Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I Was FROZEN Today - I got my new AC and Ductwork!!!

After one hell of a week last week, it was finally time to get a new AC system and new ducts!

External Johnson AC Unit (no idea how old it is)
Any ideas how old it is?
Internal AC system
Bertie guy had told us that we needed to remove the ceiling in the main hallway, smaller hallway, the master bedroom hallway as well as Hubby's office soffit. He also said to leave the ceiling up as long as possible, and take it down at the last moment. Well, since our main hallway and smaller hallway never got repaired from whatever we'd done years ago (drywall was never finished; the screws were still accessible), we left that to take down Monday morning.

Soon to be demolished Bedroom Foyer ceiling
(Yes, the ceiling was already "unfinished" before we took it down again)
Small hallway between office and master bedroom
Sunday was spent demolishing the soffit and master bedroom hallway.

First up, the master bedroom hallway, which in a way, was a large soffit itself.  It's kind of like a hallway to the master bedroom, with the bathroom on the left.  I got in the first whack with a hammer. It felt good.

Hulk smash!

After whacking it, I took out my brand new Ryobi reciprocating saw (oh, yeah!) and we cut out a square to see what was up there (I didn't want to be whacking stuff if there were wires to look out for).

Home improvement means I get new toys!
What we discovered was a hell of a lot of duct damage. Apparently, at some point in the past, there have been, well, multiple critters up here.  I could not believe what I was seeing.

Well no WONDER it's hot as fuck in our room!
Seriously, there is an entire chunk missing!
Eww, what animal did this come from?

Hubby's office soffit, pre-demolition
I took a break once the hallway was done, while Hubby began attacking his soffit.  His office has a wall of cheap 70s paneling, so it wasn't too hard to take down. He was able to save most of the paneling and trim, too, so we can just put it back up when this is over.

With the paneling down, we could see more critter damage. We could also see how old the ducts were.  Anyone know how old this duct board might be? 

Is my duct system just a huge hamster cage?
That should be relatively easy to fix when we're done!
Exhausted from demo, I think we all went to bed early.  I took hubby to work the next morning, and around 7 a.m. started taking down the ceiling in the small and main hallways.  I was able to get the small hallway done, and part of the main hallway before the Bertie crew and superintendent showed up. He didn't seem to be all that happy that the ceiling wasn't down, and had major attitude with me, even as I was explaining why it was still up. Luckily, one of the crew guys gave me a hand to bring it down (seriously, Superintendent Jackass, it took 10 minutes).

I got all of this done before they showed up
Superintendent Jackass took the crew through the house so they could see the layout and how it compared to the plan drawings, and then he left and the guys took over. I had two baldie white guys, and a skinny white guy. I never did get their names at all...

First off, the guys ripped out all the old duct work and threw it on the grass outside. As you can see, our windows are open, letting in that beautifully refreshing 93º, 88% humidity, breezeless August Florida air.  We had I think 3 fans going in the living room all day!

It looks like a bomb went off out there!
With that done, one of the Baldie Twins devoted his day to ripping out the old Johnson unit and installing the new concrete pad and Trane unit.  It's further away from the house than the old unit was, but I think that's because they couldn't put the new pad on top of the old pad, so they put it next to the old pad. (But bonus, now we have a small concrete pad to put a grill on!)

Beautiful new Trane System
Better view of all the trash removed
I spent the majority of the day sitting on the couch, chillin' out and watching TV. I'm sure the guys thought I was watching them, which I was, but not because I thought they needed watching. I thought it was fun to watch what they were doing. 

Watching the Weather Channel
They were patient with the Kiddo, but around 11, she had to give up the sanctuary of her bedroom, so she joined me in the living room.

Day Jeopardy! (My CBS shows reruns at lunchtime)
So. Much. Mess!
During a trip to the potty (before they began on that side of the house), I was able to check out what was going on in the master bedroom hallway. Our master bedroom was an addition (my office used to be the carport); I wasn't sure what I was looking at or why it was green up there.

The wall inside the ceiling, above my master bedroom door - why is it green?
Late in the afternoon, Superintendent Jackass came back. Apparently, the guys were having problems fitting the new ducts into the boots (am I using that right?) of the old ducts.  The old boots were too small for the new boots. I was told that the boots are where the new vents go.  To accommodate new boots, they would need to cut holes in the ceiling or walls to make them fit. I was fine with that (I just wanted shit to be done - I was told this would be a one-day process).

Superintendent Jackass showed the guys how to make boots (rather than rely on pre-fab ones) and they spent an hour or so outside doing air conditioning crafts.

They finished the day by dragging out the old inside unit and cleaning up their mess.  Unfortunately, they couldn't finish the project in one day, as we hoped, but they'd be back first thing in the morning to go again. 

Goodbye, old AC unit!
Awesome! They clean up, too!
Tuesday morning, the guys arrived even earlier than yesterday! Seriously, I'd just rolled out of bed at 7:30 when I saw their truck outside.  They hit the ground running - you could tell they wanted to be done today as much as I wanted them to be done today!  The main guy said he wanted to be done by lunchtime! I like this guy (Spoiler alert - they weren't done by lunchtime).

With drop cloths back down, all three guys were inside, first in the hallway working on the Kiddo's bathroom and bedroom. Then they moved into Hubby's office, then into the Master Suite area.

Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!
Um, there's a dude in my ceiling
Looking into the Master Suite from my Office
Superintendent Jackass showed up around 10:30 to check on the progress. After looking around, he approved of the work and reminded me that we need more attic insulation than we currently have (old house, blah blah blah). Unfortunately, since they had to make all the boots on-site, they don't have matching vent grills for them. They will need to special order them, and they'll come in about 3 weeks. When they come in (and after we do all the vent reconstruction work), they can return to the house to install them.

The kiddo and I hung out in the living room for a while - she got to see the old game show Card Sharks -  but it was hotter than yesterday, so eventually we headed to my office, where the portable AC was plugged in. This was also where Clover, our cat, was hiding.

Clover does not approve of what's happening
But it's cooler by the AC unit, so she moved locations
By now, we had one guy working on the internal unit, installing it, while the main guy was finishing work on the master bedroom ducts.

I had lunch while watching Jeopardy! in the living room. AT this time, they installed the new 5+2 programmable thermostat (I've always wanted one - our old one was the rectangle with the slidey thing)!

Instruction manual for my new thermostat
I'm fancy, y'all!
After another hour or so of skinny guy working with the internal unit, they turned it ON!!  It's ON!!  It's ON!!!!  Then it's OFF. Boo...

Main guy at this point has finished with all the ducts and he's cleaning up while skinny guy is putting the finishing touches on the internal unit.  The kiddo and I went back to my office for a bit - it was stupid hot!

Hubby got home a bit later, and we all hung out and chatted about his day. Superintendent Jackass returned and officially turned on the AC.  He also has a better attitude - now that a penis is around, perhaps?  Asshole.

He reminded us - AGAIN - about getting insulation, and also about the vents coming in a few weeks.  He said it would be fine for us to drop off the check to the office in the morning (rather than give it to him then).

They cleaned up, gave us instructions on how to clean the unit, use the thermostat and how to change the filter, then packed it all up and left.  I think they were gone by 4pm. Not lunchtime, but not dinnertime, either, I guess!

After they left, I happened to look outside and I saw that they left the old unit behind.  It was beat to shit by the guy yesterday because he got really frustrated (which I totally understand), so I sent an email to Bertie to have them come pick it up.

Outside Guy went all Office Space on Johnson
And now, finally, to take a tour of our demolished, but cool, house!

Master Bedroom - One vent to replace the two on the right
Living Room - Ceiling vent to replace wall vent (seen at bottom)
Hubby's Soffit - much bigger, will need more construction
Kiddo's Bedroom - rotated 90º from original orientation
Guest Bathroom - Ceiling vent replaced wall vent
Beautiful new interior unit
My office - the ONLY one to stay the same!
Master Bath - Closer to door, replaces one in foreground of photo
By now, it was time to start dinner, I had Hubby and the Kiddo start work on fixing the smaller hallway while I cooked. 

As usual, when Hubby was trying to fix something, he would try to do it the easy way, then it wouldn't work, and he'd get pissed off that it wasn't working his way.  I tell him the correct way to do it (or in this case, the way we did it last time), but nooooooo, he won't do it that way. So after he gets to the point where he's so pissed off he quits, I came over, did it the right way and it was done in about 2 minutes.  Sigh.  Men are obnoxious sometimes.

After dinner, we started putting the main hallway ceiling back up.  At one point, we were trying to find the rubber mallet. Where was the rubber mallet?

They sealed the rubber mallet in the ceiling of the small hallway...

I see you, Mallet
Once we got the mallet back out, we finished the main hallway and then I headed for a well-deserved early bedtime. I still have to go to the dentist tomorrow, but all I want right now is sleep!