Tara and I got home from work at the same exact time on Thursday. That almost never happens. When we entered the basement through the garage, it was warm down there.
That never, ever happens.
Cue the sinking feeling…
Our Nest thermostat showed the A/C running. But it was 80 degrees in the house and no air was blowing from the vents. Then, I got an alert on my phone.
Nice of our thermostat to alert us of a problem. I didn’t know it could even do that. We called an HVAC guy, paid extra for after-hours service, and after poking and prodding around our thermostat for a while, he provided a diagnosis: a broken blower. Since there was no air blowing from the vents, this seemed reasonable to me. The good news? The part was in stock. The bad news? It was in stock in Sioux Falls, and likely wouldn’t arrive here until the following Wednesday or so.
The really, really bad news? This happened in the midst of a heatwave that is going to last all week. It had already been in the 90s for days. And things are only looking worse…especially Monday.
If our A/C was going to crap out on us, you’d think it would at least have the decency to do so during a milder stretch. It wouldn’t be so bad if it went out when the temperature was 79 or 80. That we could live with. Triple digits? Not so much.
So, we immediately moved into the basement. Dragged a mattress down there from the spare bedroom. I bought a box fan. Tara fashioned a makeshift swamp cooler out of ice blocks. It stays about 10 degrees cooler down there than upstairs, where it’s stifling and unbearable by mid-afternoon. It’s like living in a cave, minus the stalactites. And instead of bats, there’s a cat. A cat who is just as displeased about the heat as we are.
It really hasn’t been too bad down there at night, though I’m worried about the next few days as the temperature soars even further.
Friday night, we got lucky. Thunderstorms and heavy rain moved in after dark, which helped cool things down. Also, we have a whole house fan mounted in the attic. We’ve only turned it on a couple of times before, for a few minutes at a stretch, because it’s noisy and we don’t really need it with the A/C. But once the sun goes down and the temperature drops, we open all the windows and turn on the fan. It does a remarkable job of drawing fresh air through the windows and ejecting it through a vent in the attic. By morning, it’s 10-12 degrees cooler. I’m thankful that Doris installed that bad boy.
We’re getting as creative as possible to beat the heat. Not turning on the oven. Taking advantage of air-conditioned places like movie theaters and restaurants. Hell, even lingering in Safeway longer than normal, especially the frozen food aisle. You should have seen me opening the glass doors and shoving my face in there, fake-shopping but really just trying to cool off. “Babe, do we need more frozen green beans? How ’bout tater tots? What’s the Red Baron and Totino’s sitch looking like at home?”
Saturday, we had the best idea of all. We loaded up the kayaks and drove to Deerfield Reservoir, where we met up with a couple of Tara’s coworkers who were camping there. Spent a few hours out on—and in—the water.
Afterward, we retreated to their campsite, where Tara cooked up beer brats and Italian sausages. There was a nice breeze blowing off the lake, and that felt heavenly. If we’d known our A/C would be going on the fritz, we’d have booked a camping trip this weekend, too.
After leaving Deerfield, we stopped at Silver Linings for ice cream before retreating to our basement cave for the evening.
Really not looking forward to the next few days, but whining won’t do a bit of good. Trust me, I’ve tried.
At least it’s an excuse to drink lots of cool beverages, and if some of those happen to be wine, so be it.