Landlord wants us to split the heating bill

Landlords always know how to make the experience of renting absolutely horrible. It never fails. I live in a single family home with a basement that has been converted into a separate apartment with its own entrance. The basement is fully connected to the main level but is separated by a door that is locked from the inside. The landlord recently had a family move into the basement apartment. They are a couple with a baby. The whole house shares one thermostat and is heated by gas. For the past couple years, we have kept the thermostat set really low in the wintertime to save energy. We have to pay our own heating bill and we really can’t afford to keep the place toasty all winter long. Well, the new family that moved in doesn’t seem to care about that and asked the landlord to set the thermostat higher. The landlord controls the thermostat. It has a lock on it actually that only the landlord can access. Previously, the landlord has been really nice about letting us choose the temperature. Now, he seems to be favoring the new family who just moved in. The heat has been blasting for the past month so that the basement apartment stays really warm. We just got our first utility bill and it’s over two hundred dollars higher than it normally is during the winter. And the landlord wants us to split it equally with the people who live in the basement! I am calling the landlord later to demand we get a separate thermostat or utility bill. This is entirely unfair!

heating install

Staying cool without an A/C

For the first time in my life, I have to get through the entire summer without an air conditioner. I moved into this apartment a year ago. Luckily, it came with an old window air conditioner that I was able to enjoy for the summer. I was happily employed at the time and didn’t mind paying a little extra in my energy bill to be able to run the air conditioner at night. Well, fast forward a year later, and my window air conditioner is broken, and on top of that, I no longer have a job. So, I had to cut back on a lot of expenses in order to afford the rent here. I am interviewing for a few jobs, but it’ll likely be at least a month before I start earning money again and I’ll have to catch up on my credit card bill before I can afford luxuries, like an air conditioner again. Since, we have a heat wave coming, I spent a few hours searching for alternatives to using an air conditioner. Some tips that I found were to spritz yourself with cold water and stand in front of a fan. I read you can also hang a wet towel around your neck. It works even better if you stick the towel in the refrigerator for a while beforehand. I am going to avoid using my stove and oven completely this summer to help keep my apartment cool. If it gets really hot at night, I plan on taking a cold shower and sleeping wet afterward. Hopefully, this will be enough to keep my sanity through this summer until I find a job and can afford to buy a new air conditioner. I am looking forward to that day!

learning in one click

My Last HVAC Repair Technician

When I woke up the following morning without air conditioning, I was increasingly angry at myself for calling that first HVAC repair man that I chose. I was also confused, as I had assumed that the second HVAC repair technician had fixed the damage that was done previously. I called the second HVAC repair technician, and I asked him if he could come to my house that same day. When he arrived, he immediately started working on my air conditioning unit. After spending several hours inspecting and repairing it, he told me that the air conditioning system was beyond repair and would have to be replaced. Prior to a couple of weeks ago, I had never had any issues at all with my air conditioning system. I just could not believe that the entire air conditioning system was no longer repairable. I asked him for more specifics, and he advised that the faulty wiring from before had caused several key components to burn out. He essentially told me that the first HVAC repair technician had completely destroyed my air conditioning system. Given that I had already decided to forgive and forget the work that the first HVAC repair technician had done, I was not sure who I needed to yell at. I decided to call another HVAC repair technician in for a second opinion, and he was surprisingly able to fix the air conditioning system in less than an hour. He told me that the second HVAC repair technician was obviously trying to get me to buy a brand new air conditioning system from him. At this point, I have no idea who I can trust with my air conditioning unit.

HVAC service program

Downsize

Now that my kids are grown and out of the house, I am planning on downsizing. I am a single woman, so I don’t at all need my three bedroom house anymore. The house sits on a huge property, and I am beyond tired of keeping up with all the landscaping. I would enjoy myself much more in a small, one bedroom home that require minimal upkeep. I also want somewhere that costs less so that I can save money and live comfortably in my retirement years.If I live in a smaller house, my HVAC system won’t have to work as hard, so I will save money on my utility bill. That is a huge draw for me. Having to run my air conditioner less would save me a ton of money, and I could pocket that money and use it elsewhere. I don’t think people realize how much energy heating and cooling systems require. They are probably the most energy draining appliances in any home. In a one-bedroom house, I would hardly need to use my A/C at all. I can’t wait until I live somewhere smaller. The house I’m in now is just far too big for me, and with no kids, there’s no reason for it. I think that people should make an effort to live in smaller spaces if they are able to. Most people have far too many rooms than they need in their homes, and I find it completely wasteful. I don’t want to live that way anymore. Soon, I’ll be in a house that’s a better fit for me.

HVAC equipment

Thermostat is beyond his grasp

I find one of the worst jobs in the world is explaining technology to old people. I have no idea how this happened, but somehow, my Grandpa has decided I am her tech lady. I am the lady who can repair a PC, set an iPad and do just about anything anything technology based. I am good when it comes to ipad based items, but I am in no way an expert by any stretch. But unfortunately you can’t tell my Grandpa otherwise. Anytime he gets something new, I have to set it up as well as try to explain it to him though that can be difficult at times. For instance, when my Grandpa got the smart control unit, I was half tempted to hire some child to teach him! That truly was the longest lesson ever… First I had to set up the control machine with her HVAC system. The smart control machine works the heating as well as A/C plan through a smartphone or tablet, so next I had to download the app on my Grandpa’s phone. I then set a temperature control program for him. The Heating and Air Conditioning system actually is on an automated temperature regulating program. It heats or cools differently based on the times of day. The HVAC system also turns off when Grandpa leaves then it will  come back on when it senses he is home. I also got the control machine to text him if the system’s physical machine needs air filter changes or if there are troubles with her indoor air quality. So everything is basically automatic, just set it and forget it. If my Grandpa needs to change a temperature, he can do it on the phone. It seems like every other day my Grandpa somehow manages to cancel my temperature control program or set the control machine to an uncomfortable temperature.

heated floors

Could not get the a/c to turn on

My best acquaintance from school is someone who always listens, gives wonderful advice, and helps myself and others out in strenuous situations Then on top of all that, she recently helped myself and others repair our Heating plus Air Conditioning system when it broke down–what a lifesaver! When I arrived back home from work a few weeks ago to find the cooling proposal would not turn on no matter what I did to the control unit, I panicked right then. I was sad that I was going to have to spend a ton of cash to call an Heating plus Air Conditioning worker to come out and repair the air conditioning system. I don’t believe I knew one thing about heating and cooling systems, so I was at the mercy of someone else sadly. After racking our brain for a few hours, I thought about our best acquaintance and how she used to work as a Heating plus Air Conditioning worker. It was like a great light bulb went off in my head. Next, I provided her a call, and she agreed to come right over. After a few hours, she had already pinpointed the complication to our compressor, and she knew that one of the parts would have to be substituted out. She even provided to substitute it for me that day! So, instead of having to spend money for an Heating plus Air Conditioning worker to come out, fix, and substitute the part, I only had to spend money for the part itself. I am so glad that our acquaintance came because she saved myself and others so much cash, and she kept myself and others from having to spend several afternoons without a cooling system in the heat. I always knew that our acquaintance was a thoughtful person. However I never knew that she would be able to help in a bind around our house as she did. I am sure lucky to have her as a friend.

air conditioning filter

Old home heating needs

My partner, Joshua, and I just bought a house that was built back in the early seventeen hundreds. The house is huge and it has some very unique features. There is a really enormous front porch, lots of large windows, high ceilings, plus gorgeous woodwork.  There are lots of closets, more than one stairway, plus an amazing view of the pond in the backyard. There are also numerous setbacks to an older home. All of the hardwood floors, plus the stairs, creak whenever walked on, plus they are cold in the winter.  None of the aged windows open, plus they all leak air. Because of the very  high ceilings, numerous rooms, plus lack of insulation, the house became a challenge to heat during winter and to to cool during summer. The walls are genuinely too thin to accommodate conventional HVAC duct. We’ve lived in the house for 10 years, and now we’ve made gradual improvements. One of our top priorities was to install an effective (plus energy efficient) oil furnace. To avoid major renovations, both of us decided on a boiler system. Installing a boiler in the old basement, plus incorporating baseboard heaters, wasn’t overly intrusive.  Although the boiler is powerful plus appealingly energy efficient, it was having trouble keeping up with demand plus costing us quite a bit every month.  The two of us needed to improve the level of insulation in the walls, replace the windows, caulk plus weatherstrip in order to eliminate waste. Now that we’ve solved the heating problems, both of us are looking into air conditioners. The two of us are debating between portable cooling systems, high velocity air conditioners, or ductless units.  

thermostat

Need a/c for my computer

I am fortunate that I can handle a great deal of my job through the internet. It lets me work from home, or from virtually anywhere at all with wireless connectivity. In the winter, this is particularly advantageous. I get to avoid icy roads, shoveling the driveway, or brushing the snow off our car. I can do all of my work from inside our apartment with the gas furnace running. I set the control device to the ideal temperature, dress in my sweatpants, and I’m perfectly comfortable. It does cost a little bit more in energy bills, because I am running the oil furnace throughout the morning. However, I avoid the cost of gas to drive to work, and I’m much happier in my own house! In the summer, though, working from my house can be super unpleasant. My house is not equipped with a/c, and opening the windows or running electric fans is sometimes not enough to fight the heat plus humidity. It’s not really unusual for the outside temperatures to climb into the high nineties, and then the excess moisture becomes unbearable. I then try to find a place to work away from home where I can take advantage of a/c. I often spend the morning at the local coffee shop, but then I end up buying too much coffee plus eating a bunch of muffins. Plus, they tend to set the control device far too low, plus there are heating and A/C supply vents in the ceilings everywhere. It can be hard finding a place to sit that is not directly getting hit with frigid cold air.  I also set up the laptop at the local library in the summertime. The control device setting plus operation of the a/c is truly pleasant, however the chairs are horribly uncomfortable. When I go to work at the library, I usually end up with a sore back.  

air conditioning

Letting him run the thermostat

My Grandfather moved in with with our family last year! It was not something either of us honestly wanted to do, but the two of us felt we had no option in the matter. He had nowhere else to go, no where to stay, as well as had spent much of his life financially taking care of me and my siblings when we were younger.  So I felt it was the right thing to do. He’s a cranky outdated cuss, honestly set in his ways, however he was grateful and it took a lot of changes on all of our parts.  One honestly large section of contention between him and our family was the use of the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system, as well as the settings on the control unit.  We have a honestly nice, fairly modern Heating and Air Conditioning system in our house, as well as it came with the zone control feature.  With this, the two of us can remotely adjust the temperature control in the house, as well as program numerous rooms to be warmer or colder than other rooms. Knowing this you would think this would automatically preclude any disagreements over the temperature control settings, right? Well, it wasn’t so simply, because my grandfather would turn off the AC whenever we weren’t looking in a misguided attempt to save us a few bucks on our electric bills! That was his mentality, that this family didn’t honestly need to run the cooling as much as we did thinking that our bills were too high. I had to inform him that he could control the air temperature in his room, but to leave the main temperature control settings alone, because it didn’t belong to him.

air filter

Life with no cooling

Life is what you make of it! Just a few short months ago I punched a clock & worked in a cubicle in a large building; I made fantastic money, however make money was all I did… There was no enjoyment to life, just the monthly grind. I never realized how exhausting it was until I got a taste of the tropical island life.  But now everything has changed. I traded in a downtown apartment for a single room hut on the beach. I don’t have a credit card any more. And really enjoy my fishing poles, and I do still have a few creature comforts. On a humid morning I can still plug in my portable AC unit and cool down. The little box style window a/c sits on my coffee table, & although it is small it is strong enough to cool down the entire hut.  And of course, my hut does not have electricity, so I first have to plug the AC unit into an extension cord & ask to plug it in at my neighbor’s house.  My neighbor is very ok with it as I only do it every once in awhile, & I always invite her  to come join me in the cooling dry air. She is a  lifelong island denizens & otherwise have never absolutely enjoyed the crisp cool air of an Heating  A/C unit. Of course, having lived here so long she is perfectly fine with the temperature & doesn’t absolutely need an AC, however she still likes it for novelty value. I am slowly getting used to a life with no AC.

a/c