Heat for the Holidays

Ann Arbor, Mich. (Dec. 21, 2018) — Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley, located at 170 Aprill Drive in Ann Arbor,  launched their Home Improvement Program (HIP) in 2012. The program was created for homeowners and renters who live in Washtenaw County looking for affordable ways to address needed home repairs, as well as reduce energy costs. Since the launch of the program, 4,974 individuals and families have received services. Currently HIP includes: The Furnace Test and Tune program, the Veteran Critical Repair Program, refrigerator replacements, LED light bulb replacements, and weatherization projects, exterior repairs, and roof replacements, as funding allows.

“It is powerful to see the transformation our Home Improvement Program makes for an individual and a community by offering critical home repairs at an affordable rate,” said Sarah Stanton, Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley Executive Director.

The free Furnace Test and Tune Program, one of the most sought after during the cold winter months, allows for the testing of a current furnace’s safety and efficiency. Eligibility requirements for the program include: that a home must be an owner occupied, detached, single family unit; the homeowner must be a DTE Energy customer; the households must not have had a furnace tune up in the past 5 years; and household income must fall within the guidelines found at h4h.org/furnace-test-tune.

Following verification of eligibility, Habitat has an approved HVAC contractor schedule a free furnace tune-up. This service can include the following:

  • Clean burners, combustion chamber, and heat exchanger surface when accessible.
  • Clean and inspect burner orifices and ignition system.
  • Check for proper venting and for adequate combustion air (per code).
  • Check and test safety controls.
  • Inspect filter, replace standard 1” and 2” filters, and/or clean washable filters.
  • Run equipment through complete sequence of operation.

If during the test and tune-up, a furnace is determined to be unsafe or un-repairable, Habitat and its contractor may provide the option to replace the furnace.  A furnace replacement with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley has a repayment plan of $40/month at 0% interest over four years and 8 sweat equity (volunteer) hours. A new furnace saves a household an average of $180/year and reduces the danger of Carbon Monoxide by installing a closed combustion furnace.

Karen, referred to the Furnace Program by a friend, has had her furnace for one year. “The Habitat staff were fabulous to work with. They cared about my well-being and moved quickly through the process. The use of the Habitat furnace has made my home warmer and more comfortable. I’m very happy with my cost savings and look forward to that benefit over time,” said Karen.


About Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley

Established in 1989, Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley has built or renovated over 200 homes in Washtenaw County. Habitat homeowners qualify for an affordable mortgage from Habitat, make a $1,000 down payment, and put in at least 250 hours (per adult household member) of “sweat equity” building their home. Habitat has expanded to provide home improvement projects to low-income families in neighborhoods we already target, providing over 500 such projects since 2011. For more information, visit www.h4h.org.