Not long ago, our heating/air conditioner began to wheeze–not a deep bronchial rumble, just a little airway asthma. It was still heating/conditioning, but you could tell that it required a lot more effort.
Not being one who likes to wait for disaster to strike, I called a repairperson.
The heating/air conditioning professional knelt beside our unit, gave it a few cursory taps with an Allen wrench and sighed. The news wasn’t good. The machinery could be repaired, but it would only be a temporary fix. It would be more expedient to replace it.
Then Harold and I sighed. Such change is challenging, especially when it comes with a challenging price tag, but what else could we do? I had never been a big fan of the old unit. Not that it didn’t heat/cool when called upon, but it always burst forth with such vigor that it rattled the intake register and flung the bathroom door open at the most inopportune times. It had to go.
A week later, a truck pulled into the driveway carrying the biggest heater/air conditioner I had ever seen. Mammoth. The Airstream 2000 or something like that. It was three times the size of our old unit. When they placed them side-by-side outside our bedroom window, I realized that it must have taken everything the little guy had just to keep us hot/cool all those many years. And there he was, being unceremoniously hurled into the back of a truck headed for…well, I didn’t want to think about it.
Yet one must move on. The crew had to shave back the rhododendrons to wedge our new Airstream 2000 into place, but when the installation was complete, it immediately began heating/cooling like a champ. The registers did not rumble. The bathroom door remained in place. Chalk up one for progress.
Then the crew brought out the new thermostat. I wish you could have seen Harold’s face as the technician regaled us with all of the wonderful things the Airstream 2000 Thermo Power Station could do. It had a touchscreen and a menu and timers that you could program to heat/cool in a timely fashion.
Harold had been hinting about getting one of those thermostats you can sync to your smartphone that enable you to control the temperature of your house from afar, but I deftly steered him in the lower tech touchscreen direction, reminding him of the many times he had inadvertently pocket-called me. Imagine the consequences if he pocket-upped/downed the thermostat. We could return home to an icebox or a sauna depending on the way Harold was sitting.
Also, it seems to me that if people can hack into your email account, there’s nothing to stop them from having a few cyber-giggles with your wireless thermostat. Freeze people out for fun. Roast them by remote. I could wake up in the middle of the night thinking my hot flashes had gone viral just because some pimple-faced teen in Thailand got bored. No, thank you.
I like our new Airstream 2000. It’s quiet. Unobtrusive. I didn’t even know it had switched over to heat this fall until I smelled that initial burn-off scent (perfectly normal–Airstream 2000 Owners Manual page 23). I’m sure the cooling feature will work just fine, too, when the calendar rolls around to May/June.
Change is a necessity of life. But, heating or cooling, Airstream or no Airstream, one thing, will remain the same: As soon as the girls come through the front door, Harold will yell, “Don’t touch the thermostat!”