Beat the Heat

It’s been a very exciting weekend here in our house as far as the attic is concerned. Probably the most exciting part – a plumber we got a quote from had an opening pop up – which means we can get crack a lackin’ on the bathroom in the next week or so. Squeeeee!! Things have been looking like this the past few days with the plumbers coming in and out.

Contractors in House

Messy – but progress isn’t always squeaky clean my DIY friends. While we had a plumber here installing the nitty gritty for our bathroom fixtures, we were working on equally exciting things, like our HVAC. 😀 See, once we got to configuring the furniture arrangements, we realized that the back end of the bed would be smack dab right up against our one heating source in the room. No good.

Changing HVAC Location

So after scratching our heads for a bit on the best plan forward, we figured that extending the venting over to the left would help solve some of our problems. We figured, how hard can it be, grab a few extra little metal venty things and pop everything over a few feet. For the most part, that’s just what we did, with a bit more HVAC tape than anticipated 😀

Here are the tools of the trade:

Beginner's Guide to Installing HVAC

1. Adapter piece that get’s installed on the existing HVAC vent stack

2. Front facing vent, mounted to wall

3. Corner piece, curves to wall

4. Long extension piece

All and all, these parts set us back around $50, if helpful.

Just like the trim job we had to do with the kitchen renovation, we used a pair of scissors made specifically for HVAC, which was very helpful to cut in to the material. This part took us about 20 minutes. After we had everything cut and ready to go, the real fun began. 😀

See this?

Fitting New Duct Work to Old

That’s about a 3 inch gap between the size of our new HVAC and our old HVAC. Ah carrumba! Normally, these two pieces would fit together like a puzzle piece, but apparently they’ve updated these vents since the 40’s when our little abode was built. Since we had such a significant different between the two pieces, we had to do some creative gerryrigging. It involved tape. Lots of it.

We knew we’d have to essentially wrap the new piece up around the old one, so our first call to action was to snip a section of the new HVAC line, in order to bring it down flush with the new one. Kinda like wrapping a present.

Retrofitting New Duct Work

After snipping with our HVAC scissors, we mounted the new line back onto our existing HVAC and screwed it into the side with some special HVAC screws.

Installing New HVAC

In addition to buying special screws for the HVAC, we also had to purchase a specific socket adapter, which fit the special screws. Even with all these specific tools, I’m not sure what the deal was, but these screws just didn’t want to cooperate in any fashion. It probably took 10 tries each time to get a screw in since they would fall off every time we tried to attach the HVAC. Oye.

HVAC Socket Adapter

One thing I absolutely didn’t realize was how fragile the HVAC metal is. We actually had a bit of a boo boo when we were installing a fitted piece to one another when the connecting joint snapped right off. Ekk!!

I tried to get some solid pictures of the action but my hubster went all Brittany Spears with the umbrella vs. the camera paparazzi and told me to split. I think his exact words were – “Would you stop taking pictures of me?! Don’t put this on the blog. I mean it!” Let’s just say, after a long day of slaving over the attic, he snapped along with the HVAC. 😀

This it the best shot I could get, but essentially the lip on the duct work snapped off. That’s bad, since the only way you can attach the duct work is via said lip. (See that locked jaw on the Jay bird? My gentle giant was as mad as a hornet) 🙂

How to Install HVAC

We figured out a work around that involved Jay essentially pressure fitting the piece in and then taping the H-E-L-Lo Dolly out of the thing. After he took a few lamaze breaths he turned around and confidently told me that we just needed to prevent any air from leaking out – and if tape could do that – then by George he was ready to employ it’s forces.

How to Install New HVAC

No seriously – I wasn’t kidding. 😀 But ya know what, a few more pieces later, we were donzo and the new line was officially installed. The biggest learning curve we had was recognizing that 1) they don’t make parts for old HVAC duct work (i.e. you’re going to have to gerry rig something) and 2) this stuff is as brittle as a 99 year old Grandma – especially at the joints.

He even did a feel test to make sure there was no air leakage. Apparently, Jay feels best with his face since he insisted that he could tell it was leaking better by put his schnoz right up to the thing.

Finding Leaks in HVAC

After wrapping the HVAC with some insulation, our lovely little heating unit looked like this. Nice and toasty 😀

Insulating HVAC Line

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