AC Aggravation

by Bella Rum

money-fly-out-window-samuiblue-freedigitalphotosH played golf yesterday, and I cleaned bathrooms, dusted and did a load of laundry. I know it sounds almost like a legitimate list, but it didn’t take all that long. H broke his pitching wedge. He hit the ball, and the head flew through the air.

We got a huge, as in HUGE, electric bill, which was a HUGE disappointment. We were hoping it would be less than the bill at our other house because this house is smaller, but… We think it’s the AC. As I mentioned before, it’s been idle for at least two years, and it’s very old. Someone is coming this morning to give it a look-see (no charge for the visit). H got the service plan because the unit is so old. He thinks it needs freon. Who knows? But it could be leaking.

We need and want to replace it immediately, but since the neighborhood next to us recently got gas, we hope we’ll have it soon. We would like to get gas heat, and replace the heat pump with a new air conditioner. We think that gas will be available before next summer. Virginia Natural Gas sent out surveys to see how much interest was out there. We filled out the form online. There was a meeting with communities in the area, but we missed that. It was just after we moved in.

My brother knows a guy (don’t you just love people who know a guy) who will give us a deal on a new AC. He always knows a guy. The best thing about living at Dad’s was that when something went awry, I just called him and he called a guy, and the guy showed up immediately no matter what time of day or night or if it was a holiday. That’s not my life experience. I call a guy and he tells me it will be three days, then he calls two hours after he’s supposed to be here to tell me his brother-in-law had a heart attack or his mother slipped in the shower, and he’ll be out in a couple of days. I exaggerate, of course, sometimes they do show up when they say they will, and this does not qualify as a bona fide emergency. The house is somewhat cool, even though, as Dad would say, I can see dollar bills flying out the windows.  If this is my biggest problem, who am I to complain? I seem to be reminding myself of that whenever the AC topic arises. But dollar bills, y’all!

So that’s my aggravation for today.

I wrote this post this morning. Just wanted to add: It’s now noon. The AC repair guy was supposed to be here between 9 and 11. It’s okay. I have nothing else planned for today. Just sayin’.


Telltale signs that your air conditioner is low on Freon:

1 – Supply ducts are blowing hot air even when your air conditioner is running and your thermostat is set to “cool”
2 – Water accumulates on the floor by your furnace due to condensation.
3 – House takes forever to cool off
4 – Air conditioner runs much longer than usual
5 – Ice quickly builds up on evaporator coils (the inside unit of a split air conditioner system)
6 – High electric bills (because the air conditioner runs so much)

How often should I have to add freon to my air conditioner?

There is no set period of time you should be adding or replacing Freon in your home’s air conditioner.

Freon should never need replacing or adding because it’s not used up like gas in your car. Your air conditioner is a “self contained system”, meaning Freon flows back and forth between the outside and inside unit, but it should never escape.

If you’re low on refrigerant, then there’s a leak somewhere in your AC system. So you should never have a professional add more refrigerant without looking for a leak. Sources: Pitzer’s, Cool Today