Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Friday, August 19, 2011


A chill in the air would be welcome right now. This has been the hottest summer we’ve ever lived through in the Atlanta area... and as I write this, the HVAC boys are banging around in the attic, replacing our upstairs air conditioning unit.

The old gal had a long run, but it was time to retire her. Alas. She had been undersized and overworked to begin with, and over the past several years her age was beginning to show. It was getting to be predictable: we would leave for a week of vacation and come home to a stifling house, some component or another having gone kaput in our absence. Finally, she developed leaks that were serious enough so that recharging her with Freon - palliative care - was no longer an option.

We could have cheaped out by simply replacing the evaporator coil, but that would have been a temporary fix at best. No: There is a point at which one must Suck It Up and invest the money in doing the job right.


Air conditioning has become, pretty much, a necessity here in the South. In days gone by, if you lived in a one-story frame house, you could get by with a few fans, open windows, and a porch upon which you could sit sipping lemonade... but summertime would not be especially pleasant. With the advent of larger two-story homes, however, you needed something to remove the hot air, especially from the upper level where it would accumulate.

The ability to keep houses cool is what enabled the South to grow, making the region habitable to legions of carpetbaggers Northerners who would otherwise stay away in droves. And it has spoiled us.

For the past several nights, She Who Must Be Obeyed has slept downstairs where it has been a comfortable 76 degrees. But there’s room on the couch for one person only, and after folding myself up and trying to sleep on the adjacent loveseat, I decided that I’d be better off sleeping in our bedroom. Yes, it has been a bit of a sweatbox - last night it was 91°F - but I managed to get a decent night’s sleep all the same. (Well, half-decent, anyway.)

It’s not an acceptable long-term situation, though, and with today’s new unit, this evening should be much more pleasant. Hey, it’ll be more efficient, too - maybe I’ll save enough on the electric bill so that the thing will pay for itself in, oh, I dunno - thirty years?

1 comment:

Bou said...

Seriously, you're going to see some major changes on your power bill. I really think you will. The new higher SERE does make a difference. We got a new a/c unit, a new thermostat and solar power water and our power bill went down over $100 a month... and it wasn't summer. Crazy stuff...

A new programmable thermostat is a must if you don't have one. It paid for itself in three months.