My mom wasn’t feeling well recently so we went to the Dr. After ordering some blood tests, and a sonogram he felt that she would be best served to have a minor procedure done that would require a hospital stay. She wasn’t going to be in long, just three or four days. So, the next morning we packed a bag for her and drove to the hospital where she was admitted. It took a little while for a room to become available but eventually we went upstairs to get her settled into her hospital room. She wasn’t thrilled about it but she knew the procedure was necessary so she was being a trooper. We were sitting in her room visiting, waiting for them to come take her down for surgery and I mentioned that I was a little cold. She said that she had noticed a drop in the temperature about half an hour ago but didn’t want to say anything. When the nurse came in to check on mom, I asked about the room being so cold. She offered to bring my mother another blanket, and just said that the hospital HVAC unit is on a schedule and at that time of the day the a/c kicks on under the assumption that there will be more people and more activity, this way it didn’t get too hot. She brought the other blanket but they are like paper, and did nothing to keep her warm. While my mother was in surgery, my husband ran to her house and grabbed her a nice warm bathrobe to wear during her stay. We hadn’t thought that the A/C would be set so low that you could see your breath!
I have always very much enjoyed creating machinery with my bare hands. I have dedicated my entire life to creating technology that will benefit society, and I even got my oldest daughter into this mindset as well. I was so thrilled to finally have her decided on majoring in engineering when she went to college, and a few years later she came back to my shop and ever since we have been inventing things to change the world. In fact, our latest project to build a new heating and cooling system has been particularly exciting. We want to have their HVAC system entirely solar powered, with absolutely zero carbon emissions into the atmosphere. This is a major undertaking for anyone who is familiar with the designs of contemporary furnaces and air conditioners. Almost all models of HVAC systems are grossly inefficient and horrible for the environment. My daughter and I realize that converting out heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to renewable energy sources is going to be one of the defining problems that this generation has to solve. That is why we are so thrilled to be developing these efficient and environmentally healthy versions of HVAC systems, we realize that our work really is going to change the world someday! Of course, my daughter is a little overzealous about this project, she will often stay all night in order to create different HVAC system designs, comparing each to each other. I often have to urge her to remember to have a personal life, but she is just so gung-ho that these new HVAC systems are going to be her mark on the world and she is very excited to make it.
The other day in gym was just awful. As a warmup, they said that we had to run 5 minutes and then do exercises for 5 minutes. This in itself was not a huge deal, but I really dislike running, so it was not all that great. I figured that since we had already run for five minutes at the beginning of class, and we did not do a cool down or stretching circle or anything like that, that we would not have to play a game that involved running for the rest of the class time. However, I was wrong, and we played a game where you basically run until you become tagged out with a ball by the other team. I was very tired because of this, and I was even more tired because of the heating system that they use in there. I don’t understand why they use the heating system so much in there. I mean, the gym teachers always wear long sleeves and sweatpants everyday, so I don’t see how they are even comfortable in the heating that they have either. The heating is just too much! And it isn’t like that is how the heating system is for the whole school, because when you walk out of the gym you can tell that it is much cooler in the hallway. It is really quite strange. I really wish they would stop running the heating system so stinking high inside of that gymnasium. Either that or make the class run much less than they make us right now.
I have always been in love with touring new cities. There is just something magical about traveling around the streets of an unknown town and just exploring. I have met many lifelong friends while walking the length of new city streets. I have encountered some of the best dishes within midnight diners, and I have suffered from more foot blisters than what seems possible. Still though, the act of discovering a new human settlement is just wonderful. It does get a bit difficult when the temperatures outside do not cooperate. A few months ago I was on a trip in the south and was walking through a city. I accidentally suffered from heat stroke, and I immediately took cover in a nearby building. I actually came across a nicely air conditioned aquarium. I recon that the staff have to keep the aquarium so cold and air conditioned because of the wide variety of fish that live there. Even though it wasn’t outside in the streets, I figured I would give the place a tour while enjoying the HVAC system. The ventilation was also beyond enjoyable, and I felt as if every breath of air I was taking had been specially purified for me. So naturally after enjoying such a wonderfully air conditioned environment with crisp ventilation I was a bit reluctant to leave the building. I was afraid that as soon I stepped outside I would be right back to square one and have to duck into another building in search of an air conditioning system. However, the temperatures outside had cooled down quite a bit and I was able to continue my exploration without reliance on any cooling equipment.
I was told by my mother that I would be able to find a nice paying job fairly easily within the market district. I was actually very excited about this prospect since the market district is so close to the ocean and I just couldn’t deny the possibility I might be able to get an office with an amazing view. Regardless, I went over to the market district last week and spent all day in interviews. Each one of the offices I went into actually had really nice views and the HVAC systems that they had running really felt nice on my skin. It was almost as if these companies had smart thermostats that just sensed the type of temperature I would appreciate walking into. This rule did not carry over while I went to my final stop of the day though. I had been searching for jobs all day so I was already a bit tired. When I walked into this last office though I almost had a heart attack due to the lack of HVAC system control they have over their office. Not only was the office itself rather hot and it felt like a heating system was running, it was extremely muggy and felt as if their entire ventilation system had been shut down for a while. To be honest, the lack of an HVAC system in this office made me feel like I couldn’t breathe. Still though, I did not want to seem rude by leaving so I went and sat through the whole interview in the room that so desperately needed cooling and ventilation. By the end of the day I was so exhausted and hot that I actually ran to the ocean and went for a dip. I jumped right off the docks, simply trying to forget the drastically HVAC system-deficient office that I had just come from.
My boss is always doing events around the city with his friends and family. He is very wealthy and asked me to attend an awards dinner with him and his wife in the city. I knew it was way out of my league but I said okay because I knew I would see lots of famous people. I was very nervous what I would wear and how I would look but I was very excited to go and see what it would be like. I was shocked when I got there at how beautiful the restaurant was. There were famous people everywhere, models, actors and even politicians. They were passing around hordevours and champagne and I was overwhelmed by how nice it was! One thing I did notice though was that it was extremely warm. Like uncomfortably warm and even the models, who do not have an ounce of fat on their bodies were fanning themselves off. For how expensive and prestigious this event was, one would think they could control the HVAC unit in the room. It should be set at like 64 degrees, with this many people in the room. Someone needed to turn the air conditioning on or people were going to start complaining, or even worse leave! I saw the waiters sprinting around trying to figure out the issue. Next thing I know, I see two technicians sneaking into the back of the restaurant. The HVAC unit must have stopped working! About 30 minutes later, the technicians left and it felt much cooler in there. HVAC business to the rescue!
Surprise birthday parties are fun but surprise problems around the house are not. Being a new homeowner I have encountered lots of problems so far. Usually I can just do a web search and figure out how to fix whatever has broken. This has been true for the time that my bathroom sink stopped working. I was also able to replace a broken doorknob by doing a quick web search. I had a real problem one day when my HVAC unit started to malfunction. We came home one hot summer day and knew something was wrong. The house was hotter inside than the weather was outside. I could feel hot air being blown from every vent in the house. Since it was summertime the air conditioning should be running, not the heater. Ordinarily we come home and the air conditioner has cooled the whole house down to a comfortable temperature. At first I thought I could search for a solution to this problem. I realized, though, that HVAC units are much more complicated than a broken sink. I ended up calling the professionals at an HVAC repair company. They have probably seen problems like this before. I cannot imagine why my heater would be running instead of my air conditioner. There must be something wrong with the wiring. The HVAC technician came and fixed my unit later that day. They understood that not having air conditioning in the summer time was an emergency. The HVAC technician also recommended that we set up an annual maintenance visit for our HVAC unit.
When I was in college, my advisor convinced me to try out different break programs in order to get ahead for grad school. My options were limited, since I was in school to study biology, specifically that in cold regions. I ended up being sent to a research outpost in Alaska, to study the small mammals there. As soon as my plane landed, it felt like I had made a terrible mistake. Even though it was sunny outside, the air was cold enough to sting any exposed skin. The senior researcher came out to greet me, and when she saw the look on my face, she immediately welcomed me inside and got me some hot tea. Inside, it was much warmer, and I felt a great deal of relief when I found that my room was kept at the same temperature. I met my team the next day, and when I asked about the warmth, my team leader explained to me that most of the rooms were heated by a central boiler. The ducts were set up so that rooms that weren’t being used didn’t have to be heated to keep the whole complex warmed up. I was worried what we would do if the heating system gave out, but she assured me that there were several backups, including a very powerful generator that would allow the system to keep running without a hitch, even if something happened to the central power system. I was relieved to know that no matter how cold I was outside, I could come back inside and sit by the heater to get warmed up.
My sophomore year of college, I studied abroad in Europe for a year. I spent the first half of the year in Italy, the second in the South of France. I dealt with a wide range of climate changes and differences in style of clothing as well. I’m glad that I got to finish the year out in France, where the fashion is made of much lighter fabrics, since I discovered some interesting things about European living. For one, their houses are built much differently than American homes. The rooms are smaller and houses are much closer together on city streets. Something I was forced to take into account nearly immediately was that these houses did not have very forceful HVAC systems, or often, any air conditioning at all. Furnaces are rarely updated, so most of the heating systems in these houses are the ones installed at the time they were built! Because of this, it costs a great deal more to operate heating and cooling equipment for the owners of these houses. They tend to use fireplaces or just bundle up instead of keeping the furnace on all day in the winter. It’s a big cultural difference that I really hadn’t prepared for before coming overseas. The clothes that I had packed worked out in the end, but I needed to re-evaluate the way I assumed a house would be in the winter and summer months, and to make sure I wasn’t relying on modern HVAC equipment. Coming back home, that was my biggest relief of all: being able to relax regardless of the weather.
When I was a teenager, I worked at a local market in the summer. It was housed in an old concrete building and had been around for decades already. There was no air conditioning or temperature control in the main part of the store, but for the most part I was stationed in the ice cream room. There was a big industrial freezer in there, waist-high, that could fit about ten different wells of hard ice cream inside. On a busy day, I would end up covered in sticky smears of ice cream up to my elbows. It was a pretty nice job, especially considering that I got to relax in the air conditioning while the rest of the workers had to suffer through the heat. The last summer I worked there, however, the air conditioning unit gave out. We had hit record highs, and in between closing one night and opening the next morning, the unit had sprung a leak. The ice cream freezer could barely keep up without the atmospheric chill. Barely an hour into my shift, I was covered in melted ice cream and sweat. Thankfully, my boss called an HVAC technician in before noon, and they showed up to try and fix the problem. The A/C repair took forever, since they couldn’t find the problem, but finally they realized that the air purifier had slipped and gotten jammed halfway out. Once they found that, the repair went smoothly, and in no time the thermostat went back down to comfortable levels. I worked there for a few more months before I moved away, but the HVAC equipment never failed again.