C’mon, aircon!

I promised last time that talking about my aircon woes would be a whole new post. Here it is!

Ah, aircons. Coolers. Heaters. Dehumidifiers. And a source of white noise when you’re trying to sleep. They do it all, and we work them to death. We’re at the point in summer where a lot of people need to run it all night in order to sleep. I am, in most cases, one of those people in August. While winter is not a problem for me, summers leave me exhausted and yearning for cool temperatures the minute the thermometer goes over 27 degrees Celsius.

And then… this summer happened.

It all began in June, when I started hearing a repetitive splatting sound on my floor.

The aircon was leaking. This wasn’t particularly new; when it’s hot, sometimes the aircon will release a drop or two of water. But the amount was truly alarming. I rushed to get a pot to place under the leak and turned off the machine, concerned that the sudden flood would potentially harm the electric parts of the aircon. Never mind my poor floor. I spent that night stressed and worried about what might happen to the machinery.

I had someone look at it and (theoretically) repair it a day or two afterward. I was relieved that a professional had poked around and, in theory, fixed the problem– a clogged drain pipe.

Two weeks later, I heard that tapping again, and saw the situation had worsened.

Again, I got a professional in. This one dug deeper, and informed me that while he was pretty sure he’d fixed the issue for the time being, it might happen again. “This thing’s pretty old,” he said, shoving his hands into his pockets while shrugging. “And this does tend to happen.”

Not feeling particularly reassured, I thanked him and sent him on his way.

Three weeks later, I endured a flood in my room.

It was like a waterfall. I took video because I couldn’t believe the rivers of water coming out, from multiple parts of my air conditioner, despite having turned the damn thing off immediately. And, of course, it had elected to drop Niagara Falls into my bedroom at about 11:30 at night, so there was no way to call the landlord, and I was worried about all the tap-tap-tapping waking up and disturbing my neighbors.

Cue the most uncomfortable night I’ve had in years.

It was night, but the low that evening was 29. Despite having windows open and a fan running, I was hot and the room felt sticky. A friend in another timezone suggested sleeping with ice packs on my stomach, so I grabbed an ice pack and attempted it. It helped, and I dozed on and off throughout the night- more because my body was desperate for rest than because I was at all comfortable.

The next morning came about leaving me feeling wired and unable to focus on anything.

And all the more determined to get this fixed.

The third call was the charm, and I have a new air conditioner in. Since the longest the old one went without trouble was three weeks, I now feel compelled to wait for at least a month before I can announce that my aircon woes are at last behind me.

Even when you do everything right–you clean things (or have them professionally cleaned), you keep an eye on changes in sound or effectiveness, etc.–machinery will eventually give out. Despite having lived in Japan for a decade now, this was my first massive issue with an expensive electronic.

Have you had to do battle with your aircon, or another major appliance in your home? Were you able to repair and keep the same unit, or did you have to get a new one like I did?

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