When was the last time you found yourself in a movie theater that felt like a rain forest? You know what I mean. The kind of theater where it is so muggy and humid that you cannot believe they actually charged you good money to sit in there and watch a film? This usually is the case in older, run-down cinemas that have not been properly taken care of by the owners or managers. The seats are often lumpy and don’t recline easily, the floors are sticky with spilled soft drinks and melted candy bars, and the A/C ducts in the ceiling are blocked with dust and dirt. That makes it almost impossible for cool, clean, dry air to circulate throughout the auditorium. Instead, the body temperature of everyone in the movie theater combines to create a thick, humid swamp that smells like buttered popcorn and nacho cheese. How gross! A few months ago, I caught a matinee of a documentary about the annual Alaskan dog sled race. The whole movie took place in a frozen paradise. But the climate control in the theater was so broken that it felt like it was 100 degrees in there, with 120 percent humidity! The assistant manager of the cinema told me they had already called a local HVAC provider to send out a repair technician, but I don’t believe him. He seemed like he knew nothing about air conditioning or even the best company to call for advice. That place needs a total ductwork cleaning and maybe a complete ductwork sealing job.
I am always sitting on the couch with a blanket or wearing a sweater. My husband thinks I am crazy. He is always hot. I try to explain it away by saying I am cold natured, or it is my low blood pressure, or any number of other excuses. Reality is I am always cold, spring, summer, fall, and winter, I am cold. My husband and son are warm often so the temperature of the house gets set to a comfortable 72 degrees to keep them cool. I sit and freeze. At home I can at least grab my handy blanket and cover my legs and feet. When we go out it is even worse. I take my sweater with me but sometimes that is not enough. The air conditioner will be on at other people’s homes and I sit freezing with goosebumps on my arms and legs even wearing long pants and a sweater. My best friend understands because she too is cold natured. When I show up at her house we crank the temperature up so warm her husband will go hang out with his guy friends. When I leave her husband comes home and turns the thermostat back down to the same 72 degrees that my husband and son call comfortable. I wish there was a way to have a personal heater I could carry around to combat the coldness of air conditioners. Since there is not I will suffer and keep my sweater with me at all times to keep from freezing in air conditioned buildings.
Last summer we had a few weeks of very high temperatures. It was so hot, we had to grill outside or order in because it was just too hot to cook. We were trying to save money on our electricity bills, so we would only turn on the AC at night so we could sleep. We would run the ceiling fans if it felt warm during the day. After more than a week of the heat wave, I finally had to turn the AC on during an afternoon which was especially hot and muggy. The AC ran for a few hours, and I felt no difference in comfort. I checked the thermostat, and made sure all the doors and windows were shut tight. Everything was fine, except the temperature. I called our HVAC service the next day to come and take a look at our system. Something had to be wrong. There’s no way I was going to keep running the AC for hours at a time. When the tech showed up the next day, he really took his time checking every part of the system. He checked the wiring, filters, thermostat, and the outdoor unit. The big surprise, was that he didn’t find anything wrong. He said nothing needed to be repaired, and there would only be a service charge for his visit. I told him how the house wasn’t cooling down enough, and he said the unit we have is pretty old so it was not surprising it wasn’t working efficiently enough, but it was working as well as it could. At that time, the unit was almost 20 years old. He suggested I call the shop’s contractor and just get an idea of costs and savings for systems which would work for our house.
My husband and I bought our house a few years back, with our parents in mind. We knew the day may come when one or both of them may need a place to stay. We weren’t the type who would want to have either of them in a retirement home if we had the room and the means to take care of them. Our house is not large by any means, but the property is big and we have a guest home near the rear of the lot. We knew it was a perfect setup for us and our parents when the time would come to have them move in. Once we were in the house for a year or so, the time came to move my mom in the guest house. She and I shopped for her home goods and moved many of her own furniture items and linens in the little house. I knew she was very happy to be closer to me, but still had her own place and independence. One thing we overlooked was the HVAC system. We hadn’t used it since we bought the house, and when my Mom turned the AC on for the first time, it was hot air and very dusty. I called an HVAC contractor right away and we looked at all the options. The system was pretty much too old to service, so we had to purchase something new. After working with the contractor, we decided on a ductless mini split system. This eliminated the use of the old ductwork which would have needed a lot of work to be efficient again. My Mom had an indoor unit in her bedroom and in the living room with a remote control so she could cool or heat as she needed to. It was just perfect for one person in a small house.
My boyfriend just began working within a web design company, and so far, he has been doing really well. His older cousin Marc owns the company, so my boyfriend gets to work side-by-side with his cousin. The best part about his new job is that he can do the majority of his work right from home! He can take conference calls, write emails, and build and edit websites in his pajamas if he wants to. Recently, Marc booked a small office space for them, so that they could take some photos for the company website. Although they don’t need to use an actual office, they needed conference tables, chairs, and couches to use for photo props. Unfortunately, the office space was located inside an older building, and the HVAC system made their photo shoot incredibly difficult. When my boyfriend came home, he was dripping with sweat! For some reason, the furnace was on high blast throughout the whole photo shoot. Although fall has just begun, it definitely isn’t cold enough to turn on a furnace! Both he and Marc were struggling to get the photo shoot completed before the hot air made them sweat through their clothes. They couldn’t find a thermostat, and the air vents were too high up for them to reach, so they were stuck with the furnace blowing out heat for hours. I felt so bad for him, because I could tell he had been miserable. I turned the air conditioning on for him so that he could relax and cool down a little bit. The next time they need to use an office space, I am sure that they will make sure that the HVAC system is easily accessible!
There are few things worse than not having adequate temperature control in your home. I can definitely say that I know this from personal experience! The first apartment I ever got was really cheap, and the landlord never wanted to spend money on maintenance or upkeep. The fridge was really old, and I was always afraid to keep food in there. The microwave was completely broken, and the stovetop never heated evenly. Worst of all, the apartment barely came with any HVAC equipment. There was no air conditioner, and the furnace attached to the building was old and barely worked. The landlord suggested keeping the windows open during the summer for air circulation, and putting heavy plastic on the windows during the winter for insulation. That summer, the heat and humidity broke temperature records, and opening the windows did no good. I couldn’t even sleep because I was tossing and turning so much. I had to purchase a window air conditioning unit in order to keep my apartment comfortable. Once winter came, I tried insulating the apartment by covering the windows, but I was still freezing. I wore heavy clothes and jackets inside my apartment, because the furnace barely emitted any heat. I ended up purchasing a small space heater to provide a little bit of temperature control. I brought it with me from one room to the next, and even though it was small, the space heater provided enough heat to get me through the winter. As soon as my lease was up, I started looking for apartments with better HVAC units! That year definitely taught me the importance of having good temperature control inside your apartment.
Not owning air conditioner sometimes can be a pain. A cooling system is really necessary for a home. You can moderate the temperature, humidity and air quality levels in your home. A/C has so many benefits but some owners do not own this device. Why would you go without A/C? All areas in the U.S experience periods of hot and cold. This means a heating and cooling system is necessary. All areas need to have both functions. Now if you live in a temperate climate, you do not need the drastic HVAC levels. Temperate climates can get by with using a heat pump system. The heat pump can heat and cool the home energy efficiently, and not overdo it in the process. There are areas that get really cold most of the time. That is why boiler systems and furnaces are purchased. But even colder areas have months of heat. That is why there is the dual fuel option. You can use a heat pump for air conditioning in the summer and a gas furnace for all the winter season. There are climates that mainly use air conditioning since it is warm almost year around. There are cooling options for the hotter climates. You can get high velocity A/C. The air conditioner uses smaller and more flexible ductwork. The system also can quickly cool the entire home in a matter of four minutes. It whips the air around faster and the ice is colder. Think about your climate and cooling. You need A/C, how much cooling power do you need?
When I moved in my house with my family many years ago, we had to redo the whole backyard since it hadn’t been cared for in quite some time. We replaced the whole yard and planted trees along the fenceline, as well as near the back patio for shade. Of course, they were just saplings back then, but it only took a few years for them to start really branching out and become mature trees. The trees near the back patio began giving us good shade within a few years and it was great to have a table and chairs in the spring and summer so we could have our meals outside occasionally. The one detail we missed, however, was the outdoor HVAC unit. One of our great new shade trees was planted too close to the unit, and we never realized it until it started causing some problems. During a bad storm one night in the summer, a branch fell right on top of the unit and stopped the fan immediately. Though I removed the branch and checked that the fan could still move, the AC wouldn’t come on again. I had to call an HVAC tech to come and repair it. One of the fan blades was bent just enough to stop the system from working properly. The tech also advised me that the tree was too close to the unit, and we should either move it or make sure to keep one whole side trimmed right to the trunk. I trimmed the tree myself, and thought about moving it later in the summer. By this time, it was going through the growing season, and I noticed one day the roots were getting larger and beginning to spread above ground, again right next to the HVAC unit. I spent the following weekend moving the tree two feet from the unit.
When we moved into a rental house a few years ago, it was quite obvious no one had lived in it for quite some time. The trees hadn’t been trimmed, the front yard was brown and full of weeds, and the walls hadn’t been painted in years. Our new landlord didn’t even clean the carpets before our moving day. We knew it was only temporary, so the aesthetics didn’t really bother us. But, I did want the place clean. We had the carpets cleaned on our own, and I scrubbed the walls and bathrooms myself. After a long day of moving and cleaning, I jumped in the shower and immediately knew something was wrong. The water was way too hot. It was so hot, I jumped right back out again. Even turning the knob to cold didn’t change the temperature. After a few minutes, the water was cold again. I relented with a quick cold shower, and called the landlord the next day, and told him this was something that needed to be fixed right away. He called an HVAC tech to look at the water heater and to inspect the whole system as well. The tech found the thermostat in the water heater was broken, so it wasn’t regulating the temperature of the water. He also found several areas in the HVAC system needed updating and repair. He spent a few days fixing everything and cleaning dust and dirt from the ductwork. It turned out the house had been empty for almost 2 years, so there hadn’t been any service or upkeep. Even without anyone living in the house, it was amazing how much work needed to be done. The tech told us the primary reason for repair in his business is merely a lack of service.
Before buying my home, I was told that the heating and cooling system was on its way out. While this was not the best news, it did not bother me too much. I bought the house for a low price, so I did not mind the fact that I was going to have to purchase a new heating and cooling system soon after moving in. I did a little bit of research and called a local heating and cooling company to get their advice on what system would be best to install. They presented me with a whole list of systems that could be installed in my home. I took my time choosing because I wanted to select a system that would be a good long-term investment. I planned on staying in my home indefinitely and I wanted to make the right choice. After learning about my options, I decided to have a premium heating and cooling system installed. It was a brand new system that had just come on the market and was guaranteed to run well for at least fifteen years with regular maintenance. It was effective, efficient, and built to last. When I bought my new heating and cooling system, I also decided to upgrade my thermostat. I went from a programmable thermostat to a smart thermostat that had endless features to ensure maximum comfort inside my home year-round. Getting a new heating and cooling system and thermostat installed cost me quite a bit of money, but I know that it was worth it because they are going to save me money over time while keeping me comfortable every day.