The Woes of HVAC in Rental Homes

The value of outright owning a home has dropped dramatically in my eyes.

The amount of responsibility and problems that go with homeownership are hard to square with the limited economic advantages.

We’ve been lucky. The last two home we have owned were sold for a profit. The last one though was barely profitable given the property values. Then you throw in the whole age thing. My wife and I are on the last laps of our careers and just aren’t sure that buying another house is what we really want to do. And we are both sick to death of taking care of all the details that go with home ownership. So, we have decided to lease a place for the next year. The price is right. And, we both like the fact that there is less space so downsizing our stuff became a priority. However, we have run into something that is a bit of a problem. Our HVAC unit on the rental place is just so outdated and underpowered. It’s summer here and the thing runs non stop but can’t catch up during the day. The utility bill is crazy. But, the rental office just blows us off. I have never been in this type of situation before. I have no control over what type of HVAC unit heats and cools my home. When we owned a home, we would have figured out how to replace the HVAC and moved on. Now, I am at the mercy of a rental company. I have done everything I can to help lessen the HVAC load but there is just not enough we can do. The dang thing just has to go. I am going to write email after letter and call and call until they do something. This is the downside to not owning your own home.
Heater for sale

Make Remembering the Air Filter a Priority

My memory is not all that good to start with.

Add some age and far too much other nonsense entering my mind and you get a bunch of forgetting.

So, there are a myriad of lists and notes and alarms to help me remember to do the things I am supposed to be doing. I do my best but even with all of that, I still forget at least one thing per day. One thing I have been terrible about is changing the air filter for the HVAC system. I just can’t seem to get myself to do it. I have even laid out an air filter the night before. But, I walked by it for like 2 weeks. I know how important the air filter is. Any HVAC system needs the most unobstructed amount of air flow it can possibly get. A dirty air filter is not only bad for you but it wreaks havoc with the HVAC unit. A clogged up air filter really restricts the amount of air flow going to the HVAC unit. Proportionally, this increases the workload of the HVAC unit to turn over air. The more that HVAC works the more you are getting rung up on the utility bill. Not to mention that it’s not too good for the longevity of the HVAC unit. So, I went to the store and bought a whole case of high end air filters. These filters are supposed to catch like 95 percent of allergens and other contaminants. I had my kid put a recurring alarm on my phone that I can only clear once I actually change the air filter. It’s worth the hassle because I want to keep my utility bill down while taking care of my heating and cooling unit.

 

radiant heater

To Replace or Not To Replace the HVAC System

I just need a decision.

I’m sick of the debate.

I’m sick of the going back and forth. Everyone has their opinion on what I need to do. And then I confuse myself further by looking on the internet. I need some sort of resolution on whether or not to replace my HVAC. Our house is about 20 years old and the HVAC unit is original equipment. Now, I have always had the HVAC system professional maintained on a seasonal basis. So, it has been given the very best of preventive care. However, the heating and cooling unit is definitely on its last legs. The utility bills are a nightmare because my HVAC unit is running all the time during the summer and winter. The unit is horrible outdated. The SEER rating on it is atrocious. But, the dang thing just doesn’t break down. How do I rip out something that has never broken down? The thing that I believe will tip it for me is that the HVAC unit I own still uses R 22 Freon. This will soon be unavailable or really, really expensive if you can find it. Then there are all these tariffs to think about. Maybe it would be smarter to replace later or are the tariffs going to keep driving up the costs of aluminum? Not an easy decision. I guess I’ll just hope that my old HVAC unit can get us through one more summer. Perhaps fall is a good time to make HVAC decisions. I think I’m making myself a little crazy with all this back and forth on this HVAC issue.

heated floors

Tightening Up to Save on HVAC Load

It’s a long walk to the mailbox when I know the summer utility bill will be in there.

I just hate that envelope. In this region, we live with air conditioning about 6 months of the year. However, the summer dose of heat pushes the HVAC to run much more often. Hence being afraid of the utility bill. But, instead of just running scared, I decided to get a bit more proactive about lessening the HVAC load. It took about 5 minutes on the internet to come up with plenty of DIY ideas to lower the utility costs in the height of summer. I am an absolute beast when it comes to guarding the thermostat. So, that wasn’t a huge deal. However, during peak hours, I am raising the thermostat to at least 80 degrees. I have made sure that the air filter is changed every single month. Unobstructed air flow is key to all HVAC systems. A dirty air filter forces the HVAC unit to work so much harder. I went outside and cleared out all the weeds and debris from around the HVAC condenser cabinet. Again, trying to be certain there is maximum air flow for the unit. Inside the house, I went around to be sure that all the vents were open. I read to never have more than 20 percent of the vents closed in your house. I opened them all. The returns were also checked to be sure there were no obstructions. Finally, I have been sure to pull all the curtains and shades to reduce the impact from direct sunlight. Maybe all this will make the walk to the mailbox a bit easier.

 

Cooling industry

Our five-year-old son figures out how to mess with the thermostat

Me and my wife are beginning to realize that our son is very clever.

  • He observes just about everything with curiosity in his eyes, as if he is analyzing it Instead of passively observing.

He loves to figure out how things work and no sooner do we give him some kind of puzzle or other project that he is already conquered it and wants to move on to the next. We are very proud of what is clearly some keen intelligence, but it does have its drawbacks. You have to be careful what you say around him, and he’s pretty hard to fool for a 5 year old. We knew all of this about our son, but we did not expect him to figure out how to mess with the thermostat. For one thing, he’s too short to reach the controls by far. Thus, we thought it was safe from his grasp. Nonetheless, we began noticing temperature fluctuations. I would set the temperature before I went to bed at night and it would be quite different from what I set in the morning. Most often, it would be a few degrees cooler. I thought my wife was playing tricks on me, but she insisted that she wasn’t touching the thermostat. We agreed on the temperatures I set, after all. Eventually we discovered the truth. Our son was pulling a chair up so that he could reach the thermostat to change the temperature more to his liking. Pulling up a chair is one thing, but the fact that he was able to navigate through that programmable thermostat settings to cool down the house was pretty amazing!

Whole home air purification

Fleeting, pleasant summer days in mountain country

Last summer, I took a little vacation up into a mountain range for up north.

It was smack-dab in the middle of June and my hometown had scorching heat just about every afternoon at the time.

Getting some cool, refreshing mountain air really sounded like a good idea. Plus, I absolutely love the mountains because they’re so beautiful and majestic. The morning I flew out of town, it already felt like 80 degrees outside when it was only 7 a.m.! I was glad to finally be rid of such hot and humid weather. I really couldn’t have anticipated just how cold and dry the air would be when I arrived at my destination. There was not a single point throughout the day or night during which I ever needed air conditioner. In fact, I barely needed any form of climate control at all. Some days were absolutely perfect and beautiful. The Sun was shining, the sky was blue, and it was cool and crisp. Actually, that was nearly every day. Believe it or not, I need heating during certain nights! I couldn’t get over the fact that it was the middle of June and I needed heating at night at the hotel I was staying in. What a different world this was compared to what I was used to! Obviously, it doesn’t stay this way all year. As much as I loved the weather when I visited, and appreciated not needing much climate control, it would not be long before people would need their heating units all day up there! I don’t think I’d be able to deal with the brutal cold of their winters!

Commercial HVAC for sale

I did not have the best air conditioning growing up

Summers were a bit rougher when I was younger.

  • For most of the time I was growing up, my family did not have central heating and air conditioning.

This was not so bad when it came to the heating part, but we certainly could have done with some good air conditioner! I remember how hot summer afternoons used to be in particular. All we had to rely on were a few window air conditioner units that never quite did the job. I remember standing in front of them as a kid with my face up close to the vents. You had to be just about that close to get the full benefit of the cool air. Of course, my brother would tell me to stop hogging up all the air. Whenever one of the three window A/C units went down, you just hoped that it wasn’t the one in your room. Which typically ended up replacing them outright instead of attempting any repairs, unless the problem was really simple. We finally moved into a house with central air conditioning just five months before I would be heading off to college. At least I was able to enjoy the cool air throughout that summer. The old window A/C units just couldn’t compare to the Comfort we got from that central A/C system. And then, I had to move off to college where the dorm rooms had crappy air conditioner! Well, at least I eventually got my own apartment with central air conditioner to enjoy.

Heat pump

Waiting for a tow truck in the snow

Last Friday, I had a bit of an annoyance during my commute home from work.

Namely, I didn’t make it home.

I broke down on the highway, which was a puzzle to me, because I could swear that my car was in good health. I pulled over and wondered what on Earth could be going on. I was lucky enough to have broken down in a relatively safe area with plenty of room on the side of the highway. I called the towing company, but they ultimately would not arrive for an hour and a half. It was a bitter cold 28 degrees outside, and it started to snow about 30 minutes into my wait. At this point I was very grateful that the heating system was working fine. It was not until that evening until I really started to appreciate just how effective my heating system was in my vehicle. By rights, I should have been freezing out there, but I was actually nice and toasty as I waited to be towed home. I turned to a station that was playing Christmas music and tried my best to be cheery about the situation. It was Friday after all, and I would be home soon if this tow truck would hurry up and get here. In the end, the combination of the waning light and the snow falling gently coupled with the warm atmosphere that the heating system was providing caused me to nearly fall asleep as I waited for the tow truck! The flashing lights from the tow truck snapped me awake and I was happy to finally be heading home.
electric heater

We did debate the situation for a while

It’s a long walk to the mailbox when I guess the summer time utility bill will be in there.

I just don’t like that envelope.

In this region, all of us live with A/C about 6 weeks of the year. However, the summer time dose of heat pushes the Heating plus A/C to run much more often. Hence being afraid of the utility bill. But, instead of just running scared, I decided to get a bit more proactive about lessening the Heating plus A/C load. It took about 5 hours on the internet to come up with plenty of DIY ideas to lower the utility costs in the height of summer. I am an absolute beast when it comes to guarding the control unit. So, that wasn’t a huge deal. However, during peak hours, I am raising the control unit to at least 72 degrees. I have made sure that the air filter is changed every single week. Unjammed air flow is key to all Heating plus A/C systems. A dirty air filter forces the Heating plus A/C unit to labor so much harder. I went outside and cleared out all the weeds and debris from around the Heating plus A/C condenser cottageet. Again, trying to be certain there is maximum air flow for the unit. Inside the house, I went around to be sure that all the vents were open. I study to never have more than 20 percent of the vents closed in your house. I opened them all. The returns were also checked to be sure there were no obstructions. Finally, I have been sure to pull all the curtains and shades to reduce the impact from direct sunlight. Maybe all this will make the walk to the mailbox a bit easier.

HVAC unit

I owned a home with efficient products

The value of outright owning a home has dropped dramatically in our eyes.

The amount of responsibility and problems that go with homeownership are strenuous to square with the limited economic advantages.

We’ve been lucky. The last multiple home every one of us have owned were sold for a profit. The last a single though was barely profitable given the property values. Then you throw in the whole age thing. My partner and I are on the last laps of our works and just aren’t sure that buying another apartment is what every one of us actually want to do. And every one of us are both sick to death of taking care of all the details that go with home ownership. So, every one of us have decided to lease a site for the next year. The price is right. And, every one of us both like the fact that there is less space so downsizing our stuff became a priority. However, every one of us have run into something that is a bit of a problem. Our Heating, Ventilation, and A/C component on the rental site is just so aged and underpowered. It’s summer time here and the thing runs non stop but can’t catch up during the day. The utility bill is crazy. But, the rental office just blows us off. I have never been in this type of situation before. I have no control over what type of Heating, Ventilation, and A/C component heats and cools our home. When every one of us owned a home, every one of us would have figured out how to replace the Heating, Ventilation, and A/C and moved on. Now, I am at the mercy of a rental business. I have done everything I can to help lessen the Heating, Ventilation, and A/C load but there is just not enough every one of us can do. The dang thing just has to go. I am going to write text after letter and call and call until they do something. This is the negative to not owning your own home.

 

 

Cooling and heating business