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The heat is on...

This year really has seemed like it's just one thing after another. Every time I think, "Okay, this is finally done, so now I'll be able to enjoy life again," something else pops up. I'm sure if I actually go back through my LJ and read this year's entries, it won't be so bad, but certainly it's felt like it while I was living through it.

Today's story started three weeks ago, on whatever Saturday that was. My husband was on the phone with his mother. No good ever comes out of my husband talking with his mother. A good quarter of the conversation (read: monologue; she talks about whatever she wants and only pauses for him to go "mm-hm" or laugh at her jokes) was a story about how her air conditioning broke and she had to have workmen in to fix it. Nothing particularly interesting or unusual happened; she just needed fifteen minutes to tell the tale.

What we didn't know was that she was actually casting a curse spell with a fifteen-minute verbal component.

About a half an hour after he got off the phone, my husband said, "It seems kind of warm in here." We checked the AC, and yes, it had cut out. Being completely ignorant of how AC actually works, we fiddled with the thermostat a bit but nothing helped. At least the fan worked, so we could get air circulating, but it wasn't cool. At least it wasn't hot.

We subscribe to a service which I hesitate to call insurance, because it isn't insurance. It's more like an appliance warranty - we pay a fee per year, and then if something breaks, we call the service and they contract someone in town to fix it or replace it, and all we pay is the service fee. We've only had need for the service a few times over the years we've owned the house, but when we needed it, it's been worth it. And it only takes one major appliance replacement to make up for a few years of the service's cost.

We called the service on Monday to schedule service for our air conditioner. (I don't remember why we waited. Probably my husband insisted on waiting for a weekday even though the contract said they are open 24/7.) Since the service had been established back before we had cell phones, we told them to use my cell number instead of the landline number they had on file. On late Tuesday, we received an email telling us the name of the company that would be providing us the service, with instructions saying that if we don't hear from them in 24 business hours, to call the provider directly, rather than calling the warranty service.

So we waited for 24 business hours.

Finally, on Saturday, though we knew the place wouldn't really be open, we called them and got the emergency person on call. He couldn't do anything, but assured us that they would call us first thing on Monday. That call never came, and on Tuesday, my husband called them. We were, or course, pretty sure what the problem was. Sure enough, the company said they'd been trying to call us all week but got no answer, and provided our home number when we asked. They were nice enough and we got an appointment scheduled for Friday, but they pointed out that the work order they received from the warranty service said "heat pump" rather than "A/C", so they told us to call the service back to get the work order changed.

So, we called the warranty service... and they informed us, sorry, but A/C isn't covered. You know, if they had told us that on the first call, we would have been able to contact a local repairman immediately, saving us a week and a half of torment, both service and weather-wise. But there wasn't anything we could do. At least we had the appointment set up with the local company.

On the appointed day, the repairman came out to see the A/C unit and, well, it basically fell apart when he touched it. It also uses an old coolant that is no longer used, so it absolutely needs to be replaced. And, because of the way things are set up, they'd have to replace the furnace as well. Not a problem - except that the guy that does installation is getting married and will be on vacation for two weeks, so the earliest he could come out, assess the situation, and make a bid on the work would be August 1. From there, it would be probably two weeks to get the thing installed.

So, we made that appointment, but then started shopping around. We got another company to come out this past Friday, and they agreed that both the A/C and the furnace need to be replaced (and apparently, whoever put the furnace in did it incorrectly, placing the cooling coil or somesuch in above the furnace rather than underneath...). They said they would have a bid on Monday (today), but it would be 2-3 weeks from the point where the bid is accepted. Then, over the weekend, a friend recommended a friend of hers, so we got in touch with him, but he is also on vacation and would have a bit of a delay before he could begin work. He put in a bid with only what little information we were able to provide, but it's a good $2000 more than what the previous company was conjecturing for the work. At this point, it's only two days until the original company's newly-married installation specialist to come out, so I guess we'll have three bids to choose from.

Meanwhile, of course, you know it's been a sweltering three weeks all across the country. The one bright spot in this whole thing is that our friend has welcomed us to his house, so we haven't had to die in the heat. He's single and owns a four-bedroom house, two bedrooms of which are completely empty, so he set up two queen air mattresses in one of them (that's how big the bedrooms are) and we've been living there all this time. We've tried our best not to interrupt his normal routines, but I think he's been pretty happy to have someone around to talk to. He's refused recompense, but seeing as how we're going to be living with him for almost a month and a half, we are going to be paying him at least some rent. (Oh, and there's one silver lining. This is the friend who we get together with every so often to binge-watch Stargate SG-1. This has accelerated due to living with him now, so we've finally finished SG-1 and started in on Stargate Atlantis. So far, it's been great!)

But as you can imagine, after three weeks of this, we are eager to get back to our own home. And it's been tiring and busy. We go back home usually every day to make it look like the house is still lived in, by getting the mail, putting out the trash and taking in the empty wheelie bin, and moving the car that we're not using around in the driveway - things like that. We're also trying to clean out the stacks of boxes in the garage so that the workers have space to put in the new furnace. It's something we've meant to do for years, but now we're finally forced to. So, every day after work is full of activity, more so than usual, and I'm eager to be done with that as well.

So that's my life right now. How're you?



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2018 08:43 pm (UTC)

Let me say that again, louder: UGH.
Jul. 30th, 2018 09:37 pm (UTC)
The old A/C used freon (R-22), which is no longer available in new units. At some point, you'd have had to change over anyway. Now, they've got other R coolants that are supposedly more environmentally sound...

They are closed systems, so one shouldn't generally need to replace coolant often. If you do, there's a leak. I learned a lot about HVAC systems over the years. The new unit should hopefully be more efficient, too, if you get the right size.

Anyway, good luck with it all! It's frustrating to have to deal with these sorts of things, and it always happens at the worst time.
Aug. 1st, 2018 12:10 am (UTC)
BLEH. That sucks! The silver lining is that your A/C and furnace should be more energy efficient and I'll bet you'll be saving a ton in heating and cooling costs. It will probably pay for itself eventually.

At least, that's what I tell myself because we'll probably be in the same boat in the next year or two. Our A/C is 30 years old and I can't believe it's still running. It doesn't run well. Down here in Hell/Texas, it's been unbearably hot and while it blows cold air, it's not THAT cold. Thank God that we have ceiling fans in every room! We just need to suck it up and replace it, but money's been super tight since the car accident and other emergency home repairs.

Oh. pretty sure the water heater's going to explode one of these days. It's over 15 years old! XD
Aug. 1st, 2018 09:23 pm (UTC)
Ooh... even a new A/C generally can only cool down to about 20 degrees (F) below the ambient temperature. So if it's 100 out, it might cool to about 80. If you try to go below that, the pipes will freeze up. We had tenants that tried to do that; it was a brand new system, too.

Yup, we moved to a new place, the water heater passed inspection, then started leaking after we took possession. It's sudden, and they generally last about 12-15 years, so you are on borrowed time with that....

Good luck with it all.
Aug. 1st, 2018 02:59 am (UTC)
Good Gods.
I'm sorry to hear all this happened to you.
I hope everything worked out and you got everything squared away, but damn. SCREW that noise with all that money you just had to drop.
Aug. 2nd, 2018 06:21 pm (UTC)
OH GOD WHAT A MESS. I'm sorry, this sounds awful :O
Aug. 2nd, 2018 10:52 pm (UTC)
UGH! May things calm down soon. And may it cost less than you think.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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