Wednesday, August 10


Over a month of 100+ degree weather might be too much even for me. I commented the other day that I'll admit it's too hot outside when walking from the building to my car results in my earrings getting so hot they burn my skin.

So imagine my excitement when after five days in Colorado (with summery weather in the 80s and 90s) I return home to our 109 degree weather. And a broken air conditioner. Oops.

What Happened
My main mistake was not having the HVAC repairman come out for regular maintenance. Then I compounded that mistake by putting off scheduling a check up when my A/C started having trouble cooling the house a few weeks ago. In the end the breaker for the A/C unit gave out. At one of the most inconvenient times, of course. I came home to a house that was a balmy 95 degrees.

When the repairman came out last week his first look at the unit automatically sent the bill racing over $100. As he investigated further the news only got worse. Not only was the A/C breaker burnt out, but it appeared that the coiling unit was shot too. A significantly more expensive fix.

I ended up getting lucky. Once the breaker was replaced my coiling unit began working again. But the experience taught me an important lesson about proactive HVAC check-ups.

HVAC Maintenance Tips:
  • The easiest fix is replacing the filter in the A/C units regularly, about every 1-6 months.
  • Cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils a couple times a year will help prevent dirt build up or mold/fungus growth. One website suggested a product like BBJ’s Power Coil Clean. You should always treat the coils with an antimicrobial treatment after cleaning.
  • Clean your air ducts once every other year.
  • Seal leaks and check for standing water around air ducts.
  • And have the repairman come do a standard check up around May and October every year.

Cooling Down
A few days later my A/C is working great, we've gotten a "cold" front with several heavy rainstorms that have cooled the temperatures to the 90s and (while I could do without driving in the torrential downpours) my plants seem happier. I'm glad not to need to water, plus I sleep great when it rains.

Do any of you have some A/C tips or stories to share?


  1. I'm just glad it doesn't get near that hot in Korea. I've gone all summer without an air conditioner. Central heating and air is uncommon here so most apartments will have floor heating but no air con. Luckily, I didn't really need it until the end of July when the rainy season ended. But some days it's torture...

  2. I don't mind the heat too much (although 95 inside is pretty awful), but I don't think I could live somewhere that winter is really cold with snow and ice. That would make me miserable.


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