HVAC Updates

November 3, 2023

submitted by Al Brunsting

It was announced in worship on Sunday, July 16, 2023, the church’s boiler system has catastrophically failed, leaving us without that heat, going into the cold season. About 40% of the total church building was heated with our boiler. Two committees were formed to deal with this issue: (1) Identify and develop a multi-year, long term solution to replace our boiler and (2) quickly identify and develop a solution to adequately heat our building during the upcoming winter.

This summary focuses on #2 and much more immediate issue. The goal is to provide enough heat in our building so that plumbing is not damaged, the fire sprinklers are not damaged, and our building can still be used as much as possible. The people on this committee are Nate Burke, Hunter Henderson, Jim McCloud, and Al Brunsting. Observers are Pastor Jacob Tipantasig-Wolverton and Rich Fleming. The approved total budget is $20,000 and our church has enough cash on-hand so that a special financial appeal is not necessary.

The plan is to rent a temporary heater, typically used for inside construction projects during the winter. This heater must have enough heating capacity to warm those spaces previously heated by our boiler and keep our building safe. The energy source will come from natural gas already connected to our building and sufficient for our application here. Outside air will be drawn into the temporary heater, heated, and distributed to spaces in our building that need warm air. To verify that this is being done Wi-Fi temperature sensors will be used to especially monitor those spaces of concern.

We will be following Naperville building codes with our currently issued permit. Safety for people and our building is the highest concern. We have safe oil-filled space heaters for those areas that may be particularly challenging. Fans and ducts will be used to move warm air to where it is needed.

On Oct. 31 our temporary heater was delivered and located onto our stage, the most ideal location. (See photo.) This is a major milestone. In the near future it will be connected to electricity and natural gas and turned on. Other components will be added and adjusted, based on readings from our temperature sensors. During the upcoming cold weather our building temperature will be continuously monitored and subsequent modifications will probably be made.

At this point all indications are that we will get through the upcoming cold weather while meeting our goals. The next challenge is the long-term solution.