Upgrading my old furnace turns into a huge ordeal

When I decided to upgrade my furnace, I didn’t think it would be a huge ordeal.  The old furnace was still operational, and I was in no big hurry.  I decided to contact an HVAC contractor in the spring so that there would be plenty of time to complete the project before winter.  The HVAC company sent a technician to provide a consultation and an estimate.  I made sure to explain that I didn’t want to replace my furnace with the exact same model.  My existing furnace was nearly twenty years old.  During that time, I’d made a bunch of improvements to the home.  I’d upgraded all of the windows to thermal pane, installed an Energy Star rated front door, and added a tremendous amount of insulation to the walls, ceilings and attic.  These energy saving measures certainly reduced the heating load of the house.  I knew that I’d be able to get by with a smaller furnace, and I wanted to take advantage of the latest innovations in engineering and features.  I had done my research, and  knew that spending a bit more on zone control and adaptable speed technology would both improve comfort and reduce my heating bills.  The installation was scheduled for the following month.  When the HVAC contractor showed up to install the new furnace, I took the time to examine the equipment.  I immediately realized that it was not the furnace I had expected or paid for.  I objected and the contractor was extremely rude.  I then cancelled the whole project, ended up in a legal battle with that contractor, and hired a completely different company to handle the installation of a new furnace.  

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Hate grocery shopping because of overuse of air conditioner and heater

I absolutely hate going grocery shopping, and I procrastinate for as long as possible.  I wait until my household is running out of toilet paper, toothpaste, bread and milk before finally heading to the store.  Because the store is nearly a half hour drive from my house, the whole process takes nearly two hours of my time.  I recently was forced to tackle the grocery shopping on a beautiful summer’s day.  The outside temperature was eighty-seven degrees and the humidity was stifling.  I dressed in shorts, tank top and sandals, and never considered bringing along my winter coat.  I stepped inside the grocery store and immediately started shivering.  The air conditioning was blasting freezing cold air and there was no escaping it.  There seemed to be a supply vent in every aisle.  The refrigerated dairy aisles felt no colder than the rest of the store.  Because of the air conditioning, I rushed through the store as quickly as possible.  I threw random things in my cart, and forgot a bunch of necessities.  If the overuse of the air conditioning wasn’t bad enough, the store was also blasting country music over the speakers.  The whole experience was pure torture, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.  I don’t know who manages the thermostat in the grocery store, but it is never comfortable and must cost a fortune in energy bills.  When I go grocery shopping in the winter, I’m dressed for the weather in sweaters and wool coat.  I just about sweat to death in the grocery store because the heating system is working so hard.   

heating and ac

Traveling by motorcycle, I look forward to the hotel’s heating/cooling system

Last summer, my husband and I took a motorcycle trip across the country.  We live along the east coast and it took us several weeks to travel all the way to the west coast and back.  We absolutely loved visiting all of the different states and seeing some incredible scenery along the way.  Traveling by motorcycle is a much bigger and better adventure than being trapped inside a car.  While I absolutely loved it, being exposed to the weather can present a challenge.  We’ve experienced everything from extreme heat to torrential downpours and a hurricane.  Specialized clothing helps to some extent, but by the end of the day, I look forward to checking into a hotel for the night.  After riding in excessive heat and humidity, it feels great to take a cool shower and crank up the air conditioning.  On those cold, rainy days, I am anxious to take advantage of the hotel’s heating system.  I appreciate the ability to simply adjust the thermostat to our preference and comfort.  Unfortunately, the cost of staying in a hotel every night tends to add up.  For our next trip, my husband and I are considering bringing along a portable tent and sleeping bags.  While this would cut costs by quite a bit, it would eliminate any opportunity for temperature control.  I am a little reluctant to go completely without heating or cooling for several weeks.  Having ideal temperature allows for a good night’s sleep, which helps us to face a long day of traveling.  I guess we’ll just have to hope for real mild weather, and then check into a hotel if we get stuck in severe cold or rain.

HVAC equipment

Girlfriend runs air conditioner with the windows open

After dating my girlfriend, Rachel, for about a year, we moved in together.  Since we were spending most of our time together, it seemed silly to pay rent on two separate apartments.  We were both living on a tight budget, and we figured we could save quite a bit of money by sharing both rent and utilities.  Less than six months after moving in with Rachel, I couldn’t wait to move out.  She drove me absolutely crazy.  Although we both agreed that we wanted to save money, she constantly spent a fortune on ridiculous stuff.  When she bought groceries, she would come home with gourmet ice cream, French cheese, fancy crackers, and all sorts of expensive stuff.  She’d totally forget to buy toilet paper, bread and necessities.  We moved in together at the end of June, right when the weather was really heating up.  Because we were responsible for the utilities, I was conscientious about energy savings.  I suggested we only run the air conditioner when absolutely necessary.  Apparently, Rachel found it necessary to run the air conditioner at maximum capacity when no one was at home.  She’d leave for work and never bother to adjust the thermostat.  I made sure to always turn off the air conditioner when we went to bed at night.  I’d wake up in the middle of the night, shivering, because Rachel had decided to turn the thermostat way down.  I’d finally had enough when I caught her running the air conditioner at full blast while several windows were open.  She told me she wanted to enjoy the relief of the air conditioner but also craved fresh air.  When I yelled at her for literally sending our money flying right out the window, she called me cheap and selfish.  

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Cooling my RV

When I was younger, I watched as many of my friends from high school bought nice sedans, SUV’s, and all kinds of fancy cars to shuttle their families around. One day, I had the greatest idea hit me – Just drive a car that you can live in! I’d always been struck with wanderlust, and I wasn’t one for keeping a lot of belongings. An RV made sense, so I did some research and managed to find an old winnebago for cheap. For the first year of owning that RV, I absolutely loved life. When I wasn’t working at job sites, I was driving up North or out West and staying in all kinds of places, soaking in the local life with each trip. Excellent as it was, there came a time when trouble struck, and the cooling unit for the RV died out on me. I lived paycheck to paycheck, so I didn’t have money to spare on a new air conditioner, meaning I had to suffer with the horrendous heat in my mobile home for weeks as I scraped savings here and there. After I saved what I believed to be enough money, I started doing some research on window units to install in my RV. I was speechless – they were way cheaper than I thought! I’d saved so much extra money that when I went to buy and install the window unit, I also had some engine work done to make sure my home could remain as reliable as it had been so far. Now my home’s back to being a mobile ice box, and I can sleep comfortably at night again! I know the traveler’s lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve got a real love for travel, you should look into driving an RV for a little while

ductless cooling

Freezing in the Winter without heat on vacation

A few years ago, my wife and I decided to do something special over the holidays. Previous years had us going to the homes of family members further South, but it was always so sad to spend the holidays in such a hot, humid place. We loved waking up to see snow, which needless to say, was an improbability where we stayed. This time, we decided we would just stay at our home in the Northeast, and have the white Christmas we’d been longing for. We woke up on Christmas Eve, however, to a nightmare. Our heater died on us in the night, and woke to a house that was almost as cold inside as it was outside. We had to wear several layers to keep warm as I desperately called every HVAC company in the state, hoping that someone would be able to come out to us in our time of need. By the middle of the day, it was almost under forty degrees in our house, and finally I’d lucked out and convinced a contractor to come out and fix the heater. When he arrived, we expected him to be annoyed to be on the job when he should be with family, but to our surprise, he was delightful! He joked with us, laughing the whole situation off and telling us that the holidays are the best time to be kind to each other. He was able to fix the equipment, and even showed us how to explain the issue if it arose again since it was just some loose fittings in the equipment. It was a real miracle, to have that gentleman show up when we needed help.

heating

Temperature control fights

We are always bickering. It’s just the kind of personalities that we have, a lot of fighting followed by lots of constructing up. It’s not the best relationship model for kids, but who cares about teenagers anyway? It works for use, and it keeps our fifteen year marriage from ever appearing dull or boring. We fight about a myriad of stuff: where to go on christmas, what to watch on fri night movie night, what type of food to order for dinner, and on and on. I was formerly a boxer, now I’m just an arguer! The latest battle was about the thermostat to our new zone control HVAC system. And this is how much I enjoy fighting with my wife — I knew the whole time of the fact that system had come with zone temperature control. The HVAC system can have different settings for different parts of the house. Since she likes it so hot on a regular basis, I can make the heater run on her, while I keep it excellent and cold in my part of the house. So really there is not any reason to argue, but she doesn’t know that so we are having some epic arguments about how precisely to set the thermostat. When we stop fighting over what amount of to run the furnace and the air conditioner, I will tell her the truth. This will make her so mad we should have another round of arguments about the HVAC system. But hey if we’re possibly not fighting about AC it’ll have to be something else.

temperature control

HVAC for the hurricane

I’m happy to report that my family all safely survived the storm of the century. I know you learned about Hurricane Irma, the largest storm this state had ever noticed. Which is saying something, because we get a great deal of big storms through this vicinity. But this one was the biggest and baddest of them all. Locally we had to run get gas, water, and food. Lots of people evacuated, but we decided to stay put and stick it out. I’ll be honest, it was scary at times, with robust wind and rain, but afterwards the worst damage we got was a reduction in air conditioning and wifi. When you are prepared for the worst, and you end up with just zero AC for a few days, you count yourself lucky. The day after the storm it was bright and sunny, and so powerfully humid I was praying for the power to come back on so I could crank down the AC and cool off. You would think a large storm would help in cool down the area, but we had no  such luck. We were without power or water for just two days, and when it returned on I heard the click of the thermostat and the groan of the central AC unit coming back alive. The sound that air conditioner makes it now one of several happiest sounds of my very existence. The water is still out, but I have my air conditioning back so I’m a happy man.

HVAC system

Smoke pouring out of the ac unit

Our neighbors and I were venturing on a prolonged vacation this year. We were so excited with the big trip! We were about to go to a tropical destination, and it may be our first time. It would be so relaxing to lay out on the beach and hang out for two weeks. Everything was ready to go. We just had to get packing. We had just finished, when all of a abrupt we heard a loud bang originate from the air conditioner. My dad quickly ran out of the room where we stored some of our HVAC system equipment, and saw smoke pouring through the A/C/ unit. Hopefully this wouldn’t throw a wrench in this particular travel plans, as we were supposed to leave in 3 hours. Dad quickly called an HVAC technician to find out if he could secure an emergency repair. Unfortunately, there was no answer within the HVAC business. Because there had been smoke, my dad also called the fire department. They came over within minutes and inspected the damage. They told us of the fact that air conditioner was most likely entirely dead now. We would probably have to get a whole brand new cooling system. Luckily, the air conditioner did not pose a fire hazard. Since we had to leave in a couple of hours, my dad decided to simply wait until we returned home to address the HVAC system disaster. We had spent a lot of money on this vacation, and he wasn’t on the verge of letting some broken air conditioner hurt our time. We had an exceptional time on our trip, and got a brand new HVAC system installed upon our return.

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Take a look at the heating system

It was one of those lazy weekends where all we needed to be doing was just sitting around and watch TV all day long. I had earned it! I worked hard every day to settle many debts, and that’s how I chose to spend my free time now. If anybody didn’t enjoy it, they could take it up with a different individual. I’m my own man! I was in control of my life today. That was true of me until my furnace decided to intercede. I was watching the most popular TV show, when out of nowhere I heard a bad, rumbling noise come from the bedroom where my heating and cooling system is located. It was one of the coldest nights of the season too. So I hoped that my furnace would hold on. My heating system had been acting like a spoiled child lately, and kept throwing “temperature tantrums” and would just go wrong any old time. This HVAC system issue has been very annoying, to say little for it. After my furnace made the rumbling noise for a little bit, it started to make some sort of louder noise. Finally, I had to get up and face the heating system. I didn’t think it would last the night time. When I got to the furnace it was actually smoking! I had no choice but to make an emergency call to our local HVAC business. I was lucky to have an HVAC system service plan that allowed me the awesome ability to secure an HVAC technician 24 hours a day. I definitely took advantage of this option that night! It wasn’t an option,  I couldn’t make it in the evening with a broken heating and cooling system, and that’s serious!

heating system