As a blogger I should know better than to do a quick afternoon project and not take pictures of the “before and during process.” I’m going to post about this any way, because if you haven’t already, covering up an AC unit outside will boost your curb appeal like you wouldn’t believe, and it may even help the unit itself run more efficiently!
Last week we had a bit of a heart stopping moment when we went to turn the AC on and nothing happened. Now, if you’ve never looked at how expensive a new air conditioner is you wouldn’t understand the sick, punch in the gut we felt as we started to scramble trying to get this old beast to turn on!
A little back-story…This house was a foreclosure, so we knew nothing about it when we went with our realtor to check it out. Everything seemed fine when we drove up and toured it (including the AC). So, we signed on the dotted line and left it up to fate that the inspection wouldn’t show any problems, the house would be ours, and we’d live happily ever after…Ha! Oooh naive, young, first time homeowners… 😉
On inspection day…the AC unit (something you need desperately in FL) was dead. No matter what the guys did to turn it on, it wasn’t going to happen. We went back to the bank and gave them the “I’m gonna walk if you don’t do something” and they ended up giving us back a few bucks to put towards an AC unit which was so unusual since banks don’t normally care when it comes to selling foreclosures. We took it as a great sign from above…The house and all its flaws were ours.
A few months later we packed up our stuff and drove 3 hours north to our new home, and to the very familiar sounding hum of an AC unit. The beast came back to life! It was a moving day miracle!
We’ve lived here now going on three years in June. The unit has gone through three hot summers and just keeps cranking. It’s like “The Little Engine That Could”- literally because it is actually too small a unit for our house. Any Seinfeld fans here? Every summer I feel like Kramer when he’s test driving the car on E…I know we need a new AC, the day is coming, but let’s see how long this baby can last…Wooooohoooo!!!
So last week when we thought that this was it. It was time to put on our big boy and girl pants and hand over the cash for a new unit we called our tech out to take a look. He literally smacked it around, played with a few wires and bada bing, bada boom…The beast clicked back on, as my jaw hit the ground. So if this thing has such a strong desire to live, I might as well dress it up. I mean, we look at it 100+ times a day as we drive up our driveway since it sits right next to our garage.
These plastic privacy lattice screens were a yard sale find from last year, the bottom metal spikes were all bent so they couldn’t be stuck in the ground that way anymore, and the were dirty, but for $5 I took them home, and they sat leaning against the house for longer than I’d like to admit! A power wash, and some white spray paint made them almost as good as new, but I still needed a way to securely put them in the ground.
I picked up wooden pickets at Home Depot for a dollar a piece, and hit them into the ground with a rubber mallet. They’re in the ground about 8 inches deep, then I used zip ties to secure the screen to them. It was an inexpensive solution and has already survived a pretty bad storm, so I’m thinking they’ll hold up for a while!
Our AC tech actually mentioned that shading the unit actually helps it run more efficiently. You just need to make sure it still able to get enough air flow, which is why I placed it about 10 inches away.
I also picked up a few bags of river rocks while at Home Depot since I didn’t want to have to worry about the lawn guys knocking over my boot legged privacy screen. I figured the rocks would not only make the area pretty but they would act as a pretty good weed block barrier too, since weeds love growing around the unit!
To finish it off, some low growing Juniper and ornamental grasses softened the area, and added some much needed curb appeal to what was one of the ugliest spots in our yard. I can’t stop smiling every time I go outside now! What a huge improvement for barely any money and time!
I couldn’t be happier with the result, and I’m keeping my fingers that this unit hangs on for at least one more summer 😉
Do you have an appliance that just keeps hanging on to dear life like our AC? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below 🙂
Talk to you soon friends, take care!