Air Conditioning Woes II – The Home Version

Yesterday Mr. A called me and asked if I had a minute… he needed to talk to me.  Whenever he prefaces a conversation like that, I have to take a deep breath and tell myself everything’s going to be okay.  He was calling me around 12:30pm and apparently he’d already done everything he could to try to fix the problem, but had been unable.  So he finally had to call and share the bad news with me.

The compressor on our home air conditioner had gone out.

This is bad, bad news in Arizona during July.  It is very miserable trying to withstand the heat and it can even kill you. The very first concern was making sure Big A did not get overheated.  He gets overheated easily and we have to be really careful with him. Mr. A had a window unit leftover from a job and he installed it into Big A’s room.  They then went down into town to pick up two more window units, one for AJ’s room and one for the master bedroom.

When I arrived home from work yesterday, it was 97°F in the house.  Mr. A had just gotten AJ’s window unit installed and was about to install the other unit into our bedroom.  We kept the bedroom doors shut and cooled only the rooms that the units were installed in.  Our house is well insulated and stayed at 95°F throughout the night until Mr. A got up at 2:30am and opened the front and back door to let the “cool” air (83°F) circulate.  The window units worked very wonderfully. I was able to get a good night’s sleep and was so grateful that window units are available. Hopefully they aren’t too expensive to run! They were $109 each plus tax.

In between installing trying to fix the air conditioner, and purchasing window units, Mr. A was also replacing the other suspension links on my Pathfinder.  The job is much less expensive if you can do it yourself, but the bushings have to be pressed in by a machine shop, so he had to take the parts out, then run them down to the shop in town, come back. Back and forth, back and forth. And it’s the time of year when we have an abundance of flies, which love sweat, and love to tramp all over sweaty skin.

Poor Mr. A, he was so red and overheated by the time I got home and in such a foul mood!

After he took a shower, he apologized and said it was the worst day he’d had in a very long time.

Of course he began exploring options to fix the unit yesterday.  Thankfully Mr. A has a business relationship with an air conditioning professional, Mr. Fierce, who has already said he will help us get the unit at his cost with no additional markup. That is going to be a lot of help.

We have several options available at this point. Mr. A has never liked the split system unit which came with the home originally originally, and says a heat pump will more efficient.  We looked into the APS rebate program where we could get a rebate as high as $525 but we have to use an APS Qualified Contractor.  Mr. Fierce isn’t listed. But since he is willing to get the unit for us at his cost, that will be more than the savings of a rebate right there.  Mr. Fierce says we can get a 4 ton unit for $1300 (his cost) with a five year warranty.  He says we can extend the warranty by another five years for $300. Mr. Fierce is also willing to help install the unit at a substantially reduced rate.

So we’re probably going to change our split system to a heat pump. That’s going to require some ductwork changes, which we’ll entail some cost, but Mr. A can do that work himself.  Initially Mr. A was looking for used units, and found a 3 ton unit for $300.  But I am very uncomfortable with that idea. I hate the idea of going deeper into debt, but just because the person says it was working when they took it off the house it was on, is no guarantee as to how well it was working, how efficiently it was working and how long it will last. Mr. A says buying a new unit and changing to a heat pump should result in lower electricity costs.

This is just so damned frustrating!!  We will need to charge some of the cost of this air conditioner and increase our debt.  By how much I do not yet know.  But I will keep you all updated.

Yours Truly,

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2 thoughts on “Air Conditioning Woes II – The Home Version

  1. Oh no! That sucks! You’re right though – air conditioning is a need, not a want. And you’re right to fix it in a way that makes most sense long term. Why band-aid something? Hope you can get it fixed quickly!

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