From college to the HVAC industry

When I was a freshman at the university I pledged a sorority, and lived in their off-campus group home.

For a girl from the farms of the midwest, this was all a bit of a culture shock for me, because there were parties almost every night.

I made a lot of great friends in the sorority, but I found that living there made it very difficult to study, and my grades were terrible. As a pledge, I had to do a lot of menial jobs around the sorority house, everything from cleaning the bathrooms to changing out the air filters in the different A/C units around the building. One time the head of the sorority had her air conditioner quit on her, and she asked me to figure it out for her. I started researching HVAC repairs online, and discovered a few very interesting things. First of all, I learned how much certified HVAC techs can make, even when they are first starting out. Secondly, I learned that the HVAC industry was in desperate need of workers, and were actively seeking more females. HVAC techs are almost always men, and there was a growing call for diversity in the workforce. I realized that if I could get HVAC certified, it would be very easy for me to find a job that paid me good money. Why was I wasting time taking classes about romantic literature when I could be working towards an HVAC certification and starting a real career? My freshman year of college was also my final year of college!

air conditioning repair

Broken A/C in the Air BnB

Normally, running an AirBnB is a nice job.

I have found that the vast majority of guests are very considerate, and take good care of my cabin when they rent it.

There are always a few bad apples, but I don’t let that spoil my opinion of people in general. The truth is, if you are renting out a place, sooner or later you will rent to someone who is shady, or just thoughtless, and doesn’t treat your rental with respect. I am currently in the midst of cleaning up after one such guest, who not only trashed the place but broke the central HVAC system as well. Since I have a few such places, I have several repair specialists that I work with on a regular basis. Tom is my regular HVAC guy, and we have worked together long enough to form a friendship. It is so important for a property owner to have an HVAC contractor that they trust, because these systems can get quite expensive. This time around Tom had no good news for me, and the HVAC system was so badly damaged it would need to be replaced completely. He gave me a cost estimate that was staggeringly high, even with my “friends and family” discount with his HVAC company. I had a credit card on file for the renter, so I attempted to charge him for the full cost of the HVAC replacement, but it was declined. This jerk doesn’t have enough money to pay for my new HVAC system, so I may have to take him to court.

 

Air conditioning filter

The HVAC tech takes way too long

I don’t like people being in my house.

I wish I could say it was a side effect of the COVID pandemic, but I have been like this for years.

I have a social anxiety disorder, I assume, although I have never discussed it with a doctor because I don’t trust doctors. In general I like to be alone, or with a couple of friends, and stay away from strangers and the general public as much as possible. Sometimes people have to come into my home, however, like the pest control man who comes every three months, or the HVAC tech who comes by every six months. The HVAC tech is the worst, and not because he is a bad guy or anything, I just hate how long it takes. When the bug guy comes, he is here for ten minutes and then he is gone. No small talk, nothing like that, just does his job and leaves, but the HVAC tech seems to take half the day. I understand that there are two different air handlers in the house, so it’s a complicated HVAC set-up, but this guy takes four hours for a house call! I don’t want to be rude to the guy, because it’s not like I have ever dealt with an HVAC tech who was fast. HVAC techs must get paid by the hour, because every house call takes forever! I guess it still beats the alternative, which is having my central HVAC system break down on me, which would be a total nightmare for me.

 

Hybrid heating

The gun in the air vent

It is always a crapshoot to buy a house at auction, especially when it comes to a police auction.

Thanks to seizure laws, the cops can impound anything that was purchased with drug money, and then once a year they auction off all the stuff and keep the money.

Police auctions often have jewelry, cars, boats, motorcycles, and furs, and once in a while they even sell houses or property. I bought an amazing beachside condo at a police auction, the former residence of a drug dealer, and let me tell you it came with a few surprises. First of all, I found a handgun in the air duct of the main bedroom. I was cleaning the air vent and saw something just inside the ductwork, so I took a closer look and found a gun! I pondered what to do, because it might be evidence of a crime, but on the other hand I didn’t want cops poking through my house and looking in my ductwork. I just don’t trust cops, even if I do love their auctions. Since the central HVAC system was in good shape and didn’t need to be repaired, I decided that for the time being I would leave well enough alone. I left the gun in the air vent, put the grate back over it, and just went about my business like it wasn’t there. In the future, maybe I will figure out what to do with the gun, but for now I don’t see the harm in letting it sit in the air vent for a few months, or maybe a few years.
New heating units

A specialty HVAC job

When I first moved to the south it was a calculated risk.

I had only visited this area once before, on a long summer vacation when I was a kid.

My memories of that vacation are still quite vivid, and not in a good way. At the time I thought that my parents had driven us into Hell itself, because that is how hot and uncomfortable it was to be outside. At the time I vowed never to return, but twenty years later it seemed like a great idea, for a very different reason. A place this hot and humid demands a constant supply of air conditioning, and thus it is the land of opportunity for a certified HVAC tech. Currently I work for a specialty catering business, and it might seem weird that an HVAC tech works for a catering company, right? This company does high-end outdoor events that are hosted inside of air conditioned tents. Their clients want to be in the beauty of nature, but not the heat or humidity, so they have large, lavish tents rigged up with dozens of air vents connected to a cooling unit. The air vents are all flexible and able to be moved, rearranged, and then taken down when the event finishes. The whole set-up is 100% portable, and as the HVAC tech it is my sole duty to keep this system running at peak efficiency. It is a full time job, and I take it very seriously because they would lose all of their bookings without the air conditioning, and they pay me very well.

 

Washable filter

A practical joke with my air conditioners

My buddy Greg and I have a little running joke we share between us.

It started years ago when we were out drinking together. Greg excused himself to go to the bathroom, but snuck outside and moved my car around the block. I was convinced it had been stolen, and Greg lost his mind laughing at me! After that I struck back by stealing the TV from his bedroom when he was at class. We always give the stuff back, we aren’t stealing to keep these things, just to mess with the other guy. I was very impressed recently when Greg managed to steal all the air conditioning units from my house! I don’t have central A/C, I use a series of small window mounted units in four different rooms of my house. A window mounted AC unit is strong enough to cool off one room, so I have them in the kitchen, the living room, and both bedrooms. When I got back from a workout at the gym, I saw that all four of the air conditioners were gone, and I was impressed at the dedication to our joke! Have you ever tried lifting one of these air conditioners before? They may look small, but they are dense, and the HVAC components inside make it insanely heavy. It turns out Greg recruited a couple other friends, so they could dismount the air conditioners and hide them upstairs in the attic. I had to bribe these same guys with free beers to get them to bring the A/C units back down and help me install them again.

energy saving tips

The repair guy was making me uncomfortable

I don’t normally have people that come over to our house, but when I do I have no problem with them staying over for a while.

I have always been a people person and loved company and letting new people. However, my most recent interaction with somebody was what you would describe as less than normal. You see, our heating system had recently started having some problems. We have an electric furnace for his system and no limit was failing to eat all of our house properly we knew that something was up. We were not too surprised because the heater is a bit old and so we just figured that we would call a HVAC company and they could come out to service the issue. So we made the appointment with a heating and cooling provider and the following Tuesday a HVAC technician was sent to our home. I had a plan in my head how everything was going to go, but things didn’t go how I wanted them, not at all. When I opened the door to the heating and cooling guy, as soon as I made eye contact with him I got an unnerving vibe. There’s just something about him that really bothered me. I couldn’t place my finger on it. When I let him into the house to start working on the heating system, I showed him where it was and he got to work on it. The creepy part was that I would find him peeking around the corners staring at me. He would follow me to other rooms and scare me. I confronted him about it and he left. I think I’m going to wait until I’m not alone to have the heating system repaired.

 

gas furnace

The heating and a/c company provided the best service

When I started having problems with my air conditioning system, I was left unsure of what to do.

I had only recently started living by myself and I was unsure as to how exactly I was supposed to go about taking care of a problem like this.

I decided to ask a family member and they told me that it was an easy solution. All I had to do was call the local heating and air conditioning supplier and set up an appointment with them to have them come and service my HVAC unit. That seemed easy enough, so I picked the HVAC corporation that was nearest to me and made my appointment. It did not take long at all for the cooling specialist to make his way out to my home. He got here in a half an hour! I was really nervous because I was afraid that something serious would be wrong with my air conditioner and then I would have to pay a lot of money that I didn’t have to have it repaired. Thankfully when the heating and cooling guy was done examining it, he informed me that the only problem with it was a slight clog which he had already removed. The service was cheap and once the problem had been taken care of, it was like my air conditioner was new again. I went to the thermostat and gave it a try with no problem. I was greatly relieved to have it fixed. Now I can go back to enjoying the cool air without worry like I had done before.

 

 

Air conditioning supplier

The HVAC equipment was all messed up

I am not usually the kind of person to have problems with their heating and a/c system, and through all the years that I lived at my old home I never had any kind of issues.

  • However, all of the problems started when I decided to move to a different town.

I had wanted to move to a warmer climate for awhile, and so when I found a nice home in a neighborhood I liked, I jumped on it and purchased it. Up until that point I had never had any problems with my heating or air conditioning system, but that all changed when I moved into my new home. My new HVAC system is all kinds of messed up. Normally, what I would do is just continue to have my heating and a/c system serviced and upgraded by the local heating and cooling technicians, but my new HVAC unit needs far more work than that. I made an appointment with the nearby HVAC cooperation and when they sent out a repairman I was informed that there were many repairs needed and that it would be easier to just scrap it and get a new one and so that is what I did. Purchasing a brand new central heating and air conditioning system right after buying a house wasn’t on the list of things I wanted to do, it wasn’t cheap, but having good quality heating and a/c was important to me and so I did what was necessary to have a functional high quality HVAC unit.

heating and cooling

I should have purchased the zone control sooner

I really wish I had known about the remarkable technology that is HVAC zone control much sooner.

When me and my roommate were having problems with our heating and a/c temperatures, the only thing we could do was to try and negotiate with each other to find some common ground. It was easy to see that we clearly had very different temperature preferences, and that was the cause of most of our problems. Other than the temperature differences we got along like brothers. Our heating and cooling system worked perfectly, it was the people that were the problem. At one point my roommate had the heater set at 85 degrees, I couldn’t take the heat any more and so I turned off the heater and instead turned on the air conditioner to a nice 73 degrees. My roommate was upset with me for going behind his back and changing the temperature and an argument started. I had enough of all of this fighting over a ridiculous central air conditioning system, and so in the middle of the fight I stormed off. I had enough and I left. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew I couldn’t stay there. I ended up staying at a friend’s house for the night. The following day my roommate called me and we both apologized and made up, we both agreed it was a stupid fight and he pitched the idea of buying a zone controlled HVAC system from one of the local heating and a/c providers. I agreed and the rest is history. Now we are both happy with our own temperatures.

 

 

Air conditioning repair

Not a good time to lose the air conditioning

I live in a cold climate, and when you are used to living somewhere icy and cold, you may look forward to going somewhere warm.

For the past six months I have been dreaming of a tropical getaway.

I hadn’t been on vacation in what seems like forever and a fun little road trip with some friends of mine was sounding better and better. We decided to all make a plan, and we came to the agreement that we would save up some money and be on our way. It took a couple of months before everyone was ready, but before we knew it we were ready to go. With lots of anticipation and excitement, we loaded up all of our belongings and were on our way. For the first two days everything went smoothly, we had about a week ahead of us, with the goal being to drive coast to coast. We made stops to get some snacks and to sleep but that was it. All was going well until the afternoon of the third day, the temperatures outside were rising and we were starting to feel the heat. It was 95 degrees out! We were in the middle of nowhere when suddenly the car air conditioner stopped working. It didn’t take long before we became hot and we all felt like a can of sardines. Even though we didn’t want to, we had no choice but to make a stop at a repair shop, it would put us behind schedule but none of us were willing to go without the cool air of the a/c. Luckily the heating and cooling guy was super friendly and got our air conditioner running again in no time.

 

 

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