Okay, maybe not quite that hot.
When it rains, it pours, made a good-faith effort at proving itself a truism these past few days. I won’t repeat the litany of household appliance and features failures that we’ve encountered these past few weeks, but it sure seems that the house is intent on committing some kind of suicide in a piecemeal fashion.
Friday, yet another attempt at self-annihilation was made by the structure we call home in that, well after everywhere that could possibly be open before Monday could have been utilized without paying exorbitant fees for weekend service (or even open to purchase replacement parts), the air conditioning/central air for the house decided to have a fit.
I was sitting in the living room in a rare moment of entertaining myself with one of the games I’d purchased in the past few week when I noticed that the rooms seemed mighty stuffy. Which isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility, considering the outside conditions were well past 90 degrees F (32 degrees C, for folks using sensible measurement units), and the house gets warm even when the AC is running, but this seemed off. So I started paying attention and, after an hour, it became quite clear that the house was only just maintaining an uncomfortable temperature.
I checked the normal suspects: fuses/breakers [good], cooling fin obstructions [the cottonwood tree dumped its seeds earlier in the week, so I hosed off the fins], checked to make sure the energy-saver from the utility wasn’t cycling more than 15 min/hour [it wasn’t], and just being patient [nope]. Something was clearly wrong and, seeing as we are in the beginning of a heat wave, this seemed like a very bad turn of events.
We managed to suffer through the night with windows open and room temps just south of the outdoor temps, but only barely. And then I did some hardcore investigations. After a number of false OMG moments and wild goose chases, I narrowed it down to either the compressor being out [very bad news] or the capacitor that gives the compressor a “kickstart” when it goes into action was bad [not great, but not bad news]. The only problem is, it’s damn hard to find HVAC repair parts on a weekend, by design or the luck of the draw.
Luckily, I know someone who knows someone who knew someone who maybe had a spare capacitor that he could sell us. Unluckily, it turned out I couldn’t get my hands on it until today and there was no promises that it would solve my issue.
So last night was a major overnight slog. It wasn’t until 3am local that the outdoor temps dropped below 85F/30C and the humidity had started to rise by midnight, so the perceived temperature was higher than the air temperature.
Sleep was not forthcoming.
I managed to get a few hours in by occasionally waking and misting myself with cold water before groaning and laying back down, but it wasn’t a restful sleep.
The capacitor arrived this morning and I managed my expectations until it was installed and everything was turned on. I always consider it a positive sign when I work with electrical and there are no sparks shooting out of things that are decidedly not designed to have sparks shoot out of them, but I kept multiple fingers (and toes) crossed until I took an IR temp gun to the vent and saw the output was 60F/16C. I uncrossed things and closed the house up to begin the long, arduous process of cooling it back down from 85F/30C. We’re mostly there, almost 8 hours later and it has been a joy to finally be able to feel comfortable.
I grew up without much AC. It is one of the luxury items that I refuse to give up these days — in cars or houses. I hate feeling sick because I can’t cool off. I might not need it more than a week or three each year but, dammit, I refuse to go without.
I was all smiles already and then — my reMarkable 2 arrived five days earlier than tracking suggested. NEW TOY and AC. Thank goodness.