Winters in New England

    If you ask me living in a place where it snows all the time is the equivalent of living in hell. I hate cold weather, and I am pretty upset that I am having to move to New England soon. I got a great job there, and that’s where my husband’s family lives. It makes sense for us to go there, but I hate the thought of having to deal with the weather. We are currently house-hunting and trying to find a place near our offices. One requirement I have is that the house has a modern HVAC system. I know that it’s typical for older homes there to have furnaces and older forms of heating systems, but I do not want to have to deal with any kind of outdated technology. I will already be putting myself outside of my comfort zone, and there’s no way that I want to have to live without a proper heating system. My husband thinks that I’m a bit over-the-top. He grew up in New England, and he knows that while it may take some adjusting, it’s not that bad, all the time. I don’t think he understands that I am extremely cold natured. I will be depending on my heater all the time to make sure that my mood does not shift. We are going to commit to at least a year of living there, but if I don’t like it I am going to insist that we make a move back, to a warmer place. I am willing to compromise and give about anything a try, but freezing cold weather is something that I have no interest in, whatsoever.

heating

Homeowners and HVAC maintenance

    When I was a kid, my dad always gave me a lot of chores around the house. He wanted to make sure that I knew how to take care of a place so that when I was a homeowner I would be able to do exactly what he had been doing. When I was a kid I did not like my chores, but now I’m grateful that he taught me some valuable lessons. He always made sure that our HVAC system was in top shape. He had me clean out the air filters and coils on a regular basis. My chore calendar was my reminder to get it done before he had to tell me. If ever I forgot, he would get mad at me. He always told me how important it was that we take good care of our air conditioner and heater because we would be miserable without them. He taught me that if I did not keep the air filters changed, the system would start acting sluggish because it had too much dust and dirt in it. Now that I have my own house, I know that he was not just saying this to keep me busy. I have to monitor my HVAC system closely so that it is performing at its highest capacity. This is especially important because I live in a hot region, and having to live without an air conditioner even for a short amount of time would be uncomfortable. I know that my wife appreciates my approach as well. I have my dad to thank for teaching me how to take care of my HVAC unit.

HVAC

This office is way hotter than it should be

I was so nervous for an interview I had last week. It was a position that I genuinely wanted, plus I’m still waiting to find out if they liked me or not. I dressed in my best business attire, plus came fully prepared with everything I needed. I wasn’t going to let anything distract me or get in my way. So I thought. It’s currently the middle of summer, plus when I walked into the office, I realized they didn’t have their air conditioner running. It was terrible. The office was way more muggier than outside, plus much stuffier without any open windows in sight. I began sweating immediately, plus couldn’t figure out why they didn’t have any air conditioning! I was already quite nervous for the interview, so obviously I started to sweat. The lack of air conditioning made the whole situation much worse. I had to wait for about twenty minutes within the lobby because I arrived early so I could mentally prepare myself. As soon as they were ready for me, I was feeling very light headed. When we passed a mirror, I got one good look at myself and was mortified! I looked like a hot sweaty mess! Thankfully, everyone else in the office was covered in sweat and looked irritated. The lady conducting my interview apologized profusely about the wait plus their air conditioning within the building. She told me that they had called a Heating plus A/C repairman, who was supposed to come that afternoon. I hope that I can take that moment as a good sign. Maybe they plan on bringing me back and don’t want me freaking out about their HVAC issues.

cooling unit 

A very hot office

I had an interview last week that I was really nervous for. It was a job that I really wanted, and I am still waiting to find out if I got it or not. I walked in dressed very nicely, fully prepared with everything I needed. Nothing was going to distract me or make this interview go badly. Or so I thought. It is the middle of summer, and when I walked into the office, I realized they did not have air conditioning. It was horrible. The office was even muggier than outside, and much stuffier with no windows in sight. I was absolutely sweltering, and could not believe they did not have A/C. I was already quite nervous and starting to sweat, and the lack of air conditioning made this problem even worse. I had to wait for about twenty minutes in the lobby because I arrived quite early, and by the time they were ready for me, I was basically ready to pass out. I got a quick look of myself in the mirror and was horror stricken because of how sweaty and flushed I was. Luckily, so was everyone else in the office, and my prospective boss apologized profusely for my wait and for the lack of air conditioning in the building. He said they had called an HVAC repairman that morning to come fix the problem, and that it would not be like this for long. I hope I can take that as a good sign that I may be coming back to this building, which means maybe I got the job!

HVAC tune-up 

Shopping Indoors versus Outdoors

It is safe to say I am a huge fan of shopping. I don’t need an excuse like Christmas to shop, I am happy to shop all day and any day. Now, there is a debate on where to shop from indoor malls to outdoor malls. In the summertime I love being able to walk around in the warm summer breeze in shorts or a dress, but the downside to this is when you go from the hot air to the blistering cold air conditioning it takes too long to adjust that you get horrible chills and at the very worst, I almost always get a cold. The stores keep their heating and cooling HVAC systems at an all time low that is so cold, as if they think that attracts people. But, as for me I just would like a balance. The stores tell me they have to control over their thermostat, that the setting all happen through a smart app in their computer system from corporate to generate cost effectiveness and energy efficiency. So, basically, everyone has to learn how to deal with it, since it’s not going to change any time soon! Now, when you go to an indoor mall you are able to balance out your temperatures quite easily since there really is balance of heating and cooling temperatures from the main HVAC unit. The air vents just have balance of temperatures that create a nice comfortable setting. I think I am leaning more towards indoor malls at the moment, rather combat HVAC units and ruin my shopping experience!

A/C system

Elderly and thermostats

I had to find an extra job to offset my college tuition costs that were leaving me with nothing at the end of the month from my day job in between classes. A friend told me about elder babysitting, which basically means you sleep over at their house and are available to them for any needs in the middle of the night. I admit, the sleep isn’t the greatest because you are always worried you won’t hear them if they get out of bed, but it’s better than nothing. The only issue I have taken is with how crazy they are with their thermostat! It seems like they are always fiddling with the box moving the temperatures from high to low, heat to air conditioning. No wonder they are always getting colds, they can settle on a basic temperature. I tried to talk to this lovely woman about what she was feeling and why she couldn’t stop fiddling with her thermostat box, and she told me that some of her meds make her cold and others make her hot at different times of the day. I asked her if she took those same medications daily and she said yes. So, I told her the best idea was to call an HVAC technician out to the house to teach her how to actually program her thermostat to go on and off at the times she is taking her medications according to whether she would be hot or cold. She was shocked that you could do this and couldn’t wait to have this worry put to rest. She was so happy, she gave me a raise!

click here

Back when I couldn’t afford to use the A/C

These days I am very lucky to live in an apartment complex with central air conditioning. The cost of living in this area is actually not too bad and I have a pretty good job that pays me enough to live comfortably. Finally, I have made it out of poverty. I remember a few years back, however, when I lived in the big city in a crappy apartment without central air conditioning. I had a small window air conditioning unit, but I usually refrained from turning it on unless it got super unbearably hot in the room that I was worried about passing out from the heat. Typically, I used to combat the heat by staying hydrated, wearing as few clothes as possible, and keeping the air moving with lots of fans. I also kept my pillowcase in a plastic bag in the freezer until it was time for bed. The cool pillowcase really helped me fall asleep. I thought it was a great idea. I also put up blackout curtains to keep the sunlight from coming in during the day. The curtains themselves kept the light out but they were a light color to be sure that the heat wasn’t actually absorbed. I rarely ever cooked in the summertime to avoid making my apartment too hot. I had a small gas barbeque outside on the little patio and cooked all of my meals with it. Now that I am able to use the air conditioner and afford good meals, I cook all the time. It’s crazy how much my life has changed for the better.

A/C

Fake repair by HVAC technician

I am having a very rough week. We are super busy at work and I am slammed with things to do. My boss is not being very nice to me. I am stressed to say the least. To make matters worse, my air conditioner and heating system appears to be malfunctioning as well. So, I called a local air conditioner and heating system technician to come take a look at it, but he is being very shady. He spent about an hour looking at the air conditioner and heating system and taking notes, then told me there was a problem with the motor or something and charges me $50 to fix it.. Then, the next day, the air conditioner and heating system was still having the same issue. So I call him back, and he said that he’d come right out and look at it again. When he got there he said that this is another issue with my air conditioner and heating system and it will probably be an expensive fix. He said it’s actually the water heater that’s having an issue and that it needs to be replaced. This guy was kind of all over the place and now he wanted to charge me $600 to fix it. I really didn’t have time for this, but I have this strange feeling the guy is trying to scam me into buying a new water heater. So, I was forced to take a day off work and hire another HVAC technician for a second opinion. My boss was so mad at me, but I definitely made the right decision. The HVAC technician said it was an easy fix and there was no need to replace my water heater. He charged me $75 and the system was fixed for good.

HVAC repair

LIFE BEFORE A CENTRAL HVAC SYSTEM

I grew up in a large and very old three story house. The house apparently had a coal furnace when it was built, because the realtor told my parents that the little window in the basement was here coal was shoveled in. When we moved in, it had an oil furnace and radiators in most of the rooms. We lived in a northern state and at that time, few people had air-conditioning. Temperature was a problem in both summer and winter. In the summertime, the kids were mostly outside and our parents spent a lot of time in the finished basement, which stayed fairly cool. All of us suffered at night, however. We used big box fans next to our beds and slept with the windows open. In the wintertime, the problems were different. Since the bedrooms were small, the radiators kept them fairly comfortable, but the rooms on the main floor were large and hard to heat. We didn’t spend much time in the living or dining rooms during the winter, and when we did, we all wore sweaters. The kitchen was a large, eat-in one with no radiator. This room basically relied on heat coming in from the living and dining room radiators, which didn’t even heat the rooms they were in. My mother usually ran the gas stove full-blast with the oven door open so that we could eat without freezing to death. Several years after I had left home, the old oil furnace died and my parents finally had a central heating and air-conditioning system installed. My younger sister was still at home and said this made a dramatic difference in the comfort level of the house, and she was never too hot or too cold anymore. I wish they would have done that years earlier!

gas heater

HVAC repair secretary

 

It seems to me that people in general think that the career of secretary is a simplistic job, hardly! The role of this position is one of the highest ability in multitasking, communication, organization, IT, business administration, scheduling, and the list continues. As one, I think it is the most important position within a company. Without the skills of a top-notch secretary, corporations would crumble and the world as we know it would fail to operate; it is secretaries that provide and afford their bosses all the tedious tasks that are necessary and the backbone to success without them personally having to do it, and in doing so their bosses thrive and achieve acclaim\

This happened recently to me. My boss was hosting a luncheon for 25 Corporate VPs in the Boardroom to discuss a multi-million dollar acquisition. Everything was settled as per the norm. Until an hour prior to the meeting the building’s Central Air Conditioning System went out. The South in August at lunchtime without A/C is a recipe for disaster. My boss immediately walked to my desk and ordered me, “Pam, you have exactly 20 minutes to get one of our maintenance or HVAC repairmen in here and have it fixed before the hour is up!”

Somehow, I’ve turned from ordinary secretary to Minister of Miracles? Fortunately, one of the company’s repairmen was one building over and was able to pop by in ten minutes; unfortunately, he found the problem, but it required a HVAC repairman. He called a company he used and was able to get one of their repairmen there in 20 minutes. Forty minutes had passed and we were playing against the clock. Some of the VPs were starting to arrive and notice the heat. Moments before the meeting began, the air conditioner came on, and the meeting was a success. Everyone cheered at my boss for getting it fixed while he shook the repairman’s hand. Classic case again. This is why nobody recognizes the importance of the secretary.

HVAC unit