Saturday, June 25, 2011

The quest for cooling continues

I have this new theory. One contributing factor to the nation's obesity problems is climate control. Especially in the summer. When the weather is cold, mammals tend to put on fat to keep warm. They then use up the fat when the weather gets warm, right? So...we're mammals. And we are never triggering our bodies to shed the fat because we keep ourselves so climate controlled all the time--never get to the hot part. 

At least, I noticed that, since it's been 85 degrees in the house for 2 weeks, none of us has eaten very much, and eating meat seems absolutely disgusting (the Word of Wisdom's advice to eat meat sparingly and especially in times of winter, cold, or famine makes a lot more sense when your body is allowed to deal with heat!). So the heat very clearly puts our bodies in a completely different mode--a burn up the fat, load on the vitamins and liquids (fruit, which is in season--there's that Word of Wisdom popping up again) mode. Just being hot and dealing with that, I lost 5 lbs this week, not even trying anything special.

But the 85 in the house has been our reality for about 2 weeks now, and I can't function and would rather find other ways to lose weight. I can't cook. Can't clean. Can't get the kids to do school. Can't think. It's not fun. When I mentioned it to my parents, they said, 'Oh, we'll give you a little money to get the A/C fixed.'  Hooray! Happy birthday to us! Last time we got it charged, wired, and serviced was in 2007, and it cost about $85.  I figured, even with the pipes that were cut when the furnace was installed, it would cost at most double that.

So we got a guy to come give us an estimate. He was excellent. And they don't produce the kind of freon our central air uses anymore, so scarcity has driven up the price. $350 JUST for the freon, plus a couple hundred more for the repairs to the pipes, tightening everything down, checking for leaks....$600 total.


Right after he left, I did a little research--we need either a 5000-6000 cfm swamp cooler or an 18,000-23,000 btu air conditioner for this house. Both are usually WAY over our budget, even used. Even with the gift from my parents.

Still, desperate for something to get us cool, I checked craigslist. Literally 4 minutes before I turned it on, someone had posted an 18,000 btu air conditioner for $100! The catch? It had a 230 v plug (like a dryer, or a stove).

But we had an unused 230 v outlet in the garage....

Tim went and bought it.

Because of the way the garage and bedroom are set up, with the top 8 inches of the garage wall being back-to-back with the bottom of the bedroom wall, I figured it would be a simple thing to move the 230 v outlet into the house.

It's never as simple as you think. It was a two-trips-to-the-store job. If you've ever DIY home repairs, you know what I mean. But it wasn't terrible. Not by a long shot. Especially after I got a spade drill bit to drill the hole between the bedroom and the garage for the wire to go through. (Before that, we owned exactly one drill bit, and it wasn't long enough to go all the way through into the garage.)

So today (and a little yesterday), Tim held the baby, handed out popsicles, handed me tools, and starched his show clothes (good thing he could do that himself--I have ZERO idea how to starch anything). And I used the tape measure and stud finder to locate the best spot for an outlet in the baby's room, cut a hole in the wall with a steak knife (and I eyeballed it exactly the right size and shape--I was pretty pleased with myself!), drilled a hole into the garage. I shut off the power in the house to move the outlet only to discover the power in the garage is on a different circuit on a completely different circuit breaker--outside. I didn't even know our house had two circuit breaker boxes, so it's a good thing I tested the outlet before I started taking it apart! Then I installed the new outlet in the baby's room, ran 20 feet of wire through the garage, spliced the wires, and covered the box where I'd spliced them so no little fingers try to copy me. I have now successfully moved an outlet from one spot to another, and it's not hard. (Maybe next I can move the light switch for the master bathroom INTO the bathroom so it doesn't wake anyone up to use that bathroom at night).

And then, while the power was still off, I changed out the broken light in Tim's office that's been broken since 2005 and put in one he bought a year ago that we had not gotten around to installing. It's a really nice one, too. Tim has excellent taste.

Then we carried the new air conditioner up the stairs (at about 150 lbs, that was no minor task) and installed it in the window, and plugged it in, and...the moment of truth....

It worked!

And Tim's newly starched collars looked fantastic, too. Good thing he did that part--I would have ruined them.

So then we switched roles back and I rocked the baby and nursed him while Tim took the kids out front to tidy up the front yard so he could mow, since I don't know how to do that, either.

And did I mention I did all of this in a skirt?

Yeah, sometimes, I'm cool. 

And now our house is getting cool, too, and it's SUCH a relief. And also a blessing.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

Wow. It's posts like these that make me think you should have your own reality tv show. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have done any of that without electrocuting myself. Bravo.