It was my yard guy, who does some other stuff like pressure washing and gutter cleaning, whom I asked to look at the garage door and who warned my about the big coil spring. That was a couple of months ago, and because I'm a lazy procrastinator I hadn't called anyone yet to fix it and have been leaving my car out on the driveway. When the AC repair guys came, they pulled up the door, and I could see that it in no way involves that spring, so now at least I'm putting my car in the garage out of the hot sun.
It's been so long I forgot exactly what was wrong with the opener, so I just went out and took a look. The bolts that attach the opener arm to the door had ripped out, which I assume is an easy fix. The reason he cautioned me about the spring is that the approx. foot-long 2 by 4 to which the spring/shaft plate is bolted with 2 bolts, one above the other, is no longer perfectly horizontal, left side up a bit. The 2 by 4 is bolted to the concrete block outer wall with one large bolt in the middle, with the spring /shaft attachment about 2 inches to the right, which to me seems an obvious error. Seems to me the 2 by 4 should have been attached with 2 bolts, one on each side of the spring attachment. The upper of the 2 bolts on the spring/shaft plate is a bit dislodged, and there appears to be a slight crack in the 2 by 4 from its bolt to the lower of the 2 spring/shaft bolts. At any rate, I've got my regular handyman coming tomorrow to look at it and also to open the bathtub drain for my earring.
The first thing I checked was the AC filter. There's an indicator on the thermostat to change the filter. It didn't say to change it, but I did anyway, and it made no difference. I usually change it about every 2 months, before it says to. I'm sure this humid somewhat-salty air is what killed the coils prematurely. The "indoor" unit/coils are actually in the garage, which is just as hot and humid as outside. I'm about a mile from the beach, but that's probably close enough. I use AC about 6 months of the year and heat about 2 month.
My experience with AC when I lived in Denver, Virginia, New Jersey was that I could never get it quite as cool as I like it, so when I had this house custom built I let the builder know that I want to be way cool. I went for upgraded insulation, double-glazed windows, attic fan, ceiling fans in every room, and a big brute of an AC system. On the hottest days I could make it as cool as about 68, which I only did on a few occasions when I was doing sweaty work. I think I could have gone even lower but never tried. That's the present 5-ton system with the leaky coils. The 55K BTU (4.6-ton) system is the one that my brother-in-law Joe told me about, and the salesman is coming tomorrow. I'll verify with him that I can at least get down to 71 on the hottest days. I'm getting an estimate from 1 for sure and maybe 2 other Carrier authorized dealers. I'm leaning toward Carrier because they invented puron and the first puron systems years before anyone else had them, 1996. And in reading the info on their website, I see that they also use what they call ArmorCoat, which is a tin plating on the copper coils to prevent corrosion, especially for high humidity and coastal areas.
Another great thing--when Joe got his estimate it must have been at least a few months ago. At that time Carrier had a $125 rebate on that system. They now have an up-to $1325 rebate on their top of the line system. They have 4 levels from low to high--Base, Comfort, Performance and Infinity. Comfort heat pump with a Performance air handler was what Joe was quoted on. I'm thinking about the Infinity; it's 19 SEER and it's a 2-stage compressor; all the others are 1-stage. It'll cost more up front, but will reduce energy consumption and lower the cost for the long run. Almost all are Scroll compressors, which means it works in a circular rather than an up and down piston action. I'm learning so much. The other $640 of the rebate I mentioned previously is from Fl. Power & Light, which may also be higher on the higher priced system, probably a percentage.
Thanks for the links to gardenweb.
I may have a good chance of not pressing the remote control power button since I have cable, so I use the cable remote. I would have to first press TV then Power, which, God knows, could happen, but at least it's one extra step of protection. I'm keeping the actual TV remote where I hopefully won't accidentally press anything. I just have to be sure that when the 4 & 5 yr old grandsons are here I keep the remotes out of harm's way. Last year they moved nearby from Colo. and stayed with me for a couple of weeks till they got their own place. The 4 yr old is a very busy boy. Lots of things broken. Who would think he'd go in the garage and throw a ball and break the flourescent light bulb? Of course, who would have thought that when my son, his father, was in Montessori school he'd get a girl's lips "caught" in the pliers?
I hope that when they install the new HVAC system they don't have to shut off all the power. Probably just those circuits. I'm also tempted to get the Carrier generator I saw on their website (having experienced 4-5 days of no power--no AC, spoiled food--during a few hurricanes). If I get that, I bet they have to shut it all off. Hmmm.
Oh well, thank you both for the helpful info.