Last night, as I was preparing to go to sleep, my heater kicked in one final time with a loud skreeeeeh from outside before steadying out to the usual thrum.
I thought: Are you frakkin’ kidding me? My first day of retirement is tomorrow and the heat’s going to be broken. I can’t even go into work to escape! And then I did what just about everyone in such a situation does: I climbed into bed and sincerely hoped that the HVAC Faeries would magically fix the problem while I slept. As they do.
This morning I peeked out of my bedroom window at the condenser. It hadn’t exploded overnight–you’d think that would have woken me up, but you’d be wrong–but I did notice something suspicious. A shiny, glinting layer of ice covered most of the top of the unit, with only a small hole in the center where air could actually make it through.
I bundled up, crept my way through the soggy backyard in the bright morning light, and looked at it more closely. Apparently a perfect combination of rain and cold caused a thick sheet of ice to form on top of the condenser. Actually thick, as I noticed when I tried to break some off with my bare hands; half an inch or so. (Here is where I regret not taking a photo; sorry about that. I’ll do better next time. This whole “letting people know what’s going on in my life” thing is kinda new to me.)
Back inside to grab a nice heavy fork, back outside to start banging slash chiseling slash scraping the ice away. Ice chips flew everywhere, hitting my sandaled feet, skittering off into the damp grass, but soon enough I cleared almost all of the ice from the top of the unit.
I tromped back inside and walked over to the thermostat. Moment of truth: I bumped it back up from the chilly 58° I leave it on overnight to the toasty 64° I keep it during the day.
Thrmmmmmm. No awful screech, just the comforting hum of a properly working heating system.
Thank goodness. One day of disaster averted. How many to go? How many to go?