Is the fan going around inside it?
I try not to roll my eyes: You can hear that over the phone, you know. As a follow-on question to my statement that the thermostat display is blank and the air conditioner is not working, it’s sensible enough. Ask anyone who’s been in any kind of technical service job: In general, the general public is generally an idiot. It’s best not to assume that they’re giving you good information. (Try to sound like you) trust, but verify.
No, the fan is not going around
inside the air conditioner.
Indistinguishable murmuring, as the pleasant service-person confers with, presumably, someone more technical. Would that I had that option.
Is there a light on the switch above the furnace?
I pound down the stairs but cannot locate said switch, thereby proving myself to be a general idiot. More indistinguishable murmuring.
What’s the brand name on the thermostat?
I pound up the stairs but cannot locate a brand name either. My report is, shall we say, received with the credibility I’ve earned at this point.
Not Eco-Type? Honeywell? Emerson?
Nothing on the back?
Does she think that I can’t see or that I don’t know what a brand name is? Anyway, no. Not those names. Not any name. No. Brand. Name. It is a no-name, incognito thermostat. And it appears to be screwed into the wall, so its back is inaccessible.
Well, it should have batteries anyway.
Anyway? As in, even if it doesn’t have a name? (Which in her mind is clearly not settled science.) What does that have to do with it? The logic is lost on me, but what do I know?
I look askance at the thermostat: I’m afraid I’ll break it if I start prying at it. On the other hand, it’s effectively busted now. With my free hand, I get my fingernails under a little ridge and tug gently.
Whoa. Just a minute.
That’s me speaking, not the pleasant service-person. One end of the cover has lifted, both surprising and exciting me. I know I don’t get out much, but surely anyone would be thrilled at this point. I’m in!
I put the phone down and tug gently on the other end. Voilà ! I am looking at the innards of the thermostat and there, right at the top, are two batteries. I pick up the phone.
Can you see the batteries?
That’s the pleasant service-person speaking, not me. She *does* think I can’t see.
I’ll call you back.
I replace two slightly crusty batteries with two oddment ones from the linen-&-oddments closet and there you go: The display, she is no longer blank. Woohoo!
Not so fast. Will the air conditioner work? That is, will the fan go around inside it?
I set the temperature for lower than the current reading (Who says I’m not technical?) and stick my head out the back door. All is right with the world, or at least with our air conditioner. Look at that fan, going around like nobody’s business.
Now, you might wonder where the minimally technically competent member of this household was, and why the maximally technically incompetent member was handling this problem. Let me just say a four-letter word.
But here’s the great part about this story. I know you’ve been waiting for it and I appreciate your confidence that it was coming.
On the weekend, when the thermostat first went blank and the air conditioner’s fan stopped going around, I said something tentatively but presciently, as it turns out.
Any chance it’s batteries?
But you know, when you’re not sure you know something, you don’t really know it.