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Case Studies

Dec 27, 2023 1:43:10 PM by Lauren Mangano

High-Velocity Done Right: System Replacement for Milestone Behavioral Health in Yardley, Pa

PROBLEM: Upon moving into their new office in one of Yardley's historic buildings, Milestone Behavioral Health encountered problems with their air conditioning system. The existing high-velocity system was installed improperly, with several shortcuts leading to uneven airflow and overall discomfort.

SOLUTION: ECI Comfort expertly installed two high-velocity systems. This involved upgrading the trunk from seven inches to nine inches, adding 10 outlets, and adding insulation. As a result, the system now operates quietly, provides even cooling, and significantly improves dehumidification throughout the entire building.


Milestone Behavioral Health in Yardley, PAA few months back, the office of Milestone Behavioral Health in Yardley, Pennsylvania contacted us to replace their central air system. Due to the incorrect installation of a high-velocity system by a previous contractor, the office staff faced persistent discomfort throughout their building. Not only were our current customers dealing with this, but the previous owners had also been plagued by the same issues for the past 17 years since the system was installed. This was also an issue since the office would be opening up soon and welcoming clients.

This project held a special significance for ECI on multiple levels. First and foremost, we recognized the importance of the work being done by the dedicated staff at Milestone Behavioral Health. Our goal was to create a comfortable and inviting environment for everyone who sets foot in their building. Additionally, we understood that investing in a high-velocity system is no small decision, and we were determined to get it right this time. When properly installed, these systems offer unparalleled efficiency in airflow and humidity control, all while operating silently. Furthermore, the historical significance of the Yardley property, once known as the Tavern of Jesse Palmer, made this project even more special. We recognized the value that high-velocity systems bring to older, historic buildings like this one, as their unique design seamlessly maintains the charm and integrity of the structure.What Makes High Velocity Unique

Check out part 1 of our video series on this project on YouTube.

Historic Yardley, Pennsylvania

Situated near the scenic Delaware River, the town of Yardley dates back to the late 1660s. The story begins in England, where a young William Penn became fascinated by the teachings of human equality promoted by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He passionately advocated for human rights and found himself imprisoned, along with his fellow Quakers, for rebelling against the King and the Church of England. This was a source of disappointment for William Penn's father, an honored Admiral in the British Navy. Unfortunately, the Admiral passed away before the King could repay his significant debt.

As a form of repayment, King Charles II granted 45,000 square miles of land in North America along the Delaware River to William Penn, who initially wanted to name it "Sylvania," which means "Woods" in Latin. However, King Charles II insisted on naming the land in honor of Penn's father, resulting in the "Province of Pennsylvania." William Penn saw this as an opportunity to create a new city that would be unlike any in Europe, where people could be governed by their peers and worship freely.  In 1681, William Penn arrived to survey his new property, while William Yardley and his family arrived in 1682. Yardley purchased 500 acres from Penn and established his homestead on what is now known as Dolington Road, approximately a mile from the present-day town of Yardley.

What is Milestone Behavioral Health?

Milestone Behavioral Health (MBH) transforms the lives of young people by providing individual treatment plans, outpatient therapy, and medication management. Through their unique therapeutic programs, Milestone helps children and their families across all settings such as school, community, and in the home. The center specializes in helping children who struggle with ADD/ADHD, depression, compliance, anxiety issues, coping mechanisms, social skills, behavioral difficulties, mood dysregulation, trauma, and grief. 

We know that creating a nice place to work as well as a calming, welcoming environment cannot be complete without comfort; that's why we made it our mission to provide the true benefits of a high-velocity system.

We also love to see that MBH understands the individuality of each child and tailors their approach accordingly. At ECI, we share the same philosophy, recognizing that every home or property is unique and requires a customized solution. There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to creating a comfortable environment.

Check out part 2 of our video series on this project on YouTube.

Opening the new office

When speaking with the owners, we asked what prompted them to open up this second location in Yardley. Leah Gillespie, Co-Owner and Director of Psychiatric Services for Milestone Behavioral Health (MBH), explained that location and environment are important factors when it comes to opening a mental health agency. "We work with people who are struggling. Their day-to-day is very difficult. And we thought: how holistic to come for treatment in a place that is beautiful and has such ambiance."

"We are in the process of licensing the building, or the facilities, so we do hope within the coming year to offer group therapy, individual therapy, [and] assessments here, and we really feel like that will be such a great treatment location for the clients," Leah went on to explain. Front house

Currently, the new space is being used as their administrative office. Although the building underwent renovations, it was important to keep the walls up and maintain the structure and integrity of the property. Preserving the authenticity of the historic building was of utmost importance to Milestone Behavioral Health, especially since it holds a place on the National Registry. Small-duct high-velocity systems are perfect for maintaining integrity in historic buildings; unfortunately, the existing system wasn't cutting it. MBH needed a comfortable indoor environment to align with its goal of creating a serene atmosphere for both its employees and clients. 

Initial Conversations 

Upon evaluating the original installation of the high-velocity system, we discovered a multitude of problems that needed to be addressed. Let's review what went wrong with the original installation, and what you should pay attention to when purchasing a high-velocity system.

What to look for in a properly installed system

Number of outlets
Unico-High Velocity installation in Yardley, PA

The existing system on the property was a three-ton 36,000 BTU unit. Ideally, there should be a minimum of seven outlets (vents) per ton in the system, totaling at least 21 outlets. However, we discovered that there were only 11 outlets present. This meant that there was a significant amount of work to be done to bring the system up to the recommended standards. 

Moreover, in certain areas of the office with lots of lighting, windows, and people occupying the room, we feel there should be three to four outlets per room. One room we looked at only had two. Adding 10 outlets may seem like a small fix, but it has big benefits. Installing the correct number of outlets ensures proper airflow and humidity control, optimal comfort levels, and quiet operation.

sound attenuator

Unlike traditional ductwork, the flexible supply tubing of The Unico System is wrapped in special sound-absorbing insulation. This special insulation (sometimes called sound attenuators or duct silencers) works with a porous inner lining to create a thick, padded barrier that prevents sound from escaping and groaning when the system cools the air. The design also has naturally built-in shock absorption that prevents the high-velocity air from causing vibrations.

Unfortunately, many contractors take shortcuts and only use a few feet of insulation, which is what we saw in the previous system at MBH. We fixed this by using the whole length (about 12 feet) of the sound attenuator, which is much quieter and it's only slightly more expensive. The new insulation will allow them to sustain a peaceful indoor environment.Sound Attenuator

price and value

One of the most common questions we receive when designing and quoting high-velocity systems is why someone else is offering a lower price. The answer is often that they lack expertise in high-velocity systems. These systems may have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional systems, but that's because of the numerous benefits they offer. So, if you come across a system with a relatively low price, it's usually because the contractor is cutting corners. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened with the previous owners of Milestone's office. The system had insufficient outlets, a trunk that was too small, improper insulation, and more. These shortcuts can result in thousands of dollars in savings upfront, but it ultimately leads to a system that falls short in performance and comfort.

The Installation

ECI started with installing a high-velocity system for the second and third floors of the building. Because cold air falls, taking care of the top floors first was important. The replacement involved adding a new Unico high-velocity blower, coil module, nine-inch round metal trunk, supply outlets, and insulation/sound attenuators. We also installed a Honeywell wireless programmable thermostat for easy adjustments to their new air conditioning system. 

For the first floor, we installed a second Unico high-velocity system along with a Honeywell T4 Programmable Thermostat. With both thermostats, employees can enter a schedule that fits with their cooling needs, allowing them to "set it and forget it".

Finally, we installed an Aerus Air Scrubber, ensuring that they maintain a healthy indoor environment in addition to a comfortable one. With its use of ActivePure Technology, this air scrubber effectively minimizes contamination, recontamination, and cross-contamination in real-time, all while being safe to use in occupied spaces.

Your Guide to the Aerus Air Scrubber

It was exciting for us to work on this project and bring a historic building back to life with a new and improved air conditioning system. We know that the employees and clients of Milestone Behavioral Health will stay comfortable for years to come, and we are thankful they chose us for this project!

We will leave you with Leah's thoughts on the process: "It was a very clean installation, quiet, it was never a problem, [and] never disruptive to our day-to-day business. We survived a really hot summer and [the air conditioning system] was exactly what it was meant to be. It was not drafty, there was no moisture in the air, and it was almost like we forgot it was installed -- in a good way. We didn't hear any noises, ya know the old system had a loud blowing sound, and it's truly just been a great system to have."

Milestone Behavioral Health Install Pictures

ECI Comfort specializes in installing Unico High-Velocity heating and air conditioning. To learn more or schedule your free consultation, click below!Schedule Your Free High Velocity Consultation


This entry was posted in Stone Home, Bucks County, Thermostats, Historic Homes, Unico High Velocity, Aerus Air Scrubber, Yardley, PA, High-Efficiency