When my oil furnace started acting up last month, my boyfriend and I were bracing for the worst. The two of us just assumed that the system was dying and were preparing for the impact of the replacement bill. We always made sure to change the air filters for the central air conditioning and dusted out the vents and the ductwork. However, neither of us have wanted to put the money in for HVAC maintenance. Well, we’re paying the price for that negligence now. Yet when the HVAC contractor was finally able to come by and take a look at our oil furnace, the problem was not at all as bad as we though. Apparently we were smart to stop using it entirely for a week and get by on a space heater–our terror that the oil furnace could catch fire ended up saving it. Apparently we had neglected cleaning the furnace filter, which lead to dust getting into the oil furnace itself. That got in between a few small parts, which started to heat, and then produced the burning smell. Nothing was actually burning, just dust and dirt heating up. The HVAC contractor was kind enough to show us how to clean the furnace filter–a thing I didn’t even know existed–after he cleaned the dust from the system and repaired a few small parts. That scare was enough to set us straight; my boyfriend and I signed up for an HVAC maintenance plan with this heating and cooling contractor on the spot. We got lucky this time with our oil furnace, we’re not going to chance it twice.
The cold winter weather is finally here, just in time for Christmas. While the kids are all hoping for snow, I’m a little less thrilled and more concerned. I’m worried about the dangers this storm could present on the safety of our home and appliances. See, I live in one of the few houses up north that has both a central heater as well as central air conditioning. To have central air conditioning, your home needs a condenser. The condenser sits outside and works to help bring fresh air into the house, all while aiding the circulation of cool air back indoors. This condenser is a vital part of the central air conditioning system; you cannot have AC through this method without it. However, nor can you bring the unit inside i the winter. So every winter season, my partner and I see to it that the condenser is covered by a tarp that is then tied to down to the condenser as well as staked down to the ground. These severe wind gusts that are coming in ahead of this blizzard have me going outside to check my work at least every other day as this slow moving storm gradually rolls in. We get snow all the time, but wind gusts of 45 mile per hour is not common this far inland. The last thing I want is to lose my condenser cover right before the snow hits. Here’s hoping it holds and that my central AC makes it through this winter intact.
Now that the holidays are here, it’s time to prepare for the hard freeze. I live in an area between the north and the south, so our seasons come and go a little differently here. While my friends farther north have already had their first snow, we are just getting our first hard freeze this weekend, right in time for Christmas. We’ve had the AC condenser wrapped up since November, so at least that is already shut down and taken care of. But now that it’s going to get cold enough for the water to freeze, it’s time to stop watering the outdoor plants and wrap up all the pipes. Just as we’re wrapping presents, my boyfriend and I are also making sure any outdoor plumbing is protected from the elements. We don’t want to have what happened last year with a pipe bursting. Though we did wise up from that by having a type of heating system built for our pipes in the basement. After the pipes in the bulkhead blew, we had them heated with a kind of heated blanket. It’s a lot like the technology for heated floors, but instead of putting it under a floor its put around the pipe. This works to keep any of the pipes that aren’t in the basement proper with the oil furnace from freezing over. I can rest easy knowing our little old house is ready for the winter ahead of us.
There are few things I loathe more than getting a cold. I take care of myself well enough that I don’t get sick very often, but when I do its absolute hell. Everything hurts as my body just aches all over; the tiniest flick of a finger feels like a punch. The pain gets worse when I’m physically cold, which I always am when I’m sick. I end up having to stay under a heated blanket, but I try not to turn up the HVAC setting if I can stand it. See, when I’m sick my central heater works almost a little too well. My little apartment heats up almost immediately, and when it gets warm it stays that way for quite a while. This is such a boon when it’s below zero and a frozen tundra outside. Yet when I’m sick, my temperature tends to be all over the place. Like a broken thermostat, I am freezing one minute and boiling the next. Its absolute torture. If I get so delirious that I think to turn up the thermostat, then when I’m too hot I find myself getting a cold damp towel and leaving it on my forehead just to cool off. Let me tell you, cold and damp is not a pleasant feeling. So instead of cranking up the thermostat, I just break out the heated blanket and try to sleep. This way when I get too hot, I turn the heated blanket off and just take it off me. I am grateful to have it, and to have central heating that keeps me so warm during the harsh winters.
One of the most aspects of the place I work is the HVAC system. I work in a facility which makes some of the most advanced plastics in the world. In fact, one of our machines is one of a kind; we are the only facility on the planet which has one and has been able to make it work consistently. The key to this is not just the machine design itself, but air handling unit control throughout the facility. The room which houses our unique plastics manufacturing machine is a clean room with very strict protocols and HVAC system integration which must work to constantly correct even the slightest changes in climate. From humidity to temperature and especially air purification, these air handling unit controls have to be on top of every last aspect of climate control. Even the slightest disturbance in the climate of these clean room can throw the entire machine off balance, destroying an entire day of work. For this reason, my company employs one of the most advanced building control systems in the country. These engineering building control systems must operate around the clock to insure that the technology we hand craft and employ at these labs continues to perform to turn a profit. We rely on our equipment, and so we trust only BMS certified building management system software to safeguard both our technology and the employees who operate it each and every day. With building access control systems, we also safeguard our technology from employee error. In this way, only those who have passed every level of certification can access the most advanced technology in our facility. With air handling control units operated by our building management system, our facility is always running smoothly.
As the head of safety for my company, it is my job to find and implement solutions which work to protect both my employees and our business. This includes but is not limited to: updating safety regulations to insure the absolute safety of our employees, implementing the latest in internet security to guard the patents, services, and overall products from any attempts at corporate espionage, and aiding the selection of the correct hvac control services to maintain the health and safety of our facilities. In order to do so, I only trust BMS certified companies and contractor. BMS certified is one of the highest levels of safety and reliability in building automation that is available today. A company that is BMS certified is capable of installing building management systems for levels of government, including the federal branch as well as the state. Their job is to keep your company running and running smoothly at all times, and with BMS certified employees you can rest easy knowing that you are always in great hands. The company that handles the allotment of BMS certified workers every year holds the the safety of people, buildings, and the environment to be tantamount above all else. This means that with BMS certified companies I can also trust that the systems which are being designed for my company are the most economical as possible, working to save the planet and our budget at the same time. A building management system designed by a BMS certified company can be trusted even with a mission critical site to keep things running smoothly.
When I graduated school six or seven years ago, I really had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. I had been really into sports during my high school and college career. Now that part of my life was over, I was totally clueless on what field to spend my adult life working in. I was talking to my parents one night at dinner, asking for some advice, and they said that I should think about becoming a certified HVAC repairman in town. I would be able to complete an apprenticeship in a few months, and then after that I would be a certified repairman. My grandfather was an HVAC repairman for over twenty years, and he said that he never worked a day of his life because he loved his job so much. I have always been a handyman just like my father, and I love helping people, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity for me. A few years later and many trials and tribulations along the way, I am loving my career as an HVAC repairman. It is very rewarding for me personally to go out and help bring proper heating and cooling back to peoples’ houses when they need it the most. I am scheduled to start training recruits this upcoming month, and I am set on making sure they learn all of the important skills involving repairing heating and cooling units that I learned all those years ago. The HVAC repair business is in very good hands!
When my partner of ten years told me that he had secretly planned a weekend getaway for us to go up to the mountains and stay at a ski resort, I was surprised to say the very least. Even though we live in the north, we are not outdoor lovers nor fans of the snow. We both have had to relocate up here from the south due to our jobs. For some reason though, he seemed super excited for the trip so I thought that I would just go along with it. For a weekend that I had thought would be cold, wet, and miserable, it was actually the most fun that we had in a long time. The best part was heading into the ski lodge to take a break after a few hours on the slopes. The lodge had all of the heating luxuries that you can imagine. It even had a “defrosting room” that was equipped with radiant heated floors and an industrial grade heated gas furnace to help warm you up as soon as you got inside. They also offered some delicious hot chocolate as soon as we stepped out of the defrosting zone. We had such a fun weekend that we are already planning to head back here a few weekends from now! On our next trip, we are planning on renting our own room in the lodge, where you have your own heated gas furnace and a stand where you hang your shoes, so they are nice and toasty when you put them back on. I guess after all these years, I finally realized that the cold and snow isn’t all that bad.
The IT department for our building is buried deep in the basement, mostly because the IT workers like to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. I kid around with them, but mostly behind their backs since none of them like me. I am the boss, I work upstairs and manage them from afar, and they stay in the basement and resent me. Recently the manager of that department asked for a meeting, and requested some new equipment for the IT workers. I thought he was going to ask for new server towers, or a gross of drives, but instead it was a request for ductless mini-split A/C units for the office. I asked him if there was a problem with the central air conditioning system in the building, and he said there was not, but they had special considerations. When I didn’t understand, he asked me to come with him downstairs, and that was when I first felt the level of heating in the basement. Even though the air vents were blasting out cold air just like they did upstairs, down here the cooling simply could not keep up with the heat generated by the dozens of computer drives and servers. I said “it feels like the furnace is on!” and he replied that it was always this hot, every day. Needless to say, I went back upstairs and approved the request for a half dozen small, portable air conditioning units. Now they can move around the AC units to where they are needed the most.
When you work in a factory, even one that makes something like cardboard boxes, there is a whole lot of heat being generated. There are so many massive machines, robots, and computers working endlessly, and they all generate a lot of warmth. When you add it all together, it feels like walking through a solar flare. Although I work in a sales office and not on the production floor, I am still having some problems because of it. I am on the third floor, and the factory area takes up the two floors below me. There is such a high level of heating coming up through the floor that the office air conditioner doesn’t stand a chance against it. Heating rises, and all that heat generated downstairs works it way straight up into my office. I have the air vents aimed right on me, and the thermostat turned down as low as it will go, and my office is still sweltering. I want the company to spring for a new portable A/C unit for my office. When this is combined with the cooling power of the central system, I think there is a chance that my office will be tolerable. If they turn down my very reasonable request for additional cooling, i may have to turn in my two weeks notice. I don’t want to leave the job, but I really can’t keep spending 8 hours a day working inside a fiery furnace. I hope they just give me the little AC unit, and then the issue will be resolved.