Friday, July 21, 2023

Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight


Wednesday, July 19...the day the running stops. (apologies to The Fugitive)

I imagine that a pretty good percentage of people are aware of the blisteringly hot temperatures that the southwest has been having the past week or so. NormInVegas sent me this picture a couple of days ago:
Last Thursday around 5:00pm, I headed out to play some poker at Desert Diamond Casino. After playing and eating, I headed back home, only to hear from my wife that our air conditioning had gone out. We discussed options and decided that, with fans, we could probably hack it sleeping at home that night. I asked my wife "Did you check the fuse box?" She said she hadn't, so I checked in the darkness in our backyard. I saw nothing amiss in what appeared to be the circuit breaker for the A/C. My wife messaged the property manager (we rent a house in Phoenix) and we spent a rather difficult night trying to sleep as our house got increasingly warmer. The next day, an A/C worker came at about 9:30am. He looked at our unit and said the problem appeared to be a power source problem. He did not see anything in our circuit box that powered the A/C. After exploring, he discovered that the circuit breaker for the A/C had actually been labeled "pool lights" when the house was remodeled right before we moved in 2 1/2 years ago. The breaker was off, so he turned it back on. Moderately cool air began flowing through our vents and we thought the problem was solved. However, a short time later, the air turned warm and the temperature in the house began to rise. We contacted our property manager (the number of  people involved in this situation didn't help), who would let the A/C people know that we needed them to come back. Fortunately, my wife's best friend has an unoccupied casita, and we were able to head there on Friday to sleep. Fortunately, we were also able to take our two dogs. Our cat was going to have to rough it with some fans we set up at a cool spot in the house.

On Saturday,  the A/C guy came back and replaced a blown capacitor.  He directed my wife on gradually decreasing the temperature and left. But...similar to the day before, the cool air came on for a bit, and then the temperature started increasing again. Talk about frustration! More time at the casita.

We are unsure of exactly what happened next. Apparently a new fan had been put in, but seized up. We aren't sure if the fan was installed when he replaced the capacitor, or if it was Sunday morning while we were out. We had been instructed to turn the system off, so if it was working properly, we wouldn't know until we were back home.  Since the fan seized, we still had no A/C. Meanwhile, we had to go through the property manager, although we are friends with the owner, and she was kept apprised of what was happening. The whole process was frustrating since we were not dealing with the A/C guy unless he came to the house and we were there.  So another night at the casita.

Monday my wife let the property manager know that it still wasn't working.  No response from her or the A/C repair guy.  Back to the casita.

Tuesday afternoon we were told he would be coming in the afternoon while we were at the movie theater. After the movie let out, we went back to the house and started things up. Thankfully, the system appeared to be working properly again. We set the thermostat to gradually cool down and kept our fingers crossed that our house would be cooled down Wednesday morning. To our relief, it was. Thank goodness!  In the meantime, it was too hot yet that evening to stay in the house.  So, as you may have guessed, it was another night in the casita.

Now, reading this all ex post facto, it doesn't sound that bad, right? Well, we basically moved out of our house with very little on Friday, came back sporadically to check on things and get clean clothes, but didn't move back in until Wednesday morning. Five days and nights away, carting dogs back and forth since we could not leave them alone at the casita. Had we known that this problem would stretch out almost six days, and had we not been dealing with temperatures above 110 degrees each day, we might have done things a little differently. Our house reached a temperature of at least 96 degrees inside, so we minimized any time inside it, even if just to get clothes for the next day. In reality, it was like losing the good part of a week of our lives. If there are any positives that came out of our situation, they included an increased sensitivity to others that might have housing issues and not have a relatively cushy fall-back place like we did. To paraphrase Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Illinois anymore."

Thanks for reading.


Blogger Tony Bigcharles said...

less privledged people wouldve just paid for a hotel room for a week elsewhere. i did this in houston during the ice storm at a place that had power when a lot of places did not and it cost me about 1000. and when i was a kid my mom never had ac at anywhere she lived. i grew up sleeping in front of fans.

12:56 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

The "privledged" part, Tony, was due to having some really privileged friends. And our big complication was having two dogs and a cat. As for the A/C, I and many people I know grew up with window A/C units and fans in the house. But there's also a huge difference between having thst in Kansas or elsewhere and living in Phoenix during a record breaking hot spell. It's been over 110 degrees about every day for two weeks and the area doesn't cool down much at night. Inside the house, it was getting close to 100 degrees!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Koala said...

Glad you got your aircon sorted out finally. Jo was born in the Netherlands (Holland) and hates hot weather. Fortunately we have three separate split systems in our house servicing different areas. So if one goes out we still have back ups. The only problem is if we have a complete power outage. Fortunately they are very infrequent.

10:11 PM  

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