On Monday, we returned home from a camping trip with Ryan's Mom & Dad (I will blog about that on a different day). We had left the air conditioning on, and "held" it at 75 since Buster would be home (don't worry, someone was taking care of him-thanks Desi!). When we finished unloading everything, Ryan and I noticed that the house was warmer than it should be. A LOT warmer than it should be, since we held the thermostat at 75. It was 81 degrees. The air conditioner was running, but the air coming out of it did not feel that cold.
I sent a text message to Theresa (the same Theresa that watched our kiddos during the school year) and asked if her husband, Larry, had a moment sometime during the week to come over and check out our air conditioner (Larry works for a heating/cooling company and has done maintenance on our air conditioner and furnace in the past). Larry texted me back and asked what the problem was. I explained what was going on, and he said he was on his way over! How is that for quick?!?
After Larry finished checking everything out, he told us that our Freon was extremely low & he suspected there was a leak somewhere. He didn't have the equipment at his house to fix it, but he gave Ryan his work number and told Ryan what to tell them when he called in the morning so that Larry could be sent back out to our house to do the leak check, leak repair (hopefully), & Freon refill.
We told the kids to pretend they were tent camping, except they got to be in their own beds with fans and put them to bed. Fortunately, we have a large whole house fan, and we counted on that to suck in the cool night air and cool down the house. Ryan and I went to bed around 10 that night, the house had cooled down to about 80 degrees by then.
Around 11:20, I was woken up by a crying and VERY wet Noah. The poor kid was sobbing because it was pouring rain into his room. He was soaking wet, his trundle bed that he was sleeping in was soaking wet, the bottom part of his bunk bed was soaking wet. I got him changed into dry pajamas and calmed him down. Then I took care of the wet bedding (after closing the window in his room), and then woke up Ryan so he could help me close windows and mop up the wet patches. The house temperature had made it down to 79, but now we had to shut off the big fan and close windows.
I finally climbed back into bed and then it began to thunder. If you don't remember, Buster, is terrified of thunder and fireworks. He immediately jumped into our bed and laid all 82 pounds of golden retriever on top of me as he panted in my face. It was magical.
At 12:30, Juli woke up crying because she was hot and thirsty- I was still awake, because I had a dog in bed with me, so I got her something to drink & untangled her from her blankets. I got her back into her bed, and then checked on Noah. He was awake because I had forgotten to take the ladder out of the top bunk bed (we store it up there so Juli isn't climbing up there) and he didn't have much room in the bed. I took care of that and went back to bed. Buster had already found somewhere else to sleep during this, so I thought I would be able to fall back to sleep, but I didn't.
Sometime after 1, the storm ended, so I was able to get up and turn the big fan back on and open the windows again to start cooling the house back down. Then I fell asleep. Around 2:15, I woke up to Juli gagging, and I smelled skunk. I swear that skunk had to have sprayed right underneath her window because when I walked into her room, I gagged too! I shut off the big fan and closed her window and got her back to sleep. Then I fell back to sleep.
I woke up again at 4, I don't know why, and the skunk smell was gone so I turned the big fan back on again and slept until 6 when I woke up wide awake. We successfully cooled the house down to 72 degrees in the night, but I was exhausted. Why didn't I wake Ryan up to help me, you might ask? He had to work on Tuesday and had to give a presentation, so I knew he needed to sleep.
Tuesday, it was humid, and Larry was unable to give us good news about the air conditioner. The cost to repair where the leak was and fill it with Freon was almost as expensive as putting in a whole new air conditioning unit. So, guess what is being installed on Thursday? Be thankful for what you have, because Monday night was a miserable night in the Mahlberg house without air conditioning (I did remind my children that I used to have to sleep without air conditioning when I was a kid, because we didn't have it at all, and they couldn't believe it). I am also thankful that we installed the big whole house fan right after we moved in, because that fan is wonderful (when it's not raining or a skunk has sprayed).