I Need to Go to Community College

The other day I way browsing the Durham Tech course offerings. I was looking for something for someone else about becoming a notary, but once I started browsing I just kept at it. Most things didn’t interest me, like “gathering crime scene evidence” in the criminal justice department, but then I came upon “basic home electrical” and I thought I should take that. Russ knows that stuff, but he is at work when I need to fix something or just diagnose a problem.

Today I really wish I had taken that course. I relate this story for your own future protection. Last December we had to get a new HVAC system. It was after getting a new sewer line and new roof and I was just over home repair.

When I compared HVAC units I decided to go with the more robust two stage systems which were more energy efficient and had a ten year warranty. I lived through the installation and had heat up and running when the installer left. The unit worked and the city inspector came out to verify that he installed in such a way that it would not kill us.

So it has been getting much hotter this week and of course Russ was away. Last night I noticed that my air conditioning was not keeping up. As my bedroom got hotter and hotter I called my HVAC company so they could come first thing this morning. I hardly slept a wink as I tossed and turned in my sweaty sheets, and I was all alone.

Without a warning call, a tech rang my door bell at 8:00 AM. Even though I was still in my nightgown I was thankful the tech was there so early. I threw on my clothes and showed him to the furnace room. He looked at the unit and declared that it was a frozen block of ice and would have to thaw most of the day before it could be looked at.

I waited home all day for a tech to return. At 3:45 another did and he declared that the problem was due to poor installation, by his own company, and that a warrantee tech had to come out. After some choice words he got his boss to find me one who was here by 5:30.

He looked at the unit and the water in the pan and gasped. Never a good sign. After an hour he told me he found the problem. My two stage unit had only been wired for one stage, in both heating and air conditioning. So all that energy savings I was supposed to get had not been happening and when it got so hot the unit was incapable of keeping up.

Now is when I wish I had that basic home electrical course. I knew enough to buy a two stage unit, but not enough to know to even ask if it were wired correctly at installation.

I finally have air, but you can bet that Monday I’m going to be having quite a conversation with my HVAC people. I’m tempted to go walk in the office to have it because I am so much scarier in person.

Oh, the life of the home owner. Russ did get in from airport right after I got the air working.



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