It was a hum, like a constant musical note. I thought it might be an A, maybe a B flat. Years of musical training make me think that, but I digress.
I searched the house for the source of the sound, living room, dining room, basement. I was getting warmer. The sound got louder as I got closer to the heating/ac unit.
And now I could hear another sound. A woo woo woo of air as it passed through the unit, chugging like a steam engine going up a steep hill.
‘John, I hear a noise’
I woke him up from a sound sleep. My husband dragged himself out of bed and followed me downstairs to the source of the noise. Yup, our heating system was having issues. Installed in 2012, that can’t be possible. It’s too soon.
It’s almost 10 p.m., too late to call our favorite heating and air conditioning guy. John picked up the phone anyway. No answer. Four minutes later, Vince calls. He’s swamped but he can squeeze us in at 9:30 the next morning to take a look .
Fighting the anxiety of the ‘big fix’
I had a photo assignment the next morning in New Jersey, so John took a quick break from his work and ran home to meet Vince.
Vince and John descended the stairs into the basement. While John hoped this was just a simple “no big deal and we were just over-reacting” kind of a thing, he had a hard time keeping thoughts of an expensive, major repair job from creeping into the back of his mind.
Woo. Woo. Woo. The sound of struggle
The sound was still there as Vince eyeballed the air handlers — much like someone having trouble breathing. Woo. Slight pause. Woo. Slight pause. Woo. Vince had a slight smile on his face as he grabbed the air filter. Woo. Woo. Woo. He slid it out. Hummmmmmmmm. He pushed it in. Woo. Woo. Woo. He slid it out. Hummmmmmmm.
“Dog hair,” said Vince.
Hair o’ the dog
John looked at the filter. Yep, it was covered in hair. Yuck! Bernese Mountain Dog hair. Some from Merlin. Some from Teddy. And lots of it.
“Good thing you noticed that sound. Most people don’t. That could have cost you if you hadn’t,” Vince said.
“It was straining. There’s a slight chance it would burned out your fan,” Vince said. “But it would have absolutely shut down your compressor eventually. That would have thrown on your emergency heat and sent your electric bill soaring. You don’t want that to happen for long.”
Ahhhhh, crisis averted. A simple fix. A fresh, pristine filter and the air handler was back to it’s soothing hummmmm.
More things change … the more we change
It had been fine for the past couple of years. So what changed?
Oh yeah, we went from one Berner to two Berners. Twice the hair. Twice the number of hairy tumbleweeds wafting across our floors.
Gonna need to change the filters twice as often.