I loved cars as a kid. It started as an addiction at the age of 13. Popular Hot Rodding magazines were 50 cents. I read them cover to cover and then reread them. Anything that had a motor in it had my interest.

My parents allowed me to back the family car out of the garage and wash it in the driveway. It was almost always spotless because that gave me an excuse to drive it. There were weeks I washed and waxed it twice! We had a gas storage tank on our farm to fill vehicles, so I filled our family car every time it was driven; anything to drive that car!

Dad taught me simple mechanical things, like how to clean the spark plugs. This was back when spark plugs were easy to remove and replace. Dad also taught me how to change the oil, lubricate the suspension, and do several other mechanical things. Our family car became very well maintained!

Cars were much easier to work on back then, but they were not that impressive overall. Our John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s 1954 Chevy panel truck is the perfect example of that. It’s restored to its original condition. It has the original 6-cylinder engine, 3-speed transmission, and suspension. It offers a fairly clear window of “the good old days” for cars. Mileage is not that good. You can feel every bump in the road. The front end tends to wander. Driving it is difficult compared to cars today and not as safe.

Thankfully the automotive industry evolved through the years and so have many other industries we tend to take for granted. Imagine a world without microwaves, computers, cell phones, remote controls, and a multitude of things we “can’t live without”.

One thing we would miss is the incredible technology in heating and air conditioning. That industry has improved every bit as much as the automotive industry. Let’s talk about some improvements.

The most important improvements directly affect our health, comfort, and operating costs. Today, relative humidity can be precisely controlled with state-of-the-art thermostats. Removal of 99.98% of air impurities is possible so your lungs do not have to be the air filter. Your lungs have a better opportunity than ever to breathe quality air. Total comfort has never been better!

Today, heating and air conditioning equipment are lighter. Furnace heat exchangers are thinner to improve efficiency. Blower assemblies are quieter and insulated better. There are no pilot lights, which improves efficiency. Safety controls protect us better. Almost everything is electronic, and computer controlled.

The equipment is considerably more complex. The result is fewer “backyard mechanics” are qualified to work on equipment. Heating and air conditioning systems require trained experts with the right tools to perform maintenance today.

Keeping equipment maintained in Nebraska is a challenge because of the cottonwood tree seeds. Debris and cottonwood seeds plug outside coils and shorten the life of the cooling system compressor. Efficiency also suffers. Maintenance to clean those coils reduces the risks of equipment failure and improves efficiency.

It’s best to have heating and cooling equipment serviced right before the heating and cooling seasons, but any time the technicians are free is ideal. It’s a great time now because next week the temperatures are expected to be in the 70s. Soon a tough Nebraska winter will be here again. Why risk not getting it done?

Time is at a premium for most of us today. We get busy and maintenance often suffers because we forget to schedule it. Deb and I have a John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s Service Maintenance Plan for our heating and cooling system. Maintenance is completed at the right time, and we can concentrate on other things.

John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s has three very affordable service plans for HVAC and also for plumbing. There is even a combined plan for both. The Silver Plan, Gold Plan, and Platinum Plans offer variations for all needs. Depending on the plan, benefits include a reduction in parts and labor costs, guaranteed same-day service, no overtime, no diagnostic fee, etc. The best benefit is peace of mind.

The good old days are often full of special memories. Cars were fun to work on, but I would rather just drive them today. I miss some of the food, friends, and relatives that have left us, but our 12 grandchildren fill in some of that gap. Technology sure makes life special today too. All things considered, life is much easier.

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