Friday, June 26, 2009

On this day, many years ago...

my husband was born.

Happy birthday, Bob!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Air Conditioning Update

So, really, it hasn't been that hot ... except that everything is exaggerated when I'm pregnant in the summertime, so I've been a bit (to grossly understate the facts) paralyzed by the heat.

The home warranty assigned an A/C company to us last week, and they came out promptly, flipped a breaker (why didn't I think of that?) added a lot of freon to the unit outside, and left. A half hour later, I discovered water dripping through the girls' ceiling on the second floor. (Their room is below the air handler, which is up in the attic.) I called the company; they sent two guys out that afternoon who determined that the air handler is in bad, bad shape. Oh, and the drain line (I'm making this term up; I know nothing about air conditioning) was disconnected, so that water was just flowing through the attic floor into the girls' room below. Nice.

I was gone that evening; when I came home, Bob informed me he'd put the girls to bed in the guest bedroom because as Caroline opened the door to their room at bedtime, the ceiling had fallen down. Not the whole ceiling, but probably a good 2-foot diameter circle. This is a plaster ceiling, and it dented and scratched up the wood floor. Luckily, no one was actually in the room, and I'd moved the empty crib (waiting for our little boy, due Aug. 26th!) that was under that spot when the water started coming through the ceiling.

Fun, fun. Our house is in worse shape than before we had them come "fix" things. And I forgot to mention that after those two guys arrived, they determined that the home warranty wasn't going to cover the repairs. So they left, we'd paid our $100 deductible, they'd billed the home warranty company another $200, but the place was in worse shape than before.

Meanwhile, I'm dying of the heat. I really don't like being like this. I don't want to be a complainer. I can tell I'm not succeeding in that, though, because Caroline has picked up phrases like, "I'm roasting!" and "I'm so hot!"

We were obviously not impressed with the A/C company that had come out last week, so yesterday, Bob called another company, and they came out yesterday evening. The guy had been working nonstop all day, it was after 6pm when he got here, and he spent a good two hours with us. We liked him ... and trusted him, which is always good. The bottom line: whoever installed our air handler up there doesn't know anything about electricity or air conditioning, and he recommended not spending any more money on that unit. When it dies, start fresh. They (somebody: previous owners? a buddy?) directly wired the thing so that the air handler runs constantly unless you flip off the breaker. (No, I don't mean "flip off" like that.) When you turn the thermostat to "on", the air conditioning shuts off. When you turn it to "auto", it comes on. But the thermostat display only works when it's switched to "on". Huh?? Heat/Off/Cool: that selection makes no difference to the operation of the system.

So there's no way to control temperature; it just either runs, or we turn off all power to the thing. And here's the frustrating thing: we've now put, well, a lot of money into getting the thing running, and it brings our bedroom temperature down to a whopping 80 degrees. Not so impressive. Mind you, this system is only for the upstairs; it has four bedrooms and a bathroom to cool. The only room that's cool is the bathroom. Bob and I both feel kind of sick about this, but there was no way of knowing all of this, short of doing the repairs we did.

I'm itching to replace the upstairs system, and install one downstairs while we're at it, but that's just not in the budget right now. We've got some other big projects on the docket this summer, and air conditioning isn't on the list.

Meanwhile, I'm just hoping this summer won't be too much of a scorcher.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Home Warranty

Our house came with a home warranty. I think I've mentioned this before. I am grateful for it, but it's been a month since we first called about our non-functioning air conditioning.

Tonight, I went to the website. Here's what it says:

"Whether you’re working with one of the HSA customer service representatives over the phone, or relying on a service contractor to make a repair in your home, HSA ensures prompt, convenient and reliable service."

And then it goes on to state the HSA guarantee: "HSA provides qualified, prescreened service contractors from its Preferred Vendor Network that arrive promptly and invoice HSA directly for covered repairs. If an HSA service provider cannot respond in a timely manner, HSA will approve the use of a contractor outside of its network to ensure the convenience of fast service."

Bob's going to call them tomorrow. Time to give up on this guy from Indy who's clearly not going to call us back, let alone fix our A/C. I need air. Stat. When I'm pregnant in the summertime, I'm hot all the time ... and that's WITH air conditioning. Without it, I'm grouchy. And hot.

Let's hope they stand behind their guarantee.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sweet Summertime

I really thought I'd be sleeping in a bit this summer, but that's just not happening. First, I thought that since Emily isn't coming every morning at 7:40ish, I'd just sleep til I woke up. But Caroline started waking up early (well, early is relative. She was waking up around 7, and I wanted to stay in bed.). So I became convinced that it was because their room gets too bright. So we installed (and by we, I mean Bob) pull-down blinds to go behind the sheers on the windows. So much for that; Lucy was up at 6:30 this morning. I just ignored her. She wasn't crying, just being a bit chatty.

So the sleep thing isn't quite working out as I'd planned.

But still, we're having a great summer already. I bought a baby pool, which we've only used once, but which Caroline loves. We'll use it more when I move it out from under the tree (that was a bad idea!), so it gets more direct sun and less bird poop -- and when I buy a bathing suit. I wore my normal bathing suit into the pool late the other evening, and it really was indecent. By the time the fabric had covered my, well, abdomen, there was hardly any left for my chest. TMI, I know. But I need a maternity suit.

We've been doing lots of fun things: going to parks, playgrounds. Walking to the library. Going to the Farmers' Market every Saturday. Playing on the front porch a lot.

Here's what I haven't been doing: staying cool. I don't want to be ungrateful; I'm glad we have a home warranty on this house, but that means we need to use the home warranty company's approved providers if/when something goes wrong. So the air conditioning (which is only in the upstairs -- well, and the attic) doesn't work, or rather, it may work, but the thermostat doesn't, so there's no way to turn it on. And need I remind you, it's summer, and I'm pregnant! Bob called the home warranty company a month ago, got the number of the approved HVAC company, which is located an hour away, and called and left a message. Since then, they've played phone tag a time or two ... but it's been a month! And I have no AC! And the downstairs windows conveniently have storm windows but no screens. I think it's time for Bob to call the home warranty company to complain about their (non-)service provider.

In the meantime, cool drinks and a shaded front porch are helping.