July 20, 2006

HVAC 101

When we arrived home late Sunday evening, the temperature inside our house was uncomfortably warm. Oh sure the whole northeastern portion of the United States had been experiencing stifling heat and humidity, but geez. Our home is our indoor oasis and should offer a cool respite from the whims of Mother Nature. It was almost as if the house was punishing us, distressed at having been left behind while we gadded around the big city.

As I hauled our bags up to our bedroom, I glanced at the thermostat. It read a balmy 79°. Felt warmer than that. I knew we raised the setting a bit before we left, but not to 79°. Maybe our housesitter, wonderfully frugal woman that she is, had adjusted it in our absence. I doubted it.

I pushed the little arrow down two degrees and listened for the system to kick on. Nothing but silence. I scowled and decided to give it a few minutes to catch up to itself. (Time fixes many things. Maybe it would fix the A/C too. I am an eternal optimist.) As I unpacked I kept a sharp ear out for the happy sound of the compressor turning on. I'd like to say I waited patiently, but truth be told I was feeling pissier by the moment.

Wendy wandered upstairs. I said, "I don't think the A/C is working." She looked alarmed. I shared the sentiment. We investigated the thermostat together. I switched it off. I switched it on. It stared at me with resolute defiance. I childishly stamped my foot in frustration. Heat makes me cranky.

"Let's go check out the unit in the basement." I shrugged as Wendy looked at me doubtfully. Like we'd even know what to look for. I envisioned us standing there gawking at the machinery, scratching our befuddled heads. Eh, no harm in that. At least it was cool in the basement.

We flipped the circuit breaker. Nothing. We contemplated. I scowled. We scratched our heads as I knew we would. I'd been meaning to change the filter for several weeks, so we decided to do it then. Eh, couldn't hurt. I could at least cross an item off my to-do list.

We have a mega HEPA filter on our HVAC system. The filter gets changed once every four to six months. The furnace folks charge $90 each for replacements, but I found them on the internet for $40. Guess where we buy ours?

As soon as Wendy slid the filter's bulky housing out of its designated position, bam! The unit kicked on and cool air began flowing. Hmmm. Whadda ya know. Clean filter installed, we brushed off our hands, high-fived, and vowed to take our filter-changing responsibilities more seriously in the future.

Have you changed yours lately?

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17 comments:

Eyes said...

Our furnace has a filter...not our a/c. Hmmmmm.... And $90 or $40 for a filter. That's bizarre. Here our filters are cheap. We must have a different style unit than you people in VA!

KMae said...

P H E W !!!!!
Close one.

weese said...

ooo tip of the day...nice

CGHill said...

As a matter of fact, I changed mine this morning.

I am fortunate enough to be generally resistant to most of the nasty allergens out there, so I can get by with a ten-buck pleated filter every three months or so.

Bent Fabric said...

No, as a matter of fact. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Elizabeth said...

A few years ago for Max's birthday I took the day off so we could go to the beach. We woke up to a warm house but went to the beach anyway. Came back to a 90 degree house. $4000 later we were cool again.

It was a close one. Glad it was just the filter.

sporksforall said...

We have a in-the-attic unit that I am afraid will burn me, Scout, and all the sporks up. Pray for us. Y'all are such impressive fixers of things.

SassyFemme said...

I'm wishing we had central air to have a filter to change! Glad this turned out to be an easy fix for you.

maxine said...

MmmmmHmmmm. Happy Birthday to me...

Gunfighter said...

I am so pleased that you avoided an expensive fix!

That Girl said...

No, I might break a nail.

...back to reality, I live in an apartment and wish I had nails

Must be this awful heat. Glad to have you back home (although you had to pass my town on the way home, didja see me wave?)

Eyes said...

Love the new icon for Suburban Lesbian. Toooooo funny!! I got a good laugh out of that one when I read your comment on my blog.

What a hoot!

the only daughter said...

No central air-will file this away and/or pass it on. YL does have a window unit-I bet it has something that needs changing...

Glad you guys were able to get to the bottom of it-and it worked out, for the best. SWEET.

scout said...

Damn it, out-lesbianed again!

Sapphique said...

I'm one of those lesbians who can kick ass, while flipping my hair, a la Miss Piggy, but wouldn't know one end of a compressor from the other. Isn't that some sort of hair-straightening appliance??

TDharma said...

i am lucky enough, m'dear, to live in a climate that doesn't require air conditioning....take THAT~!

actually, it has been really hot here -- 100 degrees today which is quite unusual. i turned on the ceiling fan and closed up the window shades for maximum comfort.

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