AC Day

I’m getting the AC swapped out in the house.  It’s been between 77 and 81 degrees in the house for a couple of weeks now.

Two guys showed up at 9:00 sharp to begin.  By about 1:00, I had cool air moving.  At that time it was 85 in the house, so the new system had its work cut out.

The new condenser outside is much more quiet than the beast that was out there before.  It’s shorter and fatter too, if that makes any sort of efficiency difference.

In the attic, everything is new.  A new drop pan to replace the seriously rusted old one.  Even the mounting of the air handler was improved.  It got raised up a few inches and a new plywood base was installed.  I’m keeping my existing air filter box, which has a non-functioning UV light attachment on it.  Maybe some day I will replace the UV light, I’ve been told they are costly.  To do that, I would have to run a power line to it, since the half-assed previous install powered the UV light from a power socket off the attic light.  If you switch off the attic light at the switch, the UV light is turned off, too.  That’s stupid.

At the same time, I had the guys install a new programmable, WIFI thermostat.  I am really against cloud-based management, but I will admit, being able to see my thermostat in a web browser was cool.  If I can do the same thing locally, staying inside my network, I will be good to go.

After a day of usage, I feel a little underwhelmed.  It took a really long time to cool the house.  8 hours later, the temp had dropped 10 degrees.  Maybe that’s normal, but my old system, when it was running well, would drop the temp 5 degrees an hour.

I’ve read a lot of HVAC and learned that having an oversized AC unit may not be the best thing because it cools the air too quickly and doesn’t reduce enough humidity.  To handle this, advanced systems (like my old one) will run the fan at a slower speed to dehumidify without as much cooling.  That feature was eliminated when I changed the motor to a single-speed, so I have no idea if this system is better or not.  Also, I never had a hygrometer in my old thermostat, so I have no idea what the interior humidity was.

A day later, the system has held my house at 73 degrees all day, so that’s a good thing.  And I know this because I can check the temp remotely.

Cat Door

It was many years ago that I ruined the property value of my house by installing a cat door leading out to the screened-in porch.  At the time, there were two cats, Bubbles and Rump.  Bubbles came with the house when I bought it because the sellers saw she was more friendly with me than she was with them.  Rump was a stray that I befriended on Halloween and she decided I was her new owner and this was her house.

Both cats enjoyed going “outside” on the patio, and as cats are wont to do, they would request to go out, or more accurately, request the door be opened so they could decide if they wanted to go out.  And if no one was there to open the door, well, tough shit.  So, I purchased a cat door so they could help themselves.

As it turned out, Bubbles never understood how to use the door, but Rump figured it out on day one and used it for the rest of her times.  In the middle of the night, you would hear her knocking on the door before she pushed her considerable girth through the opening.  The door had a lock, but it was rarely used.

I can’t even remember how I installed the door.  I know I didn’t have near the collection of tools I have now.  And so it’s not really a surprise the installation is not as good as it could be.  The one big issue is the opening isn’t as even on the outside as it should be.  Also, over the years, the plastic has turned yellow from the sunlight and from having a dirty cat in and out for years, the door and channel was full of hair and cat litter.  With the expectation that a new cat is coming to the house, it was time to replace the door.

Surprisingly or not, it seems the model of door I have was discontinued a while ago.  But there’s still some places that sell what’s left over.  And so I bought one.  About $40.  It’s been so long, I can’t remember what I paid for the original.  And this time, when I install the new door, I can correct the opening and it should look much better.

So the old door, as I said, was old and yellowed and dirty from years of use.

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While I had the old door off, I used a file to open up the door hole where it touched the plastic.  I also superglued the tunnel to the inside frame for stability.  When I got it all assembled in place, this was definitely for the best.  You can see in the gross close-up of the old outside view how the tunnel had separated from the inside frame.

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The new install is nice and white and you can particularly see how the tunnel is in better shape now.  It actually almost protrudes past the outside frame.


All ready for a new cat.  Coming this week.