When I woke up this morning and the house was 28°C (82°F), I didn't have a good feeling about it. The blower inside the house was running, but the heat exchanger thing outside was just making a buzzing noise but wasn't running. Not a good sign.
After last year's maintenance inspection, I was expecting that the unit had finally failed and was going to need to replace it. Today being a holiday, I wasn't expecting to be able to get anybody out to check on it until Thursday or Friday, but when I called the company (Carolina Air Care) was able to send someone out this afternoon, much to my surprise. It took a while for them to get out here (busy day for them it seems), but once the technician got here it only took him one look to diagnose the problem: a blown capacitor on the heat exchanger. A quick replacement and the unit was up and running once again.
The repair wasn't cheap, but it was a whole lot less expensive than what I was expecting. Hopefully this will keep things running a little while longer and give me a little more time to continue saving to replace the heat exchanger. I know I'm going to have to replace it soon. It would just be nice to have a little more saved up for it before replacing it.
When it starts cooling down, I'll have them come out again for the annual maintenance inspection and see how much time I might have left on the unit. Hopefully I can get another year out of it before needing to replace it.