........If I'm not mistaken, that would be Sod's Law, to my friends in the UK.
Of course it had to happen today! On a day when the temperature soared to within tenths of a degree of 100° F, and with the heat index exceeding 104° F, my largest window A/C unit decided like Old Lodge Skins in the movie, Little Big Man, that today is a good day to die. I have two window A/C units. Well, three actually, but the 8,000 BTU unit in my computer room hasn't worked for years. I never bothered to replace it, because it really wasn't needed. The room is very small, and there was nowhere I could sit, without it blowing freezing cold air directly on me. Besides, the 12,000 BTU unit in the great room, and the other 8,000 BTU unit in my bedroom did a proper job of keeping the entire house cool and dehumidified. A simple oscillating fan for ventilation, was all the computer room needed.
As I've been saying for some time now, and I don't blame you if you're getting tired of hearing it, this has been a very hot summer, with temperatures in the 90's most days since the beginning of June, so I've had the window units running wide open. When I got up this morning the house was a little too cool, so I turned the thermostat back on the 12,000 BTU unit. Big mistake!
Since I have it set on the energy saving mode, than meant that the fan shut off along with the compressor. An hour or two later as the sun rose higher in the sky, and the temperature began to rise, I turned the thermostat back up, and the fan and compressor cut on, but the unit began to emit strange intermittent noises.
Industrial electrical work was what I made my living at before I retired, so I knew instantly that the noises I was hearing meant that either the fan motor, or the compressor bearings were failing. Sure enough, about an hour later the fan motor locked up, and even though the compressor was still running, there was no air being drawn through the cooling coils, and blown back out into the room. It saddens me that this unit went bad. It was a Gibson, and one of the very last really good ones made. I was lucky to get it when I did, because it was the last one in the only appliance store in Richmond that sold them. Gibson window air conditioners used to have a great reputation. They were possibly the best window A/C units ever made in America. They were heavy duty, and dependably reliable. Dependably reliable.............that sounds a bit redundant, doesn't it? Oh well, suffice to say that Gibsons used to be excellent air conditioners. This one ran faithfully for more than ten years, and I had another that ran trouble free for over ten years as well. I gave that one away to a young couple that lived in the apartment below me, when I moved to my house out in the country. Compare that to some Whirlpool and Frigidaire units I've had since, that lasted no more than two or three years, and soon found a final resting place in the county dump.
When I realized that the big unit bit the dust, I began to panic. How was I ever going to survive, with just one 8,000 BTU unit in this horrid desert heat?.........Picture Melissa barefoot, dressed in the shortest of shorts, the skimpiest tank top, with hair pulled back, and sitting directly in front of a block of ice, with an oscillating fan blowing over it, while sipping on iced drinks, and wiping away the rivers of sweat dripping from her brow! How did Scarlett O'Hara ever stand those stifling Atlanta summers in her corset, bloomers, and long antebellum dresses?
I prepared for the worst. Although not totally necessary, because of the shade provided by my trees, the blinds were closed, and the few fans I have, were strategically placed to move cool air from the bedroom at the opposite end of the house, to the computer room where I like to hang out.
It actually hasn't been that bad. The high temperature in the house got up to 82° F late this afternoon, and currently it's 78° F, but with all the windows shut, the lone 8,000 BTU window unit in my bedroom, is keeping that room and my master bath nice and cool, and dehumidifying the entire house, so as long as I stay half naked, I'm pretty comfortable.
I went on line today looking for a replacement for the Gibson. So far all I have been able to find locally in an equivalent BTU rating, is another Frigidaire, but in spite of the glorious reviews I saw, I'm reluctant to try a Frigidaire ever again, because the last one I had lasted only two or three years. I have a Samsung unit still in the box, that I bought several years ago. It's very similar to the excellent Samsung model in my bedroom, except it's only 5,000 BTUs, and it doesn't have a remote control. I originally bought it for the computer room when the Whirlpool went for a shit, but when the other two units kept the house fairly cool, I decided to leave it in the box, thinking that I would either use it in an emergency like now, or just donate it to charity. So right now I am torn. Do I drive into town, and spend several hundred dollars on a new 12,000BTU unit for the great room, or do I say screw it, and just install the 5,000 BTU Samsung in the computer room, even though I know it will blow cold air on me, and I might end up having to wear a shrug, while posting my boring drivel to all of my sweet readers?
I've been listening to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Live in New York City tonight, and it's really a great CD. I have the DVD too, and both were recorded for HBO, back in 2001. Bruce is great to listen to, when your spirits need lifting. Check out this wonderful rendition of Tenth Avenue Freeze-out, followed by this moving version of Youngstown (No secret where my political feelings lie!).
Melissa XX (Hoping you are having an enjoyable warm, albeit comfortable summer!)