Electric heated floors now or wait for hydronic heating?

I am debating buying electric heated floors now, or saving my money for hydronic heating. Both of these devices are heated floors. One is electric fitted mats under the floorboards. The other one is piping within the floors that then hook to a boiler system. Both are effective heating devices, but hydronic heating is way better. A hydronic heater is way more efficient and effective. The boiler system also lasts about four times as much as the electric heated mats. However, a hydronic heater almost costs twice as much as the electric option. Right now I can afford electric heated floors. I can’t afford the boiler and hydronic heater. I could go another Winter with my ancient gas furnace that hardly works. I could save my money and get hydronic heating next year. I really want heated floors though. I could apply for a cheaper version right now. I don’t know what is the right move for me. Electric heated floors are not exactly bad. The heated air still stays at the floor level rather than rising. So I can set my thermostat lower. The electric heated floors costs almost nothing in heating maintenance. Also, since they are protected under the floors, there are hardly any heater repairs needed. But, I will need to rip up the floors in the house to install it. I then will need to pay for new flooring to go over top of them. With all of this heavy duty work done that is super expensive, I better love my heating system. I think I might have to wait one more year.

digital thermostat

Frigid loft room, great AC

My loft has been transformed into a spare bedroom for when we have company.  We don’t have a thermostat up there, because the room is barely used, except on holidays.  It is only for when we have parties, then the loft is used as a children’s gathering room. We have pull out sofas up there and room for seven people to sleep.  It makes it nice for a family to just hang out for the night. We have an electric wall heater, since it is usually cold during their stay. Last year, my husband installed a small window air conditioner.  The air conditioner is so good that I almost froze when I cleaned up there. I turned the air conditioner on when I went up to prep the room because my son and his wife were coming to stay for a couple of days over the summer.  I thought I was going to be a popsicle till I got out of there. They were in heaven, since they live in the far north. I was glad they weren’t too uncomfortable, but I heard the Ac turn off when they got up in the morning. My son told me that he had never needed so many blankets in the middle of the night.  I asked him why he didn’t just get up and turn off the AC, but he told me he was too cold to get out from beneath the covers. I had to laugh, because he had to get up to get the extra blankets. He turned the thermostat the next night.

cooling maintenance

HVAC appointment

My husband usually schedules the service on our HVAC equipment. Sometimes he schedules the service for the weekend, and other times we settle for a Tuesday or Wednesday appointment. My husband called to schedule the HVAC appointment last week. He wrote the HVAC appointment time on our kitchen calendar. The appointment was Tuesday morning at 10:30. I don’t work on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I was happy my husband scheduled the HVAC service appointment for a day off. I hate having to switch my days off, just to accommodate service appointments at home. I spent most of Monday running errands, so I could be home Tuesday morning for the appointment. A few moments before our scheduled appointment, I unlocked the front door and put on a bra. The HVAC service professional arrived precisely at 10:30, just as promised. They were in and out of the house in less than an hour. Luckily, they didn’t find any problems with our heating or air conditioning system. I was happy we received a clean bill of health. I honestly thought we might need to replace the air conditioner soon. The HVAC service professional was finished with my appointment in less than an hour. By the time the hour struck noon, I was looking for something to fill my afternoon hours. I decided to go to the park and feed the pigeons for a few hours. I like to take a book to the park and sit on a bench and read. I managed to get everything done in the house, and I still had time to read my favorite mystery novel.

heating and air

Falling through the ductwork

My family and I have a enormous amount of holiday decorations. We decorate for all of the major holidays including St Patrick’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas. We have the most Halloween decorations, because that is our favorite of all holidays. As soon as Halloween is over, we place the Halloween decorations in the Attic. We remove the Christmas decorations first, in order to make room for Halloween items. The attic is constantly stuffed with holiday decorations and old Christmas trees. When we were putting away all of the Halloween skeletons, my son fell through the ceiling. When he fell through the ceiling, he busted some duct work. Luckily, Jake was not injured seriously. His hip is bruised pretty bad, and he might have broke a finger. I think most of the ductwork broke his fell. I had to call the HVAC service center and request an appointment. I told the technician about our ductwork, and the giant gaping hole in our garage. The HVAC technician came by a few days later, and fixed the ductwork. We had to hire an additional contractor, to fix the sheetrock and drywall problems. The whole Fiasco was quite a mess, and we spent a huge Penny to fix the ductwork and ceiling. I’m really glad that my son was not seriously injured in the fall, but I wish it wasn’t so expensive to fix the ductwork. I used all of my holiday shopping money to make the necessary repairs. Now I will have to charge everything for Christmas and make payments over the next year.

a/c install

I changed my mind about wanting radiant heat

 When I first heard about radiant heating, I thought it seemed to good to be true.  I went to a friend’s house and they were telling me they had been in a hotel room that had radiant heat.  She said that it felt like the heat was coming from everywhere. They were going to have radiant heat put throughout their home.  I had an opportunity to go to the new hotel in our area, where they had radiant heat in the rooms. I laid in the bed the first night and I remember how I fidgeted all night long.  I was trying to find a cool spot in the bed to put my feet. It didn’t matter what I did, the heat was still there. I got up and turned the thermostat down, but the heat was still in everything.  I knew that if I turned the thermostat down anymore, that it would be cooler in the room, but the bed was already super warm, and I wasn’t going to be able to change that. When I got home, I told my husband that I would never get radiant heating in our home.  I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be in a bedroom where not just the floors were warm, but you couldn’t find a cool place in the beds. That is why it feels so nice in the middle of the summer. You can usually shift position on the bed or on your pillow and find some cool areas,  With radiant heat, the heat goes into everything, and there isn’t a cool spot to put your feet or your head.

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Changes in HVAC over the years

I still remember my  mother sitting in her room, when it was seventy degrees out, with her heater running.  She would be shivering and her hands would be blue, she was so cold. I use to think it was silly and all I could think about was how high my energy bill was going to be with all of that wasted heating.  Now I wish I could see her sitting there and feel the heat blow out at me because she had her space heater running. Mama was the coolest old lady around. She was talking about how things had changed, and she referred to the air conditioner and the space heater that she had in her room.  She was telling my granddaughter how they thought it was the greatest thing in the world when they were given their first fan. She talked about the big hole in the floor that had a grate over it. It was their air vent that put heating from the living room furnace to the upstairs. My granddaughter couldn’t fathom not having a thermostat in the upstairs to get heat in.  She didn’t know that there were no furnaces back there and that Zone Control was modern to my mother. She had never known anything but having instant heating by setting a thermostat, or instant cooling from the air conditioning. It makes me wonder what kind of things she will talk about when she gets to be ninety-two, and how her grandchildren will think about how archaic it sounds.  I’m sure there will be a lot of advances in HVAC systems, by then.

HVAC machine

Never cook without an air filter

There are few things I enjoy more in life than cooking up an elegant dinner and enjoying it with a large glass of wine. The larger the glass the better, actually, because it enhances the taste of the food. Over the years I have developed my own little routine, and part of that is the way I kick off each weekend. After work on fridays, I head home, break out the high end ingredients, and spend the evening making a meal and getting wine drunk. Not every meal turns out amazing, but usually they taste great to me. Last month I had a major issue with my central HVAC system and it was completely offline for several days. I went ahead with my normal routine, but found that the lack of the HVAC equipment directly impacted my meal! First of all there was the temperature control problem, because the heat generated by cooking heated up the entire house. Even more than the heat, there was the problem with the indoor air quality. I have never thought much about the way air filters clean and clear out the odors and particles from the air of the house. I tell you, once the AC stopped running, and the air stopped being filtered through the system, the cooking smells got overpowering. That low air quality didn’t just offend my nose, it also offended my delicate taste buds. With no air filters in play, those heavy smells accumulated and impacted the taste of the food itself. I will never cook without AC or air filters ever again.

cooling expert

Air conditioning for me and my pals

Last week some old high school pals and I got together for some beers and talking about the old days. It is something we do once or twice a year, just to keep those old connections strong. We graduated in the Class of 1990, and since then life has taken us all over the world, but we always come back here, to our hometown, and to each other. I really helps to keep me grounded, especially now that I have some wealth. The guys always bring me back to down earth, and let me know that I’m the same guy I always was. We were drinking my air conditioned cabin at the time, so it was hard to say I hadn’t gotten soft. Back in the day we would drink in the back of a pickup truck, but now I really needed an air conditioned spot or I couldn’t relax and enjoy myself. They were right, I had gotten soft, but the way I saw it I had worked my butt off for decades, so if I demanded climate control in my aging years then I deserved it. None of my buddies could argue with that, especially when deep down they knew they liked having air conditioning as much as I did. Maybe I am soft, maybe I am dependant on having HVAC around to stay comfortable, but at least I am honest about it. They want to hang out in my air conditioned cabin and drink with me, but they also want to have fun teasing me about it!

ac installation

Concert A/C

I’m pretty excited about this concert we are going to tonight. It’s going to be a cover band for all of those boy band groups that were popular back in the 90’s. The band has really good reviews, and who doesn’t like dancing to all those fun popular songs from the 90’s? I have a big group of girlfriends who are planning to go with me, so it should be a whole lot of fun. The only thing I’m a little bit concerned about is the venue where the concert is being held. The last time I went to a concert at this particular venue, they were having a lot of trouble with their heating and air conditioning system. I know that probably doesn’t sound like a very big deal to most people, but to me, it’s a huge deal! See, I have anxiety when I get in large crowds, and when I get overheated it makes me feel even worse. If the air conditioning isn’t working correctly, or heaven forbid, if the heating turns on and won’t turn off, my anxiety levels go through the roof! And that’s exactly what happened the last time that I went to a concert at this venue last winter. The furnace in the place turned on and it just wouldn’t turn off. The temperature in the building with all of the body heat plus the air coming through the heating ducts had to be at least 85 degrees. I freaked out a little bit and I had to leave and go stand outside in the cold before I had a full on panic attack!

The air condition issues

My wife & I are business partners together. We work for a sizable pharmaceutical company. She transcribes the medical orders, so they are neat & tidy for the pharmacist to read. I am in graphic design, & generally spend most of the day drawing or painting. I have been working on a critical project lately. A local heating & cooling company hired me to revamp their entire website. When the heating & cooling company started up a few years ago, they used front page to build their own website. It really looks unprofessional, & I knew I could be of assistance. The heating & cooling company didn’t have a large budget for advertising. Every one of us worked out an affordable plan, so both of us win. I am going to build the logo, website, & advertising materials for the heating & cooling company. In return for the marketing items & weekly service, the heating & cooling company is going to provide a brand new ductless Heating & A/C unit in our garage. My wife & I have been considering adding a ductless Heating & A/C unit for a long time. The garage is consistently sticky & humid in May and June. Unfortunately, a lot of people spend time in the garage. Since both of us keep our cars in our driveway, the garage has become an area to congregate. The heating & cooling company agreed to install the ductless Heating & A/C unit when the website and logo project is 50% completed. Every one of us are close to that happening, & I have already completed the logo & most of the website. I wish more companies would barter for what they want. I miss those afternoons in the past.

air quality