I handle emergency heating repairs on Christmas

I have three young children, so you know that Christmas morning is a big deal around our house.

However, it also presents a problem for me.

For the last three years I have had to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I don’t want to ruin Christmas by not being with my family, but on the other hand these emergency repairs pay big money so I can’t afford to turn them down. The only reason I can afford to have a nice Christmas for my kids is by working these extra jobs. The contractor I work for has a 24 hour emergency HVAC help line, so people can call us 24/7 for help. When customers need heating repair after hours it costs more, and if they want help on a major holiday, it costs A LOT more. Taking a furnace repair job on Christmas will pay triple my normal rate, so you understand why I have to take the call. Last Christmas morning I got an emergency furnace repair call, and my oldest son Jack asked if he could come with me. He wanted to spend the holiday with his dad, even if that meant being in a basement and working on a broken heater! Not only did I take him with me, but I gave him an official shirt and baseball cap with the logo of the HVAC company on it, to make him feel like a real employee. It took us about two hours to fix that furnace, and I must admit it has become one of my favorite Christmas memories.


a/c representative

Learn a skill or a trade like HVAC repair

If you want to make it in this increasingly complicated world, you need to know a skill.

For years I worked as a retail sales clerk, and I hated it. All of my friends had the same kind of dead-end job, so we spent our nights drinking and smoking and complaining about it. One day I met someone who convinced me that I was slumming, and if I wanted a better life I needed to learn a skill. He taught me that HVAC work is difficult and complex, and takes years to learn it. Even after you achieve an official certification, there is still years worth of on-the-job learning to be done. All that work and effort is worth it, because a certified HVAC tech can make an excellent living and never need to worry about job security. The problem with retail work is that you can be fired at any time, with no warning. Retail workers are a dime a dozen, as the saying goes. When a person is certified for HVAC work, there are so many options for employment that it doesn’t matter if you get fired. I have met several HVAC techs who work for multiple contractors at the same time. They can pick and choose who they work for, because that HVAC certification gives them the power to do so! Every home and every business in the country relies on climate control in some way. With an HVAC certification you can go anywhere, work for anyone, because you have a skill that is highly in demand.


portable space heater

In a professional kitchen, ventilation is vital

I am a kitchen manager, a host, and an expediter.

  • This means that while I don’t cook, I am the boss of all the cooks, and it’s my job to keep everything running smoothly.

I make the work schedule, I supervise the line, and I also manage the wait staff to make sure our customers stay happy. It is a very difficult job, but it’s a labor of love! I have learned that one of the most important aspects of managing the kitchen is ensuring proper ventilation and climate control. When the cooling doesn’t work it makes the chefs hot, sweaty, and irritable, which does not translate to good cooking. Ventilation is even more important because without that the kitchen begins to stink, and it ruins the indoor air quality for the entire restaurant. No one wants to go out for a nice meal and have to grimace over the terrible odor and air quality of a dining hall with no ventilation. I have a local HVAC tech who works with my restaurant on a monthly basis. His name is Ron, and he is moonlighting with us as a second job. His day job is with a large A/C contractor, but I pay him under the table to perform basic cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep for our ventilation system. My kitchen team keeps the cooking areas clean and neat at all times, and Ron makes sure the ventilation system is just as clean! Without Ron’s monthly ductwork and exhaust system cleanings, the food we make wouldn’t be nearly as tasty.

air conditioning workman

She should have kept her hands off the thermostat

It was my fault for letting Jenny stay here in the first place.

She is my sister, but she is also a wild child.

She has gotten into trouble with the law more than once, so I knew it was a risk to let her crash on my couch. On the other hand, it was my sister, so how could I tell her no and make her live in her car? For the first few days everything stayed nice and calm. Jenny was on her best behavior, even if she did a few little things to bug me. For example, she kept messing around with the settings on my thermostat. Jenny always liked being cold, and was known to run the air conditioning day and night. In her house that was okay, but this was my house and I didn’t want to run the A/C so much. After that Jenny tried to be sneaky, and only changed the thermostat setting while I was out of the house. She got lazy, however, and forgot to move the climate control back to the normal setting before I returned from work, so we had a huge argument about that. I told Jenny it wasn’t about the cost of running the A/C a little more, it was a matter of respect. Me asking her to leave the thermostat alone was a very simple request, and when she ignored that it showed that she didn’t respect me. I told her if she put her hands on the thermostat one more time I would kick her out and she could go live in her car.



air vent

A new heater for the garage

I feel like a jerk for making my friend sleep out in the garage, but it was the only way to restore normalcy to my home.

I have a friend named Bo, who was recently kicked out of his house by his wife. There is no chance she will take him back, it was brutal. Bo had no money and no place to go. He asked to stay on my couch for a couple of days, and after consulting with my wife I said he could. A week later Bo was still here, with no prospects for anywhere else to go. I said if he wanted to stay long-term Bo would have to stay in the garage, so my family and I could get back to normal. The only problem was that the ductwork for the HVAC system did not connect to the garage, so it was dangerously cold out there. I went to the store and hunted for the best space heater I could find, but those cost too much money so I went to a pawn shop instead. There I found a nice garage heater, which is a variant model of space heater, for half the price I found in other stores. I didn’t bother to ask Bo to help pay for the heater, because I knew he had no money. I want to be a good friend, but providing Bo with food, water, comfort, and heating is a lot to ask, so I hope he leaves soon. I can’t bring myself to kick him out, but I pray that he goes away!


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A red hot Valentine’s Day

Much to my surprise, Valentine’s Day is a very busy day at my job.

My wife Bonnie and I now celebrate it the weekend before the day itself, because I know once V-Day arrives I will be slammed at work and have to stay late.

Three years in a row Bonnie and I had to cancel Valentine’s plans because of work, which is why we changed the date. If you are anything like me it comes as a surprise that demand for A/C repair work is so vital on this romantic holiday. There are two major reasons for this. First, lots of folks go out for a fancy dinner on Valentines, so the restaurants need to make sure their climate control is working perfectly. No one wants to have their special date night spoiled by lousy air conditioning, right? Second, for those folks at home who want to spend a romantic night with their partner, climate control is essential to the process. Imagine trying to be intimate with your partner if the A/C isn’t working and you both are sweaty and gross? To feel sexy people need to feel comfortable, which means quality climate control! Bonnie doesn’t mind, because I always make a lot of extra money as an HVAC tech on the holiday. Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year when it comes to heating and A/C work, but it’s not in the Top Three. The three busiest days of the year for the HVAC industry are Super Bowl Sunday, Christmas, and Thanksgiving, in that order.

new air conditioning

I needed new HVAC equipment for the kitchen

When indoor air quality gets low enough, it will impact the taste and texture of the food

I have always loved to cook, but recently I decided to take my passion to the next level and become a professional caterer. For weddings, parties, or other events, or just to deliver a home-cooked meal, I take orders from my website and make food for people. Stepping up from cooking for myself, to cooking for paying clients meant that I needed to invest in some new equipment. I don’t mean just cooking equipment, either! The high level of cooking I would be doing meant I needed to give my whole kitchen a facelift, starting with the HVAC system. The climate control for the room needed an upgrade, to offset all the heat generated by the oven, the stove, and the other equipment. I also needed to upgrade my ventilation system, which included a new range hood and an exhaust fan. You may not understand why I had to get new HVAC equipment in order to improve my cooking business, so let me explain. Without proper ventilation in the kitchen, the indoor air quality would start to degrade. When indoor air quality gets low enough, it will impact the taste and texture of the food. Poor ventilation will also cause the air in the house to become so foul that it might disrupt my senses of smell and taste. I need good ventilation and clean air in order to make sure my food is of the highest quality. With the new ventilation system, exhaust fan, and range hood, I am giving my new business a much better chance to succeed.

dual fuel system

Tips for superior air quality

Comic books can be serious business.

Take it from me, I’m a professional appraiser with a specialty in evaluating the worth of comic books and collectables.

Collectables is a euphemism for “old toys” which can also be very valuable. I work for an insurance company, and when someone needs to insure their comic book collection I am the person to take a look and assign a value to the books. I assure you I love my job. I have been a fan of comics my whole life, and have a sizable collection of my own. The most important aspect of maintaining your collection is having superior indoor air quality. Without the highest level of indoor air quality, your collection is bound to start developing little problems like mold or mildew. Even moderate levels of humidity can make the pages start sticking together, so above all else get a dehumidifier for your collection room. Buy the nicest, most powerful dehumidifier you can afford, and leave it running at all times. If you have a lot of money to invest in a new climate control system, I advise getting one of those. Along with a smart thermostat, a dedicated climate control system in your collection room will monitor all the levels and keep your comic books safe and secure. I understand that this option requires a whole lot of investment, so start with a dehumidifier and take it from there. I have some clients with collections so valuable that I mandate they must install a dedicated climate control system, or we won’t insure their comics.


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Doing HVAC work under the table

I don’t want to bog you down with too long of a backstory on this, but I want you to understand how I came to be an outlaw HVAC tech.

I worked for a local contractor for the last six years, and had developed a good reputation for fast work and customer service.

One night I was out drinking, and got into a little scuffle. After I got arrested, I lost my drivers license for 2 years, and had to do 200 hours of community service. My boss fired me, and no one else wanted to hire me because of what happened. I was still HVAC certified, but couldn’t find any work! Because of this I started doing HVAC work “under the table.” This meant I worked only for cash, and left no paper trail. This was perfect for shady characters who needed work done but didn’t want an HVAC contractor nosing around. My first major job was setting up a heating and ventilation system for a local marijuana grower. For obvious reasons the cannabis farmer did not want to leave an official paper trail by going through a licensed HVAC company. This guy actually needed some tips and pointers from me, because he didn’t want the HVAC equipment to drain too much power. This is how a lot of pot growers are caught by utility companies seeing a spike in energy use, so he needed his HVAC system to be powerful but efficient. I set him up with a heating system, a humidifier, and a small generator to keep everything running.
space heater

My salon got a boost from the new HVAC system

I had a great idea for my salon, but I couldn’t afford it.

My beauty salon is quite successful, but still not as much as I would like.

My goal is to be the top salon in the city, the kind of place where people will wait for hours just to get a makeover. In order to do that I needed to make a few changes, which would cost more money then I had. I talked to every contractor in the area, but without at least ten thousand dollars they couldn’t help me. I got desperate, and asked my cousin Jimmy for some help. I knew that Jimmy was still taking night classes for his HVAC certification, which meant he was not a legal, licensed HVAC pro yet. On the other hand he was family, and would work cheap, so I pitched my idea about the ductwork to Jimmy. While the central HVAC system in the salon is fine, the ductwork leaves a lot to be desired. I wanted to expand the system of air ducts, and add a dozen more air vents into the work area. The goal was to have a directional air vent that could be pointed at every single chair in every single workstation. If my customers had complete control over their own heating and cooling, it would make this salon seem a lot fancier. I told Jimmy that I couldn’t pay him up front for his HVAC work, but that once it was done and business improved I would pay him ten thousand dollars cash.

space heater