In Singapore, renting an apartment feels like home ownership light. Among other things, I was informed that I was expected to keep up air conditioner unit maintenance. Luckily my agent explained this to me, or I would never have thought to do anything. Units here have to be serviced every 2-3 months. As we are higher than average demand users (I’m told most people don’t run their aircon 24/7 or at the low temperatures we consider necessary to survival) we usually get our units serviced every 8 weeks. A team of guys show up, take apart the unit, vacuum the unit, wash a piece I assume is the filter (I’m really NOT mechanical or electrical minded) and do all sorts of things that cost me $30 SGD a unit (we have 5, so it’s 150$ SGD every 8 weeks give or take).
This has been a good system until Sunday night when our bedroom air con died. You get so used to the constant background noise of the a/c that it’s freakishly quiet when it goes away. In the morning I would learn it wasn’t just our unit, but the office unit and Elanor’s bedroom as well, which all operate off one of the two condensers outside. As it was one am, my solution was to point our bedroom fan at our bed and turn it on high, which made it just barely survivable, although neither Ravi nor I slept well.
Given that most repairs/issues in our apartment are expected to be dealt with by us, I contacted our aircon guy and asked him to come look at the unit to figure out why it stopped working first thing on Monday.
I was very worried when I was basically told that it was broken, we needed a new one, call the owner. As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t have direct contact with our land lord. I wouldn’t be able to even tell you her name without reading our rental agreement. We call our agent, who calls her agent, who calls her. She makes a decision and the communication goes back via her agent, our agent, and then to us. As a new air con unit sounded like a large decision and might require shopping and lots of back and forth, I was dreading the process. In the hours it took for the chain of communication to make its way back to me, I looked into hotel rooms as the fan solution was not going to be liveable for more than 1-2 nights at most, and I even glanced at plane tickets home as a solution if this was going to be a multi-week problem.
Imagine my shock, then, when I found out it would be fixed the very next day (Tuesday). My even greater level of shock when it happened. And my extreme happiness to be typing this entry from a lovely cool bedroom.
It’s so nice to be pleasantly surprised when something is dealt with efficiently and with speed.