Our oven went out a few weeks ago, so I took a half-day off from work and we got that fixed. That was only around $90, though, which isn’t too bad. Much cheaper than a new oven!
But last Saturday, the air conditioner stopped working. At first, it seemed like a breaker had flipped, which is no big deal. I just reset all the breakers and the air was back on. Unfortunately, when we got up the next morning, no cold air was coming through the vents. I called One Hour, who have done some work for us before, and they were able to visit us that Sunday afternoon. The diagnosis: leaking king valves on an AC unit that uses refrigerant the EPA frowns on.
It was going to be around $700 to replace the valves and add refrigerant back in, and then we’d have to replace the unit within the next few years when it really broke or when R22 refrigerant was discontinued, whichever came first. So we opted to replace it now, and while we were at it, replace the whole system: air conditioner, furnace, and ductwork. One Hour threw in a really good air filtration system, too, and they’re going to add a vent to the office, which is generally the hottest room in the house (since it has no vent).
Cost for the new HVAC system? $8,600. On the plus-side, One Hour offers financing, and the monthly payments are under $200. On the downside, that’s on top of the $200/month payment I have for the new truck.
On the same day we decided to buy a new HVAC system, the handle broke on our microwave. It figures, huh? At least it’s still usable, and we can live with this.
What I couldn’t live with was discovering this morning that we had no hot water. Since half of the HVAC system was installed yesterday, I assumed they had messed something up with the natural gas, and subsequently we had no heating for the hot water heater. Turns out I was very, very wrong.
I was almost as wrong as our water heater is old. The thing is from 1989, which I did not know, and the burner underneath the tank looks like something out of a nightmare. The plumber who looked at it this afternoon was visibly scared of the thing. He didn’t want to relight it because he was afraid it would blow up in his face (it did not).
So now I am having a new hot water heater installed tomorrow. The cost for that will be another $1700, and that’s if they don’t have to run a new flue up through the main floor and the attic. That will depend on if the city says our existing infrastructure (chimney) meets code, and if it doesn’t, it’ll be another $600 or so for a new flue.
Praise Jesus that this didn’t all happen before April had a job. We have lived here for four years, and a heating/air technician told me two years ago that our furnace and AC was on its way out (as a sidenote, the main problem with the AC/furnace was that it was installed wrong). If all of these things had happened a few months ago, or last year, we wouldn’t have been able to afford to fix them. As it is, it sucks, and I’m frustrated, and it’ll set us back… but we can afford to have these things fixed. Having some financing to do it through monthly payments helps a lot, and it’s going to take a year or more to pay off, but these were all things we were going to have done/replaced before we had kids anyways. This work is an investment in our home, and we’ll live more comfortably, happily, and safely for having them done.
It’s not all doom and gloom. While I hate having to spend the money, I am praising God that everything held together until we had money. And another silver lining: all this new stuff is way more efficient than what it is replacing, which should lower our utility bills considerably. And it’s all warrantied (6 years on the hot water heater, 10 years on most of the AC/furnace and lifetime on parts of that system). And Jesus died for our sins and loves us and takes care of us.
If God is for us, who can be against us? Certainly not 23 year old water heaters or poorly installed air conditioners.