Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wall Air Conditioner Install and Trim

New unit, smaller but more efficient, filled in with foam filler.
Dad Fix Tip #8: Wall A/C Installation

Several years ago we had our extended back patio framed in and drywalled into a 400 sq ft usable indoor space.

  Three-quarters of the space is an elongated game room and the other quarter was supposed to be a bedroom for one of our girls. 

Since construction, it served as a bedroom (which never got used because we can't get the kids out of OUR room), a workout room complete with treadmill (didn't last long, the walls are all painted PINK and I can't stand working out in a pink room), and finally Wifey's craft room.

Well, sometime last year our little wall unit air conditioner quit working and we let it slide all winter. The air conditioner was installed at the far end of the game room and positioned so that it blows across the room, aimed directly at the craft room. 

Since Wifey has recently acquired FOUR sewing machines, she has been sewing her brains out. Summer out here in the Arizona desert gets VERY hot VERY fast and while the thought of the craft room becoming a little sewing sweat shop made me smirk, I'm sure it would lead to one irritable I set out to replace the air conditioner. 

Something, like most home repairs, I'm about to learn how to do on my own...for the first time.

First thing I discovered was that the screws holding the A/C unit to the frame box were buried BEHIND the drywall. I had to cut out holes on both sides of the unit (as you can see in the picture) to get to the screws.  

Once I got these screws out, it was a long tug and pull match to slide it out. Up and down, side to side. You'd think I was trying to pull a Mac truck out of a gopher hole. Turns out, when the builders installed the original unit, they stucco'd the outside of the room addition after the A/C install. 

Which means they stucco'd up underneath the darn thing to fill in gaps. I had to go outside and knock some stucco off from underneath the unit to allow it to finally slip out of the sleeve.

There, in all its glory, was now a HUGE gaping hole in my wall and nothing to cover it with. 

Images of birds, wasps, and bees entering at will filled my head. What have I done? 

Crap, Crap, Crap. 

And of course, I started this project about four hours before I had to go to work at my night shift job. 

I mentioned to Wifey that I'd pick up a new unit on the way home in the which she quickly replied "I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with leaving a big, gaping hole in the house all night.".

I had not even thought that far in advance. Doh! I quickly cover the massive hole with cardboard and tape. 

Once secure, I bolted off to Lowes for a wall unit.  $299 on sale, 10,000 btu's. I was happy to bring it home and take it out of the box. Its always worth more manly points if you can carry the big appliance in by yourself. 

I make sure to grunt here and there in front of the kids.

I made a few minor adjustments to change it from a window unit to a wall mount unit by removing some slide rails meant to butt up against a window ledge. 

I slid the unit back into the frame and added a little plank of wood in the back to make sure all the back end was supported. 

Once appropriated placed, I used a can of foam filler.  It sealed the gaps nicely and quickly. Give yourself a little leeway. 

It does continue to expand a little after you're done spraying. But it breaks off super easy if you need to chisel a little away like I did.

To cover up the exposed area now, I built a little frame from pinewood. You might be able to see where the drywall was patched up. 

I had the drywaller who was here doing the arched bathroom door project slap a little mud in those holes real quick. Took him all of three minutes. Wouldn't have taken me an hour.

Anyway, not too sure I'm happy with the frame yet. I'm gonna try a different pattern a little wider. It needs a coat or two of paint as well. 

Altogether though, the bottom line is: Wifey has ice cold A/C while she's sewing and crafting and that makes her happy...which makes me happy. That's what it ALLLLLL about.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't you spam me...I'll just delete it!