So when May turned into August and we began a long streak of 90+ degree weather, we decided to abandon our eath-loving hippie ways and turn the central AC on. At first, everything was cool (pun intended). But after a couple days the AC stopped working. It just wasn't pushing any cold air through the vents. After much freaking out and then a little investigation, we finally noticed something that didn't add up:
There was some white material on the tube connecting the AC to the house - upon further investigation, I realized this was ice. The pipe insulation had disintegrated in some spots, and where it did the pipe was collecting a thick layer of of ice (circled in red in the second picture above).
We turned off the AC unit, and we ran over to home depot to buy some gorilla tape and 3/4-inch rubber, self-adhering pipe insulation:
We had to wait a couple hours for all of the ice on the outside of the pipe to melt. Once that happened, we used an exacto knife and scissors to tear up and remove the old insulation. Then we wrapped around the new pipe insulation (sealing it together with its self-adhesive). We also wrapped gorilla tape around the pipe to protect the insulation a bit:
So far (fingers crossed) the AC is working and the insulation is holding up.
If we had called an HVAC guy to come over and identify and fix the problem, it would've cost us at least $100 (and probably even more). Because we took the time to investigate a little and do some research online, we saved money (and time spent in the sweltering heat). All said and done, this took us under an hour and only about 8 dollars to fix.
Stay tuned for a bathroom update from Tessie..