Michael's Message - "Warm" Thoughts
In recent weeks I have been approving invoices and signing some larger-than-usual checks in response to several urgent situations. I want to share with you, our members, about our latest big-ticket items.
Heating & Air Conditioning Obsolescence and Failure
Did you realize that our three oldest HVAC units were 27 years old? They were installed way back in 1993, the year after the senior center moved into our current building!
Over the Christmas / New Year break, while the Center and the office were closed, one of the compressors completely failed. On top of that, its electric breaker failed to “trip”, causing sparks, smoke and melting wires that blackened a small area on the wall just outside our main activity room. If our maintenance man, Duane, had not been here working on another project, there is no telling what would have happened!
To replace all three outdoor HVAC units, including their indoor furnace and air handler components, checks totaling $33,938 had to be issued. In addition, an entire electrical panel will be replaced.
The photo shows father and son, Bill and Ethan Mair, of Bill Mair Heating, one of our sponsors and advertisers. They are readying one of the new, more efficient units for installation. It took all three of us to heft these up into the attic!
The Old and the New
The old units used R22, or “Freon” refrigerant, and our new units use R104A. Here is info from Bodine Scott that weighed on our decision to go ahead and replace all three old units, instead of just the one that failed.
R22 Refrigerant — Caustic to humans and Ozone Layer
The US EPA began phasing out R22. “Freon”, due to research showing that this type of refrigerant has drastic effects on the ozone layer. R22 leakages are highly caustic and can cause ozone depletion. In 2010, it became illegal to manufacture new units that use R22. On Jan. 1, 2020, R22 became completely illegal. It will no longer be manufactured in the United States or imported.
What’s the New Refrigerant?
The replacement for R22 is R410A or “Puron”. This new type of refrigerant is what modern HVAC systems purchased since 2010 are designed to use. R410A differs from R22 in a number of ways. R22, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon, is one of the last ozone-depleting substances still commonly used. R410A is not a hydrochlorofluorocarbon. R410A is much better at absorbing and releasing heat. As a result, it’s much more efficient.
So, to sum it all up: We had an emergency and your board and I had to make quick good decisions for your safety and comfort. We have installed a new electrical panel and all new HVAC equipment that includes a warranty. We will be using the safer, better refrigerant, R410A, and will have lower electric bills. In addition, we will be “going green”, helping planet Earth, too!
Replenishing the Reserves
The only reason we could afford to write these big checks is that Shipley Center has reserves. For nonprofits, Reserves come from bequests, people — Leo Shipley — leaving us money in their wills. Reserves also come from donors who are living and who appreciate all of what Shipley Center does for them and their community. So, it is always a good time to build reserves for that rainy or cold day when you wake up with no heat … or, when any other un-budgeted expense comes along!
Your board and I are committed to making Shipley Center safer, warmer and more comfortable for you. We appreciate your current contributions and keeping your Center in mind when making out your will.
If you have any questions about the many ways you can make donations or leave Legacy Gifts to Shipley Center, feel free to contact me at your convenience.