Oh man, can't believe this. We're in the middle of the worst heat wave of the year and the condenser of our central air just died. Not enough cash reserves to replace it. Um, I'm thinking I'm not real happy right now. Yea, I know it's my problem, but where else am I gonna vent....
Maybe you should reconsider and take that trip to Shiloh. It won't fix your a/c but slug burgers and chicken livers (in any form ) must be enough to take your mind off of anything else for a while at least
Good News: Uncle Sam has a bailout program for you! He bailed me out earlier this summer. You can get a tax credit of up to $1,500 of the total installed cost IF you buy a qualifying high-efficiency unit. For split-system ACs, the minimum qualifying efficiency is 16 SEER & 13 EER. It's lower for split-system heat pumps and package ACs and HPs. Also... consider getting a system that uses R-410A refrigerant. R-22 systems are about to go out of production. (But the higher efficiency models will probably all be R-410A.)
Thankfully it won't be needed just yet. Called a different place this A.M. and it turns out the owner lives in my small town of 400 people. He stopped by and gave us the best news possible - it was simply a bad capacitor. That's about the cheapest part to replace and he did so on the spot. It cost $150 compared to about $600 if it had been the fan motor and well over $1,000 (almost $2,000) if it had been the compressor. He got done about an hour ago and it's starting to cool off nicely.
But again thanks for the tip on that program as I think it won't be long before the whole system needs replacing.
Glad your AC was cheap to fix. On the tax credit deal, it's a one-time thing for your 2009 and 2010 taxes. If your AC doesn't need replacing by late 2010, you can get the credit on other energy efficiency improvements that are listed on that Energy Star web site.