Universal isn’t exactly that

We’ve been going through a ‘hot snap’ here, and usually around this time of year is when I install the air conditioners. Over the winter, the wife and I had discussed ways of making the air conditioner upstairs a little more secure in its installation and decided to try using a brace for support. Unfortunately, we forgot to take into account the fact that we live in a decidedly square peg in a round hole.

Houses that were built in the 19th century are notorious for being rather finicky when it comes to modifications. They don’t really fit the ‘cookie cutter’ dimensions that their mid to late 20th century counterparts enjoy. That’s especially true when one purchases a universal mount that claims to ‘fit all manner of window treatments’. It ain’t so, bub…it just ain’t so.

We had the mount shipped in via Amazon, after looking over various manufacturers, oddly enough, they all seemed to have one thing in common; they’re made of metal, and they have a distinct shape.  What they don’t seem to have is versatility.  Upon receiving it, I opened the package and did a dry run without looking at the window in question.  It seemed pretty straightforward.  Measure twice, drill thrice, install..bing bam boom, easy peasy.

Um, no.  Not even close.

Suffice it to say, after 2 hours of messing around with the thing, having to charge my 12 volt cordless drill twice, and still having to torque a screw in by hand, it didn’t work.  The window sill in our house is too long, and extends too far out from the window to accommodate the brace.  The best thing I could do was remove the lower bracing piece and support it using scrap boards I had in the basement.  But I couldn’t get the other two screws drilled in, because of the lack of power in the drill.  I finally gave up and installed the AC the way it has been for the last 8 years.

Though I’m going to revisit the issue on a day when it’s not 90°+ inside and out.