Ask This Old House

Find more information on Ask This Old House episodes, or more information on products and services you saw on Ask This Old House.

Ask This Old House does not endorse any product or service mentioned within this Web site.

Season 4 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 4"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #426


Original Air Date: Week of April 1, 2006

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey visits a homeowner in Kansas to help install a mini-split air conditioning system. Then, Richard, along with general contractor Tom Silva, landscaping contractor Roger Cook, and host Kevin O'Connor ask, "What is it?" Then, Roger helps a homeowner "wake up the lawn" in preparation for spring by using a de-thatching machine.

Installing a mini-split air conditioning system
Richard heads to Kansas to help a pair of homeowners install an air-conditioning system. The main house has central air-conditioning but the system cannot be expanded to cool a recently-built addition. So, Richard recommends a "mini-split" air conditioner that doesn't require any ductwork and will operate independently of the home's main HVAC system. The mini-split system consists of two main components, a condenser/compressor unit that is located on the outside of the house, and an air-handler unit on the inside. This system is quieter than a window air-conditioner because the noisiest parts of the system are located on the outside of the house.

Where to Find It
Richard installed a "Mr. Slim" mini-split air conditioning system manufactured by:
Mitsubishi HVAC
800-433-4822

Installation assistance was provided by:

C.M. Mose & Son Heating & Cooling
816-781-4707

What is it?
The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking object.

Where to Find It
Roger showed a strobe light used for evicting squirrels and raccoons from attics and crawlspaces.

Squirrel Evictor
215-362-8205

De-thatching a lawn
TRoger visits a homeowner to help him prepare his lawn for spring. Roger recommends removing a built-up layer of organic material on the surface of the lawn called "thatch." Thatch can be removed with a hand tool called a "thatch rake," but this process can be time consuming. Roger recommends using a gasoline-powered "de-thatcher," also known as a "power rake." It has a series of spinning blades that quickly break up and loosen the thatch layer. The organic material on the surface of the lawn can then easily be raked up and removed. De-thatching also loosens the top layer of soil, so Roger recommends adding grass seed to any bare spots to help the lawn thicken.

Where to Find It
De-thatching machines (also called "power rakes") are available for rental at your local home center or rental center.
Episode #425
Cutting ceramic and stone tile, installing a sump pump … more
Episode #424
Replacing an old dishwasher, what is it?, sharpening a wood chisel, using lawn spreaders… more
Episode #423
Replacing an interior "hollow-core" door with a new "solid-core" door, repairing a leaky kitchen faucet… more
Episode #422
Repairing stripped threads on a cast-iron radiator, fixing a grading problem, what is it?, stabilizing a wobbly newel post, refinishing an old cast-iron bathtub… more
Episode #421
Installing an instantaneous water heater, planting trees to save energy, installing cellulose insulation … more
Episode #420
Installing a granite driveway marker, what is it, repairing a hot water radiator system … more
Episode #419
Building a custom radiator cover, installing a steam humidifier in a forced-air heating system … more
Episode #418
Transplanting a white spruce tree, what is it?, extending a staircase handrail … more
Episode #417
Repairing a residential well, repairing a hole in vinyl siding … more
Episode #416
Choosing and using hammers, repairing a pressure-assisted toilet, repairing a plastered wall … more
Episode #415
Installing a low cost in-ground sprinkler system, what is it?, pouring a concrete footing for a deck … more
Episode #414
Installing a radon mitigation system, pruning an apple tree for fruit production… more
Episode #413
Installing a new vinyl floor, what is it?, preventing frozen pipes… more
Episode #412
Washing windows like a pro, what is it?, flushing an electric water heater… more
Episode #411
Snowthrowers, what is it?, where to find it… more
Episode #410
Pruning an overgrown privet hedge, installing a new basement laundry sink … more
Episode #409
Viewer tips, re-shingling a garage roof using asphalt-fiberglass shingles… more
Episode #408
Circular saw 101, what is it?, installing a new outdoor faucet using PEX, cabling an oak tree to prevent splitting… more
Episode #407
Removing and preventing moss, algae and lichen from a roof, what is it?, repairing a leaky water valve, planting shade-tolerant ground cover under a European Beech tree … more
Episode #406
Building a raised garden bed with landscape timbers, clearing a bathtub drain. … more
Episode #405
Caring for a rose bush, how to steady a wobbly toilet, plugging a basement water leak using hydraulic cement.… more
Episode #404
Repairing a flat wheelbarrow tire, repairing an aluminum rain gutter, viewer tips, installing a thermal expansion tank … more
Episode #403
Installing an under-sink water filter, planting a drought-resistant tree.… more
Episode #402
Quieting creaky stairs, static cling solution, and installing an electric shut-off valve for a washing machine … more
Episode #401
Repairing a mortared stone walkway, patching an oak floor… more