About 3 am Wednesday I noticed that the fan that circulates the air
for our furnace and AC (blower fan?) had died. The AC itself hadn't,
and frost was accumulating where the coils lie inside the assembly
above the furnace. Turned everything off.
The furnace and (blower) fan are from 1985 (Carrier). We bought the
house in June 2008.
Repair guy came and said the capacitor had blown. He said he could
replace that for cheap, or he could replace the entire motor. We had
told him that we were tired of all these minor repairs, and given the
age of the unit it was time to replace the thing anyway. Apparently
replacing the motor would be fairly expensive (~$600).
We decided not to replace the motor.
He warned us that in his experience, if the capacitor goes on a very
old motor, the motor often (but not always) dies soon thereafter. He
was simply and honestly presenting the tradeoff to us.
So I came home about 5 pm this afternoon and the motor was making a
noise, kind of like a slightly noisy clothes dryer. Obviously not
good. An hour later, the motor was dead. ("Dead" equals humming and
Of course, we could turn around and spend the $600 as soon as they can
get out here again (he said they stock the part), but we're really
going to replace ASAP. (They can't get out here for an estimate until
the 19th. In the meantime we'll ask a couple other firms for
So...what's the best way to limp along until we get the new system,
which looks like it could be a couple weeks? We live in a suburb of
Washington DC and it's been hot as hell recently. (Probably why the
thing decided to burn out now---it's been working overtime.) I'd just
live mostly in the basement and deal with it, but we have 1 year old
twins, and having them sleep in the basement is a logistical PITA. Is
a reasonable thing to get a couple cheap window units, or is there
some better way of dealing with the situation?