Yesterday was a bad day. It started off well enough. I had woken up early, had time for breakfast and coffee, and got to work on time. I had a good outfit and a good hair day! Unfortunately, by the end of the day, I was miserable and crying. Everything started when I got to my hair appointment in the afternoon. Somehow, I allowed the hair stylist to put layers in my hair, even in the front. For eight months, I have been resolutely growing out my hair, avoiding heating tools and taking vitamins. It was just getting long enough that if I would have gotten the blunt cut that I wanted, everything would have been pretty much the same lengths, including the ugly bangs which I had gotten two years ago. Instead, I ended up with too short hair, compounded with choppy layers in the front that were intended, but failed, to blend in with the rest of my hair. It was my own fault because I told the hairdresser she could put in layers. I was so angry with myself! I got in my car and burst into tears. When I made it home, I received the news from my husband that our air conditioning unit was dead and would have to be replaced. It was a warm day, and the thermostat showed that the temperatures were already up to eighty degrees. I had ugly hair and no air conditioning. Every time I caught a glimpse of my hair, or when I thought about the air conditioning unit, I started crying again. This morning, when I woke up, I thought things would be better, but instead, I just think about my ugly hair and broken A/C.
Last week, my husband and I had made plans to double date with some friends of ours to see the Broadway production of “The Sound of Music.” This Broadway production is one of my favorites, and I was absolutely thrilled about seeing it in person! For weeks leading up to the show, I obsessed over every detail. I planned the perfect outfit: a cream lace blouse tucked into a maroon knife-pleated midi skirt, with scalloped nude heels, soft waves, and a dark lipstick. I knew that there would be plenty of people dressed in casual clothes, but I did not want to join them! We arrived at the venue early, and headed immediately inside to find our seats. We were met by an usher at the door who notified us that they were having issues with the HVAC system, and they were not sure whether or not the air conditioning would be fixed in time to start the performance. The room felt fine at the time, but it was also basically empty. Without air conditioning, the show would not go on. We waited, hoping for the HVAC company to arrive in time, but no HVAC truck ever showed up, so we waited in vain. The show ended up being cancelled because the theater did not want to be responsible for everyone being without air conditioning. The theater reimbursed us, but since the rest of the performance nights were sold out, we were not able to see the show, after all! I was so disappointed that the HVAC system ruined my perfect night!
My best friend has been allowing me to sleep on his couch for the past two weeks. My HVAC system isn’t working at the moment. It’s the beginning of August, so staying in my home without from an operational air conditioner just isn’t an option. The only reason I haven’t already hired an HVAC technician to get fixed it is because I don’t have the money to spend for the repair right now. I am actually in a bit of a pickle. I hate to keep bunking with my friend and taking up his couch, but I need to save a little more money before I can contact the HVAC contractor. I am fairly sure that the compressor is where the issues lies, and I think that having it either repaired or replaced is going to be super expensive. I have a tough time getting to sleep if I don’t have access to cool air coming from the air vents. Staying at the house now would be pretty miserable. I wish I could fix the air conditioning on my own. I have learned a little bit about how to keep the coils, air ducts, and filters cleaned and in good working order, but that is the extent of my cooling equipment knowledge. Thankfully, my friend isn’t pushing me to leave. I just feel like I am taking advantage of him right now. My air conditioner at home is old and keeping the system running is costly plus time-consuming. I hope that once I have it repaired, I don’t have further concerns. I certainly can’t afford to keep dealing with air conditioner repairs. I don’t make money enough to cover continuous repair costs.
I don’t usually notice things like poor air quality, but recently my lungs have been really messed up. I keep having terrible respiratory illnesses, and I’ve been hacking up a lung for months now. I’m not sure what has changed in my life, but it seems like I may have developed allergies all of a sudden. Things certainly haven’t been helped by the fact that there has been extreme road construction just up the street from where I live for several weeks now. There is so much dust and debri in the air, and the particulates are so thick that you can actually see them floating through both the indoor and outdoor air. Everytime I open a window, the air condition quickly becomes dark and dingy. I can actually feel the terrible air quality in my lungs, as they are instantly more irritated than before. I start coughing up a storm, and I end up closing my windows again to keep the air pollution out. Besides relying on my air conditioner all the time, I’ve also been looking into a separate air filtration system. These air purifiers can connect up to your standing HVAC system, and add an extra element of filtration to your normal ventilation. The unit pulls out all the air particulates that are too small to get caught by the factory filtration provided by your AC unit. It is supposed to remove up to 99% of dust and other allergens to greatly increase your air quality. I really hope this advanced air filtration system helps my lungs!
This past summer I moved from the deep midwest to the middle of the south. I’ve never lived this far south in my life, and the climate change has been significant. I’m accustomed to hot and humid summers, with pounding sunshine and hardly any breeze for relief, but I’m certainly not used to the extreme summers of the southern states. When we moved in, every day felt like a nightmare. We had so much work to do in the extreme heat, and it was absolutely miserable. We also had home repairs to make, which were definitely held back by the unpleasant air conditions. We tried to repaint several of the rooms in our house, but found that the hot air and staggering humidity in the air was really preventing our paint from setting. Even though we had the windows closed, fans running, and our AC on a moderately high setting, the walls were staying wet for up to two days after painting. We kept bumping into the walls and accidentally ruining the paint job, adding so much tension to the entire ordeal. We tried to adjust the central cooling settings lower and lower, bringing the temperature down to the brink of what our HVAC system was capable of. Finally, the paint started setting a little faster, and we could move on to other projects, although we were freezing cold in the ridiculously low indoor air temperature. I’m glad we finally got our painting accomplished, but let me tell you, our first energy bill was not a pleasant housewarming surprise.
The best feature of living in the Pacific Northwest is that I don’t have to rely on an air conditioner. Actually, it’s never overly hot here, so they just aren’t necessary. The seasons here are all typically mild, so most of the homes in the region do not even bother with cooling systems. While they do need to have heaters, even those are rarely used. Because I don’t need to use a Heating, and Air Conditioner, my utility bill is quite low. This is a major convenience because I don’t have a plentiful supply of disposable income at the moment. When I lived in the south, I was forced to run my air conditioning non stop. Summers were challenging, and so was my electric bill each week. Even when I did my best to shut off the air conditioner before leaving the house, I couldn’t seem to conserve energy. I still had to run the air conditioner all night long. There’s no way I manage to get comfortable in the afternoons without cool air flowing from the air vents. I moved to the Northwest because of work, and I was so delighted when I found out how mild the temperatures would be in comparison to the southeast. Something else I never worry about anymore is maintaining the HVAC system twice per year. Not having to be concerned with air filters, coils, or faulty compressors is something that I am fine with. Heating, A/C repairs used to stress me out when I lived in the south. In terms of dealing with heating and cooling systems, the Northwest beats the south for cost and convenience.
My wife and I recently went for a camping vacation in a cabin up in the mountains. It had a nice heating and cooling system, so we figured we would be just fine. It was the middle of the winter, so the temperatures were rather cold. The cabin also had a fireplace along with a few cords of wood on the side. My wife was preparing dinner for the evening, and then suddenly, the furnace quit working. It must have been 15 degrees outside and it was snowing. I realized that I would need to build a fire in that fireplace or we might freeze. I put the small pieces of wood together first in the fireplace. My wife said I should build them up like a teepee. I asked her how she knew that, and she said she learned it when she was a girl scout. I really wished the furnace was still working but it didn’t seem that it would be coming back on so I worked at this fire. I asked her if she had a lighter, and she said she did not. Then she found some matches, but there were only 3 matches. This made me nervous. So I found some pieces of scrap paper and wadded them all together. I placed it all under the little teepee I made so I could get the wood going. I struck the first match and failed to get the paper lit. Then I tried again and there was a draft that blew out the second match. It was the final match, so I needed to make this count. I struck the match and carefully lit the paper and it got to blazing. The wood eventually caught fire and I added bigger pieces and eventually we had a toasty fire. Perhaps we didn’t need the furnace after all!
My parents wanted to travel all summer which was cool, but it meant no job and no money for school. My parents never let me work during school. They were so afraid that I wouldn’t be capable of keeping up my grades if I had a job at the same time. I was really bummed when I returned home. Then, my friend called and told me that her boss needed another person to help with the insane summer clean up. She worked for a beach rental agency. The houses were completely messed up by their guests. When we walked into examples of these homes, you never knew what you were going to find. We had to clean out the final five houses that were rented for the whole summer. The first thing to do is pick up trash. They let’s turn on the air conditioner while we work, since it is unbearably hot on that coastline. The first house the air conditioner wasn’t turning on at all, and we were nervous. I couldn’t imagine cleaning in this heat without some air conditioning! We decided first to do the basic HVAC check out we knew how to do. We opened all of the air vents and pulled out all of the nasty filters first. It was clear that house had pets, which weren’t authorized. The air filters were thus destroyed with hair, no wonder no cold air could get through the vents. We took a lot of photos documenting the mess. They were about to get insane fines tacked onto their bill. If we cleaned out the HVAC system for more than three hours, and then we tried the thermostat once more. And there it was, nice cold ac. At least we would be cool for the rest of our cleaning.
It’s starting to get cold again. It’s that time of the year when you first intend to pull in all in the garden items, pack up the shorts and tank tops while re-entering the cold of winter. We buy our firewood in bulk for the wood stove, but we likewise have a central heating unit as a precaution. We have had some pretty heavy winters and found that lesson the hard way. Some winters we have no shot to stay warm, when the conditions drop below zero. We are good at keeping onto changing out the filters and looking into the system overall. But this year we didn’t get an HVAC checkup. We felt we didn’t need the additional expense for something we didn’t really even use. Well, winter hit hard and there was clearly no way our wood burning stove would have a chance at keeping up with the temperatures. We decided it was time to kick up the thermostat. The first click with the thermostat and I think all of us knew something was amiss. It jiggled and shaked and when it started up, a horrible smell began to grow. Seriously, it was worse when compared to a skunk and we were sure that something had died in the air vents. We knew we were in trouble and definitely should have taken better care of the maintenance. We called the HVAC technician out to the house and he knew what it was immediately. He went straight to the ductwork to investigate it. And, sure enough, it was hundreds of stink bugs dead in this ductwork. It was going being a serious job to clean that out. The cost was high and we learned that the tough way.
If you see something is wrong with your child, you take care of them, right? Their teeth need cleaning, so you take them to the dentist. They are having trouble seeing well, so you take them to the eye doctor. You are even good about yourself, if you are feeling unwell. You don’t just let it pass, you go and check it out. So, why on earth do people think it’s different when it comes to their heaters and air conditioning units. I mean, this is an intense machine. It isn’t going to just run forever without basic maintenance and repairs. If something doesn’t sound right in the air vents, then you need to check the air vents. There is probably a bigger problem just lingering and about to cause your entire HVAC unit to crash big. If you are hearing a horrible noise when the air conditioning is turned on, then there is likely a problem. No other time when you ran the air conditioning did that noise happen. So, why do you think, now it is just fine? Your HVAC unit will tell you when it needs to be repaired. You need to be more vigilant and aware of its needs if you don’t want bigger costs to take over in major repairs. As an HVAC technician, I see it over and over, where people let little problems become bigger problems. They ignore that which they do not want to deal with. And, in the long run, you will see it will end up costing you your household savings in repairs!