This year was a special one for my wife and I because we’ve finally started the planning of our very own house build. Up until now we have always rented properties with mixed luck. Our first apartment together was a bit of a dump, but we were in our honey-moon phase so as long as we were together, nothing could bother us. We were young and short on cash, so we were just happy to have each other. Then we had a handful of good places, until we rented our first whole house. The landlord was mean and impossible to get a hold of. That’s when we first had the dream of building our own home. Now planning is complete except for the HVAC system. This is something that we’ve been stuck on for a bit. We want an HVAC setup that will last a long time, be energy efficient, but also meet all of our climate control needs. A friend of my family works in the business so he has been making HVAC suggestions based on the specifications of our house plans. One good option is a heat pump and air handler combination, that works well in the mild kind of climate we live in. On the other hand an HVAC that would have us covered if we ever have an extreme weather year, should have both an air conditioner and a furnace. That way, whether it’s an unusually cold winter or an extreme, hot summer, our HVAC system would allow us to rest easy. Either way, we’ll be deciding soon so we can start building in the spring.

HVAC contractor 

Being new in town every year or so is one of my least favorite aspects of my work. It’s sort of a regional quality assurance gig for a major, nation-wide manufacturing company. I basically move out to the vicinity of one of our facilities and work with them for about a year to make sure that everything is in order with our corporate headquarters’ guidelines. This of course means that every year I move into a new home. After years of doing this, I have become rather particular about the kinds of places I like to rent out. One of the major deciding factors for me is the HVAC system of a house or apartment. Our factories usually have very poor climate control. I find this ironic since we have a very high quality control for our production output, but practically no indoor air quality standards. So at the end of every day, even though my job isn’t super physical, I need a proper HVAC system to come home to, so my respiratory system can finally relax. I like to set my thermostat around 70 degrees, but more importantly I need the air to be clean. I hate having to buy my own air purifier. I think that should all be included in the package. I always ask landlords about their HVAC maintenance routines as well. I need to rest assured that my home HVAC system is well taken care of so it won’t fail me when I need it most. Other than that, I’m really not a fussy tenant.heating

I was raised in a blue-collar town. Every adult man I knew worked some sort of physical labor job. Some were mechanics, truck drivers and others worked at the factory. These were all hard working guys that chose to never leave the small town they grew up in. While I decided to leave after graduating from high school, I didn’t go far. I became a welder in a city 30 minutes north of my hometown. I enjoy my job because I get to build and repair things that many people cannot imagine doing themselves. Some of my customers are amazed at what i can do. In terms of my home’s HVAC system, I was surprised with what i could not do. During a routine service appointment, my HVAC technician came up from the basement and told me that my ductwork was in really bad shape. I believed him since the house was built a long time ago and I had no idea if the HVAC system was recently replaced prior to me buying it. As a welder, my first instinct was to weld the aluminum ducts together and sort of patch them up in a sense. However, aluminum gets very hot and can actually break off if you are not careful. Air ducts are extremely thin aluminum, meaning it would be pointless to even try and weld the metal. I ended up getting them replaced and cutting my losses. I can only hope this new system lasts me a long time and my family and I can live happily ever after in our wonderful home.heating and cooling

My neighbors are an odd bunch of people. It is a wife, husband and their two children. While they have always been nice to us, they do tend to have some odd behavior now and then. For instance, we once saw them jumping from their roof into the swimming pool in the backyard. I don’t mean that the kids were messing around while the parents were away. I mean we literally witnessed the mother and father holding their noses and jumping into the deep end of the pool. We didn’t know how to react. I saw something else a little odd outside their house yesterday as well. I had just talked with the husband the night before, and he had mentioned that he was having some new HVAC equipment installed very soon. Well, when I pulled into my driveway yesterday, I saw a commercial van in the driveway that obviously belonged to the person installing their new units. The side of the van did not advertise an HVAC company, though, as one might expect. Rather, it just read “neighborhood handyman” in bright red letters on the side. Was he really having a non-certified guy installing a new furnace or air conditioner for him? What is the point? If you’re going to cheap out, you might as well screw the installation up yourself and at least save some money. I would almost bet that he will experience some sort of HVAC issue in the next year or two. I can’t say I was surprised that this eccentric family did this.

HVAC installation 

We were so lucky in the early part of the winter.  The weather stayed mild, and there was no snow at all.  Even in the beginning of December, we were still able to step outside wearing only a light jacket.  It’s almost Christmas, and I still haven’t gotten the big box of gloves, hats, and scarves down from the attic.  I don’t have the snow shovel sitting next to the door, and I haven’t bought a big bag of rock salt yet.  I was hoping the nicer weather would last until spring.  While the furnace has been running, it barely had any work to do at all.  My energy bills have been tolerable, and I’ve been a little lazy about changing the filter.  Suddenly, this morning, it started to snow.  The flakes were very light, but I didn’t like seeing them drifting around.  Temperatures dropped throughout the day.  Now, it is snowing hard, and it looks like a full-blown blizzard outside my window.  I can see the snowplows driving by, and the traffic is moving very slowly.  I am relieved that I have nowhere to go.  I will huddle inside, close to the furnace, wrapped in a blanket.  Hopefully, this snow will not last.  Maybe it is just a warning that winter is finally going to arrive.  It’s time to make sure everything is prepared for the bad weather.  I plan to call my HVAC technician first thing in the morning and schedule service for my furnace.  I’m hoping that everybody in town doesn’t have the same idea.  I want to make sure my heating system is ready for the weather that is definitely on the way.

furnace service 

HVAC goals

The settings of movies are very unrealistic.  I have noticed that in many movies they show wide open windows and doors, with no screens on them.  The sun is blazing hot, but our main characters are completely cool and comfortable.  I don’t know where this magical setting is, but I would like to move there.  At my house, if you so much as crack the door, about a thousand bugs fly inside.  Even with my house sealed up tight, we battle flies, mosquitoes, spiders, and centipedes.  When the sun is shining brightly, it means that the day is brutally hot and mercilessly humid.  If we step outside, sweat runs down our faces and backs, and we have pit stains.  We keep all the curtains closed against the sun, and run the air conditioner at full blast.  In the movies, they love to show a winter scene that looks so beautiful and romantic.  The characters play in the snow with their coats unzipped and their hair perfectly flowing.  In reality, snow is an absolute freezing cold nightmare.  We only step outside when we are forced to, because we need to shovel the heavy piles of snow out of the driveway.  We zip up our coats, wrap scarves over our faces, and wear hats and gloves.  We look like giant lumps of wool, and we get deathly pale from never seeing the sun.  We try to remain inside at all times, with the furnace blasting nonstop heat.  Our indoor air gets so dry that our lips crack, our noses bleed, and our hair is fuzzy.

heating maintenance 

The neighborhood where I live is not the best.  But I was able to buy my house at a low cost and I am well trained in self-defense, so I thought it would be a good place to live for the time being.  I live by myself with no animals, so I rarely feel threatened.  However, this past halloween, some kids in my neighborhood really upset me.  They were randomly targeting homes that were not decorated for the holiday, throwing very large rocks at the houses.  When they hit my house, I was sitting in the room when the window shattered.  I could not believe that this was happening, after living in the house for over 5 years.  It was late at night, so I was lucky enough to have a large piece of cardboard lying around that I was able to put over the window for the time being.  The next morning, I woke very early.  Thankfully, the cardboard was still in place.  I immediately contacted a local glass installer.  The installer was not able to get to my house until the following day.  This was very disappointing as the weather had already turned quite chilly and my heating system was not working properly due to the large hole in my house, only covered by a flimsy piece of cardboard.  I couldn’t believe that I was going to be paying for these kid’s foolishness.  I ended up closing off my living room until the glass installers came the next day.  This way, I was able to keep a little warmer in the kitchen and bedroom areas.  

heater tune-up

I often wear warmer clothes to school. I teach very young children. I make sure that I am comfortable all day long. The weather has been unusually warm lately. The classroom heat is also very warm. I dress in lighter clothes so that I do not get too warm. As I walked into school the other day, the secretary informed me of something. She said they could not get the boiler to work. The heat would be off for the entire day. The boiler was being replaced and would take the entire day to do so. I could not believe it. it was a rather nice day out but I knew the school would be chilly. I did not dress for this. I did not even have a sweater in my room to wear. I thought I would see how the day went. I ended up wearing the coat almost the whole day. I thought that maybe it would have been nice to have a notice of something like this. Teachers would need to know. It would also be nice to know ahead of time for the kids. They are often warm but no heat in the school can be a big issue. Luckily, it was a little warmer outside. The school was not terribly cold. I was a little chilly. In a big school like this, we cannot afford to not have the heat running. The school is fairly wealthy and should be able to afford tune ups on the system. Then, they could have planned a different day to have it replaced. We could have even used emergency service. It is important that students have the best learning environment.


Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the less fortunate people in our community, but also the ones beyond our borders. I feel as though every human being deserves access to the basic necessities of food, water, and shelter. However, since humans have complex emotions and an extreme capacity of general awareness, I think everybody also deserves to be comfortable and happy. So, I have decided to cut back on expenditures wherever I can and make annual donations of money that I saved. First, I took a look at what my money goes toward every year. I was shocked to see how much I spend on utilities and decided to cut back there first. The HVAC system at my house is relatively new and I remembered that the air conditioner in particular was supposed to be very energy efficient. This kind of irritated me since I spent extra for a luxury A/C unit and it didn’t seem like I was getting what I paid for. When I did some research, I found that my air conditioner was indeed proven to be energy efficient in its class. Apparently, it’s a larger air conditioning unit than is necessary for my living space. Also, I never knew that I needed to get HVAC maintenance done. I thought this was only really necessary when your home has an older heating and cooling system that is on its way out. So I scheduled an appointment to have my HVAC serviced and have since been seeing significantly lower utility bills, though I still might replace my air conditioner with a smaller unit.

rf schraut

As a child, I grew up in a small southern town. I had a bunch of friends and was an all around pretty happy kid. Then, when I was in junior high, my parents decided to move north because my father got a new job offer up there. The town we moved to was pretty large and I felt like a complete outsider at school. I made a few friends, but no close friends like I had before. The school was so big that everybody kind of kept to their own social bubble. The more uncomfortable I was at school, the more comfortable I became at home. I started reading and writing movies more than ever before. Our house had a great HVAC system, unlike anything that I had ever experienced before. Ironically, my house back down south, did not have air conditioning and we would just tough it out in the summer time. Understandably though, up here in the city, the air quality is not very good and open windows are not really the best idea. In any case, the HVAC system is one of my favorite things about living up here. Maybe the fact that the air quality inside our old house was so difficult to bear was why I only ever read during the winter months. Having air conditioning indoors is a good trade off for less desirable outside air. I feel like the HVAC system is a big part of why I have become better at school, being able to spend more time comfortably indoors with my books.

window air conditioner