This past weekend, it was time to bring up our air conditioners from the basement and get them set up. Both of us used to have to carry three units up, one by one, with someone getting stuck doing the awkward backwards walk up the six steps from the basement out the side door, then around to the front of the house and up seven more steps.
A couple of years ago I happened to discover that my next-door neighbor had a hand truck with pneumatic tires, something I didn't know existed until then. I borrowed it and was able to bring up the ACs by myself; the larger diameter of the wheels and tires allows them to traverse steps much more easily, and the air-filled tires eliminate the banging from step to step that happens with regular wheels.
Last year the tires were not filled and it made the task somewhat more difficult. A few weeks ago I saw my neighbor, and he mentioned to me that the tires were flat. I remembered that I had a floor pump for filling bicycle tires (something that had totally slipped my mind last year) and I asked if the hand truck's tires could be filled that way. He said yes, and I offered to bring over the pump. On Sunday when I was going to do this (so I could then borrow the hand truck), he was not around.
The Mrs. had twisted her ankle earlier in the week and I didn't think she would be able to help me, so I decided maybe it was worth it to get our own hand truck. There is a store down the street from us called Harbor Freight that sells tools and equipment. Several of their hand trucks were on sale, and there was a coupon in the Sunday paper for an additional 20% off, so we went down there and got one for $30.
Additionally, we had the ramp made for the dog back during the winter, and I reasoned that I could make use of it for this task. Getting each unit up the ramp on the hand truck was more difficult than I would have thought, but it was still easier than pulling the load up the steps one at a time.
We were going to see if we could put off needing the ACs, and it hasn't been that warm yet, but the plasma TV throws off quite a lot of heat in a small room, and after a certain point it becomes too warm to watch TV for more than 15 or 20 minutes. And there's our dog's comfort to consider as well. So we've only needed them a couple of nights since we put them in, but they are ready for when it gets really warm and humid.