Thar She Blows!
My old, much smaller, unit on the left was complaining audibly last summer. Who could blame it? The demand to cool 1,000 sf of studio/living space when you are only built with the ability to cool a couple hundred square feet is unreasonable. Even so, ‘lil Chilly performed beyond his capacity for many a year and now it is time to send him to the Big Chill in the sky. When it came time to replace him I decided I was not going to mess around. I searched until I found the biggest unit that would still fit in my teeny, tiny window (does anyone else think it’s silly that in a 150 sf wall of windows only two, two-and-a-half sf windows open?). I was delighted when I found the big mama above. 12,500 BTU’s and the capacity to cool 675 sf and it just fits width-wise. She was perfect. Almost.
When we hauled her into position last Saturday we discovered that the metal “foot” on the bottom of the unit – the one that is meant to fit into the window frame – was an eighth of an inch too wide. As you can imagine, there was much cursing. Not wanting to return her for a smaller (and much less powerful) unit we considered our options.
- Remove the bottom foot (it is attached to the body of the unit with screws) and have a metal worker fabricate a similar, but smaller piece that will fit into the window frame.
- Remove the bottom foot and build our own replacement foot out of prefab aluminum pieces from Home Depot.
- Leave the bottom foot on and construct a “new”, slightly wider window frame on top of the existing one.
Option one had some cons: how much would a custom foot cost and how long would it take to get it done (the job itself would take mere minutes, but we are still waiting for quotes from three companies for steel railings and it’s coming up on a year now…honestly. They are too busy doing big jobs to monkey with piddly diddly requests).
Option two was cost effective at around $50.00 but caused some anxiety: if we removed the foot, would we be able to add the new one on without stripping the screw holes? Would it be as strong?
In the end we decided to go with option three. We can use the old shelf I had built into the window frame to support the previous unit and with a few modifications we can have an effective, no-cost solution without compromising proper installation or the integrity of the air conditioner. Barring any unforeseen difficulties, the “whale” should be harpooned by tomorrow’s end!
Call me Ishmael.