I’m way colder than I want to be

What’s better in the summer then weekend trips to the beach?  Not much.  Our three kids loved those trips – the house was compact, the yard was wooded and the bay was near.   On Saturdays, we’d go to the farmer’s market for fresh fruits and veggies, and, yes, ice cream for the kids.   Even in the fall, there was the definite pull of the country to entice us to make the drive out there.  I guess I’m the full time country girl, because I was perfectly happy to continue going out there even in the winter.  Since we had an old VW at the house, I could pack the kids into the bus from the city on a Friday and rest the whole way out there.  I would arrange for a taxi to take us  out the last five miles and once there, quite late in the night, I’d get the kids into their beds and really start to relax.

One such trip did not go off without a hitch.  Or, a few hitches.  I got the kids into the house and immediately turned the thermostat up.  No sound from the furnace.  I turned the thermostat up a little more.  I still didn’t hear the furnace kick in.  I gave it a few more minutes, but I had to admit to myself that in February, no heat in the house is a real problem.  I picked up the telephone to call the local HVAC emergency number.  There was no dial tone.  OK, no heat, no phone, next:  the faithful old car in the driveway.  I got it started and waited to be able to push in the choke and go get the kids.  While I waited, the engine sputtered to a full stop.  No gas.

Okay.  No heat, no phone, no car.  But we had blankets and quilts.  And the kids were still in their snowsuits. So this was going to be a “three dog night.”  We cozied up to sleep and I dreamed about the warming sunlight that the morning would bring.

So, remember, for summer at the beach, you need towels, beach toys, fresh fruit and veggies.  But for winter, you need heat, a phone line, and gas in old faithful.  Make sure you check all three before you make the trip.  And get the furnace checked before the onset of winter!

gas heater 

Going on a visit

Come summer, the whole family was anxious to hit the beach!  The kids would each gather his or her favorite “stuffy” and climb into the car.  The little one had all sizes of  stuffed bears and she’d always take the biggest one.  The drive was usually uneventful.  When winter rolled around, I’d yearn to be out at the beach house, despite the cold.   I guess being out of the city was pretty important to me.  So often I’d take the kids and head out, snowsuits instead of stuffies.  There was an old sturdy car out at the house, so we’d take the city bus and I’d arrange for a taxi for the last five miles to the house.  By that time, It would be pretty late, so  my last chore was taking three sleeping children into their beds.

One year, in February, it was a  particularly demanding trip.  I raised the temperature on the thermostat and put the kids on their beds, still in the snowsuits and waited for the heat.  And I waited.  And waited.  I picked up the phone to call the emergency number for the local HVAC dealer, but there was no dial tone.  Then I  went outside to start the old sturdy car to drive over to a friend’s, if only to use her phone (no cell phones at the time).  Within three minutes, the car stopped – it had run out of gas.    

No panic, at least we had a roof over our heads.  The better part of valor was to keep the kids with me and get some sleep.  I brought every blanket and quilt into the living room and we settled down on the floor to await the day.  It was quite an adventure and I mentally made up a new checklist for any future winter trips to the beach house.  Leave “Old Sturdy” with at least a half a tank of gas.  Check the phone line before leaving the city. And, make sure the furnace is inspected every fall.

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I’m excited to head out for the winter

Our whole family enjoyed going to the shore in the summer.  We’d pack the youngsters up to drive out with all the squealing kiddos anxious to hit the beach the next afternoon.  More than anyone else, I’d miss being out there in the winter too.  Sometimes I felt I needed a break from the city and I’d make the trek out there with my kiddos dressed for the worst blizzard the east coast could ever see.  Since we had a car at the shore house, we’d take the bus from the city and have a taxi meet us at the bus stop when we arrived.  We’d get to the house about 11 pm and the trick was getting the kids from the taxi into their beds without waking them.

One trip turned out to be memorable.  I let the kids sleep in their snowsuits so the furnace could warm up the house. ramp up.  After more than a half hour, there was no evidence of heat and I noticed I couldn’t hear the furnace.  I started to become nervous and tried to call the the Heating & A/C corporation.  This was before the time of cell phones and I was really upset when I couldn’t get a dial tone.   I headed for the trusty old car in the driveway, thinking I’d take the kids to a neighbor’s.   I started it to get it warmed up and went in for the kiddos.  By the time I returned the engine was off – the car had run out of gas.

So camping out became the name of the game.  We bundled up on the living room floor with every blanket and quilt in the house.  The kids slept.  I barely slept.  My lessons from this trip:  Never leave the old car without at least half a tank of gas.   Now that we have cell phones, make sure it is charged.  Get the app that monitors the thermostat.  Leave the city earlier in the day.    Finally, have your Heating & A/C company in to look at the furnace every fall.home comfort

Heading to the shore

Our whole family enjoyed going to the shore in the summer.  We’d pack the kids up and drive out with three squealing little kids all ready to hit the beach the next day.  In the winter, I’d miss being out there more than anyone else, and every once in awhile, when I felt like I needed a break, I’d make the trek out there with the kids looking like stuffed dolls in their winter snowsuits.  We’d take the bus from the city, and as we were the last ones off the bus, the driver would wait for our taxi to arrive.  We’d arrive about 11 pm ready to hit the beds.

One time, things didn’t work out so well.  I’d left the snow suits on the kids so the heat could ramp up, but after a half hour, no heat.  Then, an hour, still no heat.  Now concerned, I picked up the phone to call the HVAC company.  No dial tone.  I went outside and started the old faithful bug to drive over to a friend’s.  After I thought the bug was warmed up, I went in to get the kids.  When I returned, the car had stopped running.  No gas.

So Plan B was to bring every quilt into the living room, and still leaving the snow suits on the kids, I gathered them up and we cozied up on the floor to await the daylight.  The moral of this story is:   Make sure the extra car has gas in it.  Check the phone line before coming out in the winter, or better yet, get the new app which connects your smartphone to the thermostat.  And, most importantly, have your HVAC company do the regular pre-winter maintenance call to make sure your system is working properly.

heater service plan 

What a SEER rating means

Investing in something as important and costly as a heating and cooling system, it is important to consider a number of factors. First of all, the HVAC technician or contractor hired to complete the heating and cooling installation is an incredibly important consideration. Secondly, understanding a bit about the system you are about to purchase is also important. When it comes to investing in a great heating and cooling system, one of the most vital considerations is energy efficiency. There are ratings when it comes to dealing with energy efficiency in regard to heating and cooling systems and equipment. Many of these readings have easy acronyms so that they can be identified, like SEER and EER. Smart thermostats are also an amazingly simple addition to any home, due to the fact that they essentially automatically increase the energy efficiency of heating and cooling system. It is quite straightforward to go ahead and monitor the efficiency of an HVAC system with a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats these days come with an app that is accessible via smart device. The smart thermostat settings can be arranged so that a home’s heating and cooling system automatically adjusts based on the preference of the household. Another great way to ensure energy efficiency in an HVAC system has to do with something called a reminder light. A reminder light can alert the homeowner to any potential system malfunctions. This light indicates that maintenance is recommended, thereby ensuring that the HVAC system does not continue to run inefficiently as a system with an issue. There are a number of ways to ensure that a heating and cooling system is energy efficient. Paying attention to ratings, installing a smart thermostat, and investing in a reminder light are only a few suggestions.


Searching for the right gift

My parents have to be the hardest people on the planet to shop for. Whenever I ask my parents what they would like for their birthdays, any holiday, or their anniversary, they always tell me that they have everything they could possibly want. They tell me to save my money and make sure I paid my rent on time. How am I supposed to be a good child if they won’t even let me spoil them now that I have a steady job? I have been paying my rent steadily for the past five years! This year, I vowed to find a really special present for my parents when their anniversary swung around. A nice card and some expensive chocolate we’re not really their thing. I knew that if I took them out to a fancy dinner, they would also think that I was wasting my money on something frivolous. I knew that their anniversary gift had to be something valuable, but practical. Finally, I figured out the perfect gift. I was browsing the shelves at a local electronic store when I just so happened to see the latest model of a great brand of smart thermostat on the shelf. That was when it hit me. I would give my parents a smart thermostat for their anniversary! A new smart thermostat would not only increase the energy efficiency of their current heating and cooling system, but it could potential he also save them quite a bit of money when it came to their regular heating and cooling bills. I was thrilled to have found the perfect gift for my wonderful parents.

heater repair 

A very new HVAC system

My old house has desperately been in need of some upgrades over the course of the past few years. I’ve been hoping to make some of the changes during that time, but other issues have always seemed to take priority. First of all, I had a medical bill for my cat to pay. Then, my car was completely totaled in an unexpected accident a few months ago. That is just the way life works sometimes, I guess. This summer, however, I was thrilled to finally receive a bonus from my employer. The bonus that I received meant that I could finally make some of the necessary renovations to my home! The first thing I did was contact my local heating and cooling company. The HVAC system in my old house has been declining for a long time. I knew that I needed to make some upgrades to the heating and cooling system, so I immediately asked for the most experienced HVAC technician available. HVAC technician came up to my house and evaluated my property as well as my needs and budget. After that, we sat down to talk about a number of heating and cooling options for the home. I knew that I wanted to install an energy efficient, possibly environmentally friendly solution. The HVAC technician knew that my budget was based on the bonus I just received. Since the bonus was actually fairly sizable, they technician suggested that I think about installing a geothermal heat pump. The initial cost would be steep, but the costs to follow in terms of heating and cooling bills would be significantly cheaper. In addition, I would be heating and cooling my home with the latest in HVAC technology. Needless to say, I now own a great new geothermal heat pump.

heating and air 

Ductwork sealing in my house

I have been living in our new home for a couple of years now, and there have always been small troubles with the property that I’ve worked hard to sort out. Every time it seems just like one issue is fixed, another one hastily comes around. For example, there were wiring concerns when I first got in made the lighting extremely horrible and caused dangerous electrical shortages. Then there was a cockroach infestation problem. Finally, both of us had a family of rodents moving activity into the attic at some time in the day. After this I noticed that our Heating and A/C device was not performing as well compared to its aged rate of efficiency. When the furnace and AC didn’t seem to be giving out enough temperature controlled air to fill the house, I kept trying to add more insulation to our new home, thinking that there was hot and chilly air escaping from the holes in it, however none of these patches made any difference in the overall air quality, and I found myself finally making a the needed call to the local Heating and A/C repair shop in town. A well off heating and cooling specialist was at our new home sooner than expected, and the HVAC man immediately cleared our furnace and air conditioner from any blame in this added air quality problem. After looking around for quite a while both of us were in the attic, the HVAC tech finally came back down and had an answer for me.

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If I have decent heating-Winter

I am one of the many people who can say with certainty that they don’t completely despise the winter time. I of course do not take pleasure in the obvious pitfalls such as consistently being way too cold outside, the horrible traffic jams in snowstorms, and scraping all the ice from my windshield after a  long day of working. But I substantially enjoy what the season really symbolizes. I feel people are always at their kindest and best within the month of December for Seasonal Holidays, and celebrating a brand new  year in January always lifts up the spirits in a major way. I love a nice fireplace and a big cozy blanket wrapped around me during a movie night. But that’s the catch there in it. As long as I am sufficiently warm and have the heat on high enough, I am happy. People are happier inside the winter months when they are inside within the heat in their homes. They use words like “hate” when mentioning being outside in the frosty weather. A decent HVAC system will  make for all of the difference in the world within the cold winter months. The heat pumped up as high as anyone around me will allow it to be set is the best feeling ever in those months in which the icicles dangle from the lofty rooftops, and you slide all around on the black ice you don’t really see on the streets. Happiness in the winter time is normally from the heat in one’s home, so be sure to get your HVAC system fully inspected before the cold winter months.

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Always get a bad HVAC professional

My family and i are the very sad owners associated with an extremely aged HVAC system. We normally will need to have the system addressed at least twice year after year. We would probably have many more terrible problems with our HVAC system, except for the point that we take part in regularly scheduled tune-ups. We also make sure to regularly switch out the air filters in our home HVAC system. Last month, the furnace and our HVAC system was not heating that well. I contacted my local HVAC contractor, and they sent a technician out the same  day. It was a weekend day, so we got an HVAC technician that my family had not seen before. This individual looked terribly disheveled, and smelled horribly of bourbon. Though he was speaking without any kind of slur, my wife and I easily could tell that he was very  drunk. I contacted the HVAC business office, but no one in the place answered. The HVAC technician possessed his own tool belt, and wanted to see our faulty furnace. I didn’t really know what to do by this point, so I allowed the HVAC technician to enter my garage. He nearly tripped immediately out of the door, so I was immediately alerted to his situation. I decided to ask him if he needed to rest, while my wife tried for the HVAC Office once just like we did before. This time, someone gratefully answered the device. We explained what was going on with the HVAC technician, and informed them that our technician seemed intoxicated. A few seconds later, the technicians cellular phone started to ring. We could not hear their specific conversation, but he immediately said he had to leave our home and apologized for what happened.

HVAC professional