Portable Electric Heater on a Camping Trip

I did some research on the brand of the portable heater that I found at an estate sale and found out that it costs $200 new.

As the fall months begin to roll in, there is one thing on my friends’ minds: the annual camping trip! There is something about setting up a tent under the stars, cooking over a wood burning fire, and sleeping outside that gets everyone excited. Every other day of the year, these people wouldn’t dream of going to bed with their doors unlocked, cooking for themselves, let alone setting foot outdoors unless it was to meet the pizza delivery guy. Anyway, we always have a good time. This year, I decided to bring a portable electric heater. I had been looking for one of these at yard sales and thrift stores all summer. I finally came across a lightweight, unopened portable electric heater at an estate sale. I only paid $5 for the heater and it turned out to be a great investment! During the camping trip, the temperatures plummeted into the low 40’s. I was very happy to have a portable electric heater for inside my tent. My other friends had to huddle up in sleeping bags and all of their clothing. One point in the middle of the night, I thought my tent had caught on fire. That goes to show how well this heater works. I did some research on the brand of the portable heater that I found at an estate sale and found out that it costs $200 new. I found the best deal of the century. It pays to shop around and avoid impulse buys. This heater will last several years and I will be able to take it on camping trips in the future.

 

furnace/heater installation

I asked my kindergarteners what they wanted to be when they grow up

Have you ever noticed that there are some kids that have a very thoughtful life plan, and there are other kids that have no clue what they are doing in life? I am a kindergarten teacher, and it is my job to foster the hopes and dreams of my students. I always like to ask my students what they want to be when they grow up, and I always get a variety of different answers. Some kids want to be the silliest things. However, I have one student who wants to be an HVAC technician, and he has a great plan for becoming an HVAC technician. He told me that his dad is an HVAC technician for many years, and he wanted to be just like his dad. Apparently, his dad is able to fix any heating system or air conditioner that exists, and he is very good at what he does. However, his dad is more than an HVAC technician. He owns the largest HVAC company in our state, and they are very successful in the HVAC field. When my student gets into high school, he plans to take the courses in HVAC that our school offers. After school ends in high school, his father has already offered him a job as an HVAC helper in the HVAC company, where he will begin learning how to work on HVAC units. However, this student doesn’t plan on waiting that long. His dad already allows him to take apart and try to fix HVAC units now. Mainly, he works on small space heaters and window air conditioners. Most students end up changing their career paths, but I think that my little student will definitely reach his goal of becoming an HVAC technician.
gas furnace

I have always wanted to fix the HVAC units on the roofs of large buildings

Whenever I am in a large building such as a hospital, I am always fascinated by the HVAC units that are installed on the roof.

  • I should have known that the HVAC units would be there.

Hospitals require a lot of furnaces and air conditioners to be comfortable, and if they were to install all of those HVAC units on the ground around the building, it would be like running a maze to get around those HVAC units and inside the house. Whenever I am at the hospital, I spend a lot of time staring at the window at the condenser for the air conditioners. In fact, this is why I became an HVAC technician. I couldn’t be a residential HVAC technician, because the HVAC units that they work on are different than the commercial HVAC units that the hospital would have. This meant that I had to focus on learning how to install, repair, and inspect commercial HVAC units. This required more training in the HVAC field, which took a lot more time. I joined an HVAC union, and the union just so happened to be involved in working with the hospital, now, on an annual basis, it is my job to inspect and repair all of the HVAC units in the hospital, and I absolutely love it. Every once in a while, I am allowed to replace a few of the HVAC units in the hospital. Isn’t it funny how little things inspire an entire career? Those HVAC units at the hospital inspired me to become an HVAC technician.
furnace

I have a really old wood stove that I am trying to use

I have been warned by several people that using an old wood stove might not be the best idea, but I am too stubborn to believe them.

I learned from my dad how to fix just about anything. When I say “fix”, it does not usually mean fix the right way though. My dad could patch anything together, but it did not always last. Matter of fact, it usually did not last long at all. He did it because he could just keep fixing it over and over without spending much money at all. My family was not super poor, but my dad hates spending money. He only spends money on something new when he absolutely had to. I call him a cheapskate, but he says that he is just frugal. I have learned his mentality, so I absolutely hate to spend money unless I have to. I think that being so “frugal” can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. I think that I am at the point where I do not care if it is a bad idea as long as I can save money which is really sad. I have a seventy year old wood stove that I found in a junk pile, and I am trying to fix it up and use it. I have been warned by several people that using an old wood stove might not be the best idea, but I am too stubborn to believe them. I am going to try my best to get it in tip top shape before using it, but I am not sure how hard it will be to do so. My dad offered to help, of course, so with the both of us, we should be able to get it working. I love wood stoves so much, and it is a lot cheaper to heat my house using a wood stove than a gas or electric furnace.
a/c worker

I hate stuffy bus rides

It was not his fault that the air conditioner just suddenly stopped working.

I live in the inner city, and it is much safer and faster to travel by bus or subway than by your own vehicle. It takes so long to get anywhere in a vehicle. I wish that I could just get in my car and drive to work everyday, but it just is not practical. I would have to wake up around three in the morning just to make it to work by six. It is only a thirty minute drive, but not when it is rush hour. I love my house, and I love my job, but I think that I may need to either move jobs or houses soon because I am sick of long stuffy bus rides. The bus that I rode home yesterday was packed full of people, and there was no air conditioning on the bus. All of the windows were open, but it was still very hot and stuffy in the bus. I am not sure if there is anything that I dislike more than riding in a hot stuffy bus for thirty minutes. I actually got sick yesterday because of how overheated I was by the time that I got off of the bus. The bus driver apologized several times which was very kind of him. It was not his fault that the air conditioner just suddenly stopped working. He tried getting another bus, but he was not able to, so he had to listen to complaining and angry people the entire day. Even though there was no air conditioning and the bus was really stuffy, I tried to be as kind as possible to the bus driver because I know that he was having a rough day. Yesterday’s bus ride confirms my need to switch jobs or houses.

 

air conditioning business

My apartment’s air conditioner is located right next to my bed

I had been searching for an apartment for 13 months when I eventually found the one I’m living in now.

Thankfully, my parents allowed me to live at home while I landed my first full time job.

I was privileged and fortunate enough to have somewhere to stay and live for free while I saved money each week for my own place. With that said, the apartment search was downright brutal. The market might seem large when you first look, but many of the units available for rent are either far out of my budget, or the few that you find are scooped up before you can schedule a viewing. Despite the hurdles, I kept at it and stumbled upon something eventually that fit my price range and seemed great for my needs. It’s a studio and isn’t huge, but I have very few things short of my guitar and computer, plus the location is thankfully within a five minute’s drive from my job. This meant that I could even ride my bicycle to work to save on gas money when the weather is right. With all of these positives, I wondered if the apartment was too good to be true. In part, that assumption turned out to be correct. The plumbing doesn’t drain properly and the central air conditioner is extremely loud. Based on the layout of the studio, I can really only fit my bed in one location and that happens to be within a few feet of the closet where the air handler is located. I have trouble sleeping at night from the abundant noise created whenever the machine turns on. I have resorted to leaving my TV on at a small volume so I don’t hear the air conditioner turning on and off while I sleep. When the room goes from dead silent to a normal air conditioner cycle, the noise can be startling enough to continually wake me from my sleep. At least keeping background noise on at all times seems to help.

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I use a vacuum and a garden hose to flush my condensate line

I am always surprising my coworkers when I tell stories about my monthly home maintenance routines.

There are obvious chores and work that most people either encounter in their own lives, or are at least fully exposed to by the time they reach adulthood.

For instance, most people know to keep their roofs clear of leaves and debris to prevent roof rot. Even if you live in an apartment, it’s mostly common sense that wet plant matter rots wood when exposed for long stretches of time. Most people also know the importance of keeping your home vacuumed and mopped, even if just to keep the dust levels down and seasonal allergies at bay. But, when you consider the multitudes of bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens that are walked into a living spaces when outdoor shoes are left on, regular cleanings take on even more importance. With all of these home maintenance routines, one that legitimately surprised everyone at the office was keeping an air conditioner’s condensate line clean. Fan forced split-system air conditioners wear at least two hats—both cooling and dehumidification. As the a/c cools your air, moisture is pulled out by the evaporator coil and sent to the condensate pan. When this component fills with waste water, it travels down a small PVC pipe to an outdoor location. But, if you don’t clean this pipe out with a garden hose and vacuum a few times a year, you can have back flow and an expensive water damage from an unseen leak. When I told my coworkers that I was doing this chore the prior weekend, most of them were stunned and admitted they didn’t even know what a condensate line was, let alone know enough to keep it cleaned regularly. I think many of them called their HVAC contractors after work that day to go over the maintenance routines to check for condensate line clogs.

Commercial HVAC provider

The Weekend HVAC Installation

Because I have a very busy schedule, I had to make special arrangements with my local HVAC company when I had to have a brand new central heating and air conditioning system installed.

The special arrangements I had to make were going to cost me a few bucks extra, you could say. This was because I had to schedule the HVAC installation on the weekend. During the week, I work so much, that I had no time to be around for the local heating and air conditioning company to come over to do the HVAC installation. I also could not afford to be off from my job for even a single day. I called around to a lot of heating and air conditioning corporations in my area, and believe me, it was very tough trying to find one that actually did HVAC installation on a weekend! When I did finally find a heating and air conditioning dealership that did heating and cooling installation on the weekend, I was shocked to find out just how much higher the price was going to be to get the central heating and cooling system installed. But, I had to do it anyway, because I really needed a new HVAC system! My old HVAC system had broke down from being so old, and it had been years since I even had any upgrades done to my central heating and air conditioning system, and eventually, it just up and died on me! I’m happy with my new HVAC unit. I just was not happy that I had to pay the extra cost for a weekend HVAC installation!

Whole home heating

How I Improved My Indoor Air Quality

I had been trying to figure out a way to improve my indoor air quality.

The house was just really bad on that side of things. My wife and kids would always be having bad allergy type reactions when the central heating and air conditioning system would turn on. We had a certified heating and cooling specialist look at the HVAC system, thinking it may have been something to do with our ductwork. However, this was not the case. It was the home itself! When the central heating and air conditioning system would turn on, that would just blow the bad air quality all over the place, making the allergy symptoms happen. I was very thankful to the HVAC specialist for telling us about a whole home air purification system. The whole home air purification system was what the answer was to clear the really bad indoor air quality. It was an air purifier that would be attached to the heating and air conditioning. Then, you could run it at the same time as the HVAC unit, or, you could run the whole home air purification system on its own. The only 2 drawbacks to this, was going to be the cost of the air purifier itself, and, the cost of the installation. But this was something we for sure had to do as soon as possible. Ever since we did get it (which was about a month ago), the air quality in our house has been great, and there has been no more allergy symptoms!

Ductless mini split

Portable Electric heating for our trip

As the fall months begin to roll in, there is one thing on my friends’ minds: the annual camping trip! There is something about setting up a tent under the stars, cooking over a wood burning fire, & sleeping outside that gets all the people excited… Every other afternoon of the year, these people wouldn’t dream of going to bed with their doors unlocked, cooking for themselves, let alone setting foot outdoors unless it was to meet the pizza delivery guy, then anyway, all of us typically have a nice time, then this year, I decided to bring a portable electric heater, then i had been looking for one of these at yard sales & thrift stores all summer.

I finally came across a lightweight, unopened portable electric heating system at an estate sale.

I only paid $5 for the heating system & it turned out to be a great investment! During the camping trip, the rapidly changing temperatures plummeted into the low 40’s. I was absolutely ecstatic to have a portable electric heating system for inside my tent, then my other friends had to huddle up in sleeping bags & all of their clothing, but one point in the middle of the night, I thought my tent had caught on fire. That goes to show how well this heating system works. I did some research on the brand of the portable heating system that I found at an estate sale & found out that it costs $200 new. I found the best deal of the century. It pays to shop around & avoid impulse buys. This heating system will last several years & I will be able to take it on camping trips in the future.

Heating technology