Fire and Ice
Ex Trailer Trash

Cooling Our Heels

Following the great dark-out last week, we spent several days sweltering. Our AC was wheezing and gasping, and we figured it was on its way to that great HVAC retirement in the sky. It was cooling a little – as in, got us down to 87 degrees instead of 110. Still a long ways from optimal.

The AC repair guy came out Monday and while it took him two trips, this sucker’s working better now than it’s ever worked since we bought the place. (Granted, today is much cooler outside too, but it was cooler Monday and stayed that way, when it was still 100+ outdoors.) We know we’re living on borrowed time, though, with a 15-year-old AC unit in the desert, so we asked the same company to come out and quote us for replacement.

Except the system is still going like a champ and when the salesman came out to quote us, he said as much. He did, however, point out the “well you need a couple of spots of insulation filled in” was not entirely true. The former is what the home inspector told us before we bought the place. The AC guy brought receipts: photos he took while in the attic. And it was a bit more involved than, “You need a spot or two filled in.” Half the attic is well insulated – over the bedrooms, basically. And they’re always the cool spots in the house.

But the living room and kitchen – aka more than half the actual square feet? NO insulation. Nada. There were studs and the ceiling drywall, and that was IT.

This company doesn’t do insulation and didn’t try to shove another insulation company down our throats. They didn’t gain a thing by being honest about it. They did make a couple of recommendations for duct work – including adding another vent in the living room/kitchen area, and you know – wrapping the duct work in insulation (go figure!) As it stands now, the cool air from the AC unit is being fired through heated metal tubes – not the most energy-efficient solution. The sales person also said since the house sat vacant for at least several years of this system’s 15-year lifetime, it’s effectively a much younger unit. He told us getting the insulation and ductwork done will probably get us at least a few more years. We’re still getting a quote, on principle. But with the honesty this sales person gave us, you bet your sweet bippy we’re calling them when it comes time for a new AC, whenever that is.

thermometerIn a perfect world we’ll get the ductwork done asap, while it’s exposed and easier to access. Then we’re going to insulate the shit out of the attic area, something we should’ve done a long time ago. I’m hoping we can get both done in the next couple of weeks, while temps are on the lower end of summer here.

Of course getting any work done is still predicated on the $$ we’re quoted, which we don’t yet know; and on availability, because supply-line issues are still very much a thing.

Unless the numbers are outrageous, though, it’s getting done.

I hate the prospect of putting more on a credit card; but sometimes spending money is a necessary evil. The updates will reduce utility costs and improve home equity. Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet.

It’s raining again today. At just past 10am it’s 82º outdoors, a good 20º below average. We used to be like this every summer – the monsoon season started around the 4th of July and it kept raining through into mid-August or later. We were still hot – but it wasn’t weeks on end where the thermometer topped 110º every single day. This summer has been a return to some semblance of normalcy, so far.

For those of you in the real world and wondering why I seem to obsess over rain and cooler temperatures: rain is the exception here, not the rule. Even in a normal year we go months at a time without a drop of rain. When we get it – especially when we get several rounds of it – those of us in the desert rejoice!

2 thoughts on “Cooling Our Heels”

  1. I hope you can get the needed insulation and other work done before long. Glad to hear you found an honest AC company that is working with you to make your unit last longer.

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