ROCHESTER, NY — The cost to replace 114 20-year-old McQuay Type K Incremental® room conditioners at a senior care facility here could have left facility managers quite cold.

Replacing the units with newer packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs) could have brought Park Ridge Senior Care a substantial expense to resize the existing nonstandard wall sleeves to the standard 16- by 42-in. dimensions. However, management quickly warmed up to the idea of installing replacement units in the exact sleeve size they needed and made with the same institutional-grade design and construction of the originals.

The new Incremental units, made to the exact dimensions of the original units, would slide into the existing space, eliminating the need to resize, while providing a long life cycle and cost-efficient operation, according to Bill Gauthier of Modular Comfort Systems, Camillus, NY.

“We did a side-by-side cost analysis,” said Gauthier. “We compared the cost to directly replace the units, including life cycle cost and servicing, with the cost to modify the sleeves and replace them with units with a shorter life cycle.

“Even though the owner’s first cost would have been less, he decided it was too much to sacrifice by opening the wall up and installing a unit that would not last as long as the Type K Incremental unit.


“In addition to cost competitiveness, the facility staff was looking for reliability and longevity,” Gauthier said. “They wanted the new units to last as long, or longer, than the original ones, and with the same kind of reliability they were used to.”

Incremental units provide on-demand, zoned comfort control.
Park Ridge Senior Care, a member of the Unity Health System, includes independent housing and assisted living for adults over 62. Facility managers needed a self-contained heating and air conditioning system that provides on-demand, zoned comfort control that is also flexible enough to respond to the varying needs of the residents. Furthermore, the system had to provide optimal indoor air quality (IAQ) to a group especially susceptible to respiratory ailments. “Plus, they wanted a system that didn’t require much attention from the staff,” said Gauthier. “They were relieved that we could set them up with an annual service program that freed them from worrying about servicing and repairing the equipment.”

Park Ridge Senior Care saved on the replacement of room conditioners with nonstandard wall sleeves by installing Incremental units.


The new units differ from conventional PTACs in that their heating and cooling chassis are separate. This allows the units to be installed in “increments” to spread out the facility’s equipment investment (e.g., install heating in the fall and cooling in the summer).

Park Ridge is currently replacing the heating chassis in its units, and over the next two years will install the cooling chassis.

The institutional-grade construction of the Incremental unit includes centrifugal fans designed to provide quieter operation. The heating section features an option for electric resistance or hydronic (steam or hot water) heat, and the cooling chassis features a rotary compressor built for efficient, reliable operation that is also vibration isolated for quieter performance. Cooling capacities range from 6,800 to 20,000 Btuh.

The electromechanical controls are said to be easy for staff and residents to read and operate, and their durable construction minimizes servicing.

To address IAQ concerns, a motorized air damper brings in outdoor air when the unit is operating. When the unit is idle, the damper closes to prevent drafts. In addition, a dry pan minimizes condensate.

As a facility in a regulated industry, Park Ridge is required to provide hvac units with emergency standby power for both heating and cooling in the event of a power outage.

“To help Park Ridge comply, we worked with the McQuay factory to have the standby power built into each comfort conditioner at the factory,” said Gauthier. “This further simplified installation and reduced costs for the senior care center.”

Known for its attractive surroundings, Park Ridge Senior Care is dedicated to providing premium living conditions for its residents. Installing the new comfort conditioners is a continuation of their commitment to comfort.

For more information, call 800-432-1342 or visit (website).

Publication date: 06/10/2002