad we all have something we enjoy doing. That means we can all do it together. For those of you who know, you can get very cold skiing once the sun goes down. You can get very tired and you start to ski less and less. We like to head inside for the warm fire place. We head home and eat dinner together. There is nothing we love more than our heating system. We turn the thermostat lower when we leave. Luckily, we have a system where we can change the thermostat from anywhere that we are. Before we leave the ski resort I turn the thermostat up so that by the time we get home, it is warm. This saves us a lot of money. We do not like to warm the house if it is not needed. This type of smart system helps us temperature control the house. We recently installed this system when we heard about it. We thought it would be perfect for us in the winter. You can use it in the summer for your air conditioner too. Our smart heating system adjusts to our daily schedule as well. I knows when to turn down and turn back up. We do not need to touch the thermostat often.

temperature control 

Airplane HVAC systems

Travelling is what I live for. I was lucky enough to find a job as a teacher, where I get two months off in the summer time. This makes for the perfect travel opportunity. Unfortunately, my husband’s job is a little more difficult to schedule around when planning vacations. For this reason, we end up taking shorter vacations more frequently, rather than one long annual trip like most of my colleagues take. The result of this is that we also fly instead of drive to save time, even if our destination isn’t very far away. Having boarded so many planes now, I have figured out what the most important factor in a good flight is; the HVAC system on-board. Naturally, newer planes will most often feature the most technologically advanced climate control, so a new plane is always a sight for sore eyes. In these cases, we know we can expect a comfortable flight with good air quality. At the same time, we’ve also experienced great air quality on older planes, provided they were kept well maintained and clean. Much like at home, the HVAC systems on airplanes require close attention to regular maintenance if they’re going to function properly. Air filters and air ducts all need to be kept clean and fresh for the central HVAC unit to do its job. Unfortunately, there have been bad flights too and they’re usually bad because of stuffy air quality in the cabin. After all, a flight practically necessitates that you can relax and breathe easy, which only a good HVAC system enables.

From the mountains into the city

Living up in the mountains was great for my spiritual and physical health. I was lucky enough to have a job that allowed me to work from home, so my wife and I could live pretty much anywhere we wanted. We would get up in the morning, cook breakfast, and enjoy the view. In the summer, we would sit outside on the deck and once the weather turned we would take to the parlor room with the big windows. It was a bitter-sweet moment when my wife got a job in the city and we had to move and leave this beautiful place. I figured the main thing I would miss would be the incredible air quality up there. Knowing that the city had a considerable amount of pollution, I knew we would want a good HVAC system in whatever home we ended up in. I had never really had much of a need for air conditioning in my life, but I didn’t feel like keeping my windows open and letting the smog in. So air conditioning it was! Even if it’s only for the sole purpose of filtering the air and keeping it clean. In terms of climate control,  I only ever needed to keep warm. I can’t live in a cold space, so quality heating equipment was always a necessity anyway. I figured chances are, that good heating and cooling equipment would go hand in hand, so it became my top priority in finding a place. In the end, we got a great modern flat with a fittingly modern HVAC system.

cooling