Where to Donate Clothes?

I’m always in a quandary about donating clothes. There are the items that are in poor shape that should just go into textile recycling, and there are the ones that are in near-perfect shape that should go to people who can use them. I hate the idea of good clothing getting shredded with the bad.

Does anyone know which local places are best for which category? I’m currently looking to re-home a lot of large men’s clothes, particularly pants, some of them never-worn.

Any suggestions should go in the comments and will be much appreciated.

Electricity Providers

A resident is looking for input. Any answers should go in the comments. And thank you in advance!

  • Has anyone switched out of National Grid being their primary electricity server to another company that has been advertising  a switch over?
  • If you have, have you found that the switched over company been less expensive for you?
  • If you haven’t, why not?
  • Has anyone called the numbers supplied by the switch over company to get more info and, if so, has it been a positive experience and are you in favor of doing a switch over?

Contractor Recommendations & HVAC Info

A resident is looking for recommendations for a contractor to remodel their kitchen. If anyone has any suggestions, please share them in the comments. There are older posts with similar info that can readily be found using the search function at top right but the info may be out of date—contractors come and go—so it’s good to get the latest from neighbors.

For those who were following the discussion a few months back about smart thermostats, you might want to check out the most recent comment.

Now seems as good a time as any to remind people to check the filters on their heating/cooling systems. A dirty filter hampers efficiency, raises your electric bills, and shortens the life of your heat pump.

And, on that note, a resident recently shared his experience with efficiency issues and his planned overhaul using A1 Maintenance:

I had a new heat pump installed about 8 years ago.  It never worked right.  To make a long story short, I discovered (on my own) that the fan was pulling in air from underneath the unit.  This caused the outgoing air to be about 5 to 10 degrees cooler than it should be.  Of course, this adds to my heating and cooling costs.  I also discovered that the new heat pump is extremely sensitive to air flow, meaning that if your filter is the slightest bit dirty, the flow through the unit is affected and subsequently your outgoing air will be cooler in winter and vice versa in summer.  I am having A1 maintenance pull this unit completely out and we will reseal the back against the chase.  He’ll install it on blocks, fix the kinked drain, check the charge (coolant) and then cut and fix a new vent to the front of the unit.

Another Snow, Another Parking Ban

Here we go again folks. Please move your car out of our surface lot ASAP or risk being towed as per Association rules. The city announcement from lowellma.gov reads as follows:

Snow Emergency Parking Ban – February 9, 2021

A snow emergency parking ban will be in effect today, Tuesday, Feb. 9 starting at 9 AM, and will be enforced beginning at 3 PM. No parking will be permitted on City streets until the ban is lifted.

Free parking is available to residents who do not have access to off-street parking at three City garages: Ayotte Parking Facility, 1 Post Office Square, Lower Locks Garage, 90 Warren Street, and HCID Garage, Dutton Street @ Broadway.

Residents will have two hours from when the parking ban is lifted to move their vehichles without incurring expens

Bus Routes & Central St.

Someone kindly pointed out in a comment on the last post that the Central Street construction will also affect local buses. Here are the specifics from the LRTA website:

CUSTOMER ADVISORY

Effective Monday, Feb. 8

Due to the construction on the Central St Canal, the LRTA bus will not be able to utilize Central Street. The following routes will be affected.

Route 18 Downtown Shuttle

Outbound: Regular outbound to John and Merrimack St.

Inbound: Merrimack St. to left on Dutton St. Continue to Kennedy Center. (Market St passengers will have to go to Merrimack St or Dutton St to catch the bus)

Route 9 Lowell Circulator

Outbound: Regular outbound route.

Inbound: Regular inbound to Merrimack St. at City Hall, Right on Dutton St. to Kennedy Center.

Mailroom Security

If you have reason to believe a package of yours has gone missing from the mailroom, please do let management know rather than just having it reshipped and forgetting about it. Cathy and the Board have been working hard to secure the mailroom with the installation of the new security system but they can’t address any continuing problems if they don’t know about them.

If reporting a missing package, please supply delivery and discovery times as well as the rough size of the package (if known) and the carrier (FedEx, USPS, Amazon, etc.). Knowing when it went missing and what it looks like makes it far easier to follow up on.

And a reminder: The Central Street Bridge over the canal will be closed to southbound traffic starting this week so there will be no right turn allowed from Market Street onto Central.

Snow Emergency & Parking Ban Sunday

The city has announced a snow emergency starting at 7:00am tomorrow with a parking ban kicking in at 1:00pm. If your car is parked in our surface lot, please be sure to move it tomorrow morning to avoid it being towed. Residents will be pleased to know that there will be free parking for downtown residents at the new Hamilton Canal garage this time around. For details, see below or check the city website.

Snow, Heat, & Road Work

If you missed the last post about today’s parking ban, please go back and check it.

The Central Street Bridge over the Pawtucket Canal will be closed to southbound traffic starting next week; only northbound traffic will be allowed through. This means that, unless you are headed for Merrimack Street, you should turn left when exiting the lot or the city garage onto Market Street. There will be no right turn allowed from Market on to Central. The partial closure of the bridge will facilitate repairs and is expected to last for five months.

For more information about the bridge work, and/or to preregister for a virtual, public, informational meeting tonight or tomorrow night, click here.

Also, a resident is both offering information and seeking advice about our heating systems. I think I should mention that air from my own heating unit hasn’t been overly hot these past few days—with everyone home and the temperatures so low, it’s no surprise that the boilers are having a hard time keeping the water temperature in the heating loop toasty warm. At least today’s snow is accompanied by somewhat milder temperatures..

In any case, here are his remarks. Feel free to respond in the comments. I also recommend using the bulletin board search function if people ever want to find older discussions on a specific subject.

Hi Folks, 
Having some heating issues with the upstairs heater (working fan, new thermostat, but little/no heat), which is definitely not a great problem to have on the brink of another snowmageddon. 

 Is A1 Maintenance Master still the go-to recommendation for servicing of the unique heating/cooling units in our building? I found the one in this unit to be a ClimateMaster 81615GSSSSCOP, which I found a neat little “Decoder Ring” for off the Discontinued Products Page which helps break down what the serial numbers on these things actually mean, but that does little to help me understand what may be occurring with the absence of heat from the unit. 

Curious if other neighbors have other local service companies you’ve worked with and/or any experiences you can share about cost/scale of upgrading your heating units? Assuming that has to occur in coordination with new drywall around the heating unit itself or are these capable of being slid/popped into the existing wall space? 

Snow Emergency and Parking Ban

There is a parking ban going into effect at 3:00 today. The official announcement appears below. If your car is parked in our surface lot it needs to be moved ASAP or it may be towed. Two garages within walking distance allow residents free parking during a snow emergency, but NOT the Leo Roy Garage next door. The temporarily free-to-residents garages are the Lower Locks Garage on Warren Street and the George Ayotte Garage near the Post Office.

Fridge Filtration

Message from a resident:

Free: Water filtration for Kenwood, Maytag and Whirlpool refrigerators. About 8” tall.

Replaces the following #’d filters: UKF8001, UKF8001AXX, 46-906, 46-9992.

Left in foyer. If someone could use it, call Georgi at 978-764-5570.

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