Thanks to the generosity of donors, a new heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system has been installed for the fourteen offices located on the south end of the third floor. Until late November, these offices for clergy and other staff have had natural gas-based radiator heating, no air conditioning, and no fresh air input unless office windows were opened. The new HVAC system uses a high-efficiency, all-electric heat pump and includes an energy recovery ventilation system.
In summer, even after upgraded windows were installed earlier this decade, temperatures in many of these south- and west-facing office skyrocketed on hot afternoons. In addition, the controls for the radiator heating were problematic, resulting in some offices being significantly warmer than others in winter. The past two capital campaigns included money for upgrades to this HVAC system, but these were deferred when other priorities took precedence. Additional donations have made these upgrades possible.
The new system meets all of the requirements of the City of Seattle mechanical and energy conservation codes. Each office now receives a continuous supply of filtered fresh air. Energy in the air exhausted from the offices is transferred into the fresh air supply using an air-to-air heat exchanger. The temperature in each office is controlled individually via a wall-mounted programmable thermostat. The new system has the capability for some offices to be heated while other offices are being cooled. All of these features improve office temperature control and air quality, hopefully leading to happier and healthier office inhabitants.
Additionally, the new HVAC system will help reduce the church’s carbon footprint. The energy from the natural gas consumed by the old HVAC system’s boiler has been replaced by electrical energy sourced from Seattle City Light, one of the greenest electric utilities in the world. Since heat pump systems harvest ‘free’ energy from the air, the overall efficiency of the new HVAC system is quite high.
Thanks again to the bighearted donors that made the installation of this new HVAC system possible.
by Bill Vanderwilt, Facilities and Equipment Committee