Mission Impossible: Fix 20 Year Old Units with No Budget, No Parts

Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

The Mission

Provide cooling to an abandoned (and temporarily borrowed) nursing home to prepare for patient overload from hospitals due to Covid-19.

Existing ductless split units are over 20 years old, replacement parts are obsolete and unavailable, unit replacement NOT an option due to cost and time constraints.

The Analysis

Of the 31 units, only 8 were operational.

Most of the operational units were on the Ground floor, where patients would not be located.

With repair parts no longer available for purchase, our only option was to troubleshoot each unit to see what we were working with and then perform a triage rescue of as many HVAC units as possible with the limited resources we had.

Our Resources:

  • 2 weeks
  • 0 Parts
  • 1 Super Smart Innovative Technician with excellent recordkeeping skills

Our Mission (Yes, we chose to accept it):

  • Repair as many of the upper floor units as possible
  • Minimum 2 operational units per floor

The Fix

First, we partnered with City officials and the Medical Facility Manager to determine which areas of the building were highest priority for their needs. The goal they set was to get two functional units per floor, with the hope that we could get three working on the uppermost floor.


Our tech Milton evaluated every unit in the building, taking detailed notes on each, to determine what salvageable parts we had to work with. He painstakingly came up with a plan to save the units that could be saved with parts from others that could not. 


Mission accomplished.