Tuesday, July 18, 2006

jeremy puts the ac in accomplishment

air conditioner

Thanks to the kind offers from certain commenters to help me secure an air conditioner in my time of need. However, I was also successful with my parallel e-mail plea to Kathleen, an economist in my program who was also without AC. So early this afternoon we used her Zipcar membership to drive to Home Depot. There, we found these nice 6500 BTU air conditioners on sale for $100 and said to one another, "Hey, we've got disposable income. Let's each buy two!" And so we did, with Kathleen also buying a small tree for her office for good measure.

I didn't get home until nearly 10pm to actually try to mount it, however. On my way home, I checked my messages and learned that Kathleen was having trouble getting hers set up. I called her back and said I would see if I could figure mine out and, if successful, I would come help. As I was sweating away in my apartment just taking the thing out of the box, I knew there was no way I was going to bed tonight without getting it running. That said, as I was sweating away moments later reading the instructions, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to figure those out. The instructions involved the use of: (1) short screws, (2) wood screws, (3) L brackets, (4) seal strips, (5) sash seal, (6) guide panels, (7) support brackets, (8) slotted screwdriver, (9) knife, (10) pencil, (11) ruler, (12) hammer, and (13) level. Instead, I just screwed the guide panels into the side, and then propped the unit in my window using various books--old Stata manuals coming in especially handy*--to keep it slightly titled forward and to make sure the back vents were moving air outside.

Then, I rode my bicycle over to Kathleen's and set hers up mostly the same way, using various econometrics books.

No, in neither case is this intended as a permanent solution. Indeed, Kathleen's first sentence after stepping back and looking at our handiwork was, "I am so totally calling my super first thing in the morning and paying him to do this right."

* Other books selected not because of merits/demerits but mainly on the basis of size. This is not entirely true. Originally I had Three Plums in One a collection of the first three Janet Evanovich trashy mystery novels in there, but decided when I was taking a photo that I should have something more literary and so stuck DeLillo's Underworld in its place.

Update: A certain reader was scandalized that I was using Paul Starr's Social Transformation of American Medicine to help hold my air conditioner in place. I have two copies.

11 comments:

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Wow, Jeremy. That's some impressive problem-solving there.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Also, it's interesting that you feel that air conditioner-propping books should be MORE literary, rather than less.

I read the first four or five Evanovich Plum mysteries in Japan; I got them at the cheap English book sale at Kinokuniya.

islander said...

Glad you are getting a chance to cool down. However, your installation experience is further evidence suggesting sweating through the dog days is the right decision for me.

Anonymous said...

So you each bought two. 13000 BTU should be fine for a small apartment.
Handy Andy we all know you are not. Glad you got them installed okay.

Anonymous said...

That's great. And you didn't even have to take the legs off of it. Here's hoping running 13000 BTU doesn't trip your circuit breakers.

Anonymous said...

72 degrees Jeremy? Obviously you are more accustomed to the frozen tundra of Madison!

Anonymous said...

j, my impression was that you couldn't rent a zipcar if you had as many traffic tickets as you do? ;-)

Teddy Love said...

Too bad I'm not there! I've installed that very model quite a few times ... here's the trick, ignore the instructions, they're unnecessarily complex (oh wait, you did that). Looks like you did a pretty good job, one thing though, you want the front tilted UP so any condensation flows out of the back of the unit not back down into it. Here's to staying cool! OH yeah, don't like, run the hair dryer or the vacuum cleaner while the units are on ... you're in Cambridge after all, you could bring down the whole grid sucking that much power (and maybe a tunnel or two so, safety first!).
-TL

Winston said...

Congrats! I'm an engineer and a pretty good handyman and I could not have done a more ... interesting ... different ... bizarro installation job myself.

Listen to TL! If that sucker is not tilted a bit to the outside, you better run out and buy some buckets and sponge mops.

Wiley Rydberg said...

Hey, Jeremy! It's been a long time since you posted about your window type air conditioner. I hope it is still up today. Well, the only thing that would make that possible is if you're maintaining/cleaning it regularly.

Wiley Rydberg

Wiley Rydberg said...

Hey, Jeremy! It's been a long time since you posted about your window type air conditioner. I hope it is still up today. Well, the only thing that would make that possible is if you're maintaining/cleaning it regularly.

Wiley Rydberg