It’s difficult to get excited about our Iowa summer in 2014, or lack of it. Coming off a record cold winter, outdoor public swimming pools opened later than expected due to prolonged frigid weather. During July we had four days where the high never got out of the 60s. One day was the “record-low high” since weather records started being kept in the 1880s. Only one day have we gotten to 90, and that was brief. Most of the time it’s been pleasant and in the 70s, but that’s way below average. Fine with me. Lower cooling bill. And I get to work in the yard more. Don’t those day lilies in the picture look nice?
You can tell I’m from the Midwestern US. We talk about the weather constantly.
My wife and I got a new furnace over winter. A 60,000 btu Amana that’s 96.1% efficient. We didn’t have to replace the central air unit, which is made by Ducane since it’s working fine and is only 12 years old. We used to have a Ducane furnace, but it was full of lousy, obsolete technology, despite also being only 12 years old. And the old Ducane furnace was 100,000 btu in size, which puzzled the HVAC guys who came to diagnose the troubled unit. The main guy asked me, “Why is a 100,000 btu furnace in a 2000 sq ft house?” I didn’t know why, but parts of the house sure did get hot when it was on. “Because the previous owner was an idiot?” We laughed. I got schooled. Turns out a 100,000 btu furnace is the perfect size for a 5000 to 6000 sq ft McMansion. The previous owner was clearly cheap and hired some fly-by-night outfit who probably bought remainders off the back of a truck in some big city. Kids, don’t be stupid. My advice? Hire a local professional with decades of experience like I did.
Following the installation of the Amana, the HVAC guy suggested that I leave the fan on all the time and let the heat or AC kick on as-needed thanks to a new programmable thermostat. I was reluctant about this, mostly because my office/studio is in the finished lower level of the house, but near the furnace and laundry room, and the old Ducane furnace roared. I’m kind of sensitive to sound. Aren’t we all?
Over time, I have become more accepting of the HVAC guy’s suggestion. The new Amana was much quieter when operating with a continuous fan, and we had better air distribution, so I’ve left the fan on most of the time. As it’s gotten warmer over the summer, the cool air from the lower level helps even out the warmer air upstairs and on a lot of days the AC rarely kicks on.
But when the AC kicks on, it’s a slight rush of sound and slightly different from the constant drone of the continuous fan. If you walk around the house, you’ll hear different variations of sounds depending on which air register you walk by.
This piece I made was actually started over a week ago. I’ve been trying to craft some shorter tracks lately. After a slight bit of tweaking of my files on Samplr, I recorded a long passage specifically for this Junto and edited out one minute that I liked. It’s reminiscent of the sounds I hear when I walk around the house with the AC on.
More on this 135th Disquiet Junto project — “Record the sonic equivalent of air conditioning” — at: disquiet.com/2014/07/31/disquie…135-soundofsummer/
More on the Disquiet Junto at: disquiet.com/junto
Join the Disquiet Junto at: soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/
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