Thursday, June 19, 2014

In Which the Air Conditioning Stops Working

Some of you know that a few weeks ago, I tried to change the fan in my car from the defrost position and discovered that it would not move. Then I tried again and something let go, and now the knob that adjusts the direction of airflow turns a lot, but the air only comes out on the windscreen. My air conditioner only works as defrost, and because I live in Indiana, it causes condensation on the outside of the car and means I am driving around with my windscreen wipers going on a day without rain.

It's hot in my car, most all the time.

Yesterday, after a thunderstorm, I arrived home and got out of the hot car. I walked through the humidity, and I walked into the house.

It was hotter inside the house than outside the house. This was a problem.

We investigated. It turned out that the thermostat was working. the fan on the furnace that moves air around the house worked. Except the box outside wasn't moving. I flipped many switches throughout the house. Nothing happened.

I called the AC Man. He said, "Turn off the power. Turn it all off. And wait 15 minutes. Then turn it back on."

I did this. I did not electrocute myself. I was proud.

Nothing happened.

I called the AC Man back. I said, "Please help us. Come as soon as possible. I have asthma and might die. No worries, though."

He agreed to come today. He said he'd come over in the afternoon. I got home at 12:30 PM and ate, then I waited. And waited.

The man finally arrived. He stayed for about five minutes, just long enough to rip the side off the air conditioning and flee, because inside the air conditioning unit, there was a NEST.

Now, last year we had a giant snake living a few feet away, but it was not a snake nest. The AC Man did not even know about the snakes, which is good, because they moved out ages ago and that story might have freaked him out a bit.

He told us he'd seen WASPS. And that there was a nest. And also that there was buzzing. And he said, "I don't know who you should call. But you should call someone. Also I cannot put the machine back together until they are gone. Also when you clean out the nest, it will still not work."

Then he drove away in his minivan, leaving us to heat and eventual death by hornets.

I called Dad. "Bring home as much deadly poison as the store will sell you," I said. "Also bring home some that sprays from far away, because you will have a head start."

A few hours later, Dad came home. He had a bottle of unimpressive-looking wasp spray that didn't even come with any safety gear.

I showed him the nest. I turned off the power to the AC so he didn't accidentally electrocute himself through the stream of deadly poison leaving the can. He said, "Oh, that's not wasps, I don't think."

And then he took a paint-scraper. And he stabbed the nest with the scraper and waited for the wasps to come out and attack him.

Nothing happened.

"It smells like mice," he announced. I did not ask him how he knew the smell of mice. He proceeded to use a garden trowel, a mini-crowbar, and the paint-scraper to dig all of the nest out of the air conditioner.

I made him spray for wasps anyway, just so they wouldn't get any ideas. Then I called the AC Man back again. He could not come, but he is coming tomorrow, so that's something. Just one more day of sticking to furniture and gasping for air as my lungs swell closed, then the air conditioner will be fixed.

Unless he needs a part.

Unless the whole unit is ruined.

Unless there are basilisks living under the paving stones around the air conditioner.

Wish us luck.

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