Project Arctic Iguanadon

So the time has finally come for me to invest in air conditioning. Some would say it's about time. Others would say it wasn't necessary ( you'd be wrong btw ). Either way, it has not gone completely according to plan.

The first step of course was to shop around for one. So I spent this last weekend poking around various sites and eventually settled on a 7000BTU unit sold by Home Depot. It looked to be about right, didn't seem overly large, and the dimensions sounded good. So I whipped out the plastic and ordered it late Sunday night. Phase 1 completed.

To my surprise, it shipped Monday and arrived at the house on Tuesday. Which of course is when I noticed - the box is awfully big for something that's supposed to be portable and small. So I busted out the box cutter and tore into it. There sure was a lot of packaging. After all was said and done, the front room was littered with the remains of the box and my nice new AC was sitting there. Beckoning. And stinking up the place. WTF do they make these things with anyway? So I cleaned up the cardboard mess and took it out to the trash. Phase 2 completed.

Upon wheeling it into my room, it hit me. The bastard was an inch or two too short. Dammit. Ok. So we can work this out, right? Wrong. You see, my room is basically a 10x10 box with a window on it. There's the bed, which occupies pretty much the entire length of one wall. There's the closet which takes a 3x4 foot bite out of the corner by the door. Then we have the computer desk. A big corner desk which measures 70" x 70" and sticks out from the wall by 2 feet on each side. There's also the remains of Old Desk(tm) occupying the space between Big Desk(tm) and the closet, which is where the servers and my printer go. Leaves a very small gap between it and the bed to walk through to get to the door. Guess what doesn't have enough clearance to fit neatly out of the way in what little floor space exists? Phase 3 - Houston, we have a problem.

So with phase 3 causing us hurt, I've taken some time and gone desk shopping. Yes. I'm going to slay the desk monster and replace him with a smaller version. I've come up with a few possible options, but none of them are truly appealing. I may end up forking over big bucks for a custom job unless I can find one that's suitable. You see, they're either too big, or too small. There's nothing nice and middle like. I'd also like to get one with shelves and stuff so I can move my dragons around to make room enough to maybe also ditch Old Desk(tm). A possibility there would be to have some wall shelving put in, but with the current arrangement this is physically impossible. Which is why Custom Desk(tm) is looking better by the hour.

Undaunted, I proceeded to phase 4 - hooking up the AC in what little space there is. I need to know if the $550 I spent on it was worth it, yes? So I'm wrestling the vent hose into the window and not having much luck. Desk is causing us grief. Not enough room between it and the window to run the pipe behind it to the floor and come up from there. Oops. So the pipe is strung across the desk now. The AC is crammed in behind my chair, next to the bed. So there's little space for error. Anyway. So I got the thing attached, the window vent mounted, the hose hooked up, and the power plugged in. As I write this, the weather badge on the site says it's 77 outside. I call bullshit cause it feels higher. The AC is humming along nicely set for 74 and hasn't blown the circuit. So once phase 3 is corrected I'd say things will work out ok.

No more will the evils of summer drive me from my space by 10am only to roast to death in the front room because the evil roommates won't turn on the AC out there!
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

« Pardon Me, Sir?
Samson's Quest For the Ultimate Desk »

Posted on Jul 4, 2007 11:40 am by Samson in: | 14 comment(s) [Closed]
What's getting me here is, you've lived there how long now? And this is just now becoming an issue?

Me, I made it about 2 weeks. Because in that epic struggle between myself and 80+ temps with high humidity, I lose.

This has been an issue for a very long time. I usually just abandon the room after about 11am or so, and return after dark. Well, I got sick of it since I never have enough time in the hotter months to work on stuff I'd like to work on. So it piles up and piles up. And I'd also like to game once in awhile too. This meant having to do battle with evil. Evil is still winning though. Evil always wins.

This isn't necessary in the winter obviously.

Wait, just a wee bit of clarification here, if you don't mind... you needed to blow $550 on a 7000 BTU unit for a 10x10 space?? And, to top it off, you now need to swap out both of your desks for a single, smaller, desk and some shelving to make the new beastie fit properly??

Somehow this just all sounds wrong to me. Are you certain that you couldn't have gotten the job done with something a wee bit smaller/cheaper that wouldn't have required quite as much remodeling?

I'm quite certain. Yes, it's a 7000BTU beastie, but you have no idea how small a 10x10 room is until you've seen one where the closet eats 3x4. So no, I can't get away without shuffling out the two desks for something slightly less annoying.

For the curious, my hunt is narrowing a bit on the prefab side of things: - click on corner desks

Surprisingly, it's very hard to find a suitable desk that fits my needs. None of the above choices are ideal, but they're all somewhere in the neighborhood of close enough.

My space limitation is as such. The left side of the desk cannot exceed 50". The right side can go as far as 80" before there'd be a problem. There needs to be a sufficient opening in the desk to house an LCD monitor which is 15" high x 18" wide. There should be room enough for the pair of front speakers to be set. Ideally I'd also like to have a hutch come with it that has at least two levels of shelving that are 16" high so I could accommodate my collection of dragon statues. Anyway, I think I've painted enough of a picture that you can start to tell where I'm at with this.

Also, another unforeseen complication. The AC draws enough air pressure to create a low grade vacuum in the room. This is putting some strain on the door as air tries to rush in to equalize. Since the door is well sealed, the air has only one other place to come in from, and that's the partially opened window. It's doing a very good job of that and is drawing in enough heat that way to piss me off, and to make the AC work that much harder against itself. I'm sure I can mitigate that problem some with our good friend, Duct Tape. All hail Duct Tape!

It raises some interesting problems. Like do I need to cut a vent through the door? If I don't, will the vacuum get strong enough to suck too much air out of the room? Might it cause the window to crack? Break? Shatter? Would having someone cut a hole in the wall at floor level to attach the AC vent hose to work out better? Should I have bought a wall mount unit and had a professional come cut a hole in the wall and install that instead?

Sadly, I really do have a pretty good idea just how small a 10x10 room is, even with a 3x4 closet eating into it. My shed in my yard here is slightly bigger than that. *shaking his head* ...I was just thinking that a 7000 BTU A/C unit seemed like it might be excessive for that small a space, especially given how much extra other work/costs it seems to be generating for you and how expensive the unit itself was to begin with.

Not at all specific about your desk dimension needs there, eh? ;) *L*

Yes, Duct Tape is always a friend when you're in need. *nods sagely*

I suspect that it won't impact your window without intervention, but it could create a situation where it'd take significantly less effort than normal for the window to be broken.. though, under the right conditions, I suppose it could eventually lead to the window shattering. *shrug*

Would a professionally installed wall mount unit have eliminated some of these other issues? If so, can you exchange the current unit for that arrangement? Otherwise, either of those solutions (hole in the wall at floor level for the vent or a vent in the door itself) might be worth exploring since you're already this far in, but I'm way out of my field for this one. *shrug*

My room is about 12 x 15. I have a 5200 BTU window AC that cost me $105. Hell, I don't even have a door to close to keep the cold air in. It does the job just fine.

Well it would seem that in my case I got screwed or something then. Maybe the portable unit just wasn't the way to go?

Anyway, wall mount units don't create a vacuum affect on the room because they have an outflow vent built in that equalizes with the inflow vent. As it turns out the wall space to the right of the window in here is large enough to accommodate what Home Depot is selling so I probably should have gone that route, even though it would involve cutting a big hole in the wall and most likely still needing to get the desk out of here first - a task which is not possible unless it's disassembled.

Ok. For the record. If anyone thinks cheaping out and getting a 7000BTU unit is a good idea. Don't. It's not enough to cope with temperatures like today, where the high hit 110 and might still be going up. The poor unit is sitting here laboring badly and I've done all I can with duct tape to block air leaks and hanging shit in front of the window to block out the sun. Short of hanging aluminum foil outside or something.

I feel sorry for you -- and I was miserable enough up here in my high 90s. (I don't have AC, though.) I don't like hot weather very much at all... at least when it's cold you can put on sweaters and stuff. When it's hot, you just have to suffer...

Perhaps that A/C unit wasn't designed to handle temps that high? It really seems like 7k BTU ought to be plenty for your little space. :(

Taken literally it should be. But that doesn't account for the negative pressure it induces, nor does it account for the fact that the window vent means the window is open slightly, breaking the weather seal. It also doesn't account for 3 computers running in the room. Expensive lesson to learn, but I may need to go get something stronger.

It sure is too bad you couldn't have gotten the wall mount unit to start with. :(

The wall mount would have been ideal, but it's too late for that now. I've been informed that "no holes are to be cut in our walls". So my shot at that is gone. But that doesn't mean I can't go buy a nice big 10K or 12K BTU portable instead :)

As long as your new dedicated circuit can handle it. ;)

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