A& M Heating and Cooling came to our rescue. On Wednesday, about 3:30 PM, we heard a loud screeching sound – as if someone was dragging a metal desk across the floor. Then silence. After a few minutes we thought we smelled something like an electrical fire. There were three people, Gina, Doc, and Gary C., all of questionable repute. They all agreed on the odor. They searched the building and could find nothing. Because we treasure the building and choosing to error on the side of caution, the fire department was called and asked simply to send someone to help us locate the problem. No need for big trucks and sirens.
One fire unit was sent with two men, one was Jeremy Howery. They were extraordinarily professional and pleasant. We finally isolated the problem to the kitchen area furnace. The blower would not come on.
On Friday Gary C. and Brian L. tackled the furnace. Neither of these men is a furnace aficionado- so several cups of coffee were required in the planning phase of the maintenance project. After about an hour of actual work the blower squirrel cage fan and motor were removed. This was when we were able to actually see what had happened.
One or more of the blades came loose and destroyed the whole unit in a high RPM clash of metal against metal. The photo at the left was taken at A&M after the A&M technician Dale had removed it from the cage.
We actually took the whole assembly to Ragdon – that has been our go-to place with furnace motor problems in the past. He referred us on to a furnace place on north third – nope, they did not have those parts, but they sent us to a place on north fourth. No luck there but they sent us to A& M on south 4th street. We were graciously accepted before they even knew who we represented. They could readily see that we were not professionals and had little knowledge of what we were asking. No matter – they quickly began looking around their shop for a replacement fan.
We learned today that these fans are not kept as a part of regular inventory at Heating and Cooling companies – but A&M had some parts from previous ventures. Dale found one that almost perfectly fit our need. While Dale was working I explained that the furnace was at the Alano Club of St. Joseph. The office lady, whose name I sadly cannot remember, Lori I think, asked a few questions about our operation, checked with the owner Mike Anderson, and informed us that the cost of the fan would be ten dollars, including installation on the motor and in the cage.
When it was time to pay I found I had only seven dollars cash on me so I offered a credit card. “No,” she said, “Seven dollars is enough”. She also informed me that she had been talking with the owner, Mike Anderson, about donating two free furnace checks a year (an eighty dollar value). These folks are great people to work with. I just cannot say enough about them – the Alano Club has been around for sixty seven years because of people like this.
We are a public health organization working to make St. Joseph and the surrounding area a better place for all. We host about 36 sanctioned meetings every week and have nearly 2,000 individual visits to our building every month. This work happens through the generosity of people like Mike Anderson of A&M Heating and Cooling.
With a repaired fan in tow, Brian and Gary returned to Alano where more coffee was required to plan the re-installation of the fan and motor. After a couple of hours the work was done. People were showing up for the 5:30 AA and Al-Anon meetings and the building was cozy warm.
We live in a great community of people helping each other – each of us contributing in our own way to the public health.
This has been a great day and for that I am forever grateful. The people who receive help at Alano are forever grateful.