My house sits in the rural country just south of a major city.
- The drive into civilization is quick, but the transition along the way couldn’t be anymore jarring than it is.
Stretches of pine trees immediately give way to gated subdivisions and guady stripmalls. Another five minutes of driving leads your car into the dense and buzzing concrete jungle. The drive back, by contrast, feels like leaving an industrial dystopia and travelling into a wooded wonderland. But, as much as I love my environment and every advantage that comes with living here, there are innumerable factors I struggle with as a homeowner. The scariest thought is knowing there is no one around to hear me scream for help if I ever fell off a ladder or something as equally disconcerting as that. In all seriousness though, the real issues are trivial factors like lawn care and tree pollen. Right now, my single most frustrating struggle in and out of my home is dealing with the dreaded pine needles that carpet my yard when they drop from the trees each year. Even if I liked the look of a light brown lawn or enjoyed getting them uncomfortably lodged in my shoes, the biggest trick of all is keeping them out of my HVAC condenser. The large fan pulls in air at the base and blows it across the warm refrigerant condenser inside, then it shoots the air upward away from the machine. Thankfully, the solution was simple enough—weather shields are available from most HVAC suppliers and look like a large hair net for a condenser unit. One fits over the top and is pulled down and secured at the base. The fabric is a fine woven nylon netting material that allows air flow in and out but keeps yard debris from entering the inside of the machine. I was ecstatic to finally have a solution for the annoying pine needle problem.