Attaching The Evaporative Cooler Duct Work To The Concrete Pad

Last year I received a Master Cool evaporative cooler for free. I purchased some duct work from a local home improvement store but never permanently attached it. I had used duct tape to hold the whole mess together last year. Duct tape does a poor job of sticking to concrete.

This year I came up with a method of attaching the duct work by installing concrete bolts and bolting down extruded aluminum L channel to the concrete. I considered gluing the aluminum directly to the concrete but I wanted to have the option to remove it in the future.

Broken concrete drill bit

I learned a few things about drilling through concrete. First: it takes a lot of power and my cordless Dewalt drill had a tough time with the drilling. It was just really slow (perhaps a lithium ion nano battery would have helped). I was meaning to buy a corded hammer drill anyway and the corded drill was 10 times faster. Second: it was easier to drill the holes in the aluminum L channel then use that as a template for drilling the concrete, rather than marking the concrete. The drill bit tended to walk a little in the concrete. Third: drilling concrete is hard on the drill bits. It’s good to have extra on hand.

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I attached double sided window and door weather stripping to the aluminum L channel but left the paper backing on the other side. I filled in any remaining gaps with some outdoor rated silicon sealant.

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I am far from done with this project. I need to verify that water is not leaking into the duct. I need to have someone clean all the duct work so I have not completely sealed the duct to the aluminum L channel. I want to install some sort of concrete sealant to the duct once it’s cleaned out.

Finally, I want to build a better stand for the cooler. I envision a wheeled stand with a built-in jack so I can easily move the cooler around for maintenance and adjust its height without additional help.

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Weather In Rio Rancho: WInd

So much for using my days off to work on the yard. The weather went from warm and sunny to cold and windy. The weather forecast for Rio Rancho is more wind. It’s also not helping my allergies.

SOUTHWEST WINDS WILL DECREASE GRADUALLY THROUGH LATE EVENING… WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH CONTINUING PAST MIDNIGHT. STRONG WINDS WILL REDEVELOP SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT… AS WINDS SHIFT TO THE WEST AND INCREASE SPEED TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH. EXPECT STRONGEST WINDS OVER SUMMITS AND HILLTOPS… AND THROUGH GAPS AND PASSES. VISIBILITIES WILL BE LOCALLY POOR IN BLOWING DUST.

The Poorly Desgined Forced Air Heating Unit

Equipment Closet

The former owner of this house was a HVAC contractor who appeared to own their own business. I’m pretty sure about this because I have found their business related items around the house. Since the house was foreclosed on, i assume they went out of business. I have no idea if they installed the forced air heating unit in this house, but if they did I can see why they went out of business.

To start, the heater is a Frasier-Johnson brand, which doesn’t appear to be made anymore and when it was, it was a low end brand. This heater has a EnergyGuide rating of 80, and the lowest scale is 78. Pretty much the least efficient you can get. The main problem is with the filter configuration. Two filters sit in a “V” configuration above the heating unit, but there is no easy way to install the filters.

There is no access panel in the duct work to put them in. The only way I can figure to put the filters in is to push them up from inside the heating unit. I have to reach about 12 inches inside the heater, reach around motors, electronics and whatever where I’m left with about an inch of space to get the filters inside. From there they have to balance precariously on a few pieces of metal in the “V” configuration, where I can’t actually see how they are setting without getting down on my knees with a flashlight to look up inside the duct work. They aren’t sealed against the duct work and one of them keeps falling out of place leaving huge gaps.

I’m looking at possible ways to cut up the duct work above the heater so I can access the filter area. Doesn’t look easy though.

The Evil Plague Of Summertime Insects

camel cricket

Last year it started with spiders. Big scarry looking spiders. All harmless. Then I had Scorpions. 7 to be exact. I had big gaping holes between the door jamb and wall leading out to the garage. I filled those gaps with expanding foam. I also weather sealed the front door. I’ve had no further problems spiders or scorpions since then, but that was near the end of summer.

This summer I’ve only had a few spiders, nothing like last year and so far no scorpions. But I have had crickets and crickets and more crickets. My weapon of choice is the Dyson. For several nights in a row, I vacuumed up around 6 crickets at a time.

The thing about crickets, they seem to hang out where they came into the house. I was finding most of them coming from one area of the living room. After a few days, I started looking around and found a big crack between the fireplace and the wall. There were even crickets in it. I filled all the cracks around the fire place with expanding foam. This has blocked off the main cricket highway.

Now I’m finding a few in the hallway. I’m finding at least two a night under the refrigerator. The other thing about crickets is the male makes the chirping noise to attract the female. Whenever a male is chirping, there’s almost always a female nearby.