A/C Woes

Things have been interesting around her lately. We have had problems with our air conditioner for about a year, but didn’t attend to it because the problem seemed random. Every so often we would find the carpet in the hall to be wet, and when we would open the unit nothing would be there. We would think the drain line might be blocked, so we would clear it and everything would be fine. Then, a couple of months later… it would happen again. When we pulled up Lindsay’s carpet we discovered that it had been soaking her floor as well and that her carpet had mildewed. Not good for an asthmatic!

We found part of the problem but didn’t know what was causing it, only the symptom. The symptom was that the whole cooling unit would freeze and have ice covering it. We believed it to be low freon, but were concerned that the whole unit would have to be replaced. Nearly two weeks ago a cool front came in and I turned on the heat, and when I did the heater made a terrible racket. So, I just turned the unit off and we put on warmer clothes. When it warmed up the next day we decided to not use the air, but open windows (we don’t tend to do that because of airborne allergies). After a couple of days we decided to turn the air back on and it smelled musty and like mildew, so back off it went. We called an A/C man in last week and he said the freon was really low. It was an inexpensive fix, for which we were very grateful. When he left the air was cool and strong. We noticed the musty mildew smell but hoped it would quickly dissipate… it didn’t. The next day we all woke up feeling terrible, so Gene and I decided to turn the air off again. We were so thankful that the Lord provided perfect weather for all of this.

All of this brings us to last Thursday. When Gene came home from work that evening he went under the house to see if there was mold/mildew on the sub-floor from the water. There wasn’t, but he noticed the ductwork felt cool as if it were wet. He took his knife and was going to poke a hole in the ductwork to see if it had water in it. We had been checking for the ductwork to be damp by feeling in Lindsay’s duct but had never felt any dampness. Our ductwork is different than most I have seen, it isn’t metal on the inside, it has an insulation on it. Back to under the house, when Gene took his knife to poke a small hole… it went all the way through. It turns out that it isn’t a metal tube with insulation, it was and insulated board, with silver A/C stuff (don’t ya love my technical terms?) all around it. Water was dripping from the insulation and it was all soaked and mildewed smelling. When he found that, we knew it would have to be replaced. We hoped it would only be right under the unit, but it went all the way to the front of the house. Gene spent all day Saturday and Sunday under the house ripping out and replacing the ductwork. Because of how it is made, Gene was able to custom make it and it wasn’t nearly as expensive as it could have been. We held our breath Sunday evening as we turned the air back on… and I smelled that musty smell again! I went out to see Gene, who was cleaning up under the house, and told him of the smell. We decided to run the air for a while and see if it went away… and it did in just about 30 minutes.

As far as we can tell the ductwork has been like this for close to a year, and yes, it’s in the same part of the house that all of the girls are in; their bedrooms and bathroom. We are hoping that it will greatly improve their health, though it will be hard to tell until the ragweed is gone.

I am so thankful that the Lord provided me with a husband who can repair so many of the things that go wrong with our home and cars. It has saved us a great deal of money over the years.

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