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How NOT to Fix an Air Conditioning Unit

With the terrible heat this summer, we’ve noticed the basement feels like a vampire vacation home while the rest of the house has me spending the day in Mike’s old boxers (built-in venting).   A quick inspection of a leaky blower unit revealed much of our air conditioning never made it upstairs to the living area.

Upside: the wine in the basement was well chilled. Downside: Let’s not pretend the wine stays in the basement very long.

Finding leaks is the moment where actual adults call an HVAC guy, or where my Dad tugs up the pants on his non-existent butt and says something like “Whatcha got here is…”  But Mike and I have a different philosophy:

“Professionals” are for losers without Extreme Jerry-rigging Skills.

Mike found a can of  “Great Stuff,” a calking-type agent that clung to a Mars probe in 1987 and secretly traveled to Earth in a quest to conquer the universe.  Naturally, we’d used it once before, so the cap was off, the straw applicator was AWOL and we had to stab it repeatedly with a shish kabob skewer to get the volatile substance flowing again.  Once flowing, we were powerless to stop it and had to leap into action with little preparation or planning.

Aware that our first attempt resembled a rampant mold, Mike attempted to smooth the Great Stuff with his fingers, which promptly sealed those digits together like a zip-lock bag.  I attempted to help him, which turns out is a lot like trying to help someone out of quicksand by walking into the quicksand.

We spent about three terrifying minutes with our fingers stuck to each other’s fingers. I had a flash of my parents breaking into the house a week later to find us dead from starvation, covered in foam and stuck together at the fingers. “Well, we knew this would happen some day,” they would sigh.

I finally unstuck myself from Mike and kept clear. He applied the substance and tried to avoid touching other things. By the end, he had become a Human Flytrap, covered with thread, dust, skin from his own chin, receipts, a ruler and the dog. I should have taken him upstairs and rolled him around on the sofa to give the cushions a good cleaning or sold him to a family with a dog that sheds.

The project finished long before the can ran out of Great Stuff, which it turns out is some sort of perpetual motion machine. We threw it into a box where it continued to create an evil, sentient blob for the rest of the day.

And that, kids, is how the world we knew ended, and why we are now all enslaved to Martian blob monsters.

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author specializing in fun, funny fiction --- even the murder mysteries.
Amy Vansant

20 Responses

  1. Abby

    I wonder how long it took their marketing team to come up with that name. Did they start with “Good Stuff” or “Glue Your Limbs Together Goo” before settling on that one? At any rate, you survived both the glue and the heat so far. I only have a window AC unit and molest it far more than I don’t. I have no shame with this heat.
    Abby recently posted..Hitting the Target
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    • Amy Vansant

      “Ok Stuff” “Slightly Above Average Stuff” “Better than a lot of things stuff” – It probably took them MONTHS to get to Great.

      We had a window unit when I was a kid and I remember laying underneath it. Aaahh….
      Amy Vansant recently posted..Like a Bungee Cord to the Balls


  2. Cheryl Talma

    That stuff is amazing. My husband was doing some overhead windows and a glob fell on his forehead – he swears this is why he now has a ‘five’head. Some must have fallen on the top of his head, cause there’s a whole pile of hair missing there too.

    thanks for the laugh 🙂
    Cheryl Talma recently posted..Me vs. Him – I’m Right . . . Right?
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  3. Banana Stickers

    “What’s that stuff in that can over there?”
    “Oh, it’s Great Stuff”
    “No, seriously, what is it?”
    “Seriously, it’s GREAT STUFF”
    “If you’d get up and look for yourself, you’ll see that it’s GREAT STUFF”
    “Whatever. I’m leaving”
    That stuff is powerful enough to even start arguments and potentially end relationships. I’m staying the hell away from it.
    Banana Stickers recently posted..SPIDER SEX! Alternate title: Fun With Windows Paint!
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    • Amy Vansant

      AND… *scene* 🙂 It kind of reminds me of the bar I saw once called “the Firehouse”
      “Honey! Where do you think you’re going at this time of night?!”
      “I got called down to the Firehouse, hon.”
      “Oh, Ok Dear.”
      Male participation in the volunteer fire department in that town? 100%.
      Amy Vansant recently posted..Glass Blowing Class: The Glory Hole


  4. William Potts

    I think i used a can of great stuff one time to try and fix a flat tire. Didnt make it very far. Finding those ac duct leaks will certainly help keep the right rooms cool, and your bill even cooler. Cheers.


    • AC Change Outs Northern NJ

      Air conditioners are an expensive but often necessary appliance to use during the summer months. Dirty air conditioner filters can reduce the efficiency of the unit by wasting 10-60+% of the energy used, cause breathing problems for sensitive conditions such as asthma, and spreads common summer allergens, which can typically be neutralized with a clean filter.


  5. Narit Thiptara


    indeed a very nice share…

    Yes,, I really agree with your every point.
    In the summers most of the people deals with the same problem …And I can say that this is really a best guide for beginners also .
    Also,It’s very important to maintain your air conditioner regularly.

    This is because when it is not maintain regularly, it will use more energy and increase your utility bill.
    By servicing your unit regularly, it can save at least 20% of energy that will really help you to save money.

    Thank you so much for your share…

    keep up doing good work…
    God bless U!!!!



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