Murphy’s Law For Air Conditioners

Dc HouseSmarts-Ice in Summer

Dc HouseSmarts-Ice in SummerLast Wednesday was the hottest day of the century in DC.

Okay, that might not be true, but it sure seemed that way. My AC stopped working in the afternoon, when the outside temperature read in the 90s. By the time the realization set in that it was indeed just luke warm wind coming out of the vents and that reprogramming and restarting the system wouldn’t change that fact, it was after hours. Of course.

By nightfall, we had about a million degrees in the upstairs bedrooms. Opening the windows added insult to injury because the humidity must have been close to 100 percent.

Our CAC  is less than two years old and overall quite fancy; it shouldn’t have just failed on us.

Diego, the lovely tech who showed up on Thursday–after the weather had suddenly turned dry and cool–took about two seconds to diagnose the problem. The “capacitator,” a 10-dollar part that kickstarts the compressor, had blown out. Who would have known. But it’s a very common thing to happen, Diego assured me. (If you’re either very handy or willing to risk your life, you can even learn how to fix this yourself.) And of course, it always happens when you need it the least, because that’s when those air conditioner parts tend to overheat.

Truth be told, I felt grateful that it wasn’t one of those third-world power outages this time. Miserable or not, we still had ice and fans to work with! (For a really nifty list with 24 suggestions on how to survive such nights, check out the Greatist here.)

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