Monday, August 21, 2017

Our Ill Compressor

Saturday night our air conditioning went out.  This is not really the thing you are holding out for, especially in the middle of summer.  I went outside and checked the unit - the breakers had not tripped (I reset them for good measure - nothing).

We fired up the fans overnight and, in the morning I gave it another try.  Sure enough, it came back on.  I left the house feeling okay - although I was not sure what had happened.

Later on Sunday our air conditioning guy came by.  Bad news and more bad news.  The compressor is failing.  The Ravishing Mrs. TB asked what our options were.  Not good, was the reply: we have about two months (possibly) left.  Replacing the compressor was, in his opinion, not the best option: it would extend the life, but we would probably be back where we were in not too short order.  His recommendation is replace the unit.  Price tag for that runs between $4000 and $6000.

Not really the Sunday I was holding out for.

It makes a certain amount of sense, of course:  the unit is the original one that came with the house so it is approximately 21 years old.  And units (where we live, anyway) get quite a workout during the hot season, which seems to run between as early as April and as late as October.  It was really only a matter of time.

The options are not great.  We do not precisely have that amount of money just sitting there, ready to be used for such a thing (although our budget has already gotten another round of scrutinizing).  First the first time in a long time, I am confronted with something I cannot neither pay for nor readily fix.

My solution, for it is worth, is two fold.  On the first hand, economize where we can and hope the unit makes it to the end of October - if we make it that long, we are good for six months (and a lot can happen in six months).  On the other hand, in a tall order of exercise of faith, I am going to pray for a new air conditioning unit.  I have no idea how God might work that out but that is His business, not mine - and I have learned over the years God can move in ways that I never would have predicted.  

I wish I had something more upbeat, and of course in the scope of things this is not the worst thing in the world - we still have so many many blessings.  It is just the sort of thing that gives you pause for a moment and wonder (all worldly like, of course)  "Did I do something to merit this?"


Rain said...

I think that way at times, I feel I'm a good person, I do well, I take care of my why all the failures sometimes?

Is it possible to live without a/c? We have a few window units, but we have been trying to tough it out on really hot days to cut our Hydro bill down. When it's 100% humidity though, we can't help using them.

PeteForester1 said...

It's interesting that the compressor came back on after not coming on the night before, TB. Usually when a compressor goes, that's all she wrote. You'll also usually hear the compressor try to come on and then kick out; you'll hear a hum, and usually a drop in the fan speed. Unless you implicitly trust your HVAC guy, try changing out the compressor's motor-start capacitor first. It's literally a pug & play part, and it's always located right inside the side cover of the compressor housing. It looks a small tin can, and it'll be right in front of you when you take the cover off. It takes longer to unscrew the numerous cover screws than it does to change out the capacitor. The part itself costs about $25.00 US. If you're not hearing the compressor try to start and then kicking out, there's a damned good chance that this capacitor has failed.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Rain - Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? Unfortunately not. We regularly run 95 F + in the summer here, which runs up to six months.

Thanks Pete. His assessment was it is failing, not completely failed (thus, I guess, the fact that it turned on in the morning). Appreciate the advice. I will give it a look this weekend.

Matt said...

If the start up capacitor has failed , it won't start the compressor. Just in case you don't know, you can get a severely nasty pop improperly handling a capacitor. You probaby know that but just in case you don't. ... I wouldn't mess with it.

I used to have a large craftmans screw driver with a big chunk blown out of the shaft from shorting a much bigger capacitor out.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks Matt. On the whole, electricity terrifies me.