I'm not entirely sure whether last Wednesday was the hottest day of the century in DC, but it sure seemed that way when the AC in my house stopped working in the early afternoon, just as the outside temperature reached the mid-90s.
By the time the realization set in that it was indeed just luke warm wind coming out of the vents and that reprogramming and restarting the system wouldn’t change that fact, it was, naturally, after hours.
By nightfall, we had about a million degrees in the upstairs bedrooms. Opening the windows added insult to injury because the humidity must have been close to 100 percent. Our CAC is barely two years old, and it shouldn’t have just failed on us.
By the time Diego, the AC tech, showed up on Thursday, the weather had already turned dry and cooler. It took about two seconds for Diego to figure out the problem: The “capacitator,” a 10-dollar part that kickstarts the compressor, had blown out. Who would have known. But it’s a very common thing to happen, the technician assured me.
And of course, it always happens when you need it the least, because that’s when those air conditioner parts tend to overheat.
As for me, I felt grateful that it wasn’t one of those third-world power outages this time. Miserable or not, we still had ice and fans to work with!