I arrived home after a long day at work and the house was hot. Like, walking into a sauna wearing your sweats drinking a coffee kind of hot. Strange, since I knew our programmable thermostat was set to kick on at 5 p.m. to start cooling the house to a very manageable 78 degrees. The thermostat read 82 degrees. (It really felt hotter than that). Hm. I started thinking of realistic reasons the air conditioning system hadn’t turned on.
Maybe my husband had reprogrammed it. Since the temperature that day had been in the low 100s maybe it was just taking longer to do its job. I didn’t even hear it running though. No need to panic. Time for some investigative work before even thinking about calling an air conditioning service company.
We have an upstairs and a downstairs thermostat in our home to help cool the different zones in our two-story house. I went straight upstairs to check the other thermostat, and it was turned off. I turned it on, heard the system click on, and the air start to blow. (I swear I heard the hallelujah chorus too). Phew. That was a good sign. However, the air coming out of the vents was warm. It probably just needed time to cool off, but no need to erupt in song just yet.
Back downstairs I went. The downstairs thermostat was on, but nothing was happening. I turned it off, waiting 30 seconds (because for some reason 30 seconds is always a magical number) and turned it on again. Nothing. Wait – maybe something. Yes! It was blowing air. I let out another sigh of relief and happy-go-luckily went about making dinner.
I glanced over at the thermostat every so often and noticed that the temperature was going up not down. I looked at the dog and his tongue was almost touching the ground as he couldn’t stop panting. I looked over at my daughter, and she had stripped down to her skivvies. The plants looked like they were begging for mercy. Even the carpet felt hot and reminded me of playing hot lava as a kid.
As I wiped a drop of sweat from my brow, I checked the vents again and barely any air was blowing out. Not a good sign. After about an hour or so, the system was turned on, but the vents weren’t blowing any air out at all. The upstairs vents were still blowing warm air. I had a decision to make: cry or freak out.
I started to panic. It was going to be the hottest week of summer so far with temps reaching 108 degrees. We had to have our air conditioning! What did people do before central HVAC systems anyway? I flipped on all our ceiling fans. I made Ziploc bags of ice to sit on. I tried not to think about snow cones. Or snow. I took a deep breath. We’d get through the night and I’d call an air conditioning service company in the morning.
Get through the night we did, albeit among tossing and turning and extreme dog panting and dreams of igloos in Alaska. There are only so many ways you can keep cool while you’re waiting for a service technician. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long. Once he arrived, he made an incredible discovery within the first 5 minutes: we had a dirty filter.
As a homeowner, I should have known better than to forget about changing the filter. More often than not, it’s the obvious solution to many problems that cause a home air conditioning system to not work correctly. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was relieved that we just needed a clean filter!
After replacing the filter, the cool air started to blow, and I wanted to hug my air conditioning service technician. He even kindly set up a reminder email for me to get a notification to change our filter in 6 months. There are many fun ways to beat the heat in Chico, but there’s no place like a cool home to return to.
Next time you find yourself needing an air conditioning service company, consider contacting Experts In Your Home!
Experts In Your Home has been serving the North State’s construction, remodeling and maintenance needs for over 30 years and provides home painting, heating & air conditioning, plumbing, electrical services & more for your home or business in the communities of Chico, Paradise, Magalia, Durham, Oroville, Red Bluff, Corning & Orland, California.