Saturday, June 12, 2010

5 Minute Easy Set Up Instructions!

I supported our trade deficit while simultaneously supporting the American economy today. I feel so patriotic!

I replaced a portable air conditioner. The previous one died after about 4 seasons of use. Big surprise! Not!

I thought I'd share how miserably I failed the installation task though. It took me roughly 3x longer than I was told it would take.

1. Bring the unit near a window and install the included window bracket.

The bracket(s) actually came in 9 parts (5 being plastic rivets). There were a variety of permutations. The correct one depended on the size of the window opening. The instructions left that as a puzzle for the reader. Some permutations had too many holes. Some would have the holes in the wrong places. The bug screen could have been installed one of two ways. I had to look ahead to future steps to figure all of this out.

I solved the puzzle AND installed the window bracket in just under 5 minutes. Hurray! Unfortunately, that only left me roughly 30 seconds to do the rest of the installation, lol.

2. Attach the included exhaust hose to the back of the unit. Then connect the other end of the hose to the window outlet.

There were actually two hoses. I opted to install both. I was tempted not to of course, since I knew it would double my time, lol.

3. Insert the end of the hose that is now connected to the window outlet into the oval opening of the window bracket.

That required me to go back and redo step #1 (minus the puzzle solving time). There was no easy way to simply insert it into the window bracket. I had no leverage. It wanted to snap in place but it was MUCH easier to do this when the window bracket wasn't already installed into the window.

4. Be sure to have a 3-hole grounded outlet no more than 5 1/2 feet from the window, and plug in the unit.

The outlet was 6 feet away. I had to start from the very beginning again.

JOKE! I'm kidding of course. I actually thought to check the length of the cord before I started. Yes, miracles do happen, lol.

5. Turn the unit on and adjust the temperature for your desired comfort. See the user manual for further instruction on using the features and settings of the unit and remote control.

Okay! Unit on! Let's go read that instruction manual.

After transportation, wait at least 6 hours before switching the unit on.

Holy crap! I just broke the air conditioner!

JOKE! I'm kidding again. I actually chose to read the instruction manual before installing it. I did not turn the unit on in step 5.

And now for the last step in the easy set up instructions. It isn't numbered. I assume it is therefore an afterthought.

FOR OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE: The hose should be as close to the window as possible, without any kinks that could obstruct the flow of exhausted air thereby reducing cooling performance.

A bit late for that don't you think? I already installed all the hoses in steps 2 and 3.

And now for the main event. The instructions INSIDE the box say...

The unit should be transported in a vertical position. If this is not possible secure the unit at an angle, do not lie it horizontally.

Picture the OUTSIDE of the box. It is about 4' tall. Picture the cargo space of my friend's SUV. Picture the box's only warning.


That's not exactly a suitable warning based on what I'm reading INSIDE the box. Anyone could see which end was up. It's the side that makes the text on the box easy to read. There's no mention of needing to transport it at an angle if upright is not possible though.

Contrary to the 5 minute easy set up instructions, I've got about 4 more hours to wait before I can turn it on and see if it actually works.

Forehead. Desk. Whack. Whack. Whack.


AllanF said...

I'd wait 24 hrs. Or at least overnight.

I assume you got this from Costco? They'll take anything back. Did you pay for this or exchange your old one for its premature EOL.

Ya know, if you're going to stockpile something, portable air conditioners probably ain't such a bad thing. I reckon you have to use them some minimal amount to keep the internal seals lubricated.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I bought it yesterday. I got it to the top of my stairs at about 4:15pm my time (to sit in the upright position).

It was installed about 24 hours later, after removing it from the box and slowly moving it to its final destination (upright the entire time).

I was going to wait until 10:15pm to start it, but I figured 2 hours was probably plenty seeing as how I handled it like I was moving a carton of eggs, lol.

In any event, I started it up about 2 hours later. It seems to be working great so far. Whew!

Thanks for the advice though.

I paid for this one. It was $50 off at Costco. They also seem to be flying off the shelves. There were far fewer of them in stock yesterday. I got the 2nd to the last one. More will be coming in though of course.

It was sunny and warm here today. The bedroom was 76 when I turned it on. The timing worked out fairly well on that one.

In theory, it is a much nicer model than the one I bought about 5 years ago (I bought that one online). The second hose is for the heat pump I think. Not sure. It also cost a bit less (so it can draw air from outside if it is cooler outside).

I do like Costco's return policy. They got a Hoover vacuum back after just 6 months when it opted to die in a flash of light while simultaneously pumping out a plume of black smoke. Gotta love the new quality control standards. Sigh. But hey, maybe I shouldn't complain. It was like a 6 month of free vacuum cleaner rental. Bah.

Perhaps it isn't quite time to hoard these yet, seeing as how the ones that mount in the windows are much cheaper by comparison.

Stagflationary Mark said...

I added the "so it can draw air from outside if it is cooler outside" in the wrongs place. Oops. That most certainly did NOT make it cost less.

I'm pretty sure some sort of global competition on portable air conditioner prices is what did that!

Portable air conditioners are deflating while the materials and labor used to make them are inflating. Talk about a productivity miracle.

Got robot?

Stagflationary Mark said...

I need more sleep. Yesterday was a fun but long day. A friend and I played pinball for about 4-5 hours straight at the Seattle center. They had about 300 pinball machines and it was a trip down memory lane.

GawainsGhost said...

You live in Washington state, and you have an air conditioner?

Buddy, one day in the South Texas heat would kill you. I guarantee it is at least 30 degrees hotter on any given day.

It's even worse in these repos. No water, no electricity, no air conditioning. It's like walking into an oven. I'd say the temperature inside these houses is above 120. Try spending an hour in heat like that, taking pictures and notes, then we can talk. I did five houses yesterday, and it was brutal.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I had a coworker who lived in the Middle East part of his life. It was so hot that the bottoms of his sneakers melted as he crossed the paved street. That's a true story!

Seattle is JUST like that in the summer only 40 degrees cooler. That's right Mr. Texas Guy. I'm talkin' 97 degree heat waves of nearly sustainable misery!!! Hahaha! ;)

The bedroom is the hottest room in our house. It's the only room we cool. For years we lived without air conditioning but then we both decided to resist evolution and adapt nature to us, much like mad scientists might.

The Cool Room of Dr. Stagflationary Mark! Mwuhahaha!

Stagflationary Mark said...


From your link!

It would be the height of foolishness to load up on debt now, right?

All hail Caligula Maximus!