2010-10-21 / Front Page

Project Heat’s On a ‘blessing’ for some

Event helps residents with heating issues
BY ROBERTO ACOSTA
810-452-2645 • RACOSTA@MIHOMEPAPER.COM

Goyette Mechanical service technician Greg Monzo inspects a draft inducer fan during the second annual Project Heat’s On. More than 30 Burton homeowners received free furnace checks and smoke detectors. Photo by Roberto Acosta Goyette Mechanical service technician Greg Monzo inspects a draft inducer fan during the second annual Project Heat’s On. More than 30 Burton homeowners received free furnace checks and smoke detectors. Photo by Roberto Acosta BURTON — Service technician Greg Monzo inspected swtiches, and wires, and even climbed atop Mark Berry’s home on Brady Avenue to check a drip found inside the furnace unit from a pipe leading down from the roof.

Monzo was one of 22 Goyette technicians who volunteered their time on a chilly Saturday morning to help inspect 31 homes around the Burton area to ensure heat properly flows through their abodes this fall and winter via Project Heat’s On. The event is meant to assist local families with home heating issues, hand out information regarding assistance and provide smoke detectors for those without one in the home.

Berry, who serves as a minister at local jails and prisons, said the heat had been an issue of late, having gone out on a few occasions this year. He noted it was his wife that heard about the project, and when the couple found out they would be one the recipients, Berry said it was “a blessing.”

Goyette technicians, management, city council members, Burton Mayor Charles Smiley and others gather outside Goyette Mechanical before technicians ventured out to homes for heating inspections Saturday morning during Project Heat’s On. Photo by Roberto Acosta Goyette technicians, management, city council members, Burton Mayor Charles Smiley and others gather outside Goyette Mechanical before technicians ventured out to homes for heating inspections Saturday morning during Project Heat’s On. Photo by Roberto Acosta Monzo found a broken blade on a draft inducer fan causing a loud noise in the Carrier furnace, while giving the unit a cleaning and inspecting heating chambers inside with a snake-like camera.

Curt LaLonde, vice president of Goyette Mechanical’s service division, said it was Monzo who first came up with the idea to do the project on a local scale.

“We were out fishing one day and he said ‘I’m getting old,’” LaLonde said Monzo told him. “I thought he was going to tell me he wanted to quit.” Monzo told LaLonde he hoped to bring a similar project he’d participated in for several years at his alumni, Ferris State University, where Monzo and students traveled to homes to check on furnaces “to the local community.” LaLonde said the rest “has been history.”

During his nine years with Goyette, Monzo said the business is always willing to help those in need.

“If you get a needy family or someone in need, they are really good in helping out,” he said. “They say take the Goyette truck and use the Goyette tools. They’re very supportive.” More than 50 participated in the event, with more than 30 Goyette employees choosing to volunteer.

Burton City Councilman Vaughn Smith, who also serves as spokesman/committee member for the project, said the first furnace that had to be replaced came just 15 minutes into the program. With aid from several local organizations, including a $500 donation from ELGA Credit Union, Smith commented the heating unit would be replaced free of charge. Others donating goods, time or services were All Trinkets & Printing Inc., The Burton VIEW, Bentley Florist, Burton Chamber of Commerce, City of Burton, United Rentals, R.A. Townsend Company, Behler-Young, Burton Kiwanis, Goodwill, Paul’s Coney Island, Donna’s Donuts and the Burton Fire Department, who donated 45 smoke detectors and batteries for residents in need.

Those costs for repairs means the difference between heat and sustenance in some cases, Monzo said.

“For some people, it’s either fix the furnace or buy groceries this week,” he said. Berry commented he didn’t know where the money would come from if the furnace broke, and he appreciated Monzo’s thoroughness in checking the home’s furnace.

“I really appreciate you taking the time to do it right,” Berry told Monzo in fixing the draft inducer fan and checking the unit. “I think it’s pretty generous what they’re doing for people.”

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