Tuesday, June 21, 2005

When Living in the South Sucks!

We had a power outage last Wednesday night. The power faded in and out for a few minutes, which was really weird. I had a roast in the oven, and was worried that we would not be able to eat dinner that night. Being from South Louisiana, food is extremely important to me (hence, my ever-present weight problem). Anyway, it took about 15 minutes of going off and on, but the power finally stayed off. We decided to finish cooking dinner on the gas grill outside; we did mashed potatoes, peas, and garlic bread, and were pretty impressed with ourselves.

After listening to various news reports on the radio, going to get ice cream, and driving around for a while, we headed home and prepared for the worst. It was a main transmission line from a power plant about 20 miles north of us, and affected over 100,000 people in several counties. They had no idea when it would be repaired. I guess at this point, it helped that we live in a relatively affluent area, because our power was restored around 10:30 that night. We blew out our candles and went to bed.

Thursday morning, I started noticing how hot it was in our house. We have a programmable thermostat, so it is supposed to keep our house at a certain temperature, but it wasn't working. We have LOTS of windows and vaulted ceilings, so our house heats up quickly. I called our home warranty company to get someone to come and fix it, and they acted like someone would be coming that day. After the upstairs heating up to 97 degrees, I called them back, and they said there was no guarantee when someone would be coming. We finally got in touch with the air conditioning people, and they gave us an appointment for Saturday. We packed up that night and went to stay with friends. Friday, it was even hotter, but we decided to crank up the window unit that we have in our office, and all sleep in there. I went to scrapbook at a friend's house that night, and when I came home, it was nice and cool in the house. Apparently, we have a reset button on the thermostat, and pressing that made the unit outside come back on.

Saturday morning, we canceled our appointment, and feeling great about the money we had saved, decided to go shopping for a new light fixture to go over our kitchen table. We didn't find anything, but did stop at a store and pick up the ingredients to brew beer, something we enjoy but haven't done in six years.

Sunday morning, it became really hot in the house again, and after pressing the reset button numerous times, turning the circuit breakers on and off, and taking apart the thermostat, we realized that we were dummies for canceling our appointment for service. We placed another call, and an appointment was set for today.

I spent yesterday in this room, on the computer, and we have slept in here for two nights. I feel like a hippie in a commune, sleeping on the floor on an inflatable mattress! I haven't wanted to use the dishwasher, dryer or stove, for fear of adding any heat to the house. Consequently, it is dirty.

Anyway, the repair man came today, and informed us that our dryer vents outside about two feet from the air conditioner, which is sucking up lint like no tomorrow. Some piece needs to be replaced, and for $400, he needed to use a blowtorch and burn all the hardened lint off the coils. We have special spine coils, so they can't be brushed off. A call to the warranty company informed me that since it is a maintenance issue, they won't be covering it.

*********This is being written later**********

I called the company that we normally use for this sort of thing, and they informed me that the first guy was ripping me off. A technician showed up a couple of hours later, showed me how to use the garden hose to clean off the coilsl, and replaced the part. All of that for a grand total of $118.25. I called the warranty company back, and they informed me that I still owe the first company their $45 service fee, but may cover part of the repair. The air conditioner guy we ended up using informed me that air conditioner repairmen are bigger con artists than auto mechanics. and to be careful with warranty companies, because they will try to find a way to dismiss the claim. As my house is now cooling off, I feel that I have learned a valuable lesson!

1 comment:

  1. Haley8:40 PM

    We enjoyed having you stay at the house. I know how being without air feels. I'm glad yall got it fixed. This weblog is pretty cool. It is right up your alley. I enjoy reading...keep writing. Haley