Saturday, November 24, 2012

Old Air Ducts Creating New Problems

Since Aaron and I moved into our house at the beginning of October we've put a lot of our house 'To Dos' on hold.  There are so many little things that need to be done, and big things too.  Though lately I've had pets on my mind, which is helping motivate me to get some of these house chores done.  When we were sanding the floors, and painting the walls we had taken off all the register vents.  The old vents were really gross, so we never put them back on.   Leaving lots of gaping holes, that a cute kitten could fall into.  Which moved this chore to the top of my To Do List. 

I had put off replacing them because I had a feeling that it wouldn't be as easy as one would guess.  Since our house is older the vents that came with the house are no longer manufactured.  On my first try to replace them I brought an old vent to the hardware store to find as close of a match as possible.  I thought I had done pretty good, but as soon as I opened the first one I knew it wasn't going to work.  The major problem is that vents made nowadays have an outside measurement and an inside measurement.  When I try to insert them in our air duct openings the wide border keeps them from lining up.  So even though I measured the opening correctly, and bought the right size, they don't fit because our opening is flush to the floor, and doesn't have a border like the new registers.   

Today I decided to try something a little unconventional.  The four air duct openings that I'm most concern about covering are in rooms we would never have the need to close the adjustable dampers on them.  So just to get them covered, without spending an arm and a leg on a vintage register vent, I opted for grill covers.  They don't have dampers, which makes them mostly flat on the back.  I began by making sure the openings were flush with the wall.  On one of our air duct openings the metal was sticking out about a quarter inch, so I had to trim back the metal with a pair of tin snips.  

I started by cutting a triangle shape out, so I could cut down the side, and across the top.  

Once all the metal was trimmed down I checked to make sure the grill would be able to lay flush against the wall.  

Then I got out my handy battery operated drill.  

I used a drill bit that was a tiny (5/64) diameter, so it would create a path for the screws to go, without removing too much, so there would still be something for the screw to grab on to.  

Then I attempted to screw the screw in.  Which went perfectly well for the first two, but on the third grill the screws weren't able to grab on to anything, and I wasn't able to secure it to the wall.  So I checked out the last opening, and it looks like it will give me the same trouble.  I'll have to come up with some other solution for them. 

But, hey, at least I got two of the gaping holes covered!  This is what one of the freshly installed grills looks like.  

Hope ya'll are having a great day, and happy DIYing!