Monday, July 12, 2010

bring back the magic

the other day, i was up early and started this rambling about my stupid AC unit. here is a rambling that i started (and have no finished):


oh my goodness. its 1209 am and i am awake. and extremely tired. i awoke twenty minutes ago, overheated in my room - hot under the covers. it hit 100 today in boston and mother nature rarely does that. it says its 78 degrees outside now. still too hot. i prefer for it to cool down to 60 or so at night. and not even hit 78 during the day. ugh.

anyway, now is just as good a time as any to explain the situation with the AC unit. a few weeks ago, i came home from work and the apartment was soo hot. i was so uncomfortable. our apartment is two floors and the top floor can get really warm. the basement is mostly brick and cement (? tile?) floors so it stays pretty cool. (unless we're cooking or its super dooper hot outside) i complained to ryan that there was no way i could sleep in this heat. and i would be really grouchy if i couldn't. so i said that i was going to get an AC unit. he tells me that his old roommates left one in the basement because they moved to a place with central air. he has never used AC before and said that in the 4 years he's lived there, only 4 times a year does he wish he had it. and then he just sleeps downstairs. i'm determined to get an AC unit in my room, though. then it could keep the whole upstairs cool! so we move the stuff thats piled up on it in storage, i clean it off, and we carry it upstairs to my room. we try moving the screen and it

there are trees or bushes or vines or something growing INTO it. i knew these branch thingies were there, i see them every time i open my window, but i didnt realize they were affixed to both the screen and the brick outside. so the screen's not moving. i decide that the next night, i'm going to go into the courtyard and find someone with a ladder to prop up against our place and then dig the branches out. casually, ryan mentions that i should get a portable unit. i'm dreading the next night because its supposed to be hot again, but higgs won't be there so he can't help me with the branches. he was going to be gone the next night, as well, and i was worried about putting in a unit by myself.

the next day, at work, after thinking about it more and more, i think "yeah! a portable AC unit! then i can move it to the waiting room if it's hot in there, or the bathroom or move it downstairs for when we're cooking." its THE answer. so i go on and find a portable AC unit. it sounds great. i read the reviews and check out the website of the manufacturer. its fabulous. exactly what i need. why don't more people use these?? here is what i found:
neat, eh? its eco-friendly and also a dehumidifer. i was totally stoked to get it (although, now that i've ordered it and received it and am writing about it, i went to target's website and they don't have it listed anymore... just really popular??). anyway, the reviews are great, and i was really concerned with getting one that is energy efficient. so this seemed to be the one.

it comes a week plus later and i get home from being at a red sox game for work - walk in to the apartment and there is this massive box waiting for me. the air con unit!! i was normally going to go straight to bed because i had all day meetings the next day, but i couldn't wait to set it up. i get it out of the box and there is this weird hose with it. i read the instructions and it turns out that this, too, HAS TO GO IN A WINDOW. i was dumfounded. when you look at the website (link above) there is NO MENTION of window or hoses or anything like that. there was one mention of a hose in one of the reviews, which i sent to higgs and he mentioned that it probably needed to go into a window. but i read all over their website and there was no mention of it. i was thinking that technology has advanced enough that it just circulates or uses the hot air it produces. but no. apparently, all men know that AC units have to go in a window, and most of the women i have talked to say "well, its portable! it shouldn't have to go in a window." and to be fair, i guess this doesnt HAVE to go in a window, you could also drill a hole in your wall and have the hose go out that.

so this massive AC unit is actually worse than the window unit because my bed is in front of the window and there is no place for me to put it, nor does the hose reach far enough if i were to have it in the middle of my room. crappy. higgs came home about then, while i'm sitting in the rocking chair completely dumfounded. he just said "i told you it needed a window." he didnt listen to my arguments about the fact that "portable" should mean "moveable anywhere" not just "moveable near a window."

i was then faced with this dillema of whether or not to return it. it was 75 pounds, so its not like i could carry it to the post office. i could return it to target, but then i'd have to rent a car to get TO target. AND my room was still hot. we finally realized that i could get a longer hose and put it at the end of my bed. so last weekend, we went to home depot and i got a hose to attach to the current hose. the new hose is metal, though, versus the one from the company which is a thick plastic. and the company hose was 6 inches vs. the 4inches from home depot. so we also bought duct tape. higgs was instrumental in setting it up and we finally got the hose under the bed and up to the window. and it worked! it was very cool (both in the sense of temperature and neatness).

but later that night, i woke up because it was kind of warm in my room. the AC unit does a really good job of cooling the area right in front of it, but on the other side, it was warm. i thought it was weird but went back to bed. the next day, i couldnt stop thinking about it, so i finally investigated and discovered that the two tubes connected under my bed were not actually connected anymore! so all night, while the AC unit was working, it was cooling air on one said, and then blowing hot air out the other side. crappy. so i went under my bed and duct taped it together. a LOT. i used practically half the roll. solved.

so a few more nights of cool air, and its great. then, one night, i wake up and i'm burning up. my AC unit is not on. i try to turn it on. not working. i check the outlet. my surge protector had blown. i reset it and put the AC unit back on, 2 degrees warmer. no problem. then, the other day i was getting ready for work, and it blows again, but this time i couldnt reset it. i waited until after work and it finally worked again, but oof dah. this is kind of a major pain in the butt for some cold air. AND it takes up massive space in my room. which makes me now dislike my room setup. i want to rearrange but i'm not sure if it would be worth it. i'll be tackling that next weekend.

so what about you? are you keeping cool this summer?

[i chose this subject because its on jb's hot water album (and its hot outside) and i would love for someone to bring back the magic to me - in this case, the magic is 60 degrees outside]


  1. Yeah, old apartments w/o AC SUCK! I feel your pain!

  2. I have a ladder if you want I can bring it over on sunday and we can start operation branch removal...

  3. I live in a basement and it is nice and cool!