ChatGPT is almost as bad at home maintenance as I am

Perhaps of interest to stupid people who have purchased houses instead of renting professionally-maintained apartments…

I asked ChatGPT about a few recent homeowner challenges and it struggled. A few minutes on YouTube and one can learn that the Bosch E25 error code means that something is stuck in the impeller, which is below the filter and accessed via an extra cover. ChatGPT is confused and says it is all about the filter:

Our house in Florida is too humid because the previous owner called in a humidity strike on his own position by installing low-E hurricane glass windows in place of the previous single-pane clear windows. This brought the required A/C tonnage down from 10.5 to 8.5. We now have 12 tons of single-stage A/C in a house that needs only 8.5 tons. This is a classic recipe for high humidity because the system doesn’t run long enough. ChatGPT completely misses the “oversized A/C that is not multi-stage” possibility.

What if you happen to know that the fix is a “communicating” variable-speed condenser?

ChatGPT seems to think that going from 3 wires to 4 is a minor challenge (“slightly more”). I guess the program has never had to rip a house apart. Also, I think that ChatGPT is confidently incorrect. Here’s the latest and greatest Carrier Infinity, which needs… “2 control wires to outdoor unit”:

ChatGPT on indoor air quality:

This is the one that impressed me:

Let’s circle back to appliance repair….

The actual problem with this fridge, according to the service tech, is failed insulation between fridge side and freezer side. This results in frost building up over 3-4 weeks and blocking airflow until a manual defrost (remove everything and turn off for 12+ hours) is performed. ChatGPT got close by suggesting defrost system problems, but that just leads to about $500 of futile defrost system component replacements. (We are about halfway through the one-year wait for a new fridge that we ordered back in early November 2022 (pre-coronapanic, the same size/brand fridge was available in 7-10 days).)

12 thoughts on “ChatGPT is almost as bad at home maintenance as I am

  1. How long does the AC run ?

    If more than 20-30min, you should be ok. If less than 15 min, your system is oversized.

  2. Thank you for reminding me not to move out of my apartment. However I annoyed I get at the maintenance people, my job remains just to yell at them. I never have to lift a finger,

  3. I think I just caught ChatGPT with its pants down. As everyone may know by now, VP Kamala Harris was just named “AI Czar” by Biden and given an initial budget of $150 million to start seven new Institutes.

    Five minutes ago I asked ChatGPT:

    “Kamala Harris was appointed AI Czar by President Biden. Why is it important and what will she do?”

    ChatGPT’s response:

    “I’m sorry, but Kamala Harris has not been appointed AI Czar by President Biden. There is no official position of “AI Czar” in the United States government.

    However, the Biden administration has placed a strong emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to drive innovation and economic growth, as well as its impact on national security and privacy. As Vice President, Kamala Harris has expressed her support for the development and responsible deployment of AI technologies.

    It is likely that the Biden administration will continue to invest in research and development of AI, while also implementing policies and regulations to ensure that the technology is used ethically and responsibly. This could include efforts to address concerns such as bias in AI algorithms, data privacy, and transparency in AI decision-making. The Vice President may play a role in advocating for these initiatives, but she has not been specifically appointed to a position related to AI.”

    I don’t know what’s worse: Kamala Harris as the AI Czar or ChatGPT not knowing about it.

    • I think I might have an insight into “Why?” – the article announcing Harris’ new area of expertise as AI Czar (picked up by many other news outlets including DNYUZ) was originally scooped by Breitbart. Then I read that the care and feeding of ChatGPT’s is at least partially being done by $15/hour wage slaves who don’t receive any benefits! Either them or $2 per hour super-duper wage slaves in Kenya.

      As we all know, Breitbart is radical right wing propaganda fish wrap established by a dead white male lunatic. Nothing they publish is fit to be used to train a progressive system like ChatGPT. And $15/hour wage slaves have to be instructed NEVER to use anything they promulgate. It sounds like there’s a lot of potential GIGO there, All Things Considered!

    • Thanks for mentioning it, I missed that. Harris was the peace czar at the Munich conference in the beginning of 2022. We know how that turned out.

      This appointment must mean that the Democrats are not going to do anything about AI.

  4. If you bring this up often enough someone will eventually suggest that the next version of GPT will probably fix this Any Day Now. It’s comforting that the hot new AI tech uses the same sort of hype tricks as its desktop productivity ancestors.

    • Condoms have a shelf life, too: 3-5 years is what I’ve read. Tires develop cracks. Foam rubber padding turns to dust. Sometimes careless assembly is all it takes, even if it’s well engineered and made of material that should last as long as someone wants to own it. I don’t know what kind of insulation Philg’s talking about. A screw fell out or a clip got unclipped and it moved and started rubbing against something. A mouse got in there and gnawed at it (kinda disgusting but it can happen). We had a squirrel that tunneled through a small hole it MADE into our attic and it started gnawing at the insulation on some wires. It’s nuts!

  5. Please specify version of ChatGPT you are using – 3.5 and 4 often produce dramatically different results.

    Just give in and install multistage AC – huge quality of life improvement. Once i upgraded, temperature is way more even through the space and time and there is no helicopter noise outside the window when AC is on.

  6. You might want to investigate whether the blower fan in the air handler has an adjustable fan speed, and if so, try to lower it. this will cause it to take longer to cool the house. This can remove more humidity not just by running longer but also because the inside evaporator coil might run a little colder. My Carrier unit has a jumper setting for fan speed. The service manual had documentation for opening the access door and setting the speed. Note it is possible that a too low fan speed will cause the evaporator coil to build up ice, though I’d expect a higher quality unit to use a TXV valve that should adjust refrigerant flow to maintain efficiency and also prevent a freezeover. See

  7. I am in a similarly hot and humid climate and I can highly recommend a variable-speed AC system like the Carrier Infinity line or the American Standard Platinum line. Higher up-front costs, but you get year-round comfort without thinking about it.

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