Easter has always been a big holiday for my family. My grandparents fly up from Florida, and spend an entire week with us. My aunts and uncles come too, and bring all of my little cousins. It is like a big family reunion. On Easter Day, all of the men wear suits, and the women wear dresses in pretty pastel shades. Even my little cousins get excited to wear fancy clothes, and they look absolutely adorable. It’s always hard to dress up in our area, because the weather changes so often. Typically, winter is gone before Easter, but the last couple years it actually snowed! Even if it snows, the next day could easily be 50 degrees and sunny. We all come prepared with sweaters and jackets to the Easter church service, in case we walk out to snow. This means that my parents have to be diligent about maintaining and servicing their heating and cooling system. Everyone comes to our house for dinner, and we never know if we need to use the air conditioner or furnace for Easter. To prepare, my parents schedule a furnace tune up before winter starts. The HVAC technician goes down to the basement and inspects the furnace to make sure that all the gears are working properly. He looks at the ducts too, to make sure there is proper air flow. Afterwards, he checks the air conditioner to make sure it hasn’t gathered dust and dirt through the winter. My parents love hosting Easter dinner, and having reliable heating and cooling systems definitely help ensure that my family will be comfortable through tumultuous weather. No matter what the outside temperature brings, my family can rest assured that Easter dinner will be an enjoyable time!
Your home HVAC system is a significant investment. Not only does it raise the resale value of your home, but it provides substantial changes to the comfort level inside your home. Perhaps the only thing worse than an overheated, muggy home in the middle of summer is a chilly, freezing home in winter. Depending on climate regions, some homeowners value air conditioning more than heating. In southern climates, central air conditioning is a necessity. The air gets so heavy with condensation that a dehumidifier may also be necessary. In northern climates, where winter is the dominant season, a reliable furnace is most important. Where I live, the temperatures drop below freezing for at least three months out of the year. If I couldn’t heat my home, I would be miserable. When I moved into my home, the existing furnace was 15 years old, and emitted a stale smell when operating. I immediately replaced it with a brand new furnace, which came with a 98% APUE rating. Most new models have high ratings, because they have been made to be very energy efficient. Thank goodness, because I keep my furnace running about six months out of the year! It was a significant cost at first, but I knew that I needed to ensure I could properly heat my home, both for personal comfort and for my health. Because I rely so much upon heat, I make sure to have my local HVAC provider inspect my furnace every fall. With routine maintenance, I have had only minor issues with my furnace, and should be able to get at least 20 years of service life. If I decide to sell my house, I know that the new furnace will be a great selling point, as it has been regularly maintained and professionally serviced.
I am a shy person. I have trouble reaching out to people that I am not already close with. If I have known you for years, I have no issue acting silly around you or asking you for assistance. However, strangers pose a really tough challenge for me. For example, if I am looking for something in a store, I will never ask a store associate for help finding that item. I would much rather stroll around for 20 minutes instead of talk with someone I do not know. I know it is weird but that is just my personality. It can really negatively affect me sometimes, though. I have not been able to properly use my HVAC equipment for weeks in my new apartment. I do not know how to use the thermostat. If I knew how to use those controls, then I could rely on my heater or air conditioner for help. That is not the case right now, though. I am not aware of how to manipulate the buttons to make cool or warm air come out of my air vents. I wish that I could just pick up the phone and call the main office. I realize that they would simply show me how to use the units, but I do not have the courage to talk to a stranger about this situation. Perhaps I will call my father and ask him to reach out to the HVAC provider he likes to use. Maybe that guy can come over and show me real quick before I get too embarrassed for not knowing anything.
My husband was recently required to fly across the country to attend a conference for work. Because it is the middle of March, and the local weather is cold and horrible, I decided to tag along. I was tired of being trapped in the house with the furnace running. I was really looking forward to blue skies, hot sunshine, and palm trees. While my husband was at the conference, he needed access to the car. Since I didn’t want to sit around the hotel all day, I had him drop me off at a nearby coffee shop. My plan was to sit in the sun and work on my computer. I am able to do my job completely online, and really needed to get a whole bunch of work done. When I got to the coffee shop, all of the outside tables and chairs were occupied. I found a table inside and got myself a cup of tea and a bagel. The air conditioner was running, and the coffee shop was very cool inside. The air conditioner would cycle on and run for a few minutes, just about freezing me solid, and then it would completely shut off. At first, the air conditioning was a pleasant relief from the outside heat and humidity. Within about five minutes, I started to feel a bit chilly. After about a half an hour, I fashioned a blanket for myself out of napkins. Because the air conditioner was blowing such a tremendous amount of arctic air, I couldn’t concentrate on my work. I just sat there and shivered like crazy.
About five years ago, my husband and I bought a new house in the perfect location. We were excited by the huge backyard, and the pond that had attracted a family of ducks. We were so happy with the property that we were willing to overlook the condition of the actual house. We have spent the last five years just trying to make the house liveable. After moving in, we quickly discovered that there were more than just cosmetic problems with the house. It needed a lot more than just a coat of paint and some new fixtures and appliances. We had to tear down the walls to install insulation, hire an electrician to update the wiring, and get a plumber to replace the pipes. We probably should have torn down the whole place and started over. One of the biggest concerns was the HVAC system. At first, we thought that the furnace was struggling to keep the house warm and costing a fortune to operate because of the lack of insulation. Once we tightened up the house, we realized that the furnace just couldn’t handle the cold weather. We called a local HVAC contractor to inspect both the heating and cooling system and give us a recommendation. He advised having the duct system sealed, and replacing the furnace and air conditioner. The cost of such a project was really overwhelming. We decided we could live without air conditioning, but the new furnace was necessary. Once the duct work was repaired and the updated furnace installed, we were wonderfully warm and comfortable in the winter. Unfortunately, the house felt like an oven all summer long.
About a year ago, I had to move across the country because of my job. I had very little time to get organized, and simply packed all of my possessions into my car. When I arrived at my new location, I rented the first apartment that I could find. I signed a one year lease, and figured I could survive anything for twelve months. I’ve been living there for ten months so far, and it feels like ten years. The apartment is extremely small, old, and uncomfortable. The exterior walls are so incredibly thin that I can hear every car driving by, barking dog, and tweeting bird. I can also feel the outside drafts and temperatures. Outside air leaks in around all of my windows and under my door. Since I pay the cost of utilities, I am trying my best to conserve energy. Unfortunately, my HVAC system is ancient and not very energy efficient. In the winter, I practically froze to death, and yet my heating bill every months was gigantic. The stupid furnace alternated between blasting super heated air and blowing cold air. It ran nonstop, sounded like a chainsaw, and filled my apartment with dust. I tried changing the air filter, and cleaning all of the registers, but it didn’t make much difference. Once the weather heated up, I realized that none of the windows in the apartment open. I didn’t want to run the air conditioner, but my apartment was like an oven. When I turned on the air conditioner, it made my apartment smell like a dirty fish tank and gave me a headache.
Living up North most of my life, I have learned to love and appreciate the seasons. Fall for example is such a fun, exciting time of year. With the seasons however comes the weather, the days become shorter and unfortunately the temperatures grow cooler. As a first time home owner I learned very quickly how important it is to prepare for winter, which always seems to be right around the corner. It is crucial to make sure your HVAC system is properly functioning and ready to go before the bad weather comes. This year I made sure I talked to my HVAC provider when Fall first hit so I was ready for all the winter woes. I had a heating technician come check out my HVAC unit ensuring everything was in working order and that there would be no surprises once the snow arrived. My furnace was serviced and he gave me suggestions on how to keep my home safe and comfortable. It was a relief knowing that I would be in good shape for the inevitable cold weather. Anyone who is familiar with northern winters can attest that being unprepared for winter is not a good feeling. Taking little steps like researching HVAC businesses and talking to your provider can save you a lot of stress and grief when the weather is at its worst. Keeping my home heated and comfortable makes all the difference. Knowing that a certified technician personally looked over my heating system gave me peace of mind allowing me to focus more on enjoying the various autumn and winter activities.
One of the biggest changes I’ve ever been through was moving from the dry Southwest to the southern part of the country. I had never experienced anything like the rain and humidity that is part of life in the south. The torrential rain and storms during the summer are pretty amazing. The storms can be small and move so quickly that I have seen sheets of rain falling on one side of the street, when the other side is dry as a bone. The humidity was probably the most difficult part at which to adjust. I was used to heat, but how the heat feels when the humidity is at 90 percent or higher takes some getting used to. During my first summer, I think I called an HVAC service at least 3 or 4 times because my apartment just couldn’t be comfortable enough for me. The first lesson I learned was that I couldn’t leave a door or window open under any circumstances. Even if the temperature was fairly low, I was still allowing the dampness in and making the AC work harder. The next lesson was that pollen and dust are everywhere in the south and it clogs up air filters in no time. In the summer, the filter should be checked weekly. I had green and brown pollen all over my car everyday, and it just makes sense it would end up in the house and the HVAC system too. Certainly not the last lesson was that shade is very, very important. Under one of those giant southern oak trees it’s amazing how cool you can feel, even on a dog day summer. By keeping my house shaded from the sun with drapes and blinds closed tight during the day, my house stays much cooler and takes stress off the AC unit.
It was such a magical moment. After 10 months of construction, my new home was complete. There I stood at the front entry marveling at its beauty. Everything was a feast for the eyes. The kitchen was perfect. The family room was large enough to accommodate everyone. I imagined all the family gatherings we would have. My tour continued into the master bedroom. From there, I ventured into the master bathroom that featured a gracious claw foot tub. The tub was reminiscent of the old-fashioned one at my grandmother’s home. What my bathroom had that wasn’t at grandma’s house was heating beneath the floors. When I remember climbing out the tub on cold nights years ago, it’s hard to imagine not having heated floors. The desire for ultimate comfort weighed heavily in my decision. After a soothing bath, nothing is more comforting than the feel of warmth between my toes. It’s like having a miniature furnace underneath my feet. I opted for tile flooring in my bath since it’s a good conductor of heat. I don’t worry about it getting too hot because the temperature settings can be adjusted easily. My heated floors are healthier. Unlike a forced-air furnace, heated floors are hypoallergenic. They won’t circulate dust and pollen. The HVAC business that completed the heater installation installed my heated floors. In fact, they provided and installed all of the heating and cooling equipment for my home. The construction process involves dealing with multiple subcontractors. It was convenient to get our heating and cooling needs serviced through one provider.
I have a hard time keeping up with laundry. My entire family produces so much dirty laundry it is almost impossible to tackle. Each day I have to do at least three loads to stay on top of it all. Sadly, I am the only person to work on it because the rest of my family members are preoccupied with their hobbies. I love doing it in the summertime because I can save money on my heating bills by hanging up the laundry outdoors. However, when winter comes around, my house is a complete mess. I leave laundry hanging over every heating vent in the house. I tell my kids to wear layers to bed and use more blankets because the heating vents are usually blocked by wet clothes. I might sound crazy, but the heating vents usually dry my clothes a lot quicker than the dryer does during the winter. I do whatever I can to save money on my heating bills in the winter and if it comes to my kids having to wear extra layers, then I will make them. I am so jealous of the people who live in warmer areas of the world because they can save tons of money on their heating bills because they have such low usage. Although I can’t move to the warmer areas, I can most definitely make some changes to my laundry situation to decrease my monthly heating payments. I refuse to waste my extra money on HVAC bills. I will sacrifice heat for a cheaper way to dry my weekly laundry.