Why did the POA need to buy a new HVAC unit at Duffers’ Tavern?

During the renovation of Duffer’s Tavern, the plumbers on the job (T&J Plumbing & Heating, DuBois, PA) identified major concerns with the electric HVAC system in the building.  First, these types of units are usually never installed north of Maryland because they are less efficient in this climate and draw entirely too much electricity during the winter months.  Secondly, the units were overloading our electric panels due to resistance heat.  At that time, I asked for a quote for a new natural gas HVAC system so that we could compare with other quotes and consider our options.  Since the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) of the building was not in the scope of the Duffer’s renovations, if any upgrades were to be considered, I knew that the POA would be responsible for the decision and payment for the purchase.

I then pulled pulled 12 months of electric bills for the facility and found that the electric HVAC system was an absolute drain on our electric draw for the building, averaging almost $1,400/mo during the last year with the peak draw in the winter months while the inefficient heating elements of the unit were running.

The quote of $11,280 from T&J Plumbing & Heating was the most competitive of the quotes that I compared.  Additionally, the unit was in stock in DuBois and could be installed immediately, still prior to the Duffer’s renovation deadline which would prevent the restaurant from being closed at a later date after the opening which would have been a disruption to property owners attempting to enjoy the new restaurant.

Given the shape of the existing inefficient electric unit, the electric draw and safety concerns, coupled with the high efficiency of a low-cost natural gas unit, I proposed to the Board during the April 16th Executive Session of the Board that we purchase the natural gas unit and install prior to the completion of the Duffer’s renovations.  Due to the renovation project timeline and the urgency of the decision, The Board voted and approved of the purchase during the Executive Session, to be later ratified during the April 23rd Board meeting where the issue was further detailed to the property owners.

I will be monitoring the electric and natural gas invoices to confirm our estimations for the return on investment (ROI) as well as ensure that regularly scheduled maintenance occurs as planned.  After just a few short years, the new unit will save the POA money and if you are thinking strategically, a short ROI is exactly what we needed.

I am confident that this was the right decision at the right time and hope that you find it to be the same.

Ed Clark, General Manager