I Learned How to Replace My Air Filter

I researched my HVAC equipment online, and challenged myself to replace my air filter.

When the quarantine first hit my town, I thought it was amazing. My office shut down for two weeks, I could sit on my couch all day long, and it felt like I was taking a vacation at home. I was truly living my best life. When they issued another two weeks of quarantine after the first two weeks, I was a little sad that I had to stay inside longer, but I was still thrilled to relax and get some things done around the house. Then, when the quarantine kept getting extended, I became irritated and bored. I’d already cleaned my house from top to bottom and caught up on all my favorite shows, so there was nothing left for me to do. I had to get creative, so I committed to teaching myself new things. One of those things was learning about my HVAC system. I’d always hired an HVAC professional to service my HVAC equipment twice per year, and beside the simple conversations with the professional, I didn’t know anything about my own HVAC system. I researched my HVAC equipment online, and challenged myself to replace my air filter. I knew I wasn’t qualified to service my HVAC system, but replacing an air filter was simple enough. I found the air filter location, removed the dirty filter, and then replaced it with a brand new air filter. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be! I’m really proud of myself for learning something new.

furnace/heater

Ductless Mini Split System in My Tiny Home

Something I’ve always dreamed about is owning my own home.

  • I didn’t want just any home, I specifically wanted a tiny home.

The American dream with the large house, picket white fence, and the perfect job was not a dream I had. I wanted to go the unconventional route by owning small and practical things. I didn’t want to buy fancy furniture and fill a home with useless junk that was left untouched. When I met with a builder about constructing my perfect tiny home, I had one big concern. Nothing I’d seen had an HVAC system installed, which concerned me. A tiny home is too small to have ductwork, so that left me with one option. The contractor would install a ductless mini split system, which would keep my home warm or cool, depending on the weather. The ductless mini split system allowed me to install two HVAC units on two separate walls. I put one in the living space and one in my bedroom. I could turn them on individually, to whatever temperature settings I preferred, with a small remote. If I only wanted air in my bedroom, then I could turn that ductless mini system on individually. If I wanted heat in the living space and air in my bedroom, I could set them accordingly. The ductless mini systems could easily heat and cool my tiny home for a fraction of the price of a central HVAC system. They would also run really efficiently, which meant I could save a lot of money on my monthly utility bills.

boiler installation

Heat and Air is Controlled By Building

I love my apartment.

  • It’s the first one I’ve ever lived in on my own, and I’ve had a great time making it feel cozy and warm.

One of the best parts about my apartment is that it’s one giant building, and all the individual apartments are within the building, meaning, you have to have a code to enter the front door, which takes you to the front lobby. I love that my front door isn’t directly onto the street, but instead, it’s down a hallway with multiple other people. I feel much safer this way, especially because I’m living by myself. Even though I knew I”d feel safer, I was worried that my neighbors would be an issue. I shared two walls with neighbors, so if they were noisy, I’d hear it. Thankfully, I live between an elderly lady and a middle aged man who I rarely see. While I love many things about this apartment, there’s one thing that drives me nuts. I have no control over the HVAC system! The owner of the building regulates the temperature for the entire building. Basically, there are two temperature settings. I have heat during the winter months and air during the summer months. I’m not sure what the exact temperature ever is, but I can tell when the owner switches between heat and air. Three weeks ago, the air was shut off and the heat was turned on. I believe the switch is made during the same weekends each year, because it was still 75 degrees outside when the heat was turned on! I had to open my two tiny windows and pray for a breeze.

a/c tune up

Ductwork is to blame

This past summer, I noticed that the house wasn’t as cool as I preferred.

Lowering the thermostat setting made little difference.

The air also smelled musty and the air conditioner seemed to be running non stop. It was making an odd whistling sound. If I walked from one room to another, the temperature fluctuated by quite a bit. When I opened my electricity bill and saw a significant increase in the cost, I finally contacted a local HVAC contractor for repair. After checking out the whole system, he said that the problems could all be blamed on the ductwork. When the ducts are dirty or leaking, the maximum amount of conditioned air doesn’t reach the intended destination. I examined the registers and there was a definite lack of air blowing from the vents. I traced the source of the stale smell right to the vents. According to the HVAC contractor, moisture sometimes builds up in the ducts and creates a perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, bacteria and all sorts of disgusting microorganisms. He found rodent and insect deposits in the ducts. Every time the air conditioner ran, the air was traveling through the dirty ducts and picking up contaminants. Dust, pet dander, pollen, VOCs and even fumes from pesticides and cleaning agents circulate through the ducts. These particulates and odors were then getting spread to every room and inhaled by my family. The technician completed a thorough testing of the ductwork and determined that I needed both cleaning and sealing services. There was an accumulation of debris as well as small holes and leaks at the seams. About twenty percent of the cooled air was escaping. The services were completed in a single day without causing any damage or mess and made a huge improvement in the performance of the central air conditioner and cleanliness of my home.

climate control

Installing a humidifier to help with psoriasis symptoms

I suffer from a skin condition called psoriasis.

  • It’s where specific areas of the skin regenerate too quickly, creating a buildup that has a scaly appearance.

It can sometimes become red, itchy and sore. For me, psoriasis is only a problem on my knees and elbows. It can get bad enough that the skin cracks and bleeds, and the ugly appearance is often embarrassing. I’ve looked into prescription medication, but it’s extremely expensive and not overly effective. I’ve tried all sorts of over-the-counter lotions and home remedies. Even a treatment that provides improvement won’t remain effective for very long. I’ve noticed that my symptoms worsen during the winter, when the air lacks humidity. I live in a northern area where the weather is brutal and the season seems to last forever. We endure temperatures in the negatives, which means that the furnace is running constantly for about six months. The heater makes the concern over dry air a bigger problem. Static cling, chapped lips, frizzy hair, itchy eyes, headaches and even sore throats are some of the signs of insufficient humidity. Dry skin is also a common side-effect and for me, the psoriasis becomes painful. To create a more comfortable and healthier home, I’ve invested in a humidifier. The humidifier is installed into the heating system, adding moisture to the air as it passes through. By maintaining ideal humidity levels, the air feels warmer. I’m able to lower the thermostat setting a bit. I’ve lessened demands on the furnace, lowered my monthly energy bills and seen an improvement in my issues with psoriasis.

Air cleaner

Heat pumps are an amazing innovation

I think that electric air-source heat pumps are one of the most amazing inventions.

This innovative technology combines heating and cooling capacity into a single unit.

The system works by moving heat from one location to another. Rather than burn fossil fuels to generate heat, it takes advantage of ambient heat in the outdoor air. Even when the weather is chilly, there’s still heat energy available. The heat pump draws this heat out of the air, compresses it to a higher temperature and delivers it into the house. For cooling purposes, the heat pump operates very similarly to a conventional air conditioner. It extracts heat from inside the house and utilizes refrigerant to convey it outdoors. The heat pump’s ability to literally reverse the direction of operation makes it a year round temperature control solution. Because there is no combustion process, the system produces no greenhouse gases and is wonderfully environmentally friendly. Today’s generation of heat pumps feature adaptable speed technology. THe system can adjust in one percent increments between forty and one hundred percent capacity to deliver the precise amount of heating or cooling to maintain ideal comfort. This makes the system exceptionally energy efficient and quiet. Plus, it provides very consistent temperatures. A heat pump won’t overly dry out the air like a gas furnace will, It’s better at dehumidification than a traditional air conditioner. They are a bit more expensive to purchase and more complicated to install, but the added cost is worth it. The heat pump will quickly pay for itself and add a great deal of value to the home.

Air conditioning expert

Struggling with heating and cooling in older home

I have an older home.

  • It was built in the mid 1800s and despite making a great deal of updates, there are still some issues caused by its age.

We are very happy with the high ceilings, big windows, hardwood floors and gorgeous moldings. We love the hardwood staircase with its intricate banner and the fieldstone fireplace in the living room. At one time, that fireplace provided the primary source of heat. We weren’t interested in cutting and hauling wood and have tried all different types of heating methods. Because the house is not equipped with a centralized duct system, we’ve struggled to combat the severe winter weather in our area. Heating the house with electric baseboard heaters was extremely expensive and not overly effective. A couple of years ago, I finally contacted a professional HVAC contractor and asked what we could to to improve our comfort. He suggested the investment into a high velocity heating and cooling system. This style of temperature control utilizes very narrow, flexible ducts that are able to be snaked through existing walls without causing damage. The mini-ducts are only a couple of inches in diameter but they transport heated and cooled air at a very high rate of speed. The system is able to raise and lower room temperature in a short amount of time. It uses only minimal energy to operate and because the ducts are thoroughly insulated, it’s wonderfully quiet. We are so happy to finally have a thermostat to control the temperature in every room in the house. We’ve gotten rid of the box fans, window air conditioners and space heaters.
Cooling industry

My mom has actually been spoiling her pet

My mom has actually been spoiling her pet & it’s starting to drive me crazy.

I appreciate animals just as much as the next person, however I actually don’t guess that they need the same treatment as humans, especially when it comes to the heating & cooling method in their house, and my mom has started setting the thermostat method in her home especially for her pet. Now, if you’re a normal person love me, setting your thermostat so that your pet is more comfortable than you are sounds just a little bit crazy, then but my mom continues to do it! Last week, the weather started cooling off around here & my mom was worried that her pet was too cold, and forget about the fact that the pet has a fur coat on that she wears all the time. My mom decided that but she was perfectly fine with the temperature inside her house, she actually needed to turn the oil furnace method on because the pet was chilly. My mom particularly had to put on a tank top & shorts inside her home because she was too hot, & yet she kept the heating method running because she was worried about the pet. It’s the silliest thing I have ever seen, truthfully. My mother insists that she isn’t actually spoiling the pet, however I remember over the summer time how she would turn the air conditioner way down & leave it running full blast at the home even when both of us were leaving to go anywhere together. She said it was because the pet might get too hot while both of us were gone.

Link here

All The Outdoor Heaters Were Gone

When my Grandma finished building the sizable screened in porch off the back of his house, the nice temperatures were gone as well as Winter time was arriving. The construction took a lot longer than he was anticipating, but the people I was with and I were all still eager to put his new porch to use… Unfortunately, it was too frigid to sit around as well as relax on. This actually devastated my Grandma, because she’d been looking forward to family get togethers on that porch. I racked my brain on how I could help, as well as I could only guess of more than one ways to help. My first thought was that a fireplace could provide warmth, then however, it would have to be built as well as installed as well as that would take forever. My next thought though, was to buy an outdoor portable heater. This was something I could choice up at the store instantly as well as set up on the porch with ease. When I went to find outdoor portable gas heating systems in the store though, they were all sold out! Literally every store I went to was out of stock. After going to see my second store in an attempt to find an outdoor heater, I finally asked the sales representative where all the outdoor gas heating systems were? They couldn’t sell out every Winter time season could they? The sales representative told myself and others that since a lot of businesses were forced to serve their guests outdoors due to the virus, they purchased up all the outdoor heaters! I understood that their businesses depended on it, even though I actually wish I had a way to heat my Grandma’s porch!

 

 

furnace/heater service

Ductless Mini Split System in My Tiny Home

Something I’ve constantly dreamed about is owning our own home.

I didn’t want just any home, I recognizably wanted a tiny home.

The American dream with the massive house, picket colorless fence, plus the perfect job was not a dream I had. I wanted to go the unconventional route by owning small plus practical things. I didn’t want to buy lavish furniture plus fill a condo with useless junk that was left untouched. When I met with a builder about constructing our perfect tiny home, I had 1 large concern! Nothing I’d seen had an HVAC idea installed, which sad me, then a tiny condo is too small to have HVAC duct, so that left myself and others with 1 option. The supplier would install a ductless mini split system, which would keep our condo moderate or cool, depending on the weather. The ductless mini split idea allowed myself and others to install several HVAC units on several separate walls. I put 1 in the residing space plus 1 in our study room. I could turn them on individually, to whatever temperature settings I favorite, with a small remote. If I only wanted air in our study room, then every one of us could turn that ductless mini idea on individually. If I wanted heat in the residing space plus air in our study room, I could set them accordingly. The ductless mini systems could undoubtedly heat plus cool our tiny condo for a fraction of the price of a central HVAC system. They would also run genuinely efficiently, which meant I could save a lot of money on our bi-weekly utility bills.

radiant heater