I just really thought that I could get through one more summer with the old heat pump.
At least that’s what I talked myself into.
I have a small house that I share with a dog and a cat. It’s an older home but I’ve only owned it for a couple of years. When I bought this place, I knew that I would eventually have to replace the HVAC equipment. The heating and cooling equipment were indeed older and had seen better days. It’s just that with the renovation budget being what it is, I really wanted to address other concerns first. Of course, quality heating and air is a major concern. It’s more than a concern really. Residential HVAC is an essential. But the way it was going, I really had hoped to be able to get through to the fall with the old heat pump. Where I live, the heat pump pretty much takes the winter off. There is very little need for heating. In fact, I would rather crank up the space heater to knock out the morning chill rather than flip the thermostat over to heating. When the HVAC technician came out to do the air conditioning tune up prior to the summer heat, he delivered bad news. The heat pump’s days were numbered and another summer wasn’t for sure. But I rolled the dice. Now, I’m halfway into the summer, it’s hot and humid and the heat pump officially died yesterday. It’s going to be a hot stretch for me before a new HVAC unit can be installed.
Where I live, we sort of count down the months that we must spend sweating it out over the summer. It’s four months of really high heat and humidity. But it seems to be a great deal to me. We get a blazing hot summer for four months but then 8 months of perfect weather. That’s a trade off I can make thanks to residential HVAC. If it weren’t for the heat pump and the HVAC cooling it produces, I don’t think I could make it through the summer. It’s just so hot. But that gets me to thinking about all those before me that actually did manage these summers without the benefit of air conditioning. These days, we act as though quality heating and air is a right. For sure, air conditioning is everywhere and you rarely find a home or business without it, if ever. Yet, the facts are that residential HVAC has really only been around for 70 years. I mean, in the scheme of things, that’s really not all that long. For me, I can remember my grandpa giving me a hard time when it got hot in the summer. He’d remind me that we had it far easier with the heat pump than when he was growing up. That man would go on about how he’d have to get up at 3 in the morning just to get out and do the farmwork before the peak heating hours hit. The afternoons, without air conditioning back then, were met with moving as little as possible. You’d find a shady spot and hope for a summer breeze.
It’s really weird to be back in this country for good now.
Over the course of the last 30 years, I haven’t spent much time at all here.
My work has kept me in countries where things like heating and cooling are simply luxuries. But those decades spent helping out and doing what I had a passion for went to some good as those places have come a long way. I’m in my late 50’s now and it’s time to come home. But coming home to a country that I hardly recognize has been quite challenging. I’m staying inside the air conditioning of my parent’s place. One of the reasons I’ve decided to come back was to care for them. They are in their 80’s and are having a hard time looking after themselves. So, as the only child, I felt it was imperative that I come help them. Those two people loved and supported me enough to never complain about me not living here. I tried to come home twice a year to visit and not once was I pressured about what I was doing. Taking care of them is an honor and the right thing to do. But man, is it ever hard to get accustomed to all of this HVAC cooling I encounter everywhere I go. It’s really something to see a country so fully consumed by HVAC technology to the point that almost everyone takes quality heating and air for granted. I have to go outside of the air conditioning sometimes this summer just to get warmed up a bit.
Time sure does fly when you’re having fun.
Or at least that’s the way the saying goes. For me, the last couple of decades have just flown by. I really do think there is a relativity to time. I can remember sitting inside a classroom with the radiant heating pumping and feeling like I was never going to get to be grown up. When you’re a kid, it can feel as though time is just glacial. And then before you know it, the HVAC technician is telling you that it’s time to replace the heat pump. It seems like just a few years ago that my wife and I bought this house and had the heat pump installed. But in fact, it’s been 25 years that the old heat pump provided flawless heating and cooling for our family. Not once did that HVAC unit fail us. Of course, that had a lot to do with the HVAC maintenance in the fall and again in the spring. But we sure got great value and great quality heating and air from that old HVAC unit. Yet, I can hardly stop grinning at the new residential HVAC setup we have going on now. Not only is the new heat pump carrying the highest SEER rating we could find, there is just so much more. Super efficiency aside, we also now have zone controlled HVAC and a smart thermostat that takes care of the whole shebang. I can hardly get over the level of heating and cooling we are experiencing these days. And I’m paying like more than 30 percent less in heating and cooling costs as well.
You know those things that you keep thinking to yourself that you ought to do? I have a very long list of those sorts of chores or wishes.
- And one of those chores can now finally be taken off the list.
After years of thinking about getting the HVAC air ducts cleaned, I finally did something about it. But not before I was just horrified to find out just how incredibly late I was to the ductwork cleaning party. Each spring, the HVAC company sends me an email encouraging me to take advantage of their spring cleaning special. As a member of the HVAC service plan, I get good deals and discounts on other HVAC services and benefits. I love the HVAC service plan mainly because I don’t have to remember to schedule the HVAC maintenance any longer. The HVAC company simply sends me an email with a proposed HVAC maintenance date and I confirm. Otherwise, I think I might for get about the HVAC maintenance all together. I certainly didn’t keep the ductwork cleaning in mind long enough to call for an appointment. It took me sitting at my kitchen table and watching as a ball of dusty grime fell from the air duct and floated it’s way down to rest on the carpet. That got my attention and I called the HVAC company right away. The ductwork cleaning and ductwork resealing was done with care and kindness by the HVAC technicians. But I’m still sort of stunned at the difference ductwork cleaning has made when it comes to the indoor air quality of our home.
zone controlled hvac
Getting back to normal due to the pandemic has been a long road for our family.
My wife has a genetic condition that predisposed her to big risk if she got Covid.
That genetic condition was passed down to our daughters as well. So staying home inside the air conditioning to avoid getting the virus was a big, big part of our lives for the past 2 years. These days, we’re certainly more free and are breathing a lot easier now that the vaccines have greatly reduced the risks of severe Covid. Still, we are just now sort of getting out and getting back to the lives that have been sort of in storage for a long time. In fact, my wife and I enjoyed our first meal outside of the heating and cooling of our house just last week. That was a big step for us and though we were still careful, it was great fun just to eat in a restaurant. The girls have been schooling remotely. That’s been a big change for them and they’re both actually excited about going to school in the fall. And I’m back full time inside the zone controlled HVAC of our offices. I hate to admit it but I really prefer to work from the air conditioning at home. And that goes double since I surprised my family with an HVAC bonus. I had the HVAC professionals come out to tweak our existing HVAC equipment so we now have zone controlled HVAC in the house. And man, is it ever nice to be able to customize the heating and cooling in our home.
I like how the timing of this thing worked out.
In fact, the red hot real estate market in this region was a big reason that we finally decided to sell our family home.
There were plenty of long discussions inside the quality heating and air of our house on whether or not to sell. While we are empty nesters, the kids are still in college. I was sort of worried about selling the family home before they were out on their own. My wife felt the same way so it was not an easy decision. However, as we watched the prices of comparable homes just skyrocket, we just couldn’t miss that party. We new that there would be plenty of things that had to be done to get the house on the market. However, after the first visit from the listing agent, I was surprised that the HVAC equipment was such a big deal. I had no clue just how important update residential HVAC equipment is for selling a home in this region. We deal with a lot of heat and humidity for much of the year. When we bought this house, we just inherited a heat pump that was okay but it was 10 years old. So when we replaced that heat pump, we got what we could afford and it’s been a great HVAC unit. I guess I just assumed that since it’s not quite 12 years old, it’d be inherited by the next owner. But we found a way to recycle the old HVAC unit and upgrade to the latest in HVAC technology. The price we ended up getting for our home is proof positive that we made the right decision on the new residential HVAC.
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It’s just lists and lists and lists in my life.
At least with technology, I can consolidate those lists and have them in my phone.
There was a day where I took my day planner and all those lists to the office where I spent all day inside the quality heating and air of work. But then, I would carry two other small notebooks for household chores and family schedule stuff. I put all those away several years ago and it’s just one less thing to keep track of. But then again, I wouldn’t make it without lists. I’ve tried but important stuff tends to slip through the cracks unless I write it down. That was definitely true when it came to the HVAC unit. It’s funny how the heating and cooling inside our homes can go so totally unnoticed. I guess I notice the heating and cooling when I need more or less of it and change the thermostat. Yet, I don’t think I’ve really ever fully considered the fact that heating and cooling in our home is simply essential. This is not like getting a new shirt. Quality heating and air is something I need and my family needs. We’re lucky to live in a region where the heating part of the HVAC isn’t all that intense. But the summer requires lots of air conditioning so it’s really important for me to make changing the air filter a priority. So I now always make sure that the heating and cooling chores are tops on the list I have in my phone.
I like the fact that we added central air conditioning a decade ago.
This was something my wife had wanted for a long time but I resisted.
Just didn’t make any sense to me really. We live in a part of the country where the summer heat is the least of our HVAC worries. It’s always the and forever the winter that I’m trying to get ready for. Having a couple of months in the summer where you might need HVAC cooling just didn’t rank very high on my list of heating and cooling priorities. For years, I’d just put in a window air conditioner or two for those times it gets hot around here. And really it’s the peak heating hours of the day that are the problem. By the time the evening rolls around, the temperatures normally drop considerably and we sleep well. But I have to say, I’ve come to appreciate the HVAC cooling of the central air conditioning much more in recent years. All that HVAC cooling and humidity control sure does feel nice. And it’s sort of ironic that I’m enjoying the air conditioning so much as a result of near constant efforts to prepare for heating. Of course, we have a great gas furnace in our home but there is also a wood stove. The wood stove acts as both an emergency heating method as well as a supplementary one. It helps me rein in the HVAC heating costs. But it sure does require a lot of work. So having that air conditioning when I come in from cutting firewood is really very nice and I’m glad I finally listened to my wife.
I’m the sort of person who tries to approach life in a glass half full sort of way.
So the fact that it’s almost the end of July is a positive when it comes to heat season being over.
In this region, June through September means lots of HVAC cooling just to manage the levels of heat and humidity. For sure, that pair can wear a person down over the course of four months. So that’s why I look at being near the halfway point of summer as a good thing. Instead of looking at it as having 2 more months of max air conditioning, I look at it as we’re just that much closer to having the best 8 months of weather anywhere I’ve ever lived. Though without the heat pump, there’s no doubt that living here would be just the toughest thing ever. The temperatures stay hovering near a hundred degrees day after day. And that alone would be tough but then you factor in the wet blanket of moisture in the air and it just doubles the misery outside. That humidity can be a real back breaker indeed. Thankfully, the heat pump takes care of that while cooling off our homes. Residential HVAC is a process of moving heat energy out of the house so cooler air can replace it. But as that heat energy is being exhausted out of the house, the heat pump is also balancing the humidity levels. With HVAC cooling from the HVAC equipment, it’s like getting a two for one in the summer. And believe me, around here that is greatly appreciated.
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