2020, in its ongoing theme of unpredictability, has thrown us yet another curve ball.

The heat pump at the Mazama Mountaineering Center failed. The heat pump provides the heating, cooling, and air circulation for the main (except the auditorium) and upper floors  of the building. 

For those of you who have spent much time at the MMC, you are well aware of the inadequacies of the current system. In the middle of winter you find yourself scrambling to turn on the AC in order to keep the meeting room upstairs cooler than a sauna, while the folks downstairs need space heaters to keep from freezing. In the summer the AC needs to be set low to cool the upstairs, causing those on the main level to need a jacket. Our current system is also oversized for our space, which means it “short-cycles” where it turns on and off frequently. What all of that adds up to is an inefficient and poorly designed system. 

At the Mazamas, one of our core commitments is to be good stewards of our environment. In the replacement of our HVAC system we can make the choice that is in line with our environmental ethics and has the added benefit of providing us with a better system to meet our heating, cooling, and air circulation needs.

The solution we have decided on is a split system consisting of two residential units that would heat/cool the upstairs and downstairs independently. The two unit system was dreamed up by Mazama volunteer Jeff Hawkins, who was also the intrepid driver behind the MMC’s solar panels. This split system is an ideal solution for the MMC. It would allow us to heat and cool sections of the building only when they are in use, and it should eliminate our need to run the AC in the middle of winter. Moving into the residential classification also enables us to purchase high efficiency units that are more environmentally friendly, saving energy. Because the units would be right-sized for our space, they should function more evenly, improve comfort and improve longevity of the equipment. And, importantly, the new system also includes an ultraviolet air purifier to clean the circulating air. As we welcome people back inside the MMC this will ensure that we are all breathing clean, healthy air. 

The only downside to moving in this direction is cost. But sometimes doing the right thing costs a bit more.

We need to have a new system installed right away. It will be cold soon and we need the ability to circulate air in the building to begin reopening. The $28,500 to purchase and install the new, energy efficient system is an unplanned expense. Jeff is demonstrating his commitment to this important project by graciously matching any donation made, up to $5,000. If 100 members donated $250, that would cover the cost of reducing our environmental impact and would dramatically improve the comfort at the MMC. Can you help us today?

Please note that funds donated in excess of the installation costs would be designated to pay for other energy efficiency projects at the MMC or at Mazama Lodge.