Winter has been my least favorite time of the year since I was a small child. There are few things worse than walking down the driveway at dawn, and realizing that you have to scrape ice and snow off your car or truck. I’m almost always late for work after a snowfall, because it takes so long to clear off the windshield. The cold temperatures drop below zero routinely, and sometimes there are even winter weather advisories warning people not to go outside. I don’t snowboard or tube or ski, because I hate to even think about being that cold. All of my friends love skiing, and always beg me to go to the chalet with them. They tell me that the ski lodge always has the furnace running, along with a huge open fireplace. If I didn’t want to ski, I could at least hang out afterwards and have drinks. Every time they inquire, I find a reason to need to stay home For me, it wouldn’t matter if the lodge had a dozen fireplaces and the biggest furnace money can buy. I would still have to leave my nice, warm dwelling, and go out in the cold to get there. If all I’m going to be doing is sitting near a fireplace, I can easily let that happen at home. Because I am always so cold, I wanted a competent way to stay warm. My HVAC provider recently installed a gas fireplace in the den, which saves money on my utility bills, and is a hugely reliable heat source. There is absolutely no guarantee that the HVAC system in the ski lodge will work appropriately, but thanks to my HVAC provider, I definitely know that my heating system at home will work well.
About seven years ago, my uncle was riding an old dirt bike and fell and went into a coma. He woke up after almost a week, and, although my aunt had taken really good care of him, he treated her really badly. They ended up filing for a divorce and she took their son. He can’t really take care of himself. My grandfather has begun to forget his way home, which is always a marker of where they’re just at in their mental state, therefore, that isn’t good. My aunt suffers from MS, and is currently can’t live by herself. This left my grandmother the job of taking care of them, the HVAC bills, car bills, housing bills, and herself. Living so many hours away from her has been one of the saddest feelings I’ve ever felt because I want to help her so much. I can’t imagine how hard she’s struggling financially. She has a lot of room, and she is always there when she’s not helping someone else out. I am happy that my grandmother has such a good HVAC system and would be scared to death in the event that at any reason she didn’t have the money for it anymore. That HVAC allows her to be warm and cold whenever she’s stranded in her house making sure everyone showers and eats. She’s a God send for her family and she’s gotten old. She recently had to start her first job in almost twenty-eight years simply to pay her bills. My mom has sent her money, probably for her HVAC, but I feel so horrible. Our house isn’t big enough to take in everyone or I bet my mom would.
I got a part time job in the summer working at a small restaurant that had a smoker. I wanted full time but they said that I would be working the smoker and that I really wouldn’t want full-time. I was confused by this and even a bit more confused when I showed up for my first day of work and was told that a coworker and I would be working the smoker in shifts. I was confused until it was my turn to be on the smoker. The summer heat, combined with working next to the smoker was overwhelmingly hot. Within my first two hours, I didn’t think I would be able to do this job since I was actually sweating faster than I could drink water. My coworker arrived at rotate with me and I was directed to the employees’ break room. This room was lightly air conditioned. It was explained to me that they didn’t like us walking from extreme heat into extreme cold because it might shock our systems. It also worked out in the restaurant owner’s favor not to run the air conditioning as high as it could go and saving some money on electric. As time continued, with plenty of A/C breaks, I found myself growing acclimated to working the smoker and being in the sweltering heat. I know that soon the days will get colder and I have been told that hours will drop since the owners won’t really need us to rotate to take air conditioned breaks anymore.
Last week, the town where my sister lives got hit with a massive winter blizzard. While she is used to the brutal temperatures and several inches of snow, this storm was especially brutal. The high winds knocked down all the tree limbs in her yard, and caused whiteouts on all the highways. It was so cold, that there was a great deal of ice buildup. This affected the power lines, and there was a loss of electricity throughout the town. All of the utility companies worked long hours, but there was clearly such extensive damage, that people were without power for over a week. My sister was very thankful to possess a backup generator. She was the only house on the market with lights, running water, in addition to heat. Many people needed to drive several hours to find a place with power. At her house, she ran the furnace and appliances without problem. She invited quite a few of her neighbors over to stay with her during the blizzard. Although purchasing and installing a backup generator is expensive, it definitely saved her a substantial amount of money that week. She could actually continue with everyday life, avoid the cost of a hotel, and remain safe and warm. Just being able to operate the heating system was a lifesaver for her. There was no chance in surviving such extreme temperatures without a working furnace. By keeping her property comfortable and warm, she was in a position to prevent her water pipes from freezing. She is going to get a lot of use out of that generator, and she should be thankful to have one.
As I started training for my longest race ever, I was really nervous. This would be the longest race I’d ever finished. I trained with my sister for the race during the final weeks. The race went above several bridges, then through a lot of neighborhoods, through the woods, then finally in front of our soccer field. The race started bright and early at 8. I ran pretty well for my first 10k or so, but then needed to slow up. I needed to store my energy. I was trying to judge if I had enough to make it over that last bridge. As I ran and reached the top, I figured that I had less than a tenth of a mile left. I wanted to make good time, so I started sprinting. As I was sprinting, I realized that I had more than I thought left. I still had almost half a mile to go. By the end of that half mile, I was overheated and my legs were about to give out. The race officials had to take me to a private tent with air conditioning, so that I could cool down. It took almost a half-hour sitting directly next to a good fan with air conditioning blowing on me, before I could leave and go home. I stayed home with my thermostat set really low and relaxed. It was definitely an interesting first long distance race!
Vacation can be a great time, but every once in awhile, vacations come with a whole bunch of problems. When I was growing up, we went on a vacation where absolutely everything went wrong. First, one of the trailer tires popped while we were in our first hour of driving. Second, my brother dumped his milk container over, and even though we tried to wash it out, the back of the trailer smelled exactly like spoiled milk for days. Third, a giant hail storm swept through, and a piece of ice cracked one of the trailer’s windows. The worst event was when the heater and air conditioner in the trailer stopped working. We could deal with the lack of air conditioning during the day, because we kept all the windows wide open, and driving created a nice breeze. We definitely could not deal with the lack of a heater, though. We were driving through mountains, and that climate goes through drastic shifts at night. It was so freezing during the nighttime that we were all shivering too hard to sleep. My dad brought the trailer to a mechanic who specialized in HVAC equipment on cars. We knew we might have to wait a day or two for the replacement parts to arrive, so we headed back to the campsite for another chilly, sleepless night. We didn’t keep a space heater in the trailer, so we wrapped up inside every blanket, sleeping bag, and item of clothing we could find in order to generate some heat. The next day, the mechanic successfully replaced the HVAC unit, and our trailer had heating and air conditioning once again. All the repairs made that trip really difficult, but the best repair was definitely the heater and the air conditioner.
Last weekend, my best friend turned twenty-five, and she arranged for all of us to go to dinner in the city. It sounded like a great time, and I really love the city, but that weekend was so horribly hot. The news stations were broadcasting heat advisories, telling people to stay inside and out of the heat. Even at 9am in the morning, the temperature outside was 91 degrees. It’s difficult for me to handle the heat, and I get easily irritated. I took a quick, freezing cold shower, but as soon as I left the bathroom I started sweating even more. Of course, this put me in an even worse mood. I walked through heat and humidity to the train stop and prayed that I wouldn’t melt right there. When I stepped on the train, however, I immediately felt so much better. The air conditioning was on so high that it had to have been 60 degrees in there! With the HVAC unit dispersing cold air across the train, I felt so comfortable. With all the excessive heat, I had actually forgotten what feeling comfortable was. When the train arrived at my destination, I just couldn’t force myself to get out of my seat. The air conditioning felt so great, and I was so relaxed for the first time all summer. I decided to tell my friends that I had accidentally missed the train, and not to wait up for me. I stayed on the train and let it take me right back home. It might have been a waste of a train ticket, but feeling air conditioning for a few hours was entirely worth it!
I was sitting in my bedroom reading the latest crime novel, when all of the sudden I could hear my air conditioner sputtering and making strange noises. I immediately rose from my chair to check out what was wrong. I shut down the thermostat and got on the internet. I searched site after site for an explanation, but apparently there are about 150 reasons why your HVAC system could start making noises suddenly. Every HVAC website I visited was less helpful in comparison to the previous site. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to fix this problem with a computer and mouse. Since it was already half past eleven and not too warm outside, I chose to wait until the morning to to call a repair company. I called the firm with the largest ad in the yellow pages, and they arrived three hours later. The HVAC technician did an intensive investigation of the system, and informed me that there were no major issues, but that my upkeep was lacking. I didn’t realize I should have yearly service appointments for issues like vent and coil inspection and cleaning. Now that I know, I can schedule an appointment for spring every year. Leading right up when the harsh, humid summer begins. As it happens, the reason the air conditioner had been making noises was because a lot of debris had become trapped in the vents. Thank goodness it was an effortless fix. I’m finally back to cold A/C, crime stories, a cozy bed, and some valuable knowledge on A/C maintenance.
When my parents added onto their home a few years ago, they had to decide what to do for an air conditioner and heater inside the addition. The addition was basically what you would find in an office. Because it was a workplace and my dad’s computer equipment would be going in there, they had to assure the area was adequately temperature controlled. The computers require that the temperature be reasonably comfortable so they do not overheat. Their home had a reasonably new HVAC system, but existing HVAC unit was not large enough to cool and heat the addition as well. Their HVAC specialists gave them a few options. The option they found themselves going with was called a ductless mini-split system. This gave the room its own HVAC system which is not part of the main HVAC system in the house. It has an outdoor unit and an indoor unit which works as well as the main heating and cooling system for any house. When they chose which unit to get they looked into many systems. The chief deciding factor was how electricity efficient the heating and cooling system would be. Because it was only one room and the unit is energy efficient, it is more preferable than a window unit or a simple space heater. It provides just enough warm and cool air for any home without costing a fortune. This saved them from replacing their existing system and also running more ductwork. If we were ever to add on to our home, I would like to be able to add more ductwork and continue using our existing HVAC system. In the event such a thing could not be done, I would go with the ductless mini-split system like my parents have.
When I became an HVAC technician over 25 years ago, I thought that it may be my career and take me and my family into retirement. However, the local HVAC businesses in my city have had trouble staying in business due to big business competition. There is just one HVAC company left in my area, but I refuse to work for them. It is a giant company that is known for overcharging their clients for unnecessary work. I just would not feel comfortable working for them. When my last employer closed their doors, I was unsure of what opportunities I may have. I had been working in the HVAC industry since I was 18 years old. I was really good at it too! I really enjoyed my job, the clients, and working with new HVAC technicians. I did start to do some research online about career opportunities. I did not want to do anything like cashier at the neighborhood grocery store. I wanted employment with sustenance. I visited my local career center about my transferable skills into different career options. The employment counselor with who I met suggested I check out the local training center which has an HVAC program. I did enjoy training the new employees that were brought in my former company, perhaps I could teach students on a full time basis. This job may be just what want, I would still use my HVAC know-how, while being provided with a more secure workplace. I checked the training center’s website and they had a part time opening for an HVAC instructor! I was rather excited and applied immediately. I cannot imagine there’s lots of folks out there with the knowledge and skills that I have.