Summers in Georgia are punctuated with such high humidity you could literally drown from taking a deep breath. Sometimes there’s so much water in the air people wear raincoats just to walk to their neighbor’s house – when it’s not raining! In fact, did you know, that if you kill someone during peak heat and humidity in Georgia and can prove that your air conditioner was broken at the time of the crime, it’s knocked down to a misdemeanor? At least that’s what my friend’s daughter’s boyfriend’s older brother said. He’s a web designer for a legal advice website, so I think he would know. When the air conditioner broke in my house, I had to choose between committing murder and getting it fixed.
In case you don’t know, I’m the kind of person that likes to research products before I buy. (At least high dollar appliances like air conditioners, dishwashers and escalators.) It didn’t take me long to determine that, based on the age of the system, the size of my house and the fact that it was blowing hot air, I needed to have it fixed.
It’s always a good idea to let the A/C servicemen know you have some knowledge of HVAC systems, so they don’t try to take advantage of you.
“It’s blowing hot air.” I explained when the technician arrived. “I notice when I set it on sixty-eight, it blows hot air but when I put it on eighty-six it’s not as hot.”
He must have been surprised at my knowledge of the physics involved, as it took him several seconds to catch up to my advanced assessment.
“It could be a freon leak.” he offered lamely.
“I doubt that.” I said confidently, since I had checked every vent and hadn’t seen leaking around any of them. “It’s the thermomastat.” I explained. “It thinks it’s sixty-eight when it’s eighty-six.”
“I’ll just have a look at the outside unit and we’ll go from there.” he said, like the other technicians before him.
After getting six estimates, my husband insisted we follow the advice of all the technicians and replace the old system.
Again, you want to do your research to be sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck. The first company that came back, well, the only one that came back, suggested replacing with the same size system. But I knew what that meant, it was only going to last ten or fifteen years and then we would have to replace it again.
“We want the six thousand watt unit.” I proclaimed.
“You mean six tons?” he asked.
“Yes, six ton watts.”
“Six tons is way too big for your house, lady. It’ll sound like a freight train blowing through here.” he said.
I knew he was just trying to get me to buy the smaller one because they’re easier to install and they make more money on them.
“Look, if a 2.5 ton is $6,500 and a 3 ton is $7,200, the more expensive one is actually less expensive.”
He tried to pretend he didn’t know what I was saying, but I stood firm in my decision.
“And, we want the matching six ton furnace that comes with it.” I told him before he could try to down sell me on that one too.
“Furnaces are measured in B-T-Us.” he said ,trying to intimidate me with more technical jargon.
“Look, I want the six hundred thousand ton a/c with a matching furnace butt, or I’m going to kill someone!” I demanded.
Well, as you can imagine that was all that needed to be said. He was on the phone getting his guys right on it “loco loco.”
True, it’s a little louder than the older unit, but at least it cools the entire house to exactly sixty-eight degrees every six minutes.