The long-awaited upgrade in the Middlesex County Museum’s HVAC system took place in Oct 2022. The new unit is a Carrier Infinity – 3 Ton 20 SEER residential Variable Speed Heat Pump Condensing Unit with Greenspeed Intelligence with a variable-speed fan coil. It was partnered with a Large Fan Powered Humidifier and an Infinity System Control Thermostat.
This was made possible by a generous grant from the River Counties Community Foundation which was awarded earlier this year.
“This grant was used to support this much needed new HVAC/Dehumidifier and Upgrades for the main museum building,” says museum director Holly Horton. “The old unit was installed in 1994 and was struggling to keep up with our museum’s needs.”
“Being that summers on the middle peninsula are hot and humid, keeping the museum at a constant temperature and humidity level is an ongoing issue. We have been running fans and small dehumidifier units for the past five years, but they were not meeting the long-term problem,” says Horton. “This grant was a godsend and a great help to the future of our collection.”
The Middlesex County Museum and Historical Society maintains over three thousand items in the collection and most are acquired through the general public. Printed materials such as books, journals, newspapers, organizational records, personal papers, family history materials, sheet music, broadsides, maps, and photographs. Personal objects such as clothing, jewelry, textiles, instruments and furniture. They require specialized care for optimal preservation, whether they are on exhibit display or in acidic-free, climate-controlled storage.
Dust, light and humidity can be dangerous to culturally historical objects as they age into the future. Improper care can have negative effects on their preservation. The Smithsonian Institution states, “Long term artifact preservation and storage is…important in order to ensure that…artifacts can remain a tangible, visible part of history for years to come… to be kept for the benefit of future generations.”
“This new HVAC Unit and Dehumidifier purchased with the grant from the River Counties Community Foundation will help to maintain the cultural vibrancy of what the museum hosts under our roof and allow us to have a greater impact on the community at large,” says Horton.
The Middlesex County Museum and Historical Society is devoted to fostering the procurement, care, study, and display of objects that are of lasting interest and value to the history and culture of Middlesex County. In addition, the Museum strives to enhance and further the education of members of the community of their history and heritage.
Horton continues, “As a cultural institution, our museum enhances people’s lives and creates a special experience outside of the normal realm of boating, swimming, waterskiing, picnicking and fishing that a lot of county visitors encounter when visiting Middlesex.”