Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More 16.5 K Joy

Today the insulation installers came in and were checking out the attic before they were to blow in the insulation from their rental truck. (Yes, rental truck...which I actually think is quite cool.) They came back down from the attic and said, “Did you know your AC’s supply duct is not attached? Oh, and your attic fan doesn’t work.”

Of course I knew neither thing was true, and I just had to see it for myself. So I went up, got a lungful of insulation dust (mmm—MM!), and sure enough, the AC was merrily blowing nice, cool air into the attic—though I’m sure at least some of it was going into the tube that was hanging detached from it, like a skull’s lazy, half-unhinged jaw. The insulation installation dude then directed my attention to the attic fan. It was all corroded and decrepit-looking, appearing nothing like one might expect from the promised new fan. He cranked the thermostat, and sure enough…no joy. I wanted to put my finger into the fan and push the blades to just get it going, but thought better of it: I decided I’ll stick the AC-installer’s finger in there instead!

Oh, and the duct cleaning that they were supposed to call and schedule for today? Still hasn’t been scheduled. Needless to say, the AC installers got a rather polite and very direct phone call from me. Well…relatively direct, for me. Luckily, the contact said that I should have my wife call him to make sure all of her problems were addressed, too. Heh heh. His funeral.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

16 and a Half K of Joy

Alright, so I was going to try to not gripe about particular companies and their performance, but this experience has been just too much.

Government and HVAC companies alike promise a ridiculous amount of rebates and other creaminess for upgrading the cardiovascular system of the house. So, why the heck not?

We get quotes from no fewer than three companies, and finally settle on Action Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning. The salesman was more believable, and his promises were interesting. A hyper-efficient AC and heating unit were too much for me and my wanna-be-"green"ness to resist. 600 Watts of 3-ton-equivalent AC that can be run on two car batteries in serial? Come on! Awesome! 98% efficient heater. Wow. Course we had to throw in a new water heater and water softener. $16,500 later, and the installers finally get it all installed. And wow what a mess.

Cigarette butts in the yard, cigarette stench flowing into the open say nothing of the smoker's stench reeking off the breath and bodies of the installers. Oh, would that that were the only complaint.

After nearly a week's delay in getting the units installed (we were under a time crunch to get it installed so we could take benefit of an insulation installation rebate) guys are crawling around in our attic space in order to revent the upper floor for the new AC coolness. Holes cut in each room were expected. Even the snowy insulation clumps dropping out of said holes were no surprised. And when the installers walked around with a vacuum, I thought nothing of it. A week later I'm still cleaning up the insulation bits and flakes. Really quite annoying.

Consider, though, that while they were up in the attic, they stepping on a light fixture socket and created a 12-foot crack along the center of the hallway ceiling. I'm sure they did the right thing by patching it up instead of ripping it down and replacing it...and hopefully it's even stronger than ever (apparently the builder of the house fastened the sheetrock sheets with 4 screws--FOUR!--and glued the rest. The slightest tremor, we're going to be swimming in sheetrock goodness.

Stuff finally gets installed, and there's a leak. No big. Painter for the ceiling comes in and paints the ceiling, give the leaky pipe a crank, and leak disappears.

The AC unit which originally was said to be mounted in the attic, invisible to the outside, is a behemoth on the roof thanks to the limited attic space. I've hired a painter to look at it and make it look either less obtrusive, or to stick out like a beautiful...thing. Turns out, it's supposed to be mounted outside. Strange.

Today was a nice, warm day. (I'm still sitting on the couch sweating my clothes wet at midnight.) First opportunity to use the new AC unit! Woohoo! Finally get it turned on (figured out without the promised help of the installers)...and an hour later, discover that my nightstand is soaked with water dripping out of the newly installed vent. Yay. And water is pouring down the ceiling, coming out of a bubbling panel in the side of the monster on the ceiling. Looks like another call to Action Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning...who've been promising us a return visit to install a new air vent to the ceiling.

Let's not forget the carboard, ladder, and other boxes left throughout the yard and house and garage.

I'm sure hoping they make this right as they've promised they will. I'm annoyed, and my wife's Pee-Eye-ISSED.