My brother didn’t want to spend so much on HVAC bills

My brother Dan is looking for a new home and he really wants to get something that is more energy efficient than the home that they live in now.

He and his wife have been living in the same home for the past 10 years or so, they have really done pretty well for themselves, even in a home that basically leaks heating and a/c right out the window.

My brother is constantly complaining about how terrible the indoor air condition is in their old house. He says that the insulation is just terrible and that’s why they end up having such high heating and cooling bills every single week! Now that Dan is getting ready for retirement, he and his wife have decided to downsize because of the easy fact that they don’t want to have to spend so much on their heating and cooling bills anymore, I asked him why they didn’t just do some renovations on the home that they live in now, but Dan said that he wasn’t interested in doing renovations on the home or changing out their existing heating and A/C idea in the least. He said that he wanted to just move into a newer home with a high efficiency heating and cooling idea and a really good whole home air purifier. I recognize they just want a clean slate. That means that they’re going to be moving over the holidays, which will be crazy. But I know they will be happier in the long run once they finally get moved into their new locale.

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The house that leaks A/C and heating

Now that Dan is getting ready for retirement, he and his wife have decided to downsize because of the easy fact that they don’t want to have to spend so much on their heating and cooling bills anymore! I asked him why they didn’t just do some renovations on the home that they live in now, but Dan said that she wasn’t interested in doing renovations on the apartment or changing out their existing HVAC system in the least.

My sibling Dan is looking for a new apartment and he entirely wants to get something that is more energy efficient than the home that they live in now. He and his wife have been living in the same home for the past several years or so, they have entirely done pretty well for themselves, even in a home that basically leaks heating and a/c right out the window, but my sibling is always complaining about how awful the indoor air levels is in their old house. He says that the insulation is just awful and that’s why they end up having such high heating and cooling bills every single week. Now that Dan is getting ready for retirement, he and his wife have decided to downsize because of the easy fact that they don’t want to have to spend so much on their heating and cooling bills anymore! I asked him why they didn’t just do some renovations on the home that they live in now, but Dan said that she wasn’t interested in doing renovations on the apartment or changing out their existing HVAC system in the least. He said that he wanted to just move into a newer home with a high efficiency heating and cooling system and an entirely great whole home air purifier. I think they just want a clean slate. That means that they’re going to be moving over the holidays, which will be crazy. But I think they will be happier in the long run once they finally get moved into their new place.

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My brother is looking for a new energy efficient home

My brother Dan is looking for a new house and he really wants to get something that is more energy efficient than the house that they live in now.

He and his wife have been living in the same house for the past ten years or so.

They have really done pretty well for themselves, even in a house that basically leaks heating and air conditioning right out the window. My brother is constantly complaining about how terrible the indoor air quality is in their old house. He says that the insulation is just awful and that’s why they end up having such high heating and cooling bills every single month. Now that Dan is getting ready for retirement, he and his wife have decided to downsize because of the simple fact that they don’t want to have to spend so much on their heating and cooling bills anymore. I asked him why they didn’t just do some renovations on the house that they live in now, but Dan said that he wasn’t interested in doing renovations on the house or changing out their existing HVAC system in the least. He said that he wanted to just move into a newer house with a high efficiency heating and cooling system and a really great whole home air purification system. I guess they just want a clean slate. That means that they’re going to be moving over the holidays, which will be crazy. But I guess they will be happier in the long run once they finally get moved into their new place.

 

Air quality systems

The ductwork is overdue for a cleaning

It seems that every summer gets a little worse for me.

  • Not the heat, the allergies! The heat also sucks, of course, but I could easily tolerate the high temps if I wasn’t always coughing and sneezing through the season.

According to the local stats, the pollen levels are stable over the last few years, but if it isn’t pollen, then what keeps getting worse every year? I called an old friend of mine to ask him for some advice, and he asked me when the last time my HVAC system had been cleaned out. I was confused because I did not know that an air conditioner needed to be cleaned out. Wasn’t that the purpose of the air filter, to keep the system clean? My friend said that even with an air filter, the ductwork and air vents in the house would get dusty and dirty, and over time that would accumulate inside your ducts. I used a screwdriver to take one of the grates off an air vent in the baseboard and looked inside. The air duct was so filthy I could write the words “WASH ME” in the dust on the sheet metal, and I knew I was going to need professional help. Cleaning a piece of sheet metal wasn’t very hard, but there was no way I could reach deep enough into the ductwork to get it all clean. I don’t know if HVAC guys have special cleaning tools, or if they use a drone to send into the tiny air ducts, but I surely could not do it myself!

 

oil heater

Slow and steady wins the race in HVAC work

My top priority on the worksite is safety.

This isn’t because I am a touchy feely supervisor always looking over everyone’s shoulder to keep them safe.

It is because I am very conscious of the costs related to workplace injuries. Someone getting a major injury on my work site could bankrupt my company, or at the very least bury me in insurance premiums I can’t afford. As a business owner, running my own HVAC contracting business, the health and safety of my crew is of paramount importance to me and my bottom line. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say, so now you know the secret as to why HVAC workers are always so slow! I have heard this time and again, people asking me why it takes the tech several hours to do a standard HVAC system inspection. I always say the same thing, because I make my HVAC techs go slow, and keep everything nice and safe. Sure I want my employees to be safe because I like them, but also because my little HVAC company can afford huge medical bills for people who get sloppy. One major workplace accident could permanently shut me down, at which point a dozen HVAC workers would be out of jobs. My HVAC techs have a safety checklist they have to follow 100% of the time, and this means that it takes them longer to do the work. Because of this checklist, I have not had an HVAC related workplace accident for any of my people in almost two years!

 

 

space heater

All Rory needed was some air conditioning

Growing up on such a large ranch, my childhood was full of odd and colorful characters.

  • I knew a lot of honest to goodness cowboys and cowgirls, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

At any given time, my parents had between fifteen and thirty people living on the ranch and working for them in some capacity. I was a kid so I didn’t know any of the specifics, of course, I just knew there were always a lot of cool people around. My favorite was Rory, who lived in a station wagon because he liked the air conditioning. The bunk houses and barracks where most people slept were not climate controlled, and got awful hot over the summers. Rory didn’t drive the car, just slept in it, kept his stuff in it, and put enough gas in it to keep the AC running whenever he needed it. Eventually, the engine of the old car died, and that meant the air conditioning did, too. I remember one night, we had a big party by the bonfire for Rory’s birthday, and my parents gave him a small, portable air conditioner. It was small enough to hit into the windowsill of the station wagon, and with an extension cord running into the barn he could keep the AC blowing even without an engine. Looking back, it’s kind of shocking that Rory was able to live like that, but on the other hand he was a simple man with simple needs, and as long as he had some air conditioning, he was happy.
hvac tune-up

The annual HVAC service plan is an investment in the future

I used the word invest for a reason, because it is such a large expense to buy a new HVAC system you need to view its regular maintenance as an investment in your financial future

When you rent a house you may think it sucks because you don’t have full control over your living space. The landlord gets to dictate the rules and regulations for living there, so while it is your apartment or rental house, it is never really yours. Owning a house can give you a sense of pride, and a greater feeling of control over your life, but there is a down side, too. When something went wrong in the rental, the landlord had to fix it. When it is your house and the air conditioning or the plumbing gets messed up, you have no one to call but a professional repair tech, which costs money. HVAC systems are one of the scariest parts about owning a house, right at the top of the list next to roofs. When it comes to getting a new roof, or buying a new HVAC system, we are talking five, ten, maybe even fifteen thousand bucks. For this reason, I say that you should be smart and invest in an annual HVAC service plan. I used the word invest for a reason, because it is such a large expense to buy a new HVAC system you need to view its regular maintenance as an investment in your financial future. Some of these new, efficient HVAC systems can work for upwards of 20 years… but only if you take care of them the right way. Spending a couple of hundred bucks a year for HVAC inspections is not wasting money, it’s adding years to the life of your system.

HVAC service plan

Why HVAC techs are so slow at their jobs

Last year one of our older techs decided not to wear the specialized sheet metal gloves when installing some new ductwork

On a worksite, safety protocols are of primary importance. Deadlines are important, and staying under budget is important, but if you don’t have safety for your work crew, nothing else really matters. If someone gets hurt, forget about making the deadline because you will be short handed, and forget coming in under budget because medical bills and insurance spikes will cripple you. Long story short, if you want to run a profitable contracting job, you need to be safety conscious on every job, every time. I work for an HVAC contractor as his site manager, office manager, and safety consultant, so I wear a lot of hats around here! HVAC work has statistically far less workplace injury than other kinds of construction, because it is more specialized work, but we are still not without our incidents. Last year one of our older techs decided not to wear the specialized sheet metal gloves when installing some new ductwork. One tiny slip, and his hand was lacerated down to the bone, and the cost of his medical care was more than what the company made from the ductwork installation. A man got hurt, and the HVAC company lost a lot of money, so you can see why we take safety so seriously. First and foremost, the health of our HVAC techs is the top priority, but the financial health of the company is also important, or else all of us are out of jobs! So if you have ever wondered why HVAC techs are so damned slow in every job they do, now you know why.

 

Digital thermostat

We don’t pay for heating oil any more

I never thought I would be one of those “snowbirds” that flies down south every year to ride out the mellow winter, but here I am! My wife’s family has a small cottage near the beach down south, so when the temps start to cool off, we pack up and drive down for three or four months. I love it, honestly, and haven’t had to shovel snow in three years now! It doesn’t matter if the driveway has 4 feet of snow on it if we aren’t there, so instead we hang out on the beach and wait for the winter snowfall to melt away before going back up north. Where we live the state makes you buy heating oil from certain vendors, and this oil costs an insane amount of money. Since we are absent during the cold months, we no longer have to purchase this heating oil, which saves us thousands of dollars. Having saved a few thousand extra, we can cover most of our travel expenses with the money would have spent on heating oil. Instead of paying that money to run a furnace, we spend that money buying cocktails with our toes in the sand. You can make fun of us for being snowbirds all you like, this is the life! The winters down here are so mild that our cottage doesn’t have a central heating system at all. We have a nice space heater, but we only have to use that a few times every winter, because the weather is just that warm and delightful.

gas fireplace

A traveling electrician and HVAC tech came by the farm

We live way out in the middle of farm country, and life is kind of different out here.

When a stranger drives up to the house looking for work, this is not a big deal nor an unusual occurrence.

It happens from time to time, and sometimes we actually do need a little seasonal help around the farm. A few years ago we had a very strange dude roll up to the house in his station wagon full of tools and supplies. He asked if we had any repair work to be done, because he wasn’t a farmhand looking for extra work, he was a retired electrician and HVAC tech. Dad was all set to turn the man away, but once he heard about the HVAC work he invited him inside for a meal. It was customary to offer a man food and drink before hiring him, to show hospitality, and dad was happy to do so because the old furnace wasn’t long for the world. We had a wood burning furnace to power the water boiler, and provided heat for the house itself. We didn’t have air conditioning at the time, but the heater was of vital importance to our survival through the long, harsh winters. The man spent six hours taking the old furnace apart, working a lot of the individual pieces, and then putting it all back together. When he was done the furnace didn’t look any less ugly, but it ran so quietly, and blew out heated air more strongly than I had ever felt from it before.

air conditioning business