Lost favorite pair of sheet metal cutters

I have a lot of tools for my trade. I work in the HVAC industry, and every day is a new adventure and a new job. I could wake up one morning and spend all day at the same house. Some installations will take six or eight hours, so that is an entire day. Some days I can go to work, and I might be on three or four jobs all day. I like that it varies, because I never have a boring day in the HVAC industry. Last week, the temperatures were extremely cold. We were very busy with a lot of heating repair calls. I was running five or six jobs everyday, and I visited at least three dozen different homes. During our very busy week, I lost my favorite pair of sheet metal cutters. It might be strange to have a favorite HVAC tool, but the sheet metal cutters were my dads. He was a furnace repair technician for his whole life. He spent some time in the Army, and he learned how to work on heating, refrigeration, and cooling units. My dad spent his whole life servicing furnaces, and he had a favorite tool as well. He gave me his favorite tool, a pair of sheet metal cutters, when I finished my certification classes. I called every HVAC customer in my appointment book, but no one remembered seeing a pair of sheet metal cutters. I thought I left them at the grocery store, when I was repairing some ductwork issues. I finally decided to go to the grocery store and look around. I found the cutters right next to the furnace.

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Need superior HVAC

There are certain things in life that you just can’t get away from. The vast majority of us have to work to earn a living. My church, in fact, teaches that work is a gift. There are plenty of people all over the world who just wish they could go to work to feed their families. But I still hate it; work causes me stress and anxiety. People are mean and cutthroat and sometimes downright mean. Another thing is bills. If you are alive in this country, you are going to have to pay for things. The more things you have, the more bills you have to pay. This is certainly true of the heating and cooling bill. The HVAC system is likely the biggest monthly expense behind your mortgage. In fact, I do know someone who pays more for their a/c each month than they do for their house. My cooling bill has always been very high. I live in the south, and down here we need our air conditioning almost all year long. At this time of year, I am able to turn off the a/c, and it makes me really happy. Before I can turn around, though, that air conditioning unit will be buzzing again. Because of that, I recently made the decision to look at an HVAC upgrade. I called in the specialists and got an estimate. I went ahead and purchased a new HVAC system with zone control and a smart thermostat. Since I did, I have seen a drastic improvement in my utility bill.

HVAC set up

Home Maintenance Calendar is a Good Idea

Do you have a lot to do? Most people these days are very busy, and there is never a shortage of things to do. I do not like to neglect anything that might cost me more down the road, so I like to take care of the things I own as best as I am able. That is especially true for household things. For example, it is important to keep the trees trimmed so they don’t damage the roof. It’s good to get the house painted on a regular basis. And one thing you should never neglect is your HVAC system. There are really so many things to watch out for that I recommend getting a home maintenance calendar. If you schedule your HVAC tune-ups and inspections twice a year, you will be in good shape. I like to get the a/c checked in the spring right before the miserable heat of summer sets in. The same concept holds true for the furnace. It’s a good idea to get the heater checked at the end of summer or in the fall so it will be ready to be the best heater ever when the cold weather sets in. Between the HVAc needs, which are important, and all the other household needs, there is a lot to take care of. The best plan is to get a home maintenance schedule and calendar and plan for the maintenance needs of your house. Whether it is the air conditioning, the plumbing, the electrical, or just the trees, it is good to plan ahead.

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Heavy metal air filters

I have been touring with a successful metal band for the last six years. They asked me not to  mention them by name, and I respect that, because at this point I feel like the band and I are pretty good friends. Living this metal lifestyle is not what I would have pictured myself doing, but I really love my work. I am even starting to like the music, or at least hate it a little less! How does a person become a permanent metal band roadie if he doesn’t even care for that kind of music? Well, there was more than a little luck involved. It started when the AC on their tour bus broke, and they randomly picked my name out of the phone book to come take a look. I was the only HVAC tech willing to make a service call at 4 in the morning, so I got the gig luckily for me. I got the AC on the bus up and running within a few minutes, and then before they left I told them I could help out with their stage act, as well. They have a lot of smoke in their act, and I told them the smoke and overall poor indoor air quality of the venues could have long term damage on their throats and lungs. For singers, superior air quality is so important. I started setting up rudimentary ventilation systems for their stage shows, using fans and air filters to make the stage mostly smoke-free. They liked my ventilation work so much they kept me on permanently.

air conditioning filter

Portable A/C as a gift for my son

My son is just like his father. Both of these boys are warm bodies by nature, but that also means they sweat very easily! It can be great for when they’re in a physically demanding job, or if they’re in the far north where the weather is always cold. Unfortunately for them, we live in the south – so they always look like they’re going to pass out from heat exhaustion. When my son graduated from high school, we threw a small party for him as a send-off before going to college. Thinking of my boy’s needs, I splurged on a fancy portable air conditioning system known as a cooling tower! Designed to be compact, easily moved and quiet, the portable air conditioner has a built in thermostat that can actually work to adjust the temperature in the room by a few degrees. This is performed just like it would with a conventional A/C system, as a small refrigerant line introduces coolant to the A/C system to chill the air. When the weather cools off and becomes freezing later in the year, my son can still use the portable A/C system as a space heater! There’s a setting on the fan to turn on quartz rods, which glow red and emit infrared heat. This is definitely preferable to my boys, as they would rather themselves be warmed up instead of the entire place being warmed up.

HVAC service

My portable space heater

Strange as this is going to sound, I don’t think I would be happy in the winter if not for my portable space heater. Sure, I have a gas-powered furnace at my home that works just fine, but the portable space heater brings something to the table that my central heating does not! Since my space heater can be carried around and placed where needed, there’s a lot of versatility. Meanwhile, my gas furnace can only provide heat where ventilation ductwork runs in the house. Another perk of my space heater is that it heats the surroundings with infrared heat, while the gas furnace heats the air – this can lead to a stuffy home. Generally, I find that alternating between the two heating systems works best for me, as I’ll run the gas furnace through the night to make sure I stay comfortable and warm while I sleep. When I wake up though, I find that in my morning bustle I tend to overheat and sweat with the heating system running. That’s when I’ll run the space heater in my living room, and despite only having a small scope of impact, the space heater can still warm me up quickly after standing in front of it for just a moment. The gas furnace also comes in handy when I have guests over, as most of my friends get cold much more easily than I do. As much as I love being cool though, I still have my limits – I can’t sleep for a minute if it’s too cold indoors. The portable space heater is definitely something to consider as an alternative for heating if you want to cut costs.

HVAC worker

No burned smell in the air quality

The smell of burning food is enough to kill any appetite I may have. Granted I am not a big eater to begin with, I have always had the approach of eating to live, not living to eat. The mere odor of old or scorched food in the oven really upsets my stomach for some reason. At my last house there had been a major spill inside the oven, and any time we tried to use it the whole house started to stink like burning grease. I lost a lot of weight that year, I can tell you. This house is much better, thanks mostly to a superior ventilation system set up all over the house. I guess the last owners of this place hated air conditioning and wanted to find a way to increase natural ventilation as a substitute. I will be the first to admit that it in no way was as good as real air conditioning, but I will admit the system was pretty darned good. Only when the outdoor temperatures rose above 85 degrees or so did I even realize that we had no air conditioning, otherwise we stayed very temperate. The key was the placement of all the intake air vents, and how they pulled in air from outside to create a crossbreeze in the house. Not only did this ventilation keep us pretty cool most of the time, but it also gave us the cleanest and most pure indoor air quality I have ever experienced. I don’t know that I would ever go back to regular AC now.

air conditioner

A Birthday Surprise

I have been married for many years now, I work hard and I rarely ever get any time off. Recently, it was my birthday and you guessed it, I had to go on a business trip for work. I have been working overtime lately trying to get enough money together for me and my family to get a brand new, top of the line, and very up to date heating and cooling system replacement in our home. The current heating and cooling system we have has had issues for the last year or so. And I needed to get a new upgrade of the heating as well as the air conditioning system. We just have not been able to afford it between me and my wife. Well, while I was on this business trip over my birthday, my wife had secretly got up the money for a brand new, up to date and top of the line heating and air conditioning system! She secretly called the local heating as well as the cooling company and had them send out a certified heating as well as cooling specialist to install the brand new heating and air conditioning system! You can imagine my surprise when I got home and found the whole new HVAC system! My wife wished me a happy birthday with a big kiss when I arrived back home and showed me what she had done while I was away. I was so over the moon about it, I took her and my kids out to dinner the same night I got home!

new HVAC

Computer Store Visit

I recently went to my local computer store to buy a new computer last month. I had been shopping around for a computer for quite some time as I needed a new one for my job, and was not sure where to get the best deal. I finally found a good deal at this one store here locally that sells discounted computers. When I walked into the store, I have to admit, it was much better than I imagined! I expected it to be some really bad air quality place with no heating or cooling system in it, since it was one of those discounted outlet stores for computers. However, they had the most amazing air quality as well as a really good heating system. The heater was set very moderate, just enough to where it was feeling really good in there. Was not too hot, and was not too cold. The temperature was just right! The air quality almost seemed like it was running through some kind of air purification system. I have one of those whole home air purifiers at home in my nice house, so I know an air purification system when I feel or smell one! It was totally amazing. I ended up buying my new computer and was in and out of there pretty fast. The customer service was really helpful and wonderful! I even made it a point to let the salesperson know how impressed I was by their air quality, their heating and air conditioning system, as well as their air purification system that that in this lovely store.

a/c install

Unhappy HVAC customers

New HVAC systems can take several hours to install. Most of the time, customers are told six to eight hours for each HVAC installation. Sometimes the job will be easier, and the time will only take five or six hours. Sometimes our technicians will run into trouble, and the HVAC installation will take all day. Some customers complain, but we try to give them a good heads-up. When we schedule the new installation, we tell our customers to plan for 6 to 8 hours of installation time. When we confirm the day before the appointment, we tell the customer again the HVAC installation will likely take most of the day. Still, we end up with a few dissatisfied customers who believe that an HVAC system can be installed in the blink of an eye. I had a frank and honest discussion with a customer last weekend, when two of my top technicians finished an HVAC install in less than 6 hours. That is a very good time in our business, and I was pleased. The customer, on the other hand, was incredibly dissatisfied with the time frame. He complained for the last three hours, because he said he was late for a flight. I don’t understand why he scheduled a brand new HVAC installation on the same day as a flight. We were more than clear that the install would take all day. When he wanted me to reimburse his plane tickets fee, I thought I would laugh out loud. I could hardly contain my disgust, and I politely hung the phone.

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