Friday, June 6, 2014

It's Gettin' Hot In Here...

The Facts

It’s hot. Our air conditioner broke.

His Side

It gets hot in Columbia. It always seems to be 10 degrees hotter here than anywhere else in South Carolina. I’m not sure why it is, but it’s a fact. With that being said, air conditioning is very important. And it’s also something we take for granted. I’m not sure what people did when they just had those little window units that jut out from the side of your place… that had to be awful. But there’s nothing like a reality check of having something you take for granted suddenly fail. 

Our air conditioner had been working overtime. Kristi really likes it cold in the house when we sleep, so we would jack the temperature down at night. Sometimes, though, we’d forget to set it back to a reasonable temperature while we were gone to work. This is evidenced by our latest energy bill (it’s ugly). Whether or not the over use of it broke it or not, it broke and it was not fun at all. We got someone to come look at it in hopes that they could fix it that day because we had already been one night without air and we didn’t want to relive that.

He figured out that the blower wheel was broken and he could easily replace it… if he had a part. Apparently our system isn’t a common system that they use so the part was tough to find. They found one but couldn’t get it until the following day. He promised it would be in and they’d be able to install it after lunchtime the next day. That was fine. He said he would call me once he “had the part in his hand” so that he could set up a time to install it.

The next day, at work, I was pretty busy. So, I didn’t really realize that it was approaching two o’clock and I had not received a call because he apparently didn’t have the part in his hand. Kristi texted me, asking if he had called… that’s when I started to wonder if we were actually going to get our unit fixed that day. So she called them and they had the part. That eased our minds but I’m wondering what they were waiting for on calling us…

I wasn’t there when the guy came to install the part, I just know that I came home to a nicely air conditioned house. That was nice. I learned, though, that the guy was under the house for barely an hour and the bill was quite a bit more expensive than I thought it should be since WE ARE UNDER WARRANTY. Apparently the warranty only covers parts but it costs just south of 100 dollars for them to come out just to look at the system. Then it costs labor fees… I wish I made a quarter as much per hour as these guys. Maybe I’m in the wrong business.

The interesting part about not having air conditioning for a couple of days is that it makes 70 feel cold even though we would sometimes have the temperature at 67 or lower at night. So, now, we don’t run the system as hard and we make sure to keep the temperature manageable when we’re at work. That’s really more because of the high energy bill, though, not the broken air conditioner fiasco. 

Her Side

When it rains, it pours at our house (figuratively speaking of course). After recently going through a side yard renovation, dealing with a broken garage door, a clogged sewer line, and a leaking tire, I thought we were in the clear. I mean, what else could go wrong? Clearly that’s never a question to even think, because it’s almost like a challenge to the universe that came to us in the way of our air conditioner.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and we have been relaxing and enjoying our time together in the hot and humid state of South Carolina. All of the sudden, I begin to notice a noise coming from the air vents that isn’t normal and, quite honestly, I hoped would go away. My initial method of turning the TV up in an effort to drown out the noise leaking from the vents didn’t quite work out how I envisioned. The noise took that as a challenge and got louder and more menacing. Begrudgingly, we decided that something needed to be done. My brother, Jonathan, was on the way over to the  house to drop off a ladder and I asked if he would just listen to the noise and see if he had any ideas of what was going on. He graciously agreed to listen and even crawled under our house to investigate further. Upon inspection, he said the awful noise was coming from the blower (I didn’t even know the air conditioner such a part). So, we shut the air conditioner off in the hopes that it just needed to rest a little bit… after all it was doing some pretty hard work in this heat. I’m sure Nolan and I had the same hope that the next time we turned it on the mysterious noise would disappear.

Well, it didn’t really happen that way at all. The noise was even worse and, this time, it was to the point where we knew the air conditioner could not run unless we wanted to chance completely ruining it, and trust me… that’s not something we wanted to do. We called to make an appointment to have it looked at and, since it was Memorial Day, they couldn’t come out until the next day (unless we wanted to pay an outrageous “holiday” price).

Night one of no air conditioner was not fun. I like it COLD in the house when I am attempting to sleep and the 5 fans I had going just didn’t offer that same feeling (okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration… I ONLY had 3 fans). The gentleman who was to look at our air conditioner showed up and quickly came to the conclusion that our blower was broken. So, he called around to find a replacement part and, just as luck would have it, there was none to be found that day. He promised it would be in the following day, so that meant another night of warmth was on the horizon. I was less than thrilled, but we added another fan to the mix… this time it was for Nolan’s benefit since I was hogging all the others.

I’m happy to say that our air conditioner is now working wonderfully, and perhaps even better than it was before. It was painful to fork out the kind of money those people wanted to fix our air conditioner, but it was a small price to pay when it comes to our comfort. I think I can speak for both Nolan and myself when I say that I sure am glad we’ve had the forethought to plan and save money for times like this. Now, if we can just have smooth sailing on the “things going wrong” front for a while, that’d be great.

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