We’ve all heard these stories and seen the images. When a natural disaster hits a community, friends, neighbors and charities rush in to help. It always warms the heart to see the outreach in services and donations. And yet … there’s that other side of the response. There are selfish people who try to take advantage of a bad situation and use the natural disaster as an opportunity to scam.
Often during these times, law enforcement agencies make announcements about what you should and should not look for when hiring someone to work on your home. People become aware, alert. And yet … scam artists come into communities and neighborhoods even when our fellow citizens are warned to be hyper-vigilant, even when the skies are blue, and the wind is calm, and the weather is perfect.
In other words, contractor scams get more attention during natural disasters, but they can occur at anytime, anyplace. And that means right here in Southeast Michigan. Oh, I don’t mean to scare you about any particular situation. I’m not reporting news, just tendencies. I’m talking about possibilities that call for wise practices. For example, here are some of the tips the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends for hiring someone to work on your home:
- Get recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, insurance agents or claims adjusters.
- Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Check with the local Better Business Bureau and Home Builders Association to see if complaints have been lodged against any contractor you’re considering.
- Get a written estimate that includes any oral promises the contractor made. Remember to ask if there’s a charge for an estimate before allowing anyone into your home.
- Take your time about signing a contract. Ask for explanations for price variations, and don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder.
Please know, we’ll be glad to help you with whatever home comfort problem you may be experiencing. At Robin Aire Heating and Cooling, Inc., we’re proud to have grown a business through referrals and recommendations from satisfied customers, and we hope our list of satisfied customers includes you too. So, if you need us, just email or call.
Logic. Intelligence. Prudence. Practicality. Fear. These are among the guiding qualities that people rely on when they decide to maintain their furnace. It’s a smart decision because it preserves an investment and assures continued comfort in cold weather. And it also protects against very real dangers, such as carbon monoxide leaks.
But what makes this idea even better is when you can bundle all of the above (energy savings, less repairs, safety checks, longer equipment life), plus additional discounts, priority service and twice-a-year tune-ups on your heating and cooling system. That’s what’s called a maintenance agreement program, and it one-ups the good idea of a tune-up into a great idea.
To learn more about the value of making routine maintenance a part of your seasonal routine, contact us today. Just call or email, and we’ll take care of you.
I used to hear this from time to time: “How’s the world treating you?” It’s just one of those friendly greetings which most folks answer with anything from the succinct “Fine” to “Better than I deserve.”
In this work world I live in, what I really want to know is, “How’s the weather treating you?” This is the kind of business where temperatures and weather conditions make a difference in how our customers feel, so I like to know how things are going. Are you comfortable in your home? Is your home heating working like it should? Is it consistent? Reliable? Are your energy bills where you’d expect? Any strange noises or smells causing you concern?
Whatever it is, if you have any trouble, just let us know. We want to make sure you feel just fine when you’re in your home – because that’s what you deserve! Just call or email and let us hear from you.
Service Technician Mike Greulich inspects Jerry and Lucy Hayden’s furnace as part of Al Keats Day-Project Heat, the volunteer effort to help out local seniors in need.
Written by Lonnie Huhman
Jerry and Lucy Hayden, of Farmington Hills, will be getting a new furnace, and a potentially dangerous situation was avoided, thanks to the volunteer efforts of companies participating in Saturday’s Al Keats Day-Project Heat event.
For nearly three decades local senior citizens have been helped out by Al Keats Day-Project Heat, which is sponsored by the Southeast Michigan chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (SEMIACCA).
This year, 15 contractor member companies with over 40 volunteer employees met at Day & Night Heating & Cooling in Novi to perform free furnace cleaning, safety inspections, repairs, and furnace replacements for needy senior citizens in metro Detroit.
For Robin Aire’s Lead Service Technician Mike Greulich, who was helping out for the first time, volunteering for this was a no-brainer.
“This is really a cool thing to be able to help out someone who needs it, especially going into the cold months,” he said. “I’m happy to be part of it. Giving back is not a bad thing.”
Last Saturday morning, he made his first volunteer call to the Haydens’ home in Farmington Hills to inspect their furnace.
Greulich initially made sure the furnace turned on and then checked the heat exchange as well as inside the furnace for any cracks. He used an extended infrared camera to see into it.
This call turned out to be a really important one because the Hayden’s furnace, put in nearly 30 years ago, had some cracks in it, which can potentially be dangerous and can leak exhaust fumes into the home. It also lowers the temperature and causes it to take longer to heat the home.
“They need a new one,” Greulich said at the house call. “It’s unsafe as it is, so we will provide them with some space heaters in the meantime and then replace it early next week.”
The Haydens were very grateful that this was discovered. Robin Aire planned on going to their home on Tuesday and replacing it with a new one.
“This is a godsend for us,” said Jerry Hayden. “We’ve been in this home for a year and I’ve learned more about this furnace today than I did when we first moved in.”
There’s a lot of need for the event because many don’t ask for help or can’t afford it, said Ed Bartram, SEMIACCA’s incoming president who is also with Diversified Heating & Cooling of Farmington Hills. “This has been very successful throughout the years, so we feel really good about it.”
SEMIACCA works closely with the Wayne and Oakland County’s Area Agency on Aging to coordinate the service calls. To date, the group has completed over 1,700 free furnace tune-ups and repairs, and replaced approximately 70 furnaces – at no charge. SEMIACCA members have installed over 250 free carbon monoxide alarms in the last eight years as well.
Craig Jones, also with SEMIACCA and Slasor Heating & Cooling in Livonia, said Project Heat is really important because it helps out people who a lot times have to choose between paying to fix a furnace or for their everyday needs like food.
Local companies helping out were Day & Night as well as Robin Aire Heating and Cooling of Wixom. Both see this is as an important service. This was its 26th year and each time it has made a positive impact.
To learn more about SEMIACCA, visit www.semiacca.org.
At some point any of us will say, “I’ll deal with that later.” There is, after all, only so much our “now” can hold. Whether limited time, limited money, limited mental energy, limited physical energy or a mix of all of those at once, the “now” that’s right in front of us for handling issues has to be well managed.
So you want to make good choices – the kind that looks past the now to what’s coming later. Maybe you’ll ask a set of questions like: In the future, will this action help prevent prospective problems that will cost me more time, more money, more inconvenience and be really uncomfortable at an unfortunate time?
That’s the sort of question you might ask yourself when you’re considering routine maintenance on your home comfort system. When you look at it in the context of “now or later,” it’s pretty easy to figure out the answer that makes the most sense. To learn more, take a look at this free report, Simple Math: How Routine Maintenance Adds Up to Be Well Worth Your While.