Emergency Air Support

So I’m sitting there minding my business about 9:15 last night when I notice that it’s over 80 degrees inside the house and all the vents are blowing hot air.  I went outside to check on the condenser unit and it was making an awful racket so I shut it down.  When I went back I could smell a burning odor.  I suspect that it’s the fan motor, but I’m currently waiting for a callback from Airwise to try to schedule an appointment (I was sorely tempted to call one of the 24-hour places, but my home warranty requires that I go through the process).  In the meantime, expecting that it might take them a while to get back to me, I went to WalMart and bought a small window unit so that at least my bedroom would have some cooling.  I suspect things may get a bit warm later in the day in here, as the unit is probably a bit small for the size of the room, but my choices were limited to either the little unit (5150 BTU) or a 10,000 BTU unit for twice the cost.  The 10,000 unit seemed like overkill for a temporary solution.

I supposed I’ve kind of been expecting this, given that the unit is almost 20 years old (it’s the original one from when the house was built) and that it’s been running nearly continuously this summer because of the heat.  Eventually, something has to fail on a unit that’s that old. 

On the positive side of this is that if it requires a new unit my warranty covers a 13-SEER replacement, so perhaps I could get a more efficient unit out of the deal if it’s more than just the fan motor.  That old unit is pretty inefficient compared to the newer models, and I’m reminded of this fact monthly (to the tune of $520 on the last bill).

I suppose some people would have just put up with the heat, but it’s already unbearable in the rest of the house and it’s only 89 outside.  I remember growing up that we rarely ran the air conditioner.  However, we lived in an old house with high ceilings and good airflow.  We could keep the house bearable, even in 90-degree temperatures, with a large fan that drew air through the house.  More modern houses just aren’t designed to stay liveable without central heat and air.  I’ve found that even in early spring or late fall that there were times I had to run the air conditioning because I just couldn’t get good airflow through the house, even with all the windows open.  Like most houses in this neighborhood, it only has one window facing the front.  All of the others are on the sides and back.  I didn’t really notice this when I bought the house, but it’s something that I’m going to pay more attention to should I buy another house in the future.

Update:  Looks like I’m going to be “confined to quarters” for a while.  They can’t send anyone until Wednesday (!).  I guess the heat has been a real killer for North Texas AC units…

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