Time to Cool Off – Installing the AC & Heater

October 7, 2016

Who can believe it’s already October?? I love the cold weather, so I look forward to the changing seasons each year with more and more anticipation. I also look forward to having this house finished with more and more anticipation each passing week! We seem so close to the finish line, and yet there is still so much to do. One thing we can finally cross off our to-do list is installing the AC and heat unit.

Where should the AC go? Probably in this big hole.

Where should the AC go? Probably in this big hole.

Many months ago we found the through-the-wall AC unit we wanted and framed out the spot in the wall for its dimensions. We didn’t buy it because it wasn’t on sale and we simply didn’t need it yet, so why rush to get this expensive bulky thing that will just sit in our garage for a long time? Well, you rush to buy it because if you wait it will have been discontinued! Oy vey. We eventually found a different unit (that actually turned out to be cheaper) so no panicking ensued.

Because of the different unit, we had to adjust the hole we framed to hold the AC. The hole was a little too wide, so Eric had to add in a 2×4. He also had to notch out a small section in the bottom plate of the hole to allow for the AC sleeve that had a small bar running across the bottom. That bar helps tip the AC just barely so any water from condensation will run to the outside of the unit instead of into the house.

Adding the 2x4 to make the AC hole smaller.

Adding the 2×4 to make the AC hole smaller.

Taking out a small notch on the bottom board to allow for the AC unit sleeve to fit perfectly.

Taking out a small notch on the bottom board to allow for the AC unit sleeve to fit perfectly.

Chiseling out the notch.

Chiseling out the notch.

Once the notch was cut out, Eric moved to the outside of the house to cut out the hole in the sheathing and siding. He used a hole saw first, and then moved to a zip-router to precision cut the rest of the hole. This zip-router is an awesome new tool that we’ve been using and it makes life a lot easier for different jobs. I’ll be talking about it again when I get posting about putting up the inside walls. We’ve used a router before, but the zip-router is just a smaller, more precise version. For those who don’t remember what a router does from our sheathing post, a router is used to “rout out,” or hollow out, a hole or groove in a piece of wood, metal, or plastic, giving you finished edges,  and precise holes. There is a spinning metal rod that runs across one piece of wood as a guide, while cutting the wood you want removed for the hole. So for this case, the zip-router used the 2x4s that framed the space for the AC as guides and cut out the sheathing and siding. Super easy and super fast!

Using the zip-router to cut out the sheathing and siding.

Using the zip-router to cut out the sheathing and siding.

Using the zip-router to cut out the sheathing and siding. This is a nice precise cut to keep the edges flush with each other.

Using the zip-router to cut out the sheathing and siding. This is a nice precise cut to keep the edges flush with each other.

Not bad! A nice even hole to slide the unit into.

Not bad! A nice even hole to slide the unit into. But it definitely made a mess!

The notch and hole are cut and ready to go!

The notch and hole are cut and ready for the AC.

Once everything was cut, we vacuumed up all the sawdust and cleaned up the area. I then painted the edge of the hole to add a bit of extra sealing for the elements. Eric spray painted the sleeve to match the rest of the metal on the house, and once everything was dry, we attached a thin piece of foam to the opening. We pretty much shoved the sleeve through and screwed it into place. The unit suggested buying some type of grill piece to cover the outside of the sleeve. We thought about buying one but they were stupid expensive, so instead I found some decorative metal sheets for much cheaper, we cut it to size, and used it instead. Yey for saving money! The final step was trimming out the sleeve. NOOOOOOO! NOT TRIM!!! Thankfully, we already had the trim ready, so it only needed to be cut to length and attached.

Adding the protective metal sheet to the outside of the sleeve.

The protective metal sheet added to the outside of the sleeve, but we still need to add some of the metal to the bottom of the sleeve as well.

The AC & Heater are now in place!

The AC/Heater Unit is now in place!

You can see from the picture above that I still need to add a bottom piece of decorative metal to hide the white AC unit sitting inside the sleeve. I also just realized I didn’t take any pictures of the AC from inside the house, so I’ll have to add those later. I have quite a few new posts already in the line up, so check back in a few weeks for more updates! Happy October, everyone!

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