Mount Helen. Sunset, February 2024

Monday, November 27, 2023

Air Conditioning and Other Things

I have finally, finally, finally got around to having my air conditioning unit installed.  I only bought it last May. You can't say I was being hasty about its installation! It was sitting in the study, in its two boxes, more or less being used as a shelf.

I had asked the bloke who installed the dishwasher if he happened to have a friend who installed split system air conditioners. He said that he and his brother did them, quoted me a reasonable cost and we arranged a time for them to come around and do it.

And now - I have a fully functioning, split system, reverse cycle air conditioner at my place. It means that the house is now, more or less, completely electric. I do still have gas connected, and the gas stove is still operational, as is the gas central heating. However, I don't use either of them. The wood burner and the new air conditioner render the central heating redundant and I haven't used the gas stove top for 18 months or so. I have two portable induction cooktops covering it and am more than happy with them. Eventually I will replace the gas stove with a permanent induction stovetop. And I expect I will have the gas disconnected eventually. I will get very tired of paying $40 or so a month for the pleasure of a service I never use. But it will cost $1000 to have the meter removed and, just at the moment, I can think of many other things to do with a spare $1000.

I took this photo at the Ballarat Tramway Museum
last January

While they were here, the electricians pointed out that my gutters needed clearing. I knew this but when I had someone out to quote to do it, they quoted $800. I don't have a spare $800 to have the gutters cleared - and anyway, it seemed like an extortionate amount to me. My air conditioning blokes agreed. They said they would expect it to be around $200 or $300. Had I tried using Hipages or Airtasker? I had used Hipages, that was where the $800 had come from. So while they were sorting out the air conditioner, I downloaded Airtasker. And someone quoted $250. I took that offer, and a bloke is coming today to do the gutters. If it stops raining!

I do wonder if the $800 would have been quite as extortionate if Jim had been here. Or Ian. Or any other adult male. I would not like to cast nasturtiums at the tradie who said it would cost that much. It would be unfortunate to think that he might have been trying to take advantage of an older woman who he might have assumed lived alone. But I am not stupid and I knew that it would not take a whole day to clear the gutters. 

Lindsey and I went to the Zoo Drive market on Saturday morning,. We also went to the Saltbush Kitchen, a small shop which used to be in Bunninyong and is now in the city, and which sells spice mixes, dukkahs, oils and other things, using native ingredients. We dropped into Aldi and went out to the Mushroom Farm. On Sunday we went to the Ballarat Spring Fest, which was along the top of the lake. The weather was cool and damp but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the local population who turned out in force. There were LOTS of stalls and LOTS of shoppers. 

We didn't check out the food area. It looked very busy. We went to Websters for Brunch instead

Brandy is intrigued by the air conditioner. I  had it on yesterday evening for a short while, to put a bit of heat into the house. I didn't leave it on for long- it was a bit chilly rather than properly cold.  But I think it will be a good sidekick to the wood burner during the winter

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