Old Home Place Becomes New with HVAC Makeover

The installation was not cumbersome because there are no ducts required.

An Uncle died recently and left me his big but old house. I really wasn’t certain what to do with it. I had an architect friend come look at it. He felt strongly that the bones of the house were quite structurally sound. The rest of it was a wreck. There really wasn’t anything to save from the interior of the home. I thought long and hard but decided to renovate the home with a specific idea in mind. I’ve had some really good fortune in my life so I decided I wanted to pay that forward a bit. I’m retired early so I decided to live in the house while I renovated. My first target was the HVAC or the lack there of. The house was old and had a giant boiler in the cellar. The only cooling was delivered by some decrepit window air conditioning units and ceiling fans. The fans I kept but the rest I yanked out. An HVAC contractor came out to persuade me to think about going with some newer technology that would go right along with my overall idea for the house. He suggested I put in multi split heating and cooling unit throughout the house. This way each section with one of the multi split units would be independent of the other. The installation was not cumbersome because there are no ducts required. I loved the idea. See, I have extended family all around in this area who have a hard time getting by. The way I renovated the house would allow for several apartments that can be occupied by members of the family who are a bit down on their luck. The multi split HVAC plan suited this perfectly.

Air conditioning maintenance

Zoned HVAC Cools a Workout

There doesn’t seem to be a really good explanation for why I get moved around the house like a homeless guy.

Nobody wants me around.

My kids think I’m just an embarrassment. All I hear from them is go find somewhere else to be Dad. You’re harshing our style or something to that effect. I’m not super sensitive so I just shuffle off to somewhere else. And then I get kicked out of there too. It’s particularly bad when I want to get a bit of a workout. I can’t find anywhere permanent for my exercise equipment. I keep going from room to room. The biggest complaint I hear is that I turn the A/C down too low to cool off just the room I’m working out in. I decided to take action and put my Dad foot down a little bit. I have an office that gets invaded by craft supplies or laundry or whatever. I moved all that stuff out and I called the HVAC guy. He came out and installed a mini split heating and air system in my office. It’s my office because it is the most uncomfortable room in the house. It is set off a bit so doesn’t get great HVAC flow. The mini split system is perfect. Not only have I reclaimed my office but I have put all my exercise stuff in there permanently. Now, I can set the temperature in my office any way I want. The mini split is completely separate from the rest of the HVAC in the house. No more getting shooed away for old Dad.


heating provider

Right Effort Wrong Result with HVAC

It never ceases to amaze me that I somehow get punished for trying to do the right thing.

The whole things seems completely backward to the way things should work.

Attempting to do the correct thing comes in many forms for sure. There can be many unconscious good actions as there are conscious attempts. It makes sense to me that we all have this sort of innate center inside that helps us determine the good choices. And still it can go oh so wrong. I am a shining example of this paradigm. I honestly try to do the best by everyone but still end up on the wrong side of the situation. Just recently, I attempted to do the smart thing with my HVAC unit. The furnace shut off abruptly the other day. I decided to take a look before placing a service call. Maybe that was the wrong move right off the bat. However, I figured that if something was obviously wrong I could fix it myself. Right away, I saw a burned out valve switch so I decided to replace it. I went straight to the hardware and got help finding the replacement part. Got home and replaced the faulty part. Easy right? Well, no because a few months later the furnace shut off with a horrible sound. The part I used was not of OEM quality so it failed and effectively burned up my furnace. Now, I’m fighting with the warranty people because the warranty stipulates OEM parts installed by certified professionals. I once again got punished for trying to do the right thing.

Cooling install

Heating and Cooling Control is a Must

I look at the state of affairs in this world and I feel like there is less and less that we can do to actually control what happens in our lives.

Good jobs are scarce and people seem to be resigned to idiots running things on the planet.

I think back to what I made coming straight out of college and it just floors me. Now, I barely can make the equivalent. Having a nice house and a car were simply a given back then. Now, it’s a struggle to hold onto these types of things. I have seen my wife and I cut back on literally everything in our budget. Thank God we don’t have children. I work from home now and my wife commutes to a job an hour away. Our roles have reversed from when we first married. I’m now the one who sets the HVAC appointment or does the cooking and the cleaning. I don’t really mind and I’m certainly not complaining. But, I will also resist with all my might on a few things. If I have to spend the majority of each day in my house then I sure won’t do it uncomfortably. There is no way I’m putting the thermostat at 85 during the heat of the day. I mean I want to save as much money as the next guy but I’m not going to sweat through my shirt to accomplish it. I have tried the middle path on this. I keep the thermostat at 78 and then I put a small fan on me while I work at my desk. Things are changing with great speed and we all are doing the best we can to roll with it. But, I’m going to hold onto to that HVAC control.

a/c tune up

Welcoming a New HVAC to the Family

This day has been coming for the longest time.

It is no shock whatsoever but it carries with it a bit of sadness as well.

No, it’s not my kid going off to college. Actually, we are replacing the HVAC system that came with our home. I feel almost like I’m saying goodbye to a loyal friend and ally. That heating and cooling equipment has looked over me and my family for nearly two decades. And, now we must welcome a new heating and cooling system to the fold. The old unit was the best during its heyday. We were always very careful to be sure it got the seasonal maintenance it needed every year. Obviously, this was a good plan because the thing lasted nearly twenty years. But, the efficiency isn’t there anymore and it the service calls are getting to be more and more frequent. Time for a new HVAC unit. I had our HVAC pro come out to give us an assessment. He spent plenty of time taking measurements and asking me probative questions regarding our heating and cooling needs. At the end of all that he came up with three options for a replacement. The HVAC contractor was great about showing us the differences in each unit and the pricing was very clear and fair. We all sat down over some lemonade to make the decision. It didn’t take long to come to a consensus and our new HVAC model was chosen. It will be some weeks before the new unit gets to the dealer and an install date is scheduled. So, I still have a few weeks to say goodbye to my trusted HVAC unit.

ductless HVAC

Strange Sounds from My HVAC Unit

I don’t know if comes with growing up in the country but, my hearing is pretty good.

It might come from being able to determine a certain sound from the cacophony of bugs, birds and frogs.

I can remember closing my eyes and really tuning my hearing in to a certain sound to locate and recognize it. Whatever it is, it sure has come in handy as an adult. I’m always the first one to hear something wrong with the car as we’re traveling down the road. I’m usually met with a chorus of boos but ultimately I’m right. Apparently, it is not the most endearing of qualities for some reason. Last week, I heard what I could only describe as a very faint hissing sound. It sort of came and went but I kept hearing it. Curious, I started searching through the house for the source of this hiss. I couldn’t find it inside so I went to checking the perimeter of the house. When I came to the HVAC unit, I found the source of the hissing. It was almost not audible over the rest of the noise but I knew I was hearing it. I called the HVAC pros to come take a look at the condenser unit outside because I thought it had some sort of leak. The HVAC tech said there was indeed a leak. He found a small rupture in the refrigerant line. He told me that while it was a small leak, it could have been much worse had I not caught it. The HVAC tech refilled the refrigerant and went on his way. I knew this supersonic hearing was a blessing of sorts.
Zone control

There is Plenty You Can Do to Hold Down that Utility Bill

Saving money is up there with all the other great sensations of life.

  • I go out of my way to find deals and I find it to be almost thrilling.

Pretty lame when a grown man gets a thrill from finding a good deal. But, it’s accurate. I wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I threw money all over the place at whatever I wanted. I set the thermostat at whatever setting I pleased and paid whatever it cost to do so. Then the economy went to pieces and the last 15 years have been dramatically different money wise. It has been a bit of a tough transition but now I see the fun in saving money. The summer where I live is really hot. And now, I work from home so I need the air conditioning on a great deal. This translates to a steep energy bill every month during peak heat season. I figured out that it was better to be proactive and do all I could to help lessen the load on the HVAC system. My first purchase was solar film. This stuff is excellent and actually fairly easy to work with as well. I put it on all the windows that get direct sun during the day. I could tell right away the difference it made in reducing the ambient temperature. I also added a smart thermostat to the mix. This thing has amazed me with its ability to manage the HVAC system so much better than I ever could. The temp gets raised during the peak usage hours so, I have incorporated fans to my office to trick me into thinking I’m cooler than I am. There are plenty of ways to trim that utility bill.

More info here

Don’t Risk Your HVAC System Over Seasonal Maintenance

I seem to always be cancelling my HVAC appointments.

The appointment gets made weeks and weeks in advance but something always seems to come up.

Then I have to cancel the HVAC maintenance only to forget to reschedule later. I tend to rationalize my behavior by thinking state of the art heating and cooling systems shouldn’t need so much maintenance. That statement rings particularly hollow to my right now. Just days ago, while I was in a dreamless sleep, the furnace made the most hideous sound before shutting off. None of my efforts to restart it were fruitful. I so bitterly cold outside that I knew I couldn’t wait until the next day to do something about it. So, I picked up the phone to place my very first emergency service call for my HVAC system. I wasn’t sure what would happen when the heating and air pro arrived. Would he be angry or have that “I told you so” look on his face. It didn’t matter because the house was getting colder and colder by the minute. The knock on the door came within the hour. I opened the door to find a cheerful and wide awake HVAC technician. He waived off all the apologies coming from my family and got to work. I was amazed by this guy’s attitude. What a professional disposition. The good feelings didn’t last much longer though. He handed me the bill and my jaw dropped open. The repair was expensive and when added to the emergency fee it was a bit overwhelming. The HVAC tech also pointed out that had I rescheduled the seasonal HVAC maintenance, the faulty part would have been caught and replaced.


Allergies Are Held at Bay by Whole House Air Purifier

This lasted about 45 minutes and then he came to a conclusion

The older I get, the less my body wants to cooperate. I remember years and years ago as my Dad was entering his 50’s, he told me that getting old just sucks. He hadn’t taken very good care of himself so I could see how he was struggling with physical limitations. However, ageing catches up with us all. Throw in all the other cultural changes happening all around us and it does make one’s head spin a bit. I do my best to keep up but there are some limitations. I notice that my allergies are far more tough now than they were 20 years ago. I work from home so, I’m in the HVAC all the time for about 5 months of the year. The heat where I live is so prevalent that the air conditioning runs half the year. So, I breathe a lot of the same air over and over again. I’ve done my best to mitigate this by inserting the very best air filter I can find. However, it just doesn’t seem to be enough lately. I called the local heating and cooling company I use to see if they might have an answer to my allergy problem. The certified HVAC tech came out to my house the very next day. He was on time and super organized. I felt immediately at ease knowing this heating and air professional would be helping me with my problem. The HVAC tech spent plenty of time going through my home taking readings with several different instruments. This lasted about 45 minutes and then he came to a conclusion. The HVAC pro suggested that I install a whole house air purifier to which he would add a humidifier component. He felt that this would be all I need to have the cleanest, most breathable air possible.


heating and cooling

Ventilating That Stinky Garage

I open the door to my garage and I am hit with a wall of the most noxious fumes and smells.

It’s my own fault.

I let my garage slip from my fingers into the hands of the wife and kids. I fought the good fight over the basement workshop that I wanted. But, I lost out in the end to a pet washing station. Clearly, the priorities of my family are a bit skewed when it comes to old Dad. Then, I went to war to keep the home office from becoming a junk room. Lost that battle too. But the garage, I just didn’t see it coming. I really didn’t notice until it was too late. There is no HVAC ductwork in the garage. The air is just fetid. It’s a mixture of paint, lawnmower stink, grease, car exhaust and various other stuff that gets chucked out there. The car now spends more time in the driveway than in the garage. Just to get the car to fit takes 20 minutes of rearranging all the junk that has accumulated in there. I knew I had to do something about this or it would just end up in complete chaos. The garage was going to stay in dad’s perview. I had the HVAC tech take a look at the situation while he was out doing the seasonal maintenance on our heating and cooling system. He said since we didn’t have any CO2 emitting appliances in the garage, a small vent would work very well. I went online and purchased a little vent fan that I installed in the exterior wall. It works wonderfully. No more horrible mixture of smells. This is the first step in taking back my garage.

Gas fireplace