Mar 2007

Proper ventilation at last

By: melev | Tags: | Comments: 0

Regarding Reefcast: The podcast is a hobby, and we do it as time permits. Evan's job devours Monday through Friday, and his weekends are pretty busy as well. Weekends are really the only time we can record, and DFWMAS (my club) has taken up many of them this year (planning and execution of our Next Wave conference, and now the complete rewrite of the club's bylaws). I just talked to him yesterday about how we recorded back on Feb 10th and on March 18th the show was still undone. We hope to get together this Saturday to wrap it up or at least let me download all the sound files to my external harddrive so I can produce them on my own time.

For the past few days, I've been tackling a couple of important projects. One was long overdue. I wanted to install a quiet vent fan in the ceiling to draw out heat and moist air from the fishroom. I've been eyeballing a couple of vents at Home Depot over the past year, and finally decided I just gotta get this done. In the summer, the room is drenched with condensation because the a/c doesn't cycle on its compressor since the temperature stays steady at 79F. I found one made by Broan (QTRGN110) on clearance for $75, so I bought it. It is very quiet at 1.3 Sones. The vent is located in the ceiling of the fishroom above the MH ballasts now.

Of course, to do this, I had to tarp off everything to keep the sheetrock dust out of the equipment and water. After locating the perfect spot that wouldn't hit any trusses, the hole was cut out. I made at least 12 trips into the attic to get this installed, wired to a new in-wall switch, and ducted out of the attic whirly bird about 6' away. Here are some pictures of the process.

This fan runs so silently, I can't even tell it is on. When climbing into the attic to test its wattage-usage, I thought I'd made some wiring mistake. Nope, it was working perfectly! It uses 77w of power, and the output makes the whirly bird spin even faster now. That should help this summer.

The other project was even more pressing. For some reason, the 2.5 yr old G.E. 8000 BTU a/c unit decided to blink 'E-1' at me. This is an error code, and the unit wouldn't turn on or do anything. I called G.E. for repair, but the cost was just going to be too much for a unit that originally cost $142. I tried to return it to the store, but they didn't want it either, so I shopped for a new one. I found a Samsung 8000 BTU unit for $167 with a 5 year warranty. What really makes me happy with the new one is the energy savings. The old unit used 800w of power, and was SEER rated at 9.8. The new one is rated at 10.8 and uses 600w of power. I had to modify the hole in the wall (you may have seen the hole in one of the pictures above) to accomodate the new size, as they never are built to the same dimensions.

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