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Posts tagged with: broken A/C

Let There Be Air!!!!

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Happy August!

The kids are officially back to school and we’ve finally got our air back on!!!

In all, we were without A/C in 110+ degree weather for nearly 2 weeks. Thankfully, we’ve got our air back on (running at full throttle! lol) and doing great!

A/C Repair Costs

The “adventure” wasn’t as costly as it could have been if we didn’t have warranties on the parts, but it still cost a pretty penny.

  • A/C repair: $1200 (this was the cash discount price)
  • 2 window A/C units: $250
  • Total: $1450

I didn’t include the two nights in a hotel because my mom ended up graciously paying to cover those nights away. It was a great staycation and chance for a “time out” before developing a longer term game plan (with input from you guys – thanks for the recommendations to get window units!) I have another friend whose A/C went out at the same time and required a full replacement. She got hers fixed in 2 days (versus 2 weeks!!!), but she ended up spending $10,000!!!! Do they finance that stuff? If we’d had to do a total replacement I honestly do not know where we’d get the money?! We don’t even have $10,000 of available credit on credit cards so it’d HAVE to be some type of financing situation, right?? Scary thought.

Surviving the Heat

To survive, we stayed out of the house for much of the days. The girls were in camp 3/week for the month of July (the month of June we had them home full-time). So we’d send them to camp and I’d go to work, or when they were home we’d all go to the library or the indoor mall play area, etc. etc. I tried to plan crock-pot meals, or I would cook first thing in the morning (while the house was still cooler) and then save everything in the fridge. At meal-times, I’d just re-heat in the microwave so I wouldn’t heat up the entire kitchen. Food quality wasn’t as great, but you do what you gotta do. It wasn’t fun, but we survived.

Financial Evaluation

This whole situation has really put our finances front-and-center in the minds’ eye. It’s crazy that a $1450 situation had to be such a crisis (I mean…the heat played a role in seeing it as a “crisis”, too). But only eighteen months ago, a $1450 problem would have only been an inconvenience, not a crisis. We really let things get away from us, financially speaking.

I’m spending some time today writing up a full August budget and figuring out ways to continue saving again. I’ve been putting savings on the back-burner in favor of paying more toward debt but what good is it when a crisis comes up and we have to use debt again to cover our butts because we have no cash on-hand??? It’s a vicious cycle we’ve got to escape from.

What do you use and/or recommend for an Emergency Fund? I think I’d like to shoot for at least a thousand dollars in a dedicated EF, but I’ve also done separate savings in the past for specific things (e.g., semi-annual bills, car repairs/maintenance, etc.) and I’d like to do that too….. so maybe $1,000 in EF + other specific savings categories?

 

 


No A/C Diary: Day 8

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We’re now starting Day #8 of having no A/C.

This is in Tucson. Our temperatures the past couple days have been in the one-hundred-teens. It was literally over 100 degrees even at 10:00pm last night. It’s been in the 120’s in our upstairs. To say “hot” is the understatement of the century.

Back Story

Let’s back up a bit. Our A/C went out last Wednesday night/Thursday morning. We’ve had 3 separate repair companies out to inspect it. We initially considered filing a home-owner’s insurance claim to help repair our A/C when we thought the damage was due to a lightening strike (which is covered under home owner’s insurance). But after 2 more companies came out to inspect, both thought the damage was more likely due to flood-related issues. Flood-related damage is not covered by our home-owner’s insurance. We do not have a home warranty. We’re on our own to pay for the issue.

Warranty

The good news is we’ll be receiving close to $4,000 in parts for free since they’re covered under warranty (the unit is only 3 years old!). The not-so-great news is we have to wait for the parts to come direct from the manufacturer and we were told it was a 2-week wait. We paid $150 to rush order the parts so they would be here in 5 business days. That would have put the parts here yesterday, folks.

Day 8 and still no A/C…

The company we ended up going with was recommended by a friend. They have good reviews online. They’re a family-owned small business (love supporting small business!) All seemed good at first. But I started getting nervous early this week. Hubs called for a status update on Monday, left a message, and received no return call. He called again Tuesday, left another message, and received no return call. By Wednesday I’m freaking out. The parts were supposed to arrive Wednesday. They’re supposed to be installed today. We’re supposed to have working A/C again tonight!!! Hubs called 3 times yesterday. No pick-up, no return call. Finally about 4:45pm I decided to take matters into my own hands. I called from work (a different phone number), and lo and behold – they answer.

What followed next was an INCREDIBLY frustrating conversation that left me literally shaking I was so angry. Long story short, it became blatantly clear we were receiving the run-around. There were several inconsistencies, misrepresentations, and just plain contradictions in story between what we were told last Thursday/Friday and yesterday when the part was supposed to arrive. Getting off the phone, I was told by the owner, “I’ll let you know in the morning if the part has even been shipped yet.”

….

IF THE PART HAS EVEN BEEN SHIPPED YET???

It could be another 5-7 days. Another WEEK with no A/C.

Surviving the Heat

We did a staycation for 2 days at a local hotel over the weekend. It was a welcome (albeit temporary) relief from the heat. When we came back, we went and bought two window A/C units (thanks to recommendations from readers – thank you!). We have one in our downstairs living room. We hung sheets to enclose the square footage and make it a smaller place. The other is in the master bedroom upstairs. We keep all the doors closed. The window units have made the place survivable, but it’s far from ideal. I’ve broken out in an itchy heat rash all over my legs. Even with the units running constantly, the best they can do is cooling the enclosed areas to 84 degrees. Still pretty toasty (During summer I keep the thermostat at 78, for comparison).

The second you have to leave the cooled area (going to the bathroom, kitchen, dining room, etc.) it’s literally in the 120’s. Going into the bathroom it feels like walking into a dry sauna. The floor feels heated. I’m sweating constantly. It almost makes your chest feel heavy, like you’re being suffocated. It’s just miserable. To those who recommended buying “standing fan”??? I appreciate the comment, but it’s just so clear you’ve never experienced heat like this before. We do have a couple fans to help in addition to the window units. But I just can’t even convey through a computer screen the level of heat we’re dealing with here. It’s awful.

Starting Over

I don’t want to throw this local business under the bus, but I am BEYOND DISAPPOINTED in our interaction with the A/C repair company we chose. The plan for today is to call every single repair place listed on the A/C manufacturer’s website until we find someone who can do it sooner than we’ve been told by the current company. Luckily, we haven’t signed any contracts and we didn’t pay any money up front so we aren’t obligated to stay with them. I just can’t even believe that we’re at this point. A full WEEK without A/C and no closer to getting it fixed today than we were an entire week ago. In fact, we’re starting all over from scratch. Calling all the places, gathering all the info, etc. Meanwhile, work is piling up (this has taken a lot of time, obviously). The bathrooms are becoming disgusting messes (try cleaning a 120 degree bathroom. Kudos if you can get it done, but I just cannot). Doing laundry feels like entering the 8th circle of Hell from Dante’s Inferno. It’s hard to do ANYTHING when you’re just dripping sweat, itching your heat rash, and trying not to die of heat stroke. Dramatic much? Yes. But is it my real, true feelings? Also yes. It’s horrible.

Healthy Coping

I went to Happy Hour with a friend last night. I enjoyed a giant $6 margarita and some much needed friend-therapy. I have a lunch-hour yoga planned for today on campus (a free event). I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best and praying we can get this thing fixed SOONER than another week.


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