This is no place to be with a broken air conditioner

Okay, I know what you are thinking: why on earth am I admitting to spending time at a massage parlor? Well, believe me when I say that not all massage parlors are seedy places. In fact, while they may have a bad reputation among some people, there are those of us with bad back problems who simply must have a professional massage every week or so in order to walk around without feeling extreme pain. I am one of those people. So, I found a massage parlor not too far from my home, and have become a regular customer there. Apparently, the air conditioning unit at the parlor quit working last week and they still have not found a certified HVAC technician to repair the unit. The humidity level in the building is close to unbearable, and this has made all the girls very grouchy. The heat, moisture and stuffiness prevents me from relaxing during my weekly massage. And it is not just the heat that is a problem. The air quality is now terrible in there! Dust particles are visible in all the rooms and it smells musty, like there may be model in the ductwork. This time of year it is very important to have properly functioning A/C – especially at a massage parlor! If they don’t get a reputable HVAC provider to send a serviceman out there soon, I may have to look for another place to get my back rubbed. If I do, I guarantee you it will be nice and cool, with clean, high-quality air and ventilation. You can bet on that.

Realizing I need air conditioning

When I moved down south, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  After spending my whole life up north, I was accustomed to freezing cold temperatures and tons of snow.  I was really looking forward to enjoying warm sunshine all year round.  I couldn’t wait to throw away my winter coat and boots, and trade my four-wheel-drive truck for a sporty car.  I hoped to never need a snow blower, snow shovel, or ice scraper again.  I was very happy to leave behind my old gas furnace, high natural gas bills, and humidifier.  I imagined myself leaving the windows of the house wide open and waking up to the sounds and smell of the ocean.  Unfortunately, nothing went as planned.  I quickly realized that extreme heat and humidity is a total nightmare.  My house was overheated and sticky, even with the air conditioner running at maximum speed.  I woke up sweaty in the morning, dripped sweat all day, and found it nearly impossible to fall asleep at night.  I had to continually wash down every surface in the house with bleach, because tons of moisture leads to lots of mold and mildew.  I couldn’t ever open the windows because of the heat, bugs, and smell.  Living close to the ocean means that everything smells like dead fish, and every surface corrodes because of salt.  I ended up spending a fortune on a brand new, state-of-the-art cooling system, because I was willing to pay anything to get some relief from the heat.  Between the cost of the new air conditioner, adding a whole-home dehumidifier, and my monthly electric bill, I needed to take a second job.  I am now far too busy, and away at work too often, to even enjoy from my new air conditioner.

heating unit 

SEER Ratings

When my husband and I decided it was time to replace our HVAC unit, we quickly realized we had a lot to learn. We hired an HVAC contractor to sort out all the information and help us make a good decision and save some money, if possible. The contractor really took his time looking over our home, figuring square footage and then presenting us with several options. He also explained that SEER ratings on HVAC components will tell a consumer how efficient each component is. Of course, the higher the rating, usually the higher the cost. However, high ratings tend to save a great deal of money over the long run. We decided to go with a heat pump system since our weather tends to be fairly even throughout the year. We don’t usually use either the heat or the air conditioning over long periods of time, as some people who live in extreme climates would. It turned out to be a great decision for us. The new system worked just perfect for our needs, and we started saving money right away. Over the first year, an HVAC tech provided tune ups and service for free since we signed a contract with them. The next year, we bumped it up to include after hours service too since we were saving so much money and wanted to take full advantage of the offer. When we had a few minor issues with the heat pump some months later, the warranty was still in effect, and since we had regular service, all the replacements were free. Though we had to spend a good amount of money up front for all the work, it definitely paid for itself very quickly.climate-control

Repairing my HVAC equipment

I remember back in my young days when snow was on the ground, the furnace was blowing warm air from the basement, and my siblings and I would shock each other as often as possible. Once the air in our house was nice and dry from the cold winter and the furnace’s constant running, we could produce static shock anytime, anywhere. We had endless ways of scaring and infuriating each other with just a quick touch to a nose, ear, or my personal favorite, sneaking up behind and getting one of them on the top of their head. They’d scream every time. Unfortunately, all this dry air would chap our lips and skin, too. It was very uncomfortable since we had such long winters. Once I was out on my own and purchased my own home, I knew I did not want to put up with the old forced air furnace my parents had. I decided on a radiant heating system once I had done my research. This system warms objects in a room, not just the air. Since the warmth radiates up from the floor, everything warms up. There’s no more cold floors, countertops or whatever else is in the room. Those cold surfaces in my parent’s house would steal warm body heat and nearly make it impossible to keep warm. Now, I don’t have to put up with dry air, static shock, and chapped lips. My home is comfortable and warm all winter long. I also had our HVAC contractor install a humidifier to keep the air nice and moist, which helps the heat last longer. Since moisture can absorb the heat, it really does feel warm everywhere.

HVAC system 

I love this new diner

I have never been able to resist going to a themed diner. I love that they look exactly like big silver trailers, and all of the 1950’s decoration always puts me in such a good mood. Old-fashioned diners always seem to have the best food, too. It might be greasy, but it has that amazing “home-cooked” taste, and the prices are always reasonable. This morning, my boyfriend and I were looking for a new breakfast place, and luckily enough, we found an old-fashioned diner. The booths were made of glittery plastic, and the tiled floor was black and white checkerboard. As we were waiting for our greasy, delicious food, I did notice one problem. The air conditioning was extremely chilly, and the plastic covering on the booths was making it even colder. Even though it was summertime, I hadn’t expected the air conditioning to be quite so cold! My boyfriend was nice enough to switch seats with me so that I wouldn’t be so close to the air vents. Unfortunately, I could still feel the air conditioning blowing on my shoulders. My boyfriend suggested that the diner might need to keep the air conditioning higher because the grill area was connected to the dining area. Without high levels of air conditioning, the heat coming from the grills might be overwhelming. Although I still felt uncomfortable from the air conditioning, this actually made a lot of sense. I suppose that I would rather sit in a chilly restaurant than an overheated one! The food was amazing, so we decided to make the diner our new breakfast spot. Next time, however, I’ll bring a sweater so I can be prepared for the air conditioning!

commercial air conditioning 

I want my home gym comfortable

Every Sunday, I drive over to my grandmother’s house and make dinner for her. She can still cook on her own, but it’s nice to give her a break every once in awhile. It also gives me an opportunity to visit with her, and help her with little things around the house. My grandmother is very independent, but I like to check up on her every week. We get to sit down and have a nice meal together, and I know that she enjoys having a little bit of extra company. Last Sunday when I got to her house, she was sitting in the kitchen with the table all set and ready! I gave her a hug, and immediately turned the stove on. A few minutes later, I noticed that the kitchen felt extremely overheated. I asked my grandmother if she had her air conditioning turned on, and she told me that it had been running all day. It was odd, because there was plenty of cool air in the living room, but the air conditioning in the kitchen was so weak that you could barely feel it. I don’t know anything about HVAC maintenance, but I was pretty certain that the low air conditioning in the kitchen could be caused by dirty air vents. I finished cooking dinner for us, but I was sweating the entire time without air conditioning! The very next day, I arranged for an HVAC technician to come clean out the ductwork. After the air vents were cleaned, the air conditioning in my grandmother’s kitchen was just as strong as in the living room. Thank goodness for that HVAC repairman, because I wouldn’t want my grandmother cooking in an overheated kitchen!

A/C tune-up 

Smart thermostats

You need to learn about a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat is what you need for your HVAC system. A lot of people do not realize how important the thermostat is for the heater and air conditioner. The thermostat runs how much you heat and cool. It also regulates the temperature control in your home. The thermostat can help you in day to day life, or not. A digital thermostat does its job and nothing more. You see the temperature and you can manually adjust it. There are no other perks with the thermostat. Older homeowners prefer this system thermostat with easy to read numbers. A wireless thermostat uses a remote change the climate. It is a little more advanced and nice to use. A smart thermostat is the best option for technology savvy people. The thermostat can learn your heating and cooling behaviors. Just manually adjust your heating and cooling for the week. The thermostat learns then at what times you like what temperatures. Then it will start doing it for you. Maybe you want the temperature to be changed. All you need to do is grab your phone, laptop or tablet. You can adjust your thermostat from all of those products. Another added benefit is the thermostat can be used for HVAC zone control and it will tell you about humidity levels. Also the smart thermostat informs all homeowners when the HVAC device needs air filter changes. You won’t forget this small, but necessary task anymore. Consider buying a smart thermostat for your heater and A/C device in your home.heater-repair

Clogged filters are a problem

When I was first out of my parent’s house, I lived in a large house with a pool with 4 other roommates. Some were in college, some worked, and we rotated roommates every year or so. It was a great place to live, but we did very little to take care of the house. The owners took care of everything for us like a landscape service and pool service. We all pretty much assumed that was all there was to taking care of the house, and if we needed anything else we just called the owners. During the summer one year, the air conditioning stopped working. It was really hot and miserable and we called the owner right away. They sent out an HVAC tech who checked everything out very thoroughly. He pulled out the filter for the system, and honestly it was the first time I had ever seen it. It was full of pounds of dirt and dust and spilled all over the floor when he brought it out. He asked when was the last time we changed it, and I told him “never”. He was nice about it, but kind of shook his head. The thermostat needed new batteries and the refrigerant was low. Once he fixed everything, we all noticed the AC was better than ever. He called the owner when he was all done and suggested they have a service agreement with him so he could check the system every 6 months.  He also left several filters for us and said we needed to change it every 6 months. We all enjoyed the new, great working AC so much, we made sure to change the filter, but that was the only reason.

HVAC repair 

The heated air isn’t coming in

I am not sure if there’s many things worse than being too cold. I have always been the type who gets cold very easily. I get chilled in the grocery store’s freezer section, many restaurants are way too chilly for me, and I am the person who keeps a space heater under my desk at work.  When we had an extremely cold winter storm last year, I was ready with wood for my fireplace and several extra blankets. Unfortunately, when I turned on my heater that night, it wouldn’t come on. I tried the breaker switches, fiddled with the thermostat, and looked at the outside unit. I couldn’t find anything that would get the heat going, and the house was already getting very cold. I called the HVAC tech I normally used, and he was not available until the next day. I knew it was going to be a miserable night, and it was. I don’t think I had ever been so cold and uncomfortable. I had fire, a space heater, and blankets, but I just couldn’t get warm enough to sleep. Thank goodness the HVAC tech was there early the next day. He checked everything for me and found out the only problem was the thermostat. It had worn out, so it was not signaling the unit to start. He suggested a brand new thermostat, and was able to install it in only a few minutes. As soon as he was done and fired up the heater for me, wonderfully warm air came blowing through the house at last. My new thermostat was amazing, as it allowed me to program my choice of temperature each day. Of course I programmed the heat to come on well before I arrived home each day.

professional HVAC 

Poor air quality

I have been living in apartments ever since moving out of my family’s home upon graduating high school. While living in an apartment has its perks, it also has its downsides. I love that if anything is broken, I just have to call the office and they will have the maintenance team take care of it. Sometimes they take a while to show up and fix the issue, but I do not have to pay for any of the fixes myself, which is nice. I also like that the grass is cut and trimmed at all times. It always looks nice, but it is not my responsibility to keep it that way. Those are really the best parts of living in an apartment. One of the biggest downsides to apartment living is having neighbors everywhere because they can be loud and nosy. I have decided that the worst part about living in an apartment, though, is the lack of control. I do not own the place, so I cannot do anything to it. I have noticed that the air in my apartment seems stuffy and dirty somehow. It just does not feel clean like it should. I change the air filter regularly and have requested my system be looked at but because there is nothing actually wrong with my system, the office does not want to send someone out. The poor air quality is certainly my least favorite aspect of apartment living. I have a portable air purifier, but it can only do so much. I can go without the perks of living in an apartment if it means that I can have control over my own living space. I cannot wait to move out of apartments for good and get my own home.

air quality