Sunday, July 24, 2016

Cool it

Bear with me as I write this blog post. I might be a little crazy with the heat.

All day Friday I was looking forward to coming home from work. That's because the five-story building in which I'm employed was having its air-conditioning chillers, located on the roof, under maintenance.

And that meant our portion of the building — the "new" building — was more than just a little uncomfortable as nearly the entire country swelters under an unmoving high pressure heat dome during the third week of July.

Uncomfortable? Workers on several floors had their overhead lights turned off in an effort to reduce ambient heat. It was like a ghost town where even the ghosts were trying to cool off. Fans popped up in every cubicle or aisle.

One of my colleagues was wearing shorts and a golf shirt. Can you imagine, ever, a banker wearing shorts to work? Even PGA golfers don't wear shorts when they work. But a professional banker? "Come into my office," he explained. "It's 93 degrees in there."

Several departments were thankfully dismissed to go home around mid afternoon.

I happen to work in the windowless basement of the building. Most of my lights were off. I had two fans blowing on me all afternoon. It was survivable. But I still looked forward to going home.

But when I walked through the front door of my house, I could tell something wasn't right.

It was warm. Toasty, even.

"Oh, no," I thought to myself, and went to check the thermostat. It was 81 degrees in the house. The central air fan was running, but it wasn't cooling.


There could be several things going on here. Our system is probably about 20 years old and not necessarily energy efficient for our quaint two-story house, which is approaching 100 years old. I think our system is probably too small to properly heat or cool the 1,700-square foot building.

Or it could be that we simply need a new (flux?) capacitor. Or belt.

Or maybe there's something expensively wrong.

I'll call the repair specialists tomorrow, which means we'll be somewhere around No. 100 on their list of service calls and they might get to us by Thursday. That's fine. Kim and I have a 16-inch oscillating fan we used back in the early years of our un-air conditioned marriage, so sweating profusely in our own home will be kind of nostalgic for us (See? I am crazy with the heat). Several of our rooms also have ceiling fans, which do a good job of simulating a breeze and moving the hot air around from here to there.

So we'll make do, just like people in the South did 100 years ago before Willis Carrier changed the world: Accordion fans from the funeral parlor. Mint juleps. A damp handkerchief to wipe our brows.

Ahh, that's the life...

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