Horizon Hearts Charity

Horizon Services will be running our program again this year called Horizon Hearts Charity. We are going to be recognizing our valued customers who have supported us every day, by donating to the Food Bank of the Rockies in their names throughout the year. Last year we donated $340.00 which provided 1,360 meals for people in need. This year our goal is to donate $2000 Did you know that just $1 donated to the Food Bank of the Rockies provides 4 meals? Meeting our goal to donate $2000 will provide 8,000 meals.

Donations from 2014 thank you to all of our customers who participated.

Jack C.
Melissa H.
Valerie R.
Lynda N.
Ed F.
Robert H.
Eleanor B.
Mary K.
Alison K.
James O.
Margaret G.
Bob F.
Marilee M.
Heather P.
Andrea M.
David W.
Mike M.
Mike W

We’re just getting started; these are the customers who have participated in helping us donate to the Food Bank of The Rockies in February.

Maggie W.
Kevin C.

The Horizon team is going to be giving back to the community by volunteering to serve lunch at the Urban Peak Teen Shelter in March 2015.

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Indoor Air Quality – Make Your Home Cleaner and Safer

Steps you can take to make the air inside your home cleaner and ultimately – safer

According to the EPA pollutants inside your home can be up to 100 times higher than outdoors. Indoor air quality is one of the EPA’s top five environmental risks to public health. There has been an alarming increase in the number of children with severe allergies and asthma. This increase has been linked to increasingly poor indoor air quality.

The American Heart Association has linked poor air quality to heart problems while the American Lung Association lists it as a leading cause of lung cancer. You can find these facts on the EPA web site, American Lung Association and many additional sites. Although this information is readily available it is believed up to 87% of American homeowners are not aware that pollution may be worse inside their homes than outdoors.

You understand the health benefits of clean water yet most people are unaware of or ignore the importance of breathing clean air. There are many things you can do to improve the air quality inside your home. Let’s briefly discuss the 3 most important ways of improving indoor air quality.

1. Source Removal
2. Air Cleaning
3. Increased Ventilation

Source Removal

Pollutants infiltrate your home and take up residency through different pathways into your home. A simple way to reduce the infiltration is to remove shoes before entering your home. Doorway mats are another simple pollutant reduction technique. Minimize the use and storage of harsh cleaner or cleaners with fragrances. Do not idle cars, lawnmowers or other engines in the attached garage. New furniture or carpet typically out-gases harsh chemicals. When you bring new items such as this into your home, open the windows often and for long periods of time. Even as the odor dissipates, the off-gassing continues. A way to remove the off-gassing, (often referred to as volatile organic compounds, or VOC’s) is by having live plants in your home.

Air Cleaning

Air quality is diminished by an excessive volume of particulates, low humidity, and the presence of chemicals, odors, viruses and bacteria. Particulate accumulation can be reduced by installing an upgraded filter in the heating system in your home. Filtering systems are available which will remove particulates down to .001 microns, (about 1/10th the diameter of a human hair). A whole-house humidifier is a practical solution to improving air quality and improving various aspects of your health. In addition to improving the air quality a humidifier can also help to lower your heating costs. Humidified air feels warmer. An air purifier can greatly reduce contaminants from the air. Chemicals, odors, viruses and bacteria have a detrimental effect on your health and the health of your family. Any combination from one of the air cleaning systems to all three will have a great impact on improving the air you breathe inside your home.

Increased Ventilation

Homes today are built much tighter than at any time in US history. This building focus was implemented in the 1970’s and continues to be improved upon every year. The result of the tighter construction is a reduced carbon footprint per square foot. This building focus is great for the environment and your wallet however, it is not so great for your health. In order to reduce the build-up of VOC’s, toxins, viruses and additional air quality robbers it is important to intentionally bring in fresh air.

One effective, low tech way of accomplishing this is to open a few windows in your home and living in Denver, Colorado, we have many days we can do that. It is not always advisable to open windows however, as it can increase your home’s heating and cooling costs. An open window can also aggravate allergies as well, depending on the time of year. A whole-house ventilation system can be installed to bring in fresh air (without the utility penalty) while maintaining the temperature setting, and humidity level of the inside air as well.

As you consider the options available to improve the air quality in your home, please contact us. We are indoor air quality geeks. We want to understand your goals. By asking questions and performing a site assessment we can then list solutions for you, your home and your family. Click here for commercial air quality services.

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A quick introduction from a new Horizon Team Member:

Nick-Zuki-plumberHi I’m Nick, I’m the new Master Plumber at Horizon Mechanical and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I’ve been a plumber for 16 years. I come from a family of plumbers, when I was a teenager I would spend the summers helping my grandfather do small plumbing projects. This time taught me important skills like customer service and a good work ethic. I tested for and received my Denver Journeyman’s license in April of 2004 and my Denver Master Plumber’s license in April of 2013. I am very excited to be a part of the Horizon Mechanical family and look forward to providing you with top quality plumbing for your homes. If you have any questions about our services, please feel free to call us, and ask for me, I’ll do my best to help, and look forward to speaking with you.

Nick Zukin, Plumbing Division Manager

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We Love Our Customers – Boiler Room Renovation

We Love Our CustomersWe love our clients and it is our intention to WOW them at every opportunity. The following email was sent to us after we completed a boiler room renovation. The renovation included the installation of a new boiler and new hydronic control board (a heating system that transfers heat by circulating a fluid through a closed system of pipes). Thank you Michael for selecting Horizon Mechanical.  We appreciate the opportunity to fulfill our mission:  100% satisfaction of every client, every job, and every time!

Note below is from Michael H.  – Hale Court HOA

10/17/2012

Hi Carolyn,

I wanted to let you know I was in town and able to swing by the place to look at our new boiler room.  Of course the work looked phenomenal. Everything looks top of the line and installed amazingly.  Certainly we would have preferred to not have such a massive problem to fix – but the work turned out amazing.  Thanks so much!!

Thanks!

Mike

 

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Unwanted, Uninvited Guests

Unwanted, Uninvited Guests

How to protect your home from mice

Protect your home from miceIt is migration time for mice. They are looking to secure their home for the winter. Eating, chewing, building a home inside your home is the top priority for mice as the weather turns colder outside. After creating a secret nest they can multiply and establish a thriving, permanent colony inside your home. These unwanted, uninvited guests can wreak havoc on your property and your health.  Here are a few ways to keep the invaders from infiltrating your home. If they have already taken up residence within your home we have a detailed eviction plan for you to implement.

A mouse can get in through a space as small as the diameter of a pencil. I know it’s gross to think about, however it is imperative you secure the border of your home in order to keep the free loaders out.  You need to create a formidable foundation along the perimeter of your home.  Look around your home for access points prior to the little critters finding their way in.  You will need a flashlight and a bag of either steel or copper mesh to take care of holes or cracks you may find.

  1. Start in one corner of the garage; shine the flashlight along the concrete that divides the house from the garage. Look for cracks or holes to the house or basement. Be sure and look around concrete steps and doorways for access points into the house.
  2. Shove some of the copper or steel mesh in each hole or crack you find.
  3. Do the same thing along the exterior of your home.
  4. Once you have completed the outside, follow the same process inside.
  5. Look in kitchen cabinets that are close to the floor located on outside walls. Look for openings in the back corners. If you find holes, fill them with the steel or copper mesh.
  6. If your basement is unfinished be sure to pull the insulation out of the floor joist bay at the edge of the foundation, check for holes to the outside. If the hole is large install a board first and then fill in the final gaps with the steel or copper mesh.

The perimeter of your home must be sealed so mice cannot get in. You may have seen traces of a mouse or maybe you have seen one out of the corner of your eye. If you have seen signs of mice in your home it is time to do battle and get rid of the invaders. There are options available to rid your home of mice.  You can hire a pest control company to spray the exterior of your home. Another option is to purchase poison, which the mice eat to drive them outside in search of water. Poison is effective, however, it exposes children and pets to potential danger.  You can purchase spring loaded traps and set them yourself. No matter which option you choose it is important to remember mice can carry Hantavirus.  Hantavirus is a life- threatening disease spread by rodents. Hiring a professional to eliminate the mice and clean the area is the safest way to reduce your possible exposure to Hantavirus.

  1. Spring loaded traps may seem “old-fashioned” however they are tried and true. Bait them with: peanut butter or meat snacks.
  2. Put out 15-20 traps.
  3. Either prior to setting traps or immediately afterwards, complete the steps 1-8 listed above so you only have to launch an eviction attack once.

If you must work in an area where contact with rodent urine or feces is possible, follow these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  1. When opening an unused cabin, shed, or other building, open all the doors and windows, leave the building, and allow the space to air out for 30 minutes.
  2. Return to the building and spray the surfaces, carpet, and other areas with a disinfectant. Leave the building for another 30 minutes.
  3. Spray mouse nests and droppings with a 10% solution of chlorine bleach or similar disinfectant. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Using rubber gloves, place the materials in plastic bags. Seal the bags and throw them in the trash or an incinerator. Dispose of gloves and cleaning materials in the same way.
  4. Wash all potentially contaminated hard surfaces with a bleach or disinfectant solution. Avoid vacuuming until the area has been thoroughly decontaminated. Then, vacuum the first few times with enough ventilation. Surgical masks may provide some protection.

Take time to walk around your home to inspect the perimeter of your home each fall. By doing this you will keep you, your family and your home safe from unwanted rodents.

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Should you replace your furnace?

The following is an article from ACCA. ACCA is Air Conditioning Contractors of America Association, Inc. The article explains the changes that will be implemented next year regarding the mandatory efficiency of furnaces per region in the United States of America. This article is informative and will help homeowner’s decide if it makes more sense to replace their furnace prior to the implementation of the new mandates. Horizon Mechanical is available to discuss this with you if you have questions. Please share this article with your friends, co-workers, etc.

Click here to download the article

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We love our customers!

Horizon Mechanical recently installed a Trane XV95 high-efficiency furnace and a XL20i top of the line heat pump for Merl and JoAnn. In addition to the installation of the furnace and heat pump we also cleaned the ductwork and installed a humidifier. Working for them was a complete pleasure. They sent us the attached video. Please check it out. Enjoy and remember if you are looking for a high quality, trustworthy company, call us!

http://secure.smilebox.com/ecom/openTheBox?sendevent=4d7a4d774f446b334e6a68384e7a51314d7a6b7a4d7a493d0d0a&sb=1

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Furnace Maintenance Tips

Before you turn on your furnace, there are a few things to do.

The summer of 2012 in Colorado, and the county as a whole, has been extraordinarily hot. We have surpassed previously recorded number of days over 90 degrees. Whether speaking to people in California or Texas or Rode Island, this summer has been, hot, hot, hot! Central Air conditioners have been working at peak load. As you know, the air conditioned air is delivered into your home by the motor of your furnace and through the ductwork. As a result of this increased use, it is very important to have the furnace maintenance completed prior to the start of the heating season. The goal is to avoid the unwanted surprise of a furnace that is not heating your home.

So, what can you do? The most important thing you can do is: Replace the furnace filter. If your furnace holds a 1” filter, it should be changed monthly. Put a reminder on your calendar. Change the filter every month like clockwork. Changing the filter helps keep the furnace motor clean and it also reduces the build up that occurs on the evaporator cooling coil, (this is the part of the air conditioner that is attached to the furnace itself). Keeping the system clean will help to keep your operating costs down.

Take a good look around the furnace area. Do you have cleaning supplies, paint cans or any other flammable items close to the furnace? It is important to keep flammable materials away from the furnace and the water heater. Both items are gas fired appliances. Make it easy to access the filter. Remove the clutter. It is dangerous and it inhibits your ability to change the filter as often as you should.

If you have a newer furnace, it is important to have a qualified service provider perform yearly maintenance. The manufacture reserves the right to refuse warranties on parts that have not been maintained properly. You can protect your investment with yearly maintenance.

If your furnace is not new you too will benefit from maintenance. With proper maintenance the furnace in your home will be operating at its peak efficiency. A service technician will test and evaluate the operation of the furnace. A trained, knowledgeable, NATE Certified Technician should give you a report about the condition of the different components of the furnace. By giving you a list showing how things are working compared to manufacture specifications, you can then make informed decision regarding repair and possible replacement prior to an emergency situation.
Maintenance performed by a NATE Certified Technician from Horizon Mechanical will give you peace of mind. You will know the condition of your furnace and can make informed decisions.

Take care of your furnace today!

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Garage Maintenance

Preparing your garage for parking

Summer is coming to a close. It is cooler at night and the leaves are changing colors. Ahhhhh, fall feels so fresh and crisp. It is fun to put away the white pants and the light summer weight clothing. It is time to pull the fall colored clothing from the back of the closet to the front. As you prepare yourself for fall, remember September is a good month to prepare your garage for the season change too .

Yes, it is time to drag everything that is on the floor of the garage out onto the driveway. Sweep the floor. Look at the space you have. Remember that as colder weather approaches it is preferable to park your car in the garage. It is recommended you leave space so you can open the doors wide enough to get in and out of the vehicle. In addition to vehicle access you will want to be able to reach the shovels, the snow thrower, bag of salt, whatever you need to clean your sidewalk and driveway during inclement weather.

As you look at the assortment strewn all over the driveway, now is the time to separate summer items so you can store them on shelves that are high and out of the way. As much as you hope to be using the lawn chairs, the season is over. Storing them on the top shelf is a good idea. The goal is to create space in the easy to reach places for the winter items.

Shovels, brooms, rakes and such appear organized when they are hanging on the wall. In addition to organization you want them to be accessible. If you don’t have a system to organize your things, your local hardware store has many different systems available. Take your time, list what you want to hang or store on shelves. Take a picture of what you want to store as well as the inside of your garage. When you enter the hardware store solicit the help from an employee to help you find the system that is best suited for your needs. After making your purchase it is time to embark on the task of building, hanging and installing the system to your garage.

At this point, I suggest you gather all the tools you will need to complete the garage makeover and turn up the radio. Take time to thoughtfully consider the best location for all the items you need to put back in the garage. Taking time to plan out this task will make your life much easier throughout the entire season. When you complete the task, make sure you look over your work. The feeling of satisfaction for your hard work is a wonderful pay off. Now you can check this off the “to-do” list for fall 2012.

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Clothes Dryer – safe use and maintenance

We are so fortunate to have the modern convenience of a Clothes Dryer in our home. We use it on a regular basis, yet how many people have actually taken the time to read the owner’s manual and become educated with how to care for and safely use this familiar appliance? It is common to become lax with the many appliances we have in the typical American home. There is, however, measurable risk associated with using a clothes dryer.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (Division of U.S. Department of Homeland Security), clothes dryers were involved in an estimated 22,850 U.S. structure fires, seventy-two deaths, 1100 injuries and $159 million in direct property damage, annually, between 2007-2010.

Follow the installation, safety and maintenance guidelines contained below and you will be well on your way to reducing your exposure to risk associated with a fire caused by a clothes dryer.

Installation

  1. Vent in rigid metal pipe. On the back side of the dryer is the vent connector. Dryer Vents when installed properly, vent to the outside of your home. According to the manufacture it should be vented in a rigid metal pipe with as few 90 degree turns as possible. If your dryer is vented in a flexible plastic or aluminum material, it can lead to fire or explosion. Replace flexible venting with rigid pipe.
  2. Dedicated Electrical Circuit. Look in the electrical panel at your home. Confirm there is a dedicated circuit for the dryer and be sure it is clearly identified.
  3. Raise on an 18” platform if installed in a garage.

Safety
It only takes 8 minutes for a dryer vent to catch fire and spread into the room. Within 12 minutes the house can be completely overcome with black smoke. If your dryer does catch fire, leave the house IMMEDIATELY. Do not try and turn off the dryer. Leave the house and call the fire department.

  1. If the dryer begins to need more time to dry your clothes, it is time to check the vent for lint.
  2. If the room where the dryer is located becomes warmer when the dryer is operating or the dryer itself is hot to your touch, turn it off immediately. This could be an indication that the vent is clogged.
  3. Use dryer only when you are home. Do not turn it on before leaving the house or going to sleep

Maintenance
Proper maintenance will help you to avoid a potential fire from starting at your clothes dryer. Maintenance done at each use, as well as yearly, will extend the life expectancy of the dryer and keep you safe.

The leading cause of clothes dryer fires was lack of maintenance (lint build-up in the exhaust system). You can reduce your exposure to the potential risk of a fire by following the maintenance and safety steps listed below. If you have ANY questions, please call us.

  1. Do not use the dryer without a lint screen. Clean screen before each use.
  2. Vacuum around and behind dryer. Remove lint from around dryer
  3. Check the dryer vent termination. Turn on the dryer then check the vent and be sure you can feel airflow. If not, turn off the dryer and call a company to come out and clean the vent.

Cleaning the vent pipe from the back of the dryer through to the termination located outside your home can require heavy lifting. Horizon Mechanical does provide this service.

Please give us a call or contact us and we will discuss the options for addressing:  installation, safety and maintenance.

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