I would be fine not using the central heating during the Winter

For the holidays, I spent a week at my parents’ house.

  • And while I was there, I realized how much I don’t like using the heat during the Winter months.

My parents have a two story home and they have a zone controlled HVAC system with 2 separate thermostats. I am glad that the HVAC unit is set up that way because my parents love to sleep with their thermostat set to 80 degrees in the Winter. In my opinion, that is way too hot and it’s always so uncomfortable inside their room. My room is located upstairs and thankfully, I can adjust the thermostat to my liking. On the first night, it was set to 74 degrees, and it was so warm in my room that I could not sleep. I eventually adjusted the thermostat down to 68 degrees, which is the temperature recommended by the Department of Energy. Well, 68 was still too hot, so I lowered the thermostat to 65 degrees. That was a lot more comfortable, but it was warm when the heat cycled on, so I used my ceiling fan to help to keep my room cool while the heat was running. I wish I could have completely turned off the heat, but my uncle and aunt were also staying at the house. I didn’t want them to be uncomfortable while they slept, so I made sure that the central heat would cycle on during the night. I know having central heat is a luxury for many people in this country, but for me, I would be fine without using it during the Winter months.

 

 

Geothermal heat pump

During the Winter, I only rent cabins with fireplaces

My girlfriends and I always plan a yearly trip to the mountains.

We live in a state where the Winters are mild, but we love to escape to experience the colder weather and at times, we love seeing the snow.

On these trips, we rent a cabin in the mountains that usually features luxurious accommodations. They include hot tubs, heating and cooling, fireplace, firepit, game room, stunning views, and more. Our favorite thing to do is to sit around the firepit and roast marshmallows. But there are times when the weather gets too cold, so we crank up the central heating and we light the fireplace for extra warmth. None of us have fireplaces in our homes, so we love to take advantage of them when we rent our luxury cabins in the mountains. There was one year where the central heating broke in the middle of our stay and the owners could not get an HVAC technician out to us in a timely manner, so we used the fireplace to stay warm as well as some space heaters that were inside the cabin. Thankfully, there was plenty of firewood to last us for the rest of the time that we stayed, and the space heaters became our saving grace when we slept. Although losing central heating was a major issue, we had so much fun that year because it forced us to cozy up by the fireplace longer than we normally would. Ever since then, we have always made sure that all our Winter cabins have a fireplace as well as space heaters, just in case the central heating breaks down again.

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Installing a solar-powered heat pump

We added solar panels to our home five years ago and have since been looking to transition to more affordable energy options. Our latest strategy was installing a solar-powered heat pump. Before went bought any new equipment, we made an appointment with the heating company that has always handled our heater maintenance and explained what we were planning to do. Still, we needed to learn more about heating using solar panels. They scheduled us to meet a heating technician from their team who specialized in solar-powered heating and cooling systems, so we knew we’d be in good hands. We planned to have the meeting at our home so that the HVAC professional would inspect what we already had. We explained that we needed a new solar energy heating system since we wanted to limit our electrical energy bills. We already had an efficient system, but the savings it gave us on whole-home heating and cooling were lower than we hoped to achieve in the long term. The heating dealer told us that before the heat pump installation, we’d need to upgrade our existing solar unit and add more panels to ensure that it met the energy demands from heating and cooling. The upgrade was expensive, but the long-term saving on energy costs would be worth the investment. We upgraded and then called the heating industry expert for the installation. We are now almost fully solar-powered, and since the installation, we can assure everyone that solar cooling and heating help with indoor comfort without any failure. We can trace energy savings through the smart thermostat, so we are sure it’s working. Consulting a reliable heating business expert ensured we did not make any mistakes during the transition.

whole home air purification

Replacing a furnace with a heat pump

We built our home ten years ago, and our primary heating source was a furnace, but at the start of 2022, we decided to transition to a heat pump.

We needed new heating equipment, so the heating technician had tabled a heat pump installation as a more energy-efficient option.

The furnace was powered by propane gas which has become very expensive, so we needed a unit that would help with indoor comfort without increasing our energy bills. Our neighbors with a similar house had already transitioned with the help of an HVAC professional from a heating company in our area, and they recommended it. They told us that the new unit handles their home heating needs during winter and keeps the home cool in the summer heat at a lower cost than the furnace. Initially, we were worried about the heat pump’s price, but our heating dealer assured us we would recover the amount spent by saving on energy bills. There was also the probability of getting a tax refund from the energy company after buying it so that we would save some money on equipment costs. We settled on a ductless system and had it installed with a smart thermostat to help us program temperatures in all the rooms. We could buy everything we needed from one heating business that also provided us with a heating industry expert to handle the installation and testing of the unit. It’s been four days since we installed the new system, and we have no complaints. We have only scheduled heater maintenance once a year or when necessary to ensure it retains its optimal condition. Hopefully, we’ll have our tax refund soon.

 

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Heat pump installation for an existing residential home

The HVAC unit in our home was due for a change after nine years of service.

We needed a new heating and cooling system, and it was only reasonable to consult an HVAC professional to learn more about heating and cooling systems. The installation was urgent because the old unit failed at the beginning of winter, and we needed a long-term solution to help with indoor comfort and whole home heating. The heating dealer took us through several options, but we were most impressed by the heat pump, which was a total transformation from what we had before. Before we purchased the new unit, the heating technician had to inspect the entire home to assess the pump size; we’d need to achieve optimum efficiency and the type that would be suitable for us. We left the expert to handle the heat pump installation, which needed to be connected to our existing heating and cooling system and the home’s electric system for the power required to run warm or cool air, depending on the season. The expert from the heating company also installed a smart thermostat which would help in programming the temperatures in the home depending on our needs. That was a plus for us because we have some days away from home during winter when we visit our parents for the holiday season, and we could make the system energy efficient without turning it off. Once the installation was complete, we had the first test to check whether it was working since it was an addition to an existing unit. The final information we got from the heating industry expert was on heater maintenance and how and when it needed to be done to ensure it retained optimum performance and efficacy.

 

More about heating

Why we are using a heat pump for our new home

We are an environmentally conscious couple, so we are keen on how we build our house and what we use to help with indoor comfort. Our main worry was that we couldn’t find a climate-friendly whole home heating solution but consultations with a heating technician led us to settle for a heat pump. The heat pump installation offers a more energy-efficient solution, and we don’t need to use oil and gas, hence a lower carbon footprint. We spent a lot of time with an HVAC professional to learn more about heating and the advances the heating industry has made to ensure that the new heating and cooling solutions are environmentally sustainable. The system would sort our cooling needs in the summer and provide heating during winter without us buying additional equipment if we bought the right one for our home on the first purchase. Our heating dealer also explained the other benefits of pairing the unit with a smart thermostat if we wanted to achieve more energy-saving points. Since we were installing a new system, finding a thermostat compatible with our heat pump-based system was easy. We found both at the local heating business and had them installed. We intend to keep up with heater maintenance to ensure that the system serves us for as long as its intended. The heating company experts were impressed that we are keen on using sustainable solutions in our home since few people had picked up on the option when we did. Any homeowner looking to be part of the solution should consider using heat pumps when changing to new units or building a new home. With the advances in HVAC technologies, you shouldn’t be guilted into using heating and cooling systems in your homes because there are options with a lower carbon footprint.

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HOA in a tizzy over temporary HVAC situation

Let’s start with the fact that there is an HOA rule that no heating and cooling equipment can be seen from the street. While seemingly irrelevant, this seems to be the heart of the problem between me and the HOA. I mean, what’s so terrible about seeing residential HVAC equipment next to a person’s house? I mean we all have residential HVAC so it’s not like we are pretending we don’t. And since we all have very similar versions of the same sort of heating and cooling equipment, what’s so offensive about seeing it from the street? But apparently, there is a rule and my HOA is being super picky about enforcing this rule. This all came about because my son got a little overzealous when it came to trimming a hedge. My kid is 13 and he’s still learning his way around lawn and garden equipment. But the only way we learn is to make mistakes and do things we haven’t done before. So my kid ended up trimming the hedge of a little bit too low and now the heating and cooling equipment can be seen from the street. It didn’t take 24 hours before I had a ugly email sitting in my inbox. The HOA was ready to begin fining me daily until I put up a fence. I wrote back that the hedge would certainly grow back in a few months and I wouldn’t be paying any sort of fine. So now, I’ve ruffled those feathers and they’re coming after me with daily threats to the point where I’m about to turn all this over to my lawyer. I’m all for rules and regulations but I draw the line at being bullied.

 

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Getting dad set with good HVAC

It’s really sort of weird to be looking after my dad a lot more since he decided to move down here.

The man was my idol and has been such a great father to me.

From the great house with central air conditioning and plenty of cool stuff to helping me get through college, that man was always there for me. So, it’s my pleasure to be able to return the favor now that he’s getting up in years. My mom died more than ten years ago so my dad is pretty much used to living on his own. Of course, it was tough for him when mom passed as they were such great partners. But he stayed in the family home until about a year ago. Then it got to the point that it was just too much for him and he decided to upgrade the HVAC equipment and sell it. Dad was also tired of dealing with a winter that took a gas furnace. I live in the south and have since college. So dad decided to get a condo down here and trade that gas furnace in for a heat pump. It’s actually turned out really great to be truthful. I love the fact that I can give back in whatever way I can for all the stuff my dad did for me. He didn’t have to do all the things he did and just helping him out in this stage of life is an honor. One of the first things I did once he move down here was to straighten out his HVAC equipment. The condo came as is and needed an HVAC equipment upgrade. So I had a buddy of mine, who works for a local HVAC company, take care of that and slide me the bill.

digital thermostat

Enjoying my ductless heat pump along with my self sustainability

It’s rather nice to be living off the grid. I’ve been living this sort of lifestyle for just more than two decades. But it’s still always funny the first time somebody comes out to my house. Granted, I live way out in the wilderness so it’s not like I get a ton of visitors anyway. But it’s always funny to see someone’s face when they come into my cabin and realize that I have residential HVAC. I guess they have this idea that I’m going to be some sort of caveman who’s out hunting for food and water. If that were the case I don’t think I would make it out here. No, I planned living sustainably out in the wilderness very carefully. I have a solar array that provides all the electricity that I could possibly need. And the HVAC technology these days is such that I’m able to use a ductless heat pump for air conditioning. When it comes to heating, I don’t need much help since I have a custom wood stove. But I will say it’s nice when I come home from a trip to be able to flip the ductless heat pump over to heating until I get the fire started. But primarily, I really wanted the ductless heat pump simply for the nights during the summer. I can deal with heat and humidity during the day with a fan. But at night, it really does make a difference when I have some air conditioning. So I’m awfully thankful that I get to live sustainably and yet have certain creature comforts like residential HVAC.

Cooling and heating provider

HVAC maintenance is a home essential

All the data and everything I read pointed to the fact that HVAC maintenance is simply essential.

I can simply take a walk around my neighborhood and tell who really care about their home and who doesn’t. It seems so odd to me that anyone fortunate enough to be a homeowner would neglect their responsibilities. I know that there are some essentials when it comes to taking care of my home. And a very big essential is the quality heating and air in my home. When I bought this house, it was my first time being a homeowner. So there was plenty of a learning curve that included replacing the heating and cooling equipment. While I trusted and relied upon the local HVAC company, I still did plenty of research as part of my due diligence process. I’m certainly not going to spend thousands of dollars on something I haven’t fully understood. And when it comes to the heating and cooling inside my home, I wanted to be sure I was getting good quality. But I also really paid attention to what I could do to get the most value from such an essential piece of equipment. And the answer kept coming back to me that it was all about HVAC maintenance. All the data and everything I read pointed to the fact that HVAC maintenance is simply essential. Once the new residential HVAC was installed, I signed up for an HVAC service plan that centers around HVAC maintenance. So it really surprises me when I do go for a walk around my neighborhood to see other HVAC equipment in such poor repair. I’m not really sure how someone could just let something so essential to a family’s comfort go unappreciated and ignored.

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