21 October 2014

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

Normally I get our air conditioners out and stored away for the winter by early October, but the temperatures hadn't been that cold, and I had a feeling the warm weather wasn't finished yet. It seemed like each week we were having a couple of days with temps peaking at around 72, and then last week we had a five-day run of that, with Wednesday approaching 80 and oppressive humidity for almost the entire time.

We ended up running the AC Wednesday, overnight, and Thursday, which was the day it rained buckets and felt tropical. But then, as is typical, Sunday night and Monday morning we had an abrupt cooldown, with a low around 35 yesterday morning, so I figured it was finally time to put away the AC units.

It's supposed to rain again for much of this week and I was kind of busy yesterday. It's supposed to rain for much of this week but today was mostly dry, so I decided I'd rather get the units out now, otherwise I'd have to wait for them to dry out again. Back in June I purchased a hand truck to make this task easier, but today I learned its limitations.

I had previously borrowed a hand truck with air-filled tires and had intended to purchase one like it, but I ended up opting to save a few dollars by getting one with solid rubber tires. That wasn't such a big deal when pulling the hand truck up the steps from the basement to outside (all the houses around here have both internal and external basement access), but going down the steps was a different story.

The air-filled tires are mounted on larger wheels and are offset a bit more from the frame, so negotiating steps either up or down is much less jarring. Banging down the steps jarred our oldest unit, one with knobs instead of a touch panel, enough to break off the on/off knob. I tried to put it back on but bouncing down the steps had also dislodged something inside, so there was nothing there for the knob to attach to. It must be still inside, but getting at it will require opening up the unit. Worst-case, we'll have to replace that unit.

I decided to defer dealing with it until next year, when it's likely I will also rectify my mistake by buying another hand truck, this time one with pneumatic tires. If anyone local can make use of a hard-tired one, I'll sell it to you cheap.

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