Friday, July 19, 2013

Inside Cool

2013: The Summer of A/C Failure. The breakdown of air conditioning in South Florida is a dread second only to hurricane threats. It began at our apartment a few months back. The property manager arranged (covered) service calls. But.......the a/c would go on to break down four more times after each repair. Not getting to the root of the problem, until it was discovered that the etiology was electrical. All is good now.

Next, my car's a/c stopped as I was driving to work one morning. Have you been there? When the blast suddenly turns warm? You turn it on and off, hoping for some sort of reset and then your heart sinks. Thoughts of freon deficiency or even, uh oh, a downed compressor. Then, large cash payouts. As I entered the parking garage, the situation took a turn - the most noxious fumes I've ever inhaled poured out of the vents. Smoke drifted from the sides of my hood. I worried that more than a/c had gone wrong. Luckily, that proved incorrect but my compressor and money fears did not.  I won't even say how much the repair cost, but it was necessary.

To top it off, I discovered during one of my bi-weekly visits to my grandmother's place (she's now in a rehab facility) that her unit had failed. What sort of cycle had I entered?? Too much coincidence. I was concerned for the growth of mold if I let this problem fester too long. Again, I feared the worst. And who would I call? Have you ever read customer reviews on Yelp and the like? So many tales of rip-offs.

One day at work I found a guy in our ceiling, checking out the system.  Happily, I learned that his company did residential service and the next day the problem was found to be the contactor, basically an electrical switch. Less complex of a dilemma than at my apartment, though this would be an out of pocket expense. Mercifully, less than $200.00 for the part and labor. What a relief! The service guy was very friendly and informative.

Sure, older Floridians will be happy to tell you of all the years they went without air conditioning. Know it well. Tough generation, or maybe they were able to adjust because they knew nothing else. I'm sure more than one of them will agree that technology has made us all less adaptive, even wimpier. All this gives more incentive to move to California, where the humidity stays low and you can actually open your windows in summertime - in the house and the car.

No comments: