Archive for February, 2018

Parks and Rec: Beyond Classic TV

February 24, 2018

Parks and Recreation

If you’ve ever binge-watched Parks and Recreation, you know the passion that Leslie Knope brought to work every day. What you might not know, is that the Lee Company Facilities Solutions team brought that same kind of passion to a recent project for Nashville Parks and Rec!

Over a two-year period, working with Metro Parks, we updated HVAC systems at eight Nashville community centers. Our design-build team visited the centers, identified the best equipment for each individual facility, and then designed and installed the solutions.

Parks and Recreation

The result? With efficient and comfortable heating and cooling, these community centers are more inviting than ever. Our work helps make it easier for thousands of area residents to enjoy the great programs these community centers offer – everything from fitness classes to after-school fun to senior activities. And more!

Parks and Recreation

We live in the communities we serve, and it’s always an honor to do work that strengthens our hometown amenities. Lee Company is delighted to have helped: Easley Community Center; Hermitage Community Center; Morgan Community Center; Napier Community Center; Antioch Community Center; Looby Community Center; Old Hickory Community Center; and Shelby Community Center.

If you haven’t taken advantage of programs at these outstanding facilities, what are you waiting for? You’ll find information on your nearby Nashville community center here.

Why You Need to Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Monthly

February 23, 2018

The little things in our homes can be the easiest to forget. Unfortunately, they can also be the most important. That’s definitely the case when it comes to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; lifesavers that can be easy to ignore.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half if the house has working fire alarms. Yet, nearly half of home fires that fail to trigger alarms occur in houses where batteries have expired or been removed from a smoke alarm.

We’ve put together some tips to make sure your home is always equipped with properly working alarms.

When to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Test every smoke and carbon monoxide detector in your home once a month. It won’t take more than a few minutes. Just press the test button on your alarm and after a second or two it will make a loud siren or alert.

Check the batteries in your alarms every six months. Replace batteries once a year to be safe (unless it’s a 10-year battery smoke alarm). If you hear random chirps from your alarm, that’s a signal you need to change the batteries immediately.

Pro tip: When testing, have someone walk to other rooms of the house to make sure the alarm can be heard throughout. If the sound is too low, replace the battery or the unit entirely.

They expire so replace them on schedule

Smoke alarms last about 10 years before needing replacement. Carbon monoxide detectors last 5-7 years. After that, deterioration can occur inside the alarm and make it less likely to trigger (besides, technology keeps improving so we recommend staying with the curve).

Detectors today will come with a manufacture date on the back for easy reference. If you have alarm without a date, it’s probably old and in need of replacement.

Pro tip: Consider getting alarms with voice alerts that notify you of which area in the house has been triggered. This will save you from wandering to find that pesky beeping alarm. Studies also show that voice alarms may be better at waking children under age 12.

Taking care of your detectors

Other ideas to keep your detectors in safe, working order:

  • When you test, vacuum any dust buildup out of your detector to keep the unit clean.
  • NEVER take your detector battery out to use in something else, even temporarily.
  • Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your house. Ensure they’re installed on every level of the house, and ideally in every bedroom.
  • You can sign up to receive monthly testing reminders via email from free services, including: http://www.reminders4.me/

Additional Resources

Find the top rated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors:

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/smoke-carbon-monoxide-detectors/buying-guide/index.htm

Help increase awareness with smoke alarm outreach materials:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/smoke_alarms.html

A few minutes a month can ensure that your detectors are ready to help save your family and home in an emergency. If you have any questions about your home’s smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, give us a call at 615.567.1000.

Rock Roberts: Building on Four Decades of Dedication

February 20, 2018

When Robert (Rock) Roberts started working for Lee Company in December 1977, he knew his bosses had high expectations. “When they hired me, I told them I could do the work or they could let me go,” Roberts says. “Forty years later, I’m still here.”

Still here – and still doing the work! During his time with Lee Company, Roberts has handled a wide variety of duties, including establishment of our first fabrication shop, and has won numerous safety awards and two awards of excellence in construction. Today, as a Field Superintendent, Roberts uses the experience gained over the past four decades to train others just learning the trades. In mentoring these new hires, Roberts is carrying on a proud Lee Company tradition: passing knowledge along, so all employees can thrive.

“Many of the men and women I have worked with here have become more than co-workers; they are family,” Roberts says. “My job now is to train our new employees in the proper and safe techniques to work and install equipment and piping. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of my job – being able to prepare the next generation of Lee Company.”

Richard Perko, President and CEO of Lee Company, says Roberts has been an “incredible asset” in the field and, for the past 11 years, as an instructor for Lee Company University, a free technical training school open to employees.

“Robert has taught classes in HVAC, piping, plumbing and now welding,” Perko says. “I can’t say enough about someone who would not only give 40 years of their life to Lee Company, but also give so much time teaching others. That is the definition of servant leadership!”

Congratulations to Rock Roberts for creating a legacy of dedication and service, and “Thank You!” for building your career at Lee Company!

What do you want to build?

Build a career with the best team in town. Take a look at our Careers page for current job openings at Lee Company. We’re more than 1,200 professionals strong and growing.

 

Air Duct Cleaning: Is It Worth It?

February 14, 2018

Air duct cleaning - is it really worth it?

With the chills of winter almost behind us, many have started thinking about spring cleaning; the annual thorough cleaning that makes a home feel as fresh as the spring air. After dusting, scrubbing and organizing everything in sight, often times there are hidden parts of the home left behind, and they can be the culprits behind a home feeling less than Spring clean.

If you notice the need to dust your house more than you used to, or if your furniture gets dusty just after you clean it, it may be time to have your air ducts cleaned.

What can get stuck in air ducts

Anything that passes through your filter (or accidentally drops through a vent like your kid’s toys) will end up in your air ducts. Some of the most concerning things can include:

  • Excessive dust or remodeling debris
  • Insects or rodent waste
  • Pet hair and dander

Every time the furnace kicks on, it blows out whatever particles are stuck in your ducts. For many homeowners, this can trigger or increase sneezing, allergies, and sinus issues.

Pro tip: If you’ve done any remodeling work in your home lately, drywall dust and other debris may be trapped in your ducts. This can also occur in newly built homes where sawdust, sheetrock, or other home building materials may be in the air ducts.

How we clean air ducts safely and quickly

At Lee Company, our professional technicians use a two-pronged method to clean air ducts thoroughly. It involves using a brush to scrub, release and vacuum any trapped debris, along with a powerful air machine that sucks any remaining dust outside of your home and through a filter. Specifically:

  • Rotobrush: We use the latest Rotobrush system to go into each individual duct, scrub it clean and vacuum it out
  • Negative air machine: This powerful vacuum produces a negative draw on the HVAC system, pulling any dust or dirt that remains out of your ducts and through a filter, before heading out of your house for good

We also pay close attention to furnaces, cleaning the indoor blower and the indoor coil to remove any dust and dirt that has collected over time. This process makes the system run more efficiently (saving you money) and allows more air to run through debris-free.

One more hidden area

If you notice your dryer is taking longer than usual to dry clothes, it’s likely there is excess lint trapped in the vent. This can pose a potential fire hazard. To keep your home safe, ask your professional about cleaning the dryer vent.

Pro tip: Dryer vents should be metal, not canvas. If you still have a canvas vent, please have it updated to avoid fire risk.

So, is it worth it?

We recommend having your duct work cleaned every 6 years as a part of regular maintenance. If you don’t know the last time your air ducts were cleaned, or if you’re noticing more dust than usual around your home, then having your air ducts cleaned may be worth it for your family and home.

To get pricing and schedule an air duct cleaning appointment, give us a call today at 615.567.1000. As always, Home Maintenance Plan members receive an extra 20% off the service.

Home Generators: Which Fuel Source is Best for You?

February 08, 2018

When storms hit, the last thing any of us want is to lose power. And, let’s face it, storms in the South can hit with a fury making power outages more common than we’d like.

Of course, a home generator can save you from the headache of bored kids, dark rooms, and missing your favorite show. But more importantly, it will keep your refrigerator running, your security system online and run any medical equipment you might have in your home.

When you think of generators, you might imagine the portable gas generator your friends use for camping or tailgating. While those are great for limited use, they aren’t the best choice for powering your home during an outage. Permanently installed home generators are a much better choice when you want to protect your family and your home.

Automatic standby generator systems can detect a power loss and kick on within a matter of seconds, and automatically shut off when power returns. They truly can be a life – or at least a food and appliance – saver.

When buying a generator, which fuel type is best?

Diesel

While gas or diesel power might be the method of choice for a portable generator, diesel generators are not the best choice for home-installed backups. They require fuel tanks and storage space, making them more difficult to install than other options. Further, EPA regulations have become more stringent in recent years, requiring diesel generators to become increasingly efficient. You will want to avoid purchasing a generator that doesn’t pass these regulations in the future.

Natural gas

For most Middle Tennessee residents, natural gas generators are the way to go. Natural gas is a readily available, endless source of fuel for your home (as long as you pay your gas bill). They don’t require any storage tanks and can be hooked up directly to your current gas line during installation. Even more, they’re quieter and more efficient than diesel or gas generators, and run without emitting any fumes.

Propane

Propane generators are most commonly used in rural areas that do not have access to natural gas. The propane is a stored fuel source, so homeowners need to pay close attention to fuel levels, especially when running all or most of a home on it. Tank refills can require a large upfront cost, though unlike diesel fuel, propane can be stored for years without degrading.

How much do home generators cost?

Homeowners can design a home generator system that fits their needs, depending on the size of their house and how much they want to power. Home generator systems can be equipped to handle as little as a home security system, major appliances, and lights, to powering everything in your home, as if the power was still on.

No one wants to be left in the dark when an unwanted power outage strikes. By working with your home services company, you can design a home generator system that will be the best fit for your family’s needs.

 

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