Saturday, June 23, 2007

Feeling hot, hot, hot

Over the four years that we've lived in our house, we've had numerous problems with our air conditioner. Initially, we had a homeowner's warranty, so every time something went wrong, we only had to pay $45 for a service call. Nevertheless, those charges added up. Various repair technicians have refilled leaking freon, searched for leaks that they didn't find, searched for leaks that they did find, claimed nothing was wrong with the system, blown out the line (which I've since learned how to do myself), and even replaced the entire outdoor unit.

Once again, our air condioner is not cooling. We discovered the problem on Wednesday as we returned home from work. Immediately, we cut off the air so it wouldn't burn out the unit. The next morning, we called the service place and set up an appointment. The earliest they could come was Friday. Suffering through a second night in the heat was not a prospect we were relishing, but it wasn't unbearable. We just kept in mind that at least our outdoor unit, being only three years old, was still under warranty.

When the repair guys showed up Friday evening, it only took them about five minutes to figure out the problem. The compressor was shot. No big deal, right? It's under warranty. Well, sort of.

While the part is still covered under the manufactuer's warranty, the service is only covered for one year, so we'd have to pay for installation. That's going to run around $500. We have a good friend who works for a different heating and cooling service company who would give us a much better deal. However, according to our warranty, the same company who installed the unit must be the one to service it, otherwise our warranty is void. Our friend had suspected as much, but I was still surprised to see it confirmed. So, even if he could do the work for us for free, we'd then have to sell out around $1200 for a new compressor.

So now, we're waiting until Tuesday when the service company with whom we're contracted can come back out and replace the unit again. And of course, the temperature is expected to get up to 99° today. We called the 800 number for the manufacturer to see if there was any way their warranty would cover putting us up in a hotel for a couple nights -- we do have a three-month-old baby, after all. Unfortunately, by the time the service guys left, it was 7 p.m., and the manufacturer's answering system told us that they wouldn't be open again until Monday morning. So, we're just going to tough it out through the heat, spending as much time out of the house during the middle of the day as possible.

There is one good thing to come out of this debacle, though.

Usually Kendall sleeps upstairs in our bedroom. Sometimes she spends half the night in her bassinett, but she never seems quite comfortable there and wakes easily. When she wakes up hungry in the middle of the night, Misty just lays her in bed with us to let her nurse because it's a lot easier than trying to stay awake in a rocking chair for 15 minutes while Kendall gulps down her milk.

With it so hot in the house though, we're worried about the increased risk of SIDS. Misty and I agreed that Kendall would be better off sleeping downstairs in her own bedroom where it was cooler.

When I woke up around 5:30 this morning, I realized something: I'd slept through the night having never heard Kendall on the baby monitor. I peeked in on Misty (who'd slept in another room to keep cooler) to see if maybe she'd gotten the baby in the night, but the only thing she was holding was her pillow. I tiptoed into Kendall's room, and there she was, splayed out in her crib, still sleeping. So thanks to our broken air conditioner, our baby has finally made the move toward sleeping on her own.

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