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.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Oh Annie,
You don't have to defend your state to me. I remember being pregnant in the Indiana Summer. There were a lot of body parts that sweated like crazy. Parts I had never knew existed.
Other parts I was aware of, but had never experienced the sweltering fiery furnace blasting in those regions. It was the hottest I have ever been in my life, even in air conditioning.
We came home from vacation in August that year to record breaking heat (not an exaggeration) Actual temps over 100, and our AC and fridge had busted. I begged Everette to let us stay at a hotel. He said no. In the end it really worked out for the better as the heat broke that night and the AC repair guy showed up at 7 AM to fix the AC. But I was pretty miserable those few days. Get yourself a swimsuit, find a pool and set up camp.