Posts tagged "window air conditioners"

What We’ve Been Up To

Wow – I was thinking it had been a while since I’d posted anything to the blog and it was probably time for an update, but I had no idea it’s been almost a year.  Crazy.  I guess time just got away from me.  Anywho, needless to say, I’m way past due in sharing what we’ve been up to, so here’s a quick look at some of the projects we’ve worked on over the last year.

 

1) Refinishing Hardwood Floors

This one makes the top of the list based solely on the impact it’s had to the main floor of our house.  We had the original hardwood floors refinished in the dining room and foyer (replacing some pretty worn carpet).  In hind sight, this turned out to be one of the more disruptive projects we’ve done since living in this house, but now that all of the inconvenience is behind us, I can safely say it was totally worth it!

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2) Grown Up Curtains

We have curtains – real, grown up window treatments – in the dining room and living room!  This is something we’ve talked about since we started redecorating the main floor, but I was a non-believer.  Custom curtains aren’t cheap and I (apparently) am.  But, after 6 years of living with teal fabrics that no longer matched anything else on the main floor, we decided it was time to bite the bullet and update them.  We figure old ones lasted 20 years, which is a pretty good run for curtains … and the new ones have made a world of difference.  Needless to say, I’m now a believer in “the power” of curtains.

 The “before” pictures:

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And, the “after” photos:

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3) The Basement

We’ve started working in the basement … sealing it up, cleaning it out, and generally making it nice, bright, and less buggy.  So far, we’ve had new windows installed, sprayed foam insulation around the rim joists, and rearranged all of the stuff down there about 5 times to get better access to the couple of rooms we’re starting in.

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4) New Porch Door!

We have a real door on the side porch now!  Since we moved in, it’s always been a screen door, which really wasn’t a great solution.  The door would get caught in the wind and blow open, it didn’t seal well at all, and generally felt like a “duct tape and chicken wire” solution.  So, we decided it was time to do something more permanent and went with a fiberglass 3/4 glass door that swings into the porch (to avoid the wind issue).  We’ve had it through the winter and have LOVED how much tighter the porch is now that we have a real door.

The old storm door:

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And the new door:

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5) No More Window Air Conditioners!

It might sound silly, but this was huge!  We had a couple of window air conditioners mounted in the wall – one was in our bedroom and one was in the sunroom.  They were probably a really great feature when those rooms were converted porches to living space long before the house had central air conditioning, but we’d never used them.  As far as we were concerned, they were loud (we could hear everything outside like it was happening in our bedroom), they were no where near air (or bug) tight, and they didn’t look very pretty.  Once they were gone (and the walls patched), we realized we’d lived with them entirely too long.  They are gone, but definitely not missed!

The master bedroom:

In the Master Bedroom

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And the sunroom:

In the Sunroom / Family Room

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6) New Liner for tbe Pool

This wasn’t exactly a planned upgrade, but we found our pool empty and the liner collapsed when we went to open it last spring, so a new liner it was.  We knew the liner was getting up there in age, so it as really just a matter of time.  Hopefully this means we’ll have some uninterrupted seasons of pool use ahead of us – these pictures make me so excited for warmer weather!  I can’t wait to go swimming with Haley this year – I think she will have so much fun with it!

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Anyway, many apologies for the lengthy absence.  I think this brings the blog (roughly) up to date … more to come (hopefully without a year passing in the meantime)!

On Monday, we’re taking the first steps toward a project we should have completed long ago – removing a couple of wall-mounted window air conditioners from the sunroom and master bedroom.

In the Sunroom / Family Room

In the Sunroom / Family Room

In the Master Bedroom

In the Master Bedroom

(Yes, that’s Haley’s no-longer-used cradle in the corner of our bedroom.  I still haven’t figured out how she got old enough to not be using it any more and I’m so not ready to put it in storage.)

Other than being old and not so efficient, I suppose there’s nothing wrong with having window air conditioners in these two rooms – in theory – but they were there when we bought the house 5 years ago and we’ve never used them.  We aren’t even sure that they work.  Aside from being an eye sore, they also aren’t very weather tight or critter tight – they’re usually home to a nest of something or other and we’re pretty sure the one in our bedroom has let a few unwelcome bats in.  On top of that, they’re just plain loud.  It sounds strange, but it’s true.  We can hear everything that goes on outside like it’s happening in the bedroom because of the stupid air conditioner.

Having said all of that, I suppose there was a time when they made a lot of sense.  The sunroom used to be a screened in porch that was closed in sometime in the 50s.  The master bedroom is located right over the sunroom and used to be an open sleeping porch that was converted to living space around the same time.  Before the house had central air, it was probably a great feature to have air conditioning in these two rooms … but now that we have central air, there’s just not much of a need for them.  We’ve been ready to say goodbye for quite a while and just haven’t done anything about it, but that’s about to change.

So, the project starts on Monday with a visit from the electrician to remove the middle-of-the-wall outlet in the master bedroom since that would be pretty a pretty awkward location once the air conditioner is gone.

Up close and personal.

(And, yes – in case you were wondering, that is window film covering the air conditioner in the bedroom.  It’s our attempt to make the thing a little more weather tight.  It also collects dead bugs – ick.)

Our expectation is that it shouldn’t be a problem for the electrician to remove the outlet and associated wiring completely so that we can patch the wall and pretend it was never there.  If not, our second choice will be to just relocate the outlet lower in the wall so that it’s at a more normal height and won’t draw so much attention.  Either way, it’ll be an improvement.

Once the outlet is removed, the next step is taking out both air conditioners and patching the wall, inside and out.  We’ve hired this part also – largely because the second floor air conditioner is up high and that side of the house borders a pretty steep ravine so there’s really no safe way to do the work without setting up scaffolding.  Plus, it really wasn’t that expensive.  This is loosely scheduled for when the weather gets a little better, but we’re hoping for sometime in March.

It seems like such a trivial change – I mean, it’s just a couple of air conditioners – but we’re both so happy that they’re on their way out.  No more nights spent listening to birds or squirrels or whatever else is living in the air conditioner, more comfortable (less drafty) rooms, fewer bugs/bats/mice making their way in.  I am sooo ready to say goodbye!