Portable Air Conditioner Awning Window HVAC #1: How it started

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Blog entry by DevinT posted 03-27-2021 01:04 AM 1080 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Portable Air Conditioner Awning Window HVAC series Part 2: We have lift off »

The title of “How It Started” is not-only for this project, but a first-blog entry as to how I started into woodworking. However, before I “go there,” briefly a short history.

My great-grandfather bought tools, handed them down to my grandfather, whom taught my father. I mostly do what my mother did, which is work in computers. However, I occasionally showed an interest in wood throughout the years whenever my dad was doing a project. There couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 projects to my name my whole life until …

I was ultimately forced to build something that has never existed before in the history of human-kind.

So I started to stack tools that were required to pull this feat of engineering off. Occasionally after learning a skill, I would start using that skill to start solving other problems around the house whilst working on the engineering feat. I started to discover that I liked it and thus, the 4th generation has been sucked into the craft.

It has really increased my communication with my Dad. We talk quite often now. He pulls out antique tools from the garage to share over video chats. This has become a treasured time between himself and I where we bond over woodwork. I’m also learning more about our family in the process which is exciting.

What was the engineering feat? The Series title may have given this away, but here goes …

I live in a Condominium, which brings with it certain restrictions imposed by a Home Owner’s Association setting rules for what can and cannot be modified with respect to the outward appearance of the units. I will save you the drudgery of imagining what such a life is like, it is actually not that bad. If I didn’t have a rule that said I couldn’t hang a window shaker outside of the building, I probably would not have gone all scientific-engineering on this task and created something that is altogether crafty, you must agree.

I have devised a way to exhaust a portable air conditioner unit out of an awning window in such a manner that nobody from the outside can see it. Hear? Perhaps—that is yet to be determined. Definitely not see, however, as that would be an HOA violation.

You see, our condominium was built in a rather cold part of the World. Or at least, it was a rather cold neighborhood of the globe when it was built, all the way back in the ancient days of 2005. In the short 16 years since our condominium was built, the weather has shifted and whereas we had never seen an 80(F) day in our town, we are now seeing last year (2020) had multiple days in the 90’s.

So the fact that our home was built without central air conditioning and the ductwork cannot support it without being replaced, has recently become an issue. We are precluded from replacing the ductwork because of PUD rules for who owns what in a Condominium situation, and so that leaves us with, you guessed it:

Portable Air Conditioners.

However, the design of our home was interesting to say the least.

3-stories? Yes.
Open stairs between floors 2 and 3? Yes.
Traditional windows? Hah, no.

So basically as the weather started to get hotter, it was hard to escape. Give up? Sell? Move? Nope, let’s try going full-tilt and try to engineer our way out of this problem.

Thus begins the story of not-only this series on how I am working-on (and am fairly far-into) solving this problem with beautiful wood as the conduit to salvation from heat death.

We’re going to build a floating shelf on the wall to bridge against an awning window to direct the supply/return of a dual-host portable A/C unit. It’s a challenge and I’m mostly done with it and I’d like to blog about the journey and path taken.

... and that’s how this all started.

-- Devin, SF, CA

2 comments so far

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1362 posts in 2797 days

#1 posted 03-27-2021 10:22 AM

Interesting dilemma – and a potential clewer solution. Looking forward to follow along

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View pottz's profile


16899 posts in 2068 days

#2 posted 03-28-2021 05:02 AM

your amazing me,your like a breath of fresh air here.ive gotta follow and see where you take definitely have more energy than i do-lol.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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