The Berger Bungalow: An Electrical Fire or Indian Food?

An Electrical Fire or Indian Food?
Posted on:8.20.2015

101 in 1001 update + the story behind completing one of my tasks.

Ian and I have been having major issues with our AC unit for weeks now. It is absolutely miserable living without air in 80-90 degree weather. I definitely feel for the people that live without air all year long.  I don't have any pictures for this post because I don't go around taking pictures of my AC unit, and I'm sure that doesn't interest you guys anyway, but here is my insane (but long and kind of boring) story of the past few weeks. If you want to skip to the good part, start where you see this * :

When our air originally went out the first week of July, the Heating and Air company came out and told us it was because our floor filter (inside our house) was clogged causing our unit to freeze, so air wasn't flowing from our vents. They checked the unit behind our house, and the floor "filter" (even though we finally found out this isn't even a filter - it is a return!!!! The actual filter is UNDER our house which they never checked). They told us to turn off our ac and let the unit thaw & it should work. We followed all of their instructions perfectly, and the AC magically came back on when the unit thawed! WOOHOO! We thought it was a quick fix, but we were very wrong. 

On July 4, we were busy running around the kitchen cooking tons of awesome food and noticed that it was starting to get extremely hot inside the house. We thought it was just from the ovens being on all day, but then we noticed the vents were not blowing air AGAIN and it was 87 degrees in the house... We tried turning the unit off and then back on a few hours later and air started to blow (thank God!) I cannot tell you how many times we went through the process of turning the air off and back on. Since July 4, the same thing has happened about 1-3 times per week.

Ian and I finally caved and called the company again when turning off our AC for a few hours didn't fix the problem. We went two days without air with it being 82-86 in the house. When they finally came out, they told us the same response: "Your floor filter is clogged, and the unit froze." First of all, how in the world can you keep a floor filter clean constantly when you have people walking in the house, and animals! The floor gets dirty no matter how much I clean. Second of all, I seriously don't think that's the issue. ONE DAY after they changed the filter, the air went out again. Holy. Crap. The filter was still clean, so it obviously wasn't the issue. They came out three days later and finally gave us a different answer... They checked the floor filter and saw it was clean, checked the ac unit and saw it was thawed, so they FINALLY checked our furnace under the crawl space, and looked at the actual filter. I will never know why they did not check everything in the first place, but they didn't. They finally came to the conclusion that our blower motor was clogged and they were going to have to replace it! Thank God we have a different answer, right?! It finally seemed like our troubles were coming to an end... Two days later, the part came in and they installed it, and the air came on!

* That night we went to bed with our air on. We were finally content and cold. I was extremely excited to get a good nights sleep. I don't sleep well in hot temperatures, so I was exhausted. Ian even took some NyQuil to help him sleep without waking up. Around 3am, I woke up with a horrible taste in my mouth, I felt extremely dizzy, and I felt like I needed to throw up. I automatically knew something was not right. I started to smell something really weird. I have never smelled an electrical fire before, but it smelled like what I think an electrical fire would smell like mixed with chemicals. I shook Ian awake and told him that something was not right. He took a big whiff of the air and didn't smell anything. He literally thought I was crazy and told me to go back to bed. I had to wake him up a few more times, and finally he agreed to go get some fresh air outside with me. When walking back inside after getting fresh air, he told me that it smelled like INDIAN FOOD. He seriously thought someone had hidden Indian Food somewhere around our house.... hahahahahah funniest moment of the entire night! I think he might have been a bit loopy. We walked around the house a bit more, and he told me that he did smell something weird, but didn't know what it could be, but did think it was something electrical. We looked all over the house for the source and couldn't find anything, so we decided to walk to CVS and get a carbon monoxide detector because I was freaking out. When we got to CVS, we found out they changed their hours from 24/7 and now close at midnight!!!! It was 3:40 in the morning at that point. I was having a heart attack thinking about all of the terrible things that could happen if it was carbon monoxide in our house (yes, I know carbon monoxide doesn't have a smell or taste - I still freaked out because what else could it be?!) We finally decided to walk downstairs to the crawlspace, but when we got down there, we didn't see or smell anything out of the ordinary. At this point, it was around 4 in the morning, and Ian was starting to worry as he began to smell the fumes stronger than he had been. We ended up calling the non-emergency number, and around 4:15am a huge firetruck arrived at our house. I sat in the bedroom with Payton (our dog) because she was barking at the men, so I didn't see much of what they said or did, but from what Ian told me,  they did not find any carbon monoxide in our house, but did smell a "strange fume." (I'M NOT CRAZY!)  Since it was not carbon monoxide and we didn't see a fire downstairs, we decided to open a window, try go back to sleep and figure it out in the morning. 

In the morning, I was extremely nauseous. I couldn't eat anything, and I thought I would fall over I was so dizzy. Ian got in touch with the air guys and they said to turn off our unit. They finally arrived around noon, and fixed the issue. THEY DID NOT INSTALL THE NEW BLOWER MOTOR CORRECTLY. Whoever installed it did not wire it properly, so the wires were rubbing on the fan and causing the entire unit to overheat, and create the fumes/smoke. Thank God they told us to turn it off, or our entire house could have caught on fire. Around 1:00 I finally started to feel better. I still don't feel 100% okay, but at least I don't have to puke every minute, and I am not insanely dizzy. We are so thankful that this situation did not turn out worse than it did, and we are very, very happy to finally have air once and for all. Hopefully without any issues this time. 

With all of that being said, this led us to complete one of my tasks on my 101 in 1001 list. We are putting a battery in our fire detector AND getting a carbon monoxide detector! Everything will be ordered by the end of this week. :)


  1. This is so incredibly sad at how bad the company was!! We had one company come and fix our HVAC when we were renting and than another company work on ours here. We've never had the kind of issues y'all have :(. I'm glad y'all pushed the company to figure it out.

    1. I was shocked that it took them so long to figure it out. You'd think it would have been an easy fix the first time!