07 June 2009

I'm so hot AGAIN

We replaced our furnace and central AC unit a little over 3 years ago. The ones we replaced were 27 (!) and 19 years old, respectively. The new AC unit died last year right around this time, when it was 90+ degrees. Apparently some freaking bug got fried on the "coil", which is a crucial AC unit innard. So we sweltered.

Today, I turned the AC on for the first time in a few days, when the inside temp in the main level of the house hit 78. Eventually, I figured out that the house really wasn't cooling off. Being relatively smart, I opened the back door to listen for the compressor and heard... ... ... nothing, of course. The outside AC compressor unit has crapped out again. So we turned off the AC at the thermostat, waited 10 minutes and turned it back on. No dice. TheHusband flipped the fuses just in case (although they were both in the "on" position). Nope.

ThePinkThing came downstairs saying that she couldn't sleep because she's too hot (duh, it's 85 degrees up there...). So we went around the upstairs opening every window, because (thankfully) it is at least 15 degrees cooler outside than inside. We also put a fan in TPT's room and turned it on. I am in hopes that she will fall asleep, and not decide to stick something in the fan "to see what happens".

Why are modern products so damn crappy? This is a Carrier unit, which is supposed to be good, but it has crapped out twice now in 3 years. Granted, I don't know how long the prior AC unit went between breakdowns, but it never broke down once in the almost 6 years we used it. We only replaced it, because I wanted a more energy efficient unit (hah, an energy efficient central AC unit; I must be smoking something), and the furnace had given up the ghost. So we decided to replace the AC unit at the same time. I totally regret it now.

I'm hot.


WendyB_09 said...

Oh, at least you have control over your a/c unit. Being an apartment dweller, I'm at the mercy of the yayhoos on the maintence crew to do repairs.

This is my 4th summer here. Now, most of the times I have no complaints. But every year I have to have the compressor recharged with coolant to get it to cool. AND about this time there is something else wrong with an a/c as well.

Tonight it's the fan in the inside unit, which started singing...I mean screeching...about an hour ago. I giggled it up a bit so it would turn off, but the next time it came on, after a minute or so, same thing. Great. Utility closet is RIGHT NEXT TO MY BEDROOM. And mind you, this is the fan unit that was replaced just two years ago, supposedly with a new fan unit, but I'm thinking not. I know for a fact they swapped it out of an empty apartment the Saturday mine died!! I won't even go into the fact that the outside compressor was supposed to be replaced last year and it has not been.

And mind you, HOT'lanta get's its nickname for a very good reason. Guess I'll be joining you in stuffy misery tonight.

Nathan said...

Oh stop bragging about how HAWT you are. It's really not very becoming.

Lorraine said...

Snort, Nathan!

I'm all over sweaty sympathy, ND. I do believe that 3 years is not what the manufacturer intended. Isn't it still on warranty??

And it's so sad when the A/C goes out - you stare pitifully at the fuse box, jiggle the thermostat, because, you know. Maybe it was in the alternate universe A/C that died, not this one. By mistake. It could happen. And then try the fuses again.

And when it *really* is dead? You do crazy things. Like our M*fia loan that we took out last July when it was 116 and the unit truly had gone to its reward. I really have to wonder if I would have realized the terms we were signing up for if my brain hadn't been cooking for 2 days by that point. Call me if your loan terms seem a little fuzzy if, God forbid, you have to get a new A/C; I'll talk you down.

Seriously, good luck. Technology sucks when it don't work, dang it!

vince said...

What is this heat you speak of? Over the last two weeks, we've had frost several nights, and most days the highs haven't been out of the 50's.

ExpatMom said...

Here's what you do:

Tear down the house.
Rebuild it with solid brick. P
ut 6 inches of insulation material on top of the brick.
Cover with plaster or some other siding of your choice.
Replace all windows with triple glas, Engergy-rated A+ windows.
Insulate attic floor with 6 inches of insulation as well.
Install solar panels while you're at it, and rainwater collectors (just for the fun of it).

Enjoy the year-round energy efficient and hardly energy-needing house which is pleasantly cool in all but the most cruelling summer heats.

Or come move to Germany where virtually all houses are built like this and private A/Cs unknown. :-)

(Let's not debate German weather, please.)

Dragging this back on topic, kicking and screaming: My mother's washing machine lasted for 38 years. The one after that for 6 years. I find this wasteful and disgusting and it makes me sputter with indignation. The waste! Grrr!

Random Michelle K said...

I've got a/c at my house: come on over!

neurondoc said...

The HVAC guy is at the house right now (I left TheHusband to deal with it), looking at the unit. If it needs replacement, I might literally blow a gasket...

On the brighter side -- the TV guy is at the house, too, reinstalling the TV. It has been at the shop "being repaired" for the past 4 weeks. That saga will be the topic of a future blog post, once I am sure that the damn thing works. Murphy's Law says that if I blog about it before I actually make sure that all is okay, the TV will die or fall off the wall or something equally bad.

Wendy -- yikes! That sounds really horrible. Hoist a cold one for me... :-)

My mom lives in an old carpet mill that was converted to condos about 20 years ago. I think her outside unit is the original one, and it isn't cooling her apartment down so well anymore. The catch is that these units are on the roof. So if a unit needs replacement, the apartment owner has to hire a freaking crane to get the new one up onto the roof and the old one down... That is really expensive. I suggested to my mom that she post a sign in her lobby to ask if anyone else is contemplating replacing their unit, so they can go halves on the crane... She hasn't listened to me, of course.

neurondoc said...

Claudia -- I'll tear my house down and build a new one, if you, Dougm and the boys move in...

ExpatMom said...

That won't fly. We can't come without the girl.


ExpatMom said...

The TV is still out? Oh, my.

I hope this gets resolved, like, TODAY.

neurondoc said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you have a girl, too. After 3 boys, I forget easily.

The TV is hung and works.

ntsc said...

Part of the reliability of older units is that moving parts were heavier, thus taking much more wear. Typical life of a refrigerator is now 10 years, not the 20 it was as recently as 10 years ago.

There is a similar problem with all electronic devices.

Cheap, reliable, energy efficient

Pick two.

Followed the tracks from Stonekettle Station

Anonymous said...

Planned obsolescence. Make your tv / AC unit / other appliance last only 10 years so you have to buy a new one.

Mwalimu said...

i wonder how we slept in the old days...before houses had airconditioning. somehow we managed...not that i am advocating managing. our airconditioner is working.

neurondoc said...

Hi ntsc and welcome.

I would pick reliable and energy efficient over cheap. But apparently I'm not allowed to.

The unit had blown a fuse and needed a shot of coolant. I find it annoying that the unit needed coolant after only 3 years. What the hell is happening to that stuff?

neurondoc said...

Hi Auntie!!! You slept in a hot box because Z lived there. I have heard the stories of him turning off the fan in the middle of the night during the depths of summer...

MWT said...

Well, the upside of being an apartment dweller is that I don't have to pay for AC maintenance (or any other maintenance for that matter). I tell the management and they send someone over, and it gets fixed. If it doesn't get fixed I tell the management again. And down here in the south, "broken AC" counts as an emergency situation, especially if there are small children or elderly involved.