July 17th, 2012



My house is now delightfully cool. I hadn't realized how bad it was until the new system was in and I felt the difference. I have the thermostat set the same, but the house seems a lot cooler -- to the point I went and adjusted the thermostat because I was too cold. The other nice thing is that the new system is so quiet, I can barely tell when it turns on. The outside unit is just outside the living room window, right next to where I sit to watch TV, so when the AC kicked on it was so loud I had to turn up the volume. With this one, I can mostly tell that the AC has come on because the thermostat makes a little click. It's still a little noisy in my bedroom where the inside unit is, but that's mostly the sound of air moving through the ductwork, not the blower itself, and that's probably going to change today.

Because, of course, there have to be complications. They needed to move the fresh air intake in my bedroom because some genius had put it six inches from a vent, which meant the hot/cold air was being sucked right back in instead of circulating. They had a plan for where to move it that looked ideal, but once they started cutting through the sheetrock they discovered that it was a load-bearing wall with a truss that supports the second floor. Not that this was obvious before they started cutting because that part of the wall doesn't have anything above it. Apparently the truss starts farther out than the second floor itself (there is some spectacularly bizarre architecture in this house). The plan is that today they'll expand the size of the main fresh air intake in the living room (which was my original suggestion when we were trying to solve this problem). Then we'll see how that works. I may just need to keep the bedroom door open, or we could end up putting a transom type vent over the bedroom door. And then they'll have to get someone to repair the sheetrock in the bathroom, and then I guess I'll get to repaint that room. I was planning to do that eventually because I didn't get quite the color I really wanted when I took out the wallpaper and painted that room eleven years ago. It shouldn't be that big a job. I think when I did it the last time, I spent most of the time ripping off three layers of wallpaper. This time, it'll just involve taping off everything, then probably a coat of primer (since the color I want is lighter than the color that's there) and then a coat of paint, and as I recall, it only took a couple of hours, at most, for each coat of paint because it's a small space and only certain walls are painted. But yeah, a little more complicated than I planned on, though probably worth it to be cool with bonus quiet. It was lovely being able to watch the series finale of Eureka last night without my finger on the remote's volume button.

Because of the complications, they had to call in supervisors to consult, so I had men coming and going from my house all day. Fortunately, they were all in uniform, so it shouldn't have looked to my neighbors like I'd gone into some less-than-savory business all of a sudden. I was hiding upstairs in my office to stay out of the way, but I kept having to run down and open the door when someone new showed up. I think that may have been the most people I've had in my house at any one time since I hosted the dessert portion of a progressive dinner party soon after I moved here. I got a minor jolt when I opened the door one time because the guy who was there was pretty much a double of Duke on Haven -- probably not as tall or as built, but very similar facial structure and facial hair. I found myself looking around for his silver box full of strange weapons. He used to do house painting before he went into the AC business, and he admired my bathroom paint job and was discussing colors with me. I did a glaze finish last time, but I don't know if I'll do that again. It looks cool, but I don't know if that's now out of style.

By the end of the day when they all left, I actually did the thing you see in movies and TV where I shut the door and then leaned wearily against it. It was a little freaky having people in my house all day long. Having my solitude back was sheer bliss. However, it was a very productive day while I was stuck in my office. I actually got everything on my to-do list done.

And now they're downstairs cutting holes in my living room wall. I hope this one works. That wall would be a pain to repaint.