Exhausting exhaust.

For the longest time I have been unhappy with the temperature in the garage/studio/mancave.
Its just too hot and stuffy.
Super glad that I took Dans advice from the first time he was over and we were just moving in, insulating the garage door was just the best idea… If can ever get an infra-red photo of the back of the door, I would love to get that shot… You can feel the heat from the door ribs that are not insulated. At times in the summer they are uncomfortable to touch, where as the foam is just warm to the touch.
(As an aside, Dan always talked about ‘grey beams’, those areas of the house that you cant insulate, like the ribs in my door or the joists in a house. I never thought they would add up to enough to worry about… I now see..err…feel his point. Yeah, they are a worry and big enough to consider!)

I think the main problem is that its pretty well sealed and so gets pretty stuffy. That and we have two fridges in there as well as the gas hot water service… so there is a fair bit of heat generation going on and not a lot of heat getting out.

All this came to a head in two ways.
1. We had a bit of a 4-6 week heat wave. Every day over 30°C most days over 35°C and all without the usual evening cooling sea breeze that Temecula is well known for.
2. I had a photo shoot in two weeks with 5 people and the last time I had a shoot with 2 people they were so hot and their faces so shiny that it was hard to get any usable photos.

I had to cool the place down.

Freddy and I talked about it and neither of us was really up for the expense of putting an air con in the garage. I mean that would be the best solution for sure. Buy a window mounted one and put a window sized hole in and mount it to that.
Be best to get one that heats as well as cools…. thing is, neither of us felt comfortable spending that sort of money, and once you turn it on, you take a real hit on the power bill.
The last thing was that its not very often you want the garage cool and not the rest of the house.

The other thing we were finding was that it was hot in the upstairs bedrooms.
Nothing to do with the garage sure, but my point is we had two pressure points, not just one.
The bedrooms were like being in an oven. The ceiling fans did not really help much, all they did was drag the hot air off the roof and blow it down onto the bed. Even in the mornings I could put my hand on the bedroom roof and it was still warm!!!!!

So, after talking about it and doing some reading, we decided to go for two exhaust fans. One in the studio and one in the attic/roof space.
Since I had the photo shoot coming up fast, I chose to do the studio one first.

It all looked pretty straight forward. Just drill a hole in each corner of where the vent would mount. Cut between the holes. Mount the vent. Mount the fan to a slab of wood behind the vent. Plug her in and you are done.
How hard can it be…….. America had yet another trick up her sleeve to baffle this Aussie’s exhaust air fan plans…..

From the inside everything was going pretty smooth. The stud finder is not the best, so I ended up with a hole on the wrong side of the stud, but that’s ok, the fan plate will cover it. (My Dad taught me well, if you make the hole too big, just cover it as if it was all part of the plan).
They dont call it plaster here, they call it dry wall, and its a structural part of the house, the stupid stuff is about an inch thick!!!!!!
Super messy every time you get near it. I have no idea why it needs to be that thick!

Anyway, after cutting said hole, I found out why the garage is warmer than the house…. no insulation in the walls…. Cheep sods! (I wonder how much it would cost to cut holes in all the walls between the joists and blow in some insulation and then spackle up the holes and touch them up with paint?)

Then we get to the outside….. I sort of knew that they put some sort of tough stuff on the outside of the house… I found that out at the rental house when I had to put in a cup hook to hold a cable…..
But wow, was I under prepared for the toughness or thickness of removing a slab of the stuff!!!!

I stuffed two hole saw drills getting the four corners in and that should have been a bit of a warning….. I got the angle grinder out and using a metal cutting blade tried to get between two of the holes. Yeah. That lasted about 28 seconds.
Down off the ladder and off to Home Depo I go to get some masonry cutting disks…..
By this time the sun is getting its way across the house and onto the wall I am working on, thankfully Freddy loves the giant bird of paradise plants that are there and so I have some shade.
The new cutting disks are working much better, but my little battery operated grinder is doing it hard. The batteries even more so.
In only about 15 minutes I have flattened all the packs I have and they are hot. Really hot. I have got all three rechargers on the go at once and am trying to only recharge them once they have cooled down a bit, but have to press on and get the job done. Its already gone hours longer than I expected.

Now and then as I am cutting the cement, I get a shower of sparks, I cant really figure it out until I get the slab moved off the wall a bit….

Of course, it all makes sense. They have wrapped the entire house in the toughest chicken wire I have ever seen before they spray the whole thing with cement!
Oh Joy!

Anyway, once we cut, smashed and snipped out way out of all that, we were able to mount the gravity operated vent and thus finish up the job.

Here is the gravity vent with the fan off.
Yeah nah, no screws holding that sucker on… I got sick of drilling holes in that cement, so I just used a heap of silicon on the back of it, trust me, it aint moving or leaking!

We have an exhaust fan in the garage.
So long hot grumpy story over?

I would love to say that really is the end of the end of the story, but there is a twist that would take a few days to play out……
One that involved a few cold showers and a dog pretending to be in a car with the windows down……