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.
Do you ever feel like you’re scaring people? Let’s say when you visit a home, you sense that the family that invited you would like you to go through a security clearance before entering. Well, that could make the social gathering a little awkward. And yet, I’m sympathetic because I know a little about what that’s like – from both sides.
In this business, contractors sometimes get painted with a broad brush. A couple of fly-by-night operations swoop in, make promises, cash checks and leave town with work undone – and others who really do want to help feel the cloud of suspicion. It happens. So let me share a helpful piece of advice: “Trust, but verify.”
That’s a phrase Ronald Reagan made famous when he was talking about the old Soviet Union. Basically, it means to proceed confidently but with the backing of verification. Calling about home comfort services may not be on the same level as the signing of treaties with communist countries, but please feel free to verify our promises. And you can look for that type of verification in our guarantees, long work history in this community, testimonials of satisfied customers… and in many other ways.
So let us hear from you when you need us!
No, this is not an article on financial planning, but this is certainly an issue that could affect your financial well-being.
Your home comfort system is a big investment, no question about it. If you take care of this investment, it will take care of you – over a longer equipment life that is spent operating efficiently, saving you energy dollars and keeping you comfortable. Not a bad result for routine maintenance.
Yes, maintenance matters. But what does it involve? If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our free report, “A Quick and Simple Home Investment,” available on our Facebook Page for a limited time!
Save a little money here, save a little money there, and pretty soon it adds up, right? Well, one of the areas where we most like to see our customers save money is in your energy use.
When the days are very hot, your air conditioning can account for up to 70% of your utility bill. So it makes sense that whatever you can do to improve energy efficiency at home can help you keep more money in your own pocketbook (and send less to your utilities).
But the important point to make here is that you don’t have to take big steps to save energy. You can take small steps over time or make a few small changes in your habits. And you’ll find a lot of ideas for doing just that at the link below.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can keep more energy dollars for yourself while enjoying more comfort at home, we’ve got a free report with 10 good tips on how to “Save Energy. Stay Comfortably Cool.”