Patio Villa home in The Villages

The Villages is a community in Florida designed for residents over the age of fifty-five. It offers convenience, safety and something for everyone to enjoy. From free nightly entertainment to an abundance of daytime activities and amenities, the opportunities are just about limitless. Within The Villages there are an assorted style of homes available to suit different lifestyles, budget and preferences. A popular option is villas that are available in Courtyard or Patio styles. Ranging in size, layout and features, the villas provide a low-maintenance living with attractive outdoor spaces and all sorts of comforts. The Patio Villas cater to those who appreciate the gorgeous Florida weather. The majority of models include a patio situated on the side or the front of the resident. Many offer a lanai, porte-cochere, golf cart garage and a one- or two-car garage. There are more than fifteen patio villa designs with a selection of features and accents. Traditionally, the patio villas provide one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. A few of the newly built models incorporate a third bedroom. Square footage ranges fro 849 square feet to 1,350. The curb appeal is styless with manicured landscaping and touches of rock decor. Prices start at 160 thousand dollars. For comfortable living, it’s hard to beed the patio villas. They require minimal maintenance and offer amenities such as walk-in showers, kitchen islands, vaulted ceilings and more. There’s also the appeal of The Villages as a community. There is no need to ever leave. Everything from grocery shopping and boutiques to restaurants and live music is easily accessible by way of a golf cart.


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Hoping legalized weed comes to Florida

I absolutely love living in Tampa, Florida. The weather is gorgeous just about year round, with blue skies and plenty of sunshine. There is access to a vibrant waterfront area, diverse cultural scene and all sorts of entertainment and activities. I can get tickets to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning, Buccaneers or the Rays play. All of the local teams are really successful. The Lightning have won the Stanley Cup three times. The Buccaneers won a Super Bowl in 202 and the Rays are consistently one of the top performing teams in the Amercian League. The one thing I am still hoping for is legalized recreational weed to come to Florida. Currently, only medicinal cannabis is legal. Qualifying for a MMJ card requires a recommendation from a licensed healthcare provider, completion of paperwork and a fee. The card is then only valid for a single year. I have not wanted to devote the time or money to getting my card. However, I suffer from a variety of medical issues that negatively impact my quality of life. As a woman in her mid-fifties, my age has created problems with nocturnal leg cramps, hot flashes, migraines and insomnia. I have plantar fasciitis in my feet and psoriasis on my elbows and knees. None of my symptoms are severe enough to risk the long-term and harmful side-effects of synthetic pharmaceuticals. I would like access to safe, plant-based medicines. I find it ridiculous that I can’t walk into a dispensary and buy a cannabis-infused topical. Ointments cause no psychoactive effects. There is no minimum dosing requirements and no risk to my judgement or safety.
Tampa FL heating and air conditioning

Vacation in St. Petersburg

It was some type of a window unit that was installed into a wall.

Last winter, I decided to take my family on a holiday vacation. I wanted to escape the sub-zero temperatures and feet of snow accumulation up north. I researched all sorts of different destinations. I preferred to not only remain in the United States but find somewhere along the east coast. With three little kids, I knew it would easier for us to drive. I eventually came across St. Petersburg. Located along the Gulf Coast, the area offers beautiful year round weather, plenty of sunshine and pristine beaches. I checked into a variety of rental properties, but everything with direct beach access was for too expensive. I eventually found a small Air B&B just a short walk from the shoreline that was within my price range. The property did not include a swimming pool, fitness center or laundry. I figured that we weren’t going to spend much time using the accommodations and didn’t require luxurious. When we arrived, the small size of the rental property was a bit of a surprise. We barely had enough space to open our suitcases. There was very little water pressure in the shower and pipes made odd noises all night long. The air conditioner was obviously ancient. It was some type of a window unit that was installed into a wall. The cabinet was dented, rusted and whenever the unit started up, it made an alarming screech. Most of the buttons didn’t work, and the cooling unit dripped a considerable amount of water on the floor. We were just happy that it provided sufficient air to keep the accommodations cool.


St Petersburg FL HVAC

Moving to Springfield in the spring time

I was raised in the far south, where the weather was always hot and humid.

I was accustomed to running the air conditioner just about year round, and our house was not equipped with any type of heating system.

Torrential downpours, thunderstorms and hurricanes were common concerns. After graduating from college, I had some difficulty finding a job in my field. I finally sent resumes out across the country. I was hired by an up-and-coming company located in Springfield, Missouri. I knew absolutely knothing about Missouri. I couldn’t have found the state on a map of the United States. However, everything I learned about the company got me more and more excited about accepting the position. I packed my possessions and drove north and west for more than twenty hours. It was a long and tiring trip. I arrived in Springfield in the spring, right when the first flowers were blooming. I was totally enchanted by the beauty of the area. The abundance of tiny pink blossoms decorating the delicate branches of redbud trees was absolutely stunning. Not long after I arrived, the dogwood trees along the hillsides began blooming with brilliant white flowers. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was just warm enough for a light jacket. There was a lot of rain, but I was accustomed to wet conditions. The summer temperature climbed into the mid-eighties. For me, that didn’t feel overly hot. Even the humidity wasn’t anything to complain about. When the foliage began to turn colors in the fall, Springfield looked like something out of a postcard. I was delighted by the fresh produce and the chysanthemums. I was not prepared for how quickly winter would arrive. It seemed as if one day I was wearing a sweatshirt, and the next day I was buying sweaters, winter boots, a wool coat, gloves and a hat. I needed to purchase a snow shovel and an ice scraper and stepping outside was torture.

Springfield MO quality HVAC

A boiler for winters in Sioux Falls

For the extreme cold in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a boiler heating system is ideal.

While a lot of homes in the local area are outfitted with a furnace, I am very thankful for my hydronic alternative.

Instead of using ductwork to transport hot air into the rooms of the house, the boilers links to a looping network of pipes that circulates hot water. The pipes are concealed beneath the floor of my Sious Falls home and spread heat across the surface. Anything sitting on the floors, including furniture and people, are warmed up and further radiate heat. Because the heat originates at floor level and rises slowly, the warmer temperatures are where they do the most good and allow for lower thermostat settings. There are no cold spots or unpleasant temperature fluctuations. The temperature in every corner of the room is never further than three degrees from the thermostat setting. Heating with water rather than air eliminates concerns with insufficient humidity and provides a gentle style of comfort. Eliminating ductwork also avoids the introduction of air contaminants such as dust, dander, pollen, mold and mildew. The closed loop of the boiler is especially quiet and clean. Because of few moving parts, boilers are very reliable and long-lasting. The radiant floor heating system accommodates zone control. I have a thermostat in each room of the house that lets me customize settings according to occupancy and personal preference. When the temperature in Sioux Falls drops into the negative digits, the entire living space is perfectly comfortable. Plus the boiler helps to keep costs reasonable.
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The history of Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls is a city with a diverse past and rich history.

  • A Native American heritage and pioneer settlers helped to shape the area and offer interesting sites that are still around today.

Falls Park is an iconic landmark and the birthplace of Sioux Falls. Formed by the Big Sioux River, the falls tumble over a series of lock ledgers and served as gathering spot of indigenous people. In the mid-19th century, European settlers built a mill and harnessed the waterpower of the falls. This was the beginning of Sioux Falls’ growth. In modern times, Falls Park is a heaven of walking trails, sculptures and a visitor center that draws in visitors from all over the world. The Old Courthouse Museum is a beautiful example of architecture originally built in 1962. It is the site of a museum that details the city’s history by way of exhibits, artifacts and period rooms. It’s a wonderful opportunity to tour displays on the Native American tribes who inhabited the local area, pioneer life and the development of Sioux Falls into a thriving urban center. The building is a stunning example of Romanesque Revival architecture and iconic clock tower. Pettigrew Home & Museum was once the residence of South Dakota’s first US Senator, Richard F. Pettigrew. Constructed in 1889, the Queen Anne-style mansions offers insight into life during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The preserved interiors and period furnishings are a step back in history. While the Great Plains Zoo is a tourist destination because of the collection of animal species, it also includes the Delbridge Museum of Natural History. The museum is dedicated to Native American artifacts, fossils and displays pertaining to the natural history of the area.


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Snowmelt system is invaluable

The snowmelt system reacts to the combination of temperature drop and moisture, automatically starting up and melting away snow and ice

In South Bend, Indiana, the heating system is a necessity from October until sometime in May. we expect temperatures below freezing for approximately six months per year. The winters are long and difficult. The cold is brutal. We also experience an abundance of snow. The average annual accumulation is 64.5 inches. It is considered the snowiest town in Indiana. When the temperature drops into the teens, spending any length of outdoors is unpleasant and possibly dangerous. Due to the snow, it can be necessary to devote hours to shoveling walkways and the driveway. The snow can accumulate so quickly that the job of shoveling is required several times per day. Then there is the problem of the large piles of snow. They become so huge that they take up essential space in the driveway and obstruct access to the garage. I am very fortunate that my house is equipped with a boiler heater. The boiler sends heated water through a looping network of pipes concealed beneath the floor. The heat spreads across the surface of the floor and rises gradually, creating a very even and gentle comfort. No matter how chilly the weather outside, the living space is perfectly warm. The boiler operates quietly, reliably and efficiently. It allows for the set up of zone control that eliminates the need to heat empty rooms and also caters to personal comfort preferences. One of the best features of the boiler is that it connects to a snowmelt system. Very much like inside the house, there is a series of pipes hidden beneath the cement of the walkways and driveways. The snowmelt system reacts to the combination of temperature drop and moisture, automatically starting up and melting away snow and ice. Living in South Bend, the snowmelt system operates for six to eight months of the year and proves invaluable. While my neighbors are outside shoveling, my driveway is always clear.

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All the reasons I love living in Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, offers really beautiful year round weather.

Living in the local area, I appreciate each of the seasons.

I look forward to the arrival of spring and the burst of colors and fragrances. When the dogwoods, magnolias and azaleas bloom throughout the city, it’s just beautiful. From March thru May, the temperatures fluctuate from the low sixties to the mid deventies. The weather is ideal for outdoor activities. It’s my chance to hike the area parks, ride my bike and take advantage of the city’s green spaces. There are always festivals and events going on. The summers in Tuscaloosa are hot and sunny. June, July and August bring temperatures in the nineties. We get some afternoon thunderstorms that are a relief from the heat. Anytime I have some free time, I head to the Black Warrior River. I take a paddleboard or a kayak and enjoy the water. When fall arrives, college footbal season becomes a focus. The majority of locals are fans of the Crimson Tide. I always try to make it to as many games as possible. I appreciate the cooler weather, with temperatures from the upper sixties to the mid seventies. The colors of the changing leaves are incredible. The bright orange, deeps reds and bright yellows are like something from a postcard. I just love hiking at this time of year. The local winters in Tuscaloosa are mild. Throughout December, January and February the temperature remains in the fifties and sixties. Now and then, conditions dip into the forties at night, but snow is very rare. I can still go for a run, play golf and spent time outdoors.


Tuscaloosa AL HVAC zone control