Erickson Golden Manor is more than simply an apartment building in Creston for low-income seniors. It’s a home, where residents frequently visit each others’ rooms or gather in the social room to play cards or work on a jigsaw puzzle.
And for the first summer in years, it’s quiet. In the past, the building has been a noisy place on hot days—particularly during the 2017 heat wave—because the old air conditioners droned and rattled as they strained to cool the air.
Not so any longer. A grant from the Trust’s Energy Retrofit Program made some significant upgrades possible. This included replacing the 25-year-old “window shaker” units in each apartment with heat pumps, which can both heat and cool the air—an alternative that is expected to help tenants save on their utility bills.
“Honestly, those window shakers just didn’t cut it,” says Irene Walker, Chair of the Erickson Golden Agers Association, which operates the building.
“Our tenants were suffering from the heat. This summer, they welcomed the heat. It was a totally different summer for them.”
Climate control will be easier in the winter, too, with those same efficient heat pumps replacing the baseboard heaters in each apartment’s living room, which will reduce utility bills and increase comfort.
“What a blessing for them,” says Walker. “If they want heat, all they have to do is go to the unit on the wall and they’ve got heat coming in.”