HVAC equipment and some tips

In the city I live I’ve got two rental properties that I own. Renting properties is a great way to make extra income to pay all your own living expenses. It’s something you can do while still keeping a full time job. That’s not to say that there is no work involved when you own a rental property. Everything that goes wrong is on your shoulders immediately. This means that if there is a storm that blows branches and leaves all around your property, it’s up to you (the landlord) to clean it all up. Snow removal, lawn care, and general outdoor maintenance are things to consider when purchasing a property. and that’s just the outside! Last night one of my tenants called about the furnace not working. The apartment she rents is part of a two unit home that is 103 years old. While the heating and cooling systems aren’t quite as old, they certainly can’t be considered brand new. I have been a landlord for around 6 years now, so I know that HVAC repair is something to leave to professionals. I immediately called the company that handles all of my furnace and air conditioning issues. It’s good to have a certain amount of money set aside for cases just like this. Even though I’ve worked with this HVAC company many times before, discounts aside it’s still a costly fix. Being a landlord obligates you to be quick when doing fixes like the furnace. This is especially true when it is the beginning of December and cold! I’m glad I’ve got a reliable HVAC technician that can do the job right.

heater service

Attending a safety course

I am a cheerleading coach, and I was recently required to take a six-hour course to learn about safety issues and insurance requirements.  Needless to say, I was not looking forward to it.  The course was held in a high school auditorium, so at least, the chairs were fairly comfortable.  The course was scheduled in January, so the weather outside was brutally cold.  I dressed in a very warm sweater, and packed a bunch of candy.  I quickly realized that the auditorium was outfitted with a very powerful HVAC system.  I could hear the hot air blowing when I stepped inside, and I could certainly feel it.  I found a seat in the back, where I could slouch down and not pay too close attention.  The speaker was exceptionally boring, and he spoke very slowly.  He took six hours to relay two hours worth of information.  Every now and then, he would show us videos that featured very bad acting and demonstrated basic safety standards.  I tried very hard not close my eyes during them.  The temperature in the auditorium was so terribly hot that it made me tired.  I could feel the hot air blowing directly on me, and sweat running down my back.  I couldn’t help but fall asleep.  I kept nodding off when the teacher would dim the lights for the videos.  I tried eating my candy, but I just couldn’t stay awake.  I blame the combination of the boring subject matter, uninteresting speaker, and the overworked HVAC system.  I spent the entire time hoping that I didn’t snore.air duct

Fall season and your HVAC unit

The fall season always consists of raking leaves, watching football, and preparing for the coming winter. One thing to remember though is to get your heating unit serviced before the cold weather sets in. Heating units sit unused all summer and could have underlying problems that didn’t show up at the end of the season in the previous year. Preventative yearly servicing for your heating system is a great way to ensure you’ll stay warm all winter. Servicing your heating system in the fall is also a way to mitigate larger, more serious problems that can arise if small things are left unchecked. What could be worse than making it to mid-January and having your heating system fail? There’s no telling how long it would take to get a heating system repair man to your house with the right parts to fix your system. In the meantime you are at the mercy of the weather and the inside of your house will be as cold as it is outside. Not to mention the cost of an emergency repair will be much higher than a yearly service visit. Getting your heating system serviced in the beginning of the fall, before the weather turns cold, is a cost effective way to ensure everything is in proper working order for the winter. Think of it like a yearly physical where problems can be caught before they become too severe or where your heating system gets a clean bill of health and you are confident it will keep you warm all winter.

HVAC tune-up

Parts to an HVAC system

Last year I went on a vacation to a beautiful beach destination.  This place was amazing; white sandy beaches, sunny skies and hot temperatures.  Luckily, the condo where I was staying advertised a working central air conditioner. The first night me and my partner arrived, we were drenched with sweat from the trip in and carrying around our luggage from the airport.  Because the place where we were staying was directly on the beach, my significant other suggested we keep the French door into our room open for the night to let in the cool ocean breeze.  I agreed, although I would have preferred artificial air to the real thing.  By the time I woke up the next morning it was already a scorching outside, with the temperature rising by the minute.  I quickly convinced my significant other to close the door and turn on the air conditioner.  But when I flicked the switch, nothing happened; no cool flowing air, nothing!  I thought I was going to have a panic attack.  There was no way I was going to stay in a place without a working air conditioning unit during my vacation.  I was already researching a new place to stay while my partner was patiently trying to figure out what was wrong with the air conditioner in our unit.   He quickly contacted the person who rented the condo to us for the week and after hanging up with them, I pleaded that he had the answer we needed.  Without an answer, he calmly walked from room to room, carefully opening up each register on the wall.  When he opened the register directly in front of me, I immediately felt a rush of chilly air fall over me.  It was such a simple fix!  I will never overlook the wall/floor registers ever again!

temperature control 

Visiting my grandparent’s house

I have a very close relationship with my grandparents; they were my babysitters while growing up and my parents were working, so I spent a lot of time at their house.  Now as an adult, I am still close with them, taking visits to see them quite frequently.  I always try to remember to dress appropriately for visits with them, as they tend to crank their thermostat.  Last month during my visit was a particular scorcher.  I had been out running errands and foolishly forgot to wear layers that I could shed.  When I arrived at their home, I knew my mistake immediately and regretted stopping over.  My grandmother had already spotted me through her window, I couldn’t’t turn back now.  I can still perfectly recall how hot and dry their home was.  Keeping a conversation going was torture; all I could think about was how much I wanted to open up a nearby window to let some air in.  Finally, I escaped to their kitchen and cranked open a window to relieve myself of a heat stroke. My grandfather suddenly entered the kitchen, demanding answers as to why his window was open in the middle of November!  I had no quick comeback; I was exhausted from the façade I was keeping during my visit.  All I could do was come clean, admitting how hot I was feeling.  I expected my grandfather to yell and scream, instead he was sympathetic and even turned down their furnace to a comfortable 65 degrees!  I’m sure if he was telling this story he would say he turned down the thermostat to save on money, but I know better.

climate control 

Dying for some air conditioning

I am not religious in anyway and I avoid all churches. I recently started seeing this girl who is really into going to church. She had been pestering and pestering me to go. I knew I would be uncomfortable and I would hate every minute of it. I went anyway because I felt like it was a deal breaker. I knew she would be really mad at me if I bailed again. So I went to her church and it was way worse than I thought. For starters I literally know nothing about the bible. My whole family is atheists. I have never even held a bible before. The entire sermon was really boring and confusing. I definitely would have fell asleep if it was not for the heat. Churches are always really old and crumbling buildings. I never took that into consideration with the temperature. I think her church had no HVAC system. I was dying for some air conditioning. You have to dress up for church so I was wearing a collared shirt and long pants. I sweat through my pants and underwear. I know I had pit stains and sweat dripping down my back. I was really irritated and unhappy. Even a fan would have been great. My girlfriend did not understand how important a cooling is. She was wearing a dress! I was completely covered and crammed between people. I spent the entire time thinking about where a HVAC technician could install the ductwork in the church. I am never going back there again, she can dump me if she wants.HVAC tune-up

Vacation and my HVAC system

Where I live, the weather starts turning miserable in early September, and doesn’t get better until the end of April.  It is a very long and awful stretch of bitter temperatures, high winds, and snow.  Last January, my husband and I had enough of it, and we booked a week-long, family vacation down south.  Our decision was very impulsive, and there was very little time to pack everything up, and shut down the house.  I have three small children, and they don’t travel lightly.  I have two very old dogs, and they require special care.  I dropped the dogs off at my mother’s house, put the bags and the kids in the car, and we drove through a blizzard to the airport.  Once we got on the plane and took off, I expected to relax.  Instead, I started worrying.  I couldn’t remember if I had unplugged all of the major appliances.  I wasn’t sure if I’d turned the thermostat down.  I certainly didn’t want the furnace heating an empty house for a week.  Then I started worrying that the pipes might freeze while we were gone.  Maybe I had turned the furnace so low that my plumbing would be destroyed because of the subzero temperatures.  My whole house could fill with water, and I would never know until we got back.  I should have taken the advice of my HVAC technician and upgraded to a Wifi enabled unit.  At the time, I didn’t think I’d ever need to access my HVAC system from my phone.  With a Wifi accessible thermostat, I could have adjusted the temperature and even monitored conditions in my house.


Fixing a HVAC system

I applaud myself on being an independent individual; I’m typically able to fix things around my home without too much trouble or research.  Growing up as an only child forced me to be this way.  This has carried over into adulthood and although I have a significant other, I don’t typically rely on him for small issues that don’t require brute strength.  When it came time to purchase a new HVAC system as the one that came with our house was extremely old and falling apart, I was anxious to learn more about the product as up until now, I haven’t been around any systems and had essentially no knowledge of what an HVAC system even does!  The technician that installed our new system was very patient in answering all my questions, even the stupid ones. Many hours later when I had all my questions answered, the technician advised me that while many customers like to try and maintain and provide basic repairs to their HVAC units, it’s frowned upon by the company as a customer may end up further damaging the system when their intentions are to just fix it.  So me and my significant other agreed that neither one of us would try to fix the system ourselves; we would set up a maintenance plan where the company would visit our home twice a year, in the spring and again in the fall to inspect and clean anything in the unit that needs it.  This is a huge weight off my shoulders as there are plenty of other things in my house that need my attention when a problem arises!HVAC vent

Benefits of a smart thermostat

In today’s age, most everyone uses their smartphone to do the most basic things, from paying your bills to shopping for someone special through various applications.  One of my new favorite apps to have on my smart phone is the smart thermostat, where I can simply control the temperature of my home from my phone.  I use it quite often, when I’m not at home and forgot to turn down the heat or a/c before leaving or like right now, when I’m already in bed but didn’t turn the heat down prior to crawling into my queen size bed.  Because it’s now winter time, there’s no way I’m getting out of bed and losing my warm spot!  Now, I can simply open up the application and turn the heat down a few degrees.  I am totally incapable of sleeping in a hot environment.  My ideal sleeping situation is having a bit of chilly air, with my heated blanket on a low setting to provide some immediate heat.  Before installing the smart thermostat, I was forced to ask my boyfriend to turn down the heat for me.  He never enjoyed doing this but did it because he’s a great guy.  In addition to being able to control the HVAC system from my phone, I can also pre-program it to change temperatures at different times on a designated day.  Now that I am familiar with using this application, I can’t imagine living a life without it! Just another stance of how technology is making us as a society more dependent upon it.

energy saving tips

Improvements to my A/C system

There’s a restaurant on the local lake that has the option for indoor and outdoor seating all summer. You can even eat on your boat; waiters will walk down the docks, take your order, and deliver your food. The only downside to this restaurant is the set of double doors that allow access to the deck and docks where outdoor dinners sit to eat. If you get stuck next to those doors you feel like you’re sitting outside despite the fact that you were seated inside. I was unlucky enough to be seated at just such a table during a lunch trip to the restaurant. My group and I sat down and placed our drink orders. It was quickly apparent that, despite the valiant efforts of the restaurant’s air conditioning, we were doomed to an uncomfortable lunch courtesy of those double doors and outdoor dinners. I suppose it wouldn’t have been bad if the doors were occasionally opened but the constant flow of people ensured a steady stream of hot summer air assaulted us at the table. I’m not even sure how they could have helped this situation. Honestly the air conditioning system kept the restaurant at a comfortable temperature under normal conditions. Really I’m not surprised it couldn’t keep up. But I can’t help being disgruntled with the experience. I dressed nicely and paid money to enjoy a nice lunch with company, not break a sweat because of poor planning on the restaurant’s part. If the food was good I don’t remember, and if someone asked about the restaurant I would mention the uncomfortable environment I endured during my visit. However I will admit I ordered an extra drink in an attempt to mitigate the uncomfortable conditions I was subjected to. Maybe that table is kept around for just such a reason, it gets patrons to order more drinks in an effort to stay cool.

climate control