(Not) Born in the USA

I was, but my air conditioner wasn’t.

How do I know? Because the AC — a relatively new Friedrich — decided, all by itself, to switch the temperature gauge from Farenheit to Celsius. I assumed, correctly, that the thing was built with a U.S./rest-of-the-world toggle.

Whatever it’s done, it refuses to get really cool. Seems to loll around medium cool.

Now, unlike a lot of people, I have had sublime experiences with air conditioners. My first, a Carrier, ran for 15 years. One day, it developed a rattle. I called the place I’d bought it from. A guy came. He removed the front. Looked at the fan. Saw a dent. Knocked the dent out. Charged me ten bucks and the thing ran for another five years.

Then I got a Friedrich. That ran for around 15 years, until I left it behind when I moved.

So having a problem with an AC is not in my mental tool box.

But a year after my new Friedrich was installed, something went wrong with it. The installer fixed it. The fix-it involved replacing what I’ve learned to call the circuit board with another one. Because what runs the AC now is a little computer.

I’m sure Friedrich envisioned this little computer as a technological innovation. But like most technological innovations, it’s a complex device — which means shit happens every five years or so.

I’ve had some interesting and nice conversations with my current AC people who are, like many other post-COVID services, very short of repair staff so I’ve had to wait a couple of weeks for a repair visit.

Talking on the phone with the AC guys has become a sort of AC therapy. Like whatshisname’s finger in the dike. When I’m talking AC with a specialist, it feels cooler in here. I swear it does.

Actually, it is cooler. Meaning, it’s not 95º outside so it’s not 95º inside.

The AC specialist, a genial guy, was really apologetic about postponing (again) my repair appointment. I didn’t gripe and he was appreciative. So we talked for a bit. He told me how to change the temperature gauge back to Farenheit and it worked but unfortunately wouldn’t get below 80º.  So a repair visit is still on the calendar.

The most important thing he said was, “We should be making air conditioners here in the U.S. again.”

And I, considering my forty previous years of untroubled air conditioners made in the U.S., agreed.

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