Sunday, June 29, 2014

Service Today!



Emergency service yesterday

Late afternoon yesterday I noticed that the temperature inside Casa Tipton-Kelly was unusually stuffy.  I checked the thermostat and noted that we had it set at the usual 75 degrees but the actual temperature was 81 degrees and getting warmer from the late afternoon sun streaming through our Wall of Windows in our living room.

I asked Bill is the air conditioning was working and he said "Yes."  I went downstairs, where Bill lives, and indeed it was it's usually freezer walk in cold.  But once I got back upstairs, the temperature was uncomfortably stuffy.  I checked the vents.  Usually I can see the curtains moving but not today.  I asked Bill, "Are the blowers working?"  He said he didn't know.  I usually depend on Bill for any mechanical questions about the house but maybe it was time to call the professionals.  And that I did.

I made a call to this wonderful company, which is aptly named "Service Today."  In less than five minutes after I called the 800 number and the girl took my information down, I received a call from "Dave", the service technician.  He was on his way out.  I said to him "Wow! That was fast!  I just called your 800 number and you're calling back this fast?"  He said "Do you want me to hang up and call back later?"  (a little "funny" here folks).  Of course I said "No."  

In less than twenty minutes he pulled in the driveway of Casa Tipton-Kelly, went around to the HVAC unit on the side of the building and diagnosed the problem as "Your lines are frozen." 


"Dave" from Service Today diagnosing the problem late yesterday afternoon


Problem solved.  He said that they were probably frozen because our whole house filter was dirty.  Coincidentally I had just asked Bill to change the filter yesterday because of the excessive amount of dust that seem to accumulate on our granite counter tops.  

We turned off the air conditioner to let the "pipes" thaw out.  Bill turned on the heat later in the evening to thaw out the condenser (? - I think, don't ask me I'm not "mechanical").  So everything is back to normal now, Thank God! 

So here is what is amazing about "Service Today."  The trip out here to diagnose the problem only cost $79, and this is the weekend!  And we here all these horror stories about "Lower, Slower, Delaware" ("LSD" for short, you'll see it on some of our license plates).  And then of course you've all heard those horror stories about the $$$$$$$ that costs to have service done, with an extra premium on the weekend.  This is the second time I've used Service Today and I have to see, I am VERY PLEASED. Now this is call SERVICE.  What a novel concept.

Right now I'm waiting for Service Today to come back to check out our whole HVAC system.  I don't want this problem to happen during the next horrendous heat wave like we had the past two weeks.  I am totally spoiled about living in an air conditioned environment.  Totally.  Yesterday was too close a call.



11 comments:

  1. Ron,

    Looking at the last photo…who was your serviceman, Popeye? Guess not, Popeye didn't have a beard. Is this some other trick, like the three-armed lady?

    Lar

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    1. Lar,
      Yep, that photo distortion of that man was a result of the serviceman moving while I was taking a panorama shot. If the subject moves when taking a panorama shot, it distorts the picture. Makes for some interesting images though.
      Ron

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  2. Ron,
    How lucky you are to find instant service. Almost the same thing happened to me less than 2 weeks ago. Also the same outcome, I called at 6:30pm and had cold air by 9pm, cost $307.00 but worth every penny. I remember and you do too when we were young and air conditioning was only in the movies and big stores. I often ask myself how we survived with only a fan, and in our house there was only one fan. I remember many nights when all of us slept downstairs, it was marginally cooler than upstairs and the one and only fan pushed the hot air around. Before I was sure I was going to have air the last time I was already making contingency plans for where I was going to spend the night be it hotel or friend. Today I just cannot do without it. Boy are we spoiled.

    A word of advise to you and anyone who is reading. The capacitor for the fan on the outside unit stopped working. The thermostat on the inside continued to call for cool air as the temperature rose inside the house. The compressor kept running with no fan for probably 2 to 3 hours. By the time the service man got here I was probably as close to burning out the compressor as I could have come. As it was it took over 30 minutes of a cold water bath directly on the compressor to cool it down and allow it to turn back on. So if your air conditioning stops making cold air, turn it off then call the repairman.

    Stay cool.
    Jack

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    1. Jack,
      Good advice about turning off the air conditioning system. After a second visit by the service man yesterday (at a cost of $239.00 - worth every penny), I found out what the problem was. Bill had replaced the filter with a new one but he neglected to take the plastic covering off the filter!!!! Man oh man! The service man showed me the compressor and it was covered with white ice. He told me to turn the air conditioner off so it could melt. In fact I even turned on the heat to speed up the melting. We also found that Bill had never put in a second filter. No wonder we were always dusty around here. Now that we have the two filters properly installed, we're dust free and the air conditioner is working fine. I panic when the air conditioner isn't working, because of a day like today which was very humid. I just can't take the humidity. Like you said, I never thought much about it when I was young but now? Can't take it. Totally spoiled.

      Again, good advice about the capacitor and the outside unit when it's not working. If you don't turn off the system you can ruin the compressor and then you really will have a bill. Even though I paid a total of $318 the last two days, it was well worth it for what I learned. I never want to be without my air conditioner on days like today.
      Ron

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  3. Hurrah for quick service!
    Tut! Keep on top of those dirty filters! What would the neighbors think?

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      The serviceman stopped by again yesterday to do a complete check to see what caused the coils to freeze up. He said there was a "filter blockage." He checked the filter and sure enough, Bill had replaced the filter with a new one with the plastic still on! No wonder. Well, that whole experience cost me another $239.00 but it was well worth it because I learned a lot about our whole house system. From now on I will take take of the filter system and I now know how our HVAC system works, which I admit I should have known all along.
      Ron

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  4. I like the slimmed down look you gave the technician in your last photo. It is what I like about the US. Generally when you need help, there is always someone that will come to your rescue right away. In Europe, not so much.

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    1. Nadege,
      The serviceman wasn't that thin. That photo was a result of him moving while I was doing a panorama shot which sometimes distorts images when someone is moving in the photo while I'm taking it.
      Ron

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  5. That same service call in McMinnville, Or. would be around $200 (+ Parts). So far this year, we've not used the A/C unit at all. Temps in the high sixties to low seventies (gonna be "hot" this coming week with temps reaching into the mid eighties. It drizzled all the previous week).

    Before the recent move into "Park House", the carpets were stretched ($200 ~ 1.5 hrs. of work) and cleaned (a $375 "deal", because the house was vacant ~ 2 hours total time)..
    And let's not forget the excellent "deep cleaning" of the maid service ($400 ~ 10 hours total time...this was probably the "best value", even though the most expensive).

    TOTAL COST: twenty five bucks short of a Grand ~ just enough left over to buy a breakfast at DENNY'S.
    No wonder I'm 500 bucks in the "hole".

    Is it me, or is the country ramping up for a total economic collapse? Looking back at the first Great Depression; and gauging that history usually repeats itself, it looks like the "pot" is stirring in the Middle East (and somewhat in the southern European countries, along with Ukraine as the "detonator), and WW III may be just around the corner.
    Where's Harry Potter, when we need him the most?

    "BZ" ................ "FOGGY"

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    1. Foggy,
      What concerns me the most today, aside from the ever present terrorist threat of chemical or other forms of destruction, is the ever widening chasm between the very rich in this country and the middle class. The economic playing field is rigged in favor of those on the "inside". The middle class is being stretched as never before and the rich just get richer. Eventually that condition results in an upheaval.
      Ron

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  6. Wow Ron - your great story is a far cry from the "How can I not help you" that we get so much of up here!!

    Pat

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