|Two small window units managed to sorta keep my house cool for 15 days in the late summer heat.|
I went to my AC provider and reported the situation in person. I didn't want to fool with a simple phone call as I hoped to fix the issue as quickly as possible. The office lady there was very helpful and sympathetic. Unfortunately, all the repairmen were booked for the day but she would see what she could do. One repairman standing around listening to my story simply said: "You need to get an alternate source of cooling."
Well, alternate heat is comparatively easy, but alternate cooling involved equipment I didn't have. The AC lady mentioned that the company had some small window cooling units in the back. After a bit of a search I managed to procure a couple of them. I immediately drove back home. The sun was still rising at this point and I wanted to get a jump on the hot part of the day.
I put the two units in my upstairs study windows. Heat rises so I figured I could keep the house cooler overall by simply cooling the second floor area and use various fans around the house to circulate the air. That worked pretty well actually. I was able to keep the upstairs temperature at about 77 degrees and 79 downstairs during the hottest part of the day.
Those small window units are basically designed to cool a 12 x 12 space. So, two together would cool a slightly larger space. But, my house is 10 times that size. The units ran 17-18 hours a day. I cut them off at night to give everything a rest. Since I am an early riser, I could turn the units back on in time to make the house somewhat comfortable before the sun started heating things up.
On Thursday afternoon (September 6) the replacement motor for the blower unit came in. It would be the next morning, however, before a repairman could be dispatched to my house. He removed the blower assembly but could not get the old motor out. It wouldn't budge. "This is supposed to be a 30-minute fix. I've never seen anything like this," was his comment as he took the whole assembly back to the shop where he had the tools to force the old motor out.
He was back in about an hour and I had high hopes. The new motor was placed into the assembly and everything hooked back up. But when I turned the unit on from inside the house, the blower fan itself was now warped, apparently from the violence done to it when the old motor was extracted.
This necessitated an entirely new assembly being ordered. Of course, the local distributor did not carry the whole assembly, that had to be ordered from St. Louis and would take 4 or 5 business days to arrive. Crap.
So here I was trying to keep my entire house livable during these 90-degree dog days of summer with two window units meant to cool two small rooms. I could only hope that the units could handle the way they were being pushed in order to keep things moderately cool to only slightly warm inside.
Repeated calls to my AC provider only frustrated me. The assembly was (apparently) ordered on Friday, September 7. By Thursday, September 13, no one could still tell me if the blower fan had even been shipped. I was forced to get firm with the poor woman struggling to help me. She was just doing the same thing over and over. "No, I called but I haven't heard anything," she told me. "I emailed but I never heard back." Grrrrr.
I informed her in my most firm yet polite manner that no one seemed to be making this a priority, it didn't seem to be on anyone's radar. All I wanted to know was when the part shipped and when I could expect delivery. I told her that the situation was now "unprofessional" and I needed her "to go over someone's head and get some action." I made it clear that I was not mad at her, that I understood she probably gets yelled at all the time, that I wasn't looking for special treatment, but after ten days I felt it was reasonable to expect at least some tracking information. "As it stands now no one can even tell me if the part has been shipped," I stated emphatically. She agreed and said she would try her best and call me back.
I didn't hear from her again that day.
Last Friday afternoon, I called again. The lady had no clue where the part was or even if it was en route. She had gone to her supervisors and spoken to them about it but no one could tell me anything about the status of the alleged shipment. But, surprise, surprise, about 30 minutes later she called me back to say the part was in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was scheduled for a Monday delivery. Knowing that it probably wouldn't arrive first thing, I asked her to schedule having the blower unit installed and everything else in my system checked first thing Tuesday morning.
Checking back with her late this past Monday (September 17), she told me the part still had not been delivered. "Well, where is it? You have the tracking number." She couldn't find the freakin' tracking number, however. Her sincere concern apparently was incapable to translating into any personal initiative whatsoever. I was frustrated but pretty much helpless. I half-seriously contemplated buying a whole new freakin' AC system. It would already have been installed and working by now.
Meanwhile, the two window units continued to cool the whole house as best they could, with their small compressors running almost constantly. By now I had figured out the optimum balance between nurturing the compressors and keeping my house livable in the late summer heat.
It was frustrating though; not just because of the primitive and inadequate nature of the cooling units. The noise from the units running in my study all the time interfered with my ability to listen to classical music on my radio, to hear anything at all in the house except for the phone ringing. Reading anything more than the news in my Flipboard app proved impossible. I couldn't concentrate on any of the books I am currently reading.
She called me back (!) later on Monday to say the part had been shipped to the Chattanooga distribution facility, not directly to the AC shop. Why didn't she verify direct shipment? I have no clue and she sure as hell didn't either since by now I was having to tell her what her next step should be.
The part was due on Tuesday (yesterday) now, but she had no idea of when it might arrive (of course). She apparently was struggling to get someone out late Tuesday afternoon but I told her there was no point in that since she didn't know when the part would come in. I scheduled a service call for the first thing this morning. She blocked out two hours for the maintenance guy to not only replace the blower fan but to service my entire system.
Somewhat surprisingly, given how all the rest of this went, the new blower fan was installed in no time and it worked perfectly. The maintenance guy did a few other minor adjustments to the unit and pronounced it "good to go." This whole BS episode is hopefully over. Just in the nick of time, really. It was sunny and 94 degrees here today.
I am sitting in my study as I post this blog entry. It is quiet and cool and all seems right with the world AC-wise. I'm looking forward to getting back to my reading and to doing yoga or just sitting in my recliner and staring without two small compressors unceasingly going hmmmmm in my head.
The whole ordeal only took 15 days (!) during some of the hottest temperatures of the year. God only knows what my power bill will look like this month with those two small compressors and every fan in my house running almost continuously. But it would have been so much worse without the window units. So I should count my blessings, I suppose.