Training Day

Here at Airstream, we take your homes safety very serious. Each and every week we train on different topics ranging from plumbing repairs common in each home to furnace repairs and boiler troubleshooting. Mike, owner of Airstream, feels that best service we can offer is the only service we will offer. Each of our techs has hands on training with several different pieces of equipment here in our training warehouse. When we aren’t working hands on, we also have live training via PowerPoint presentations produced by Mike, or via Webinar with industry leaders from around the country .

The next time you need home services in the plumbing, heating or cooling of your home, call the Airstream Team and know we have training to be Your Personal Plumber.


Your Immortal Furnace

When was the last time you changed the oil in your car? Within the last three months, or five thousand miles? If you change the oil yourself, you know how dirty and thick that oil can get from the heat of the engine and deposits from the working machinery, and how important it is to keep the sludge from forming. Your car serves a very specific purpose to you, you need to go somewhere, it gets you there. You rely on your car to perform this task multiple times on a daily basis, and you know you must take care of it in order for it to deliver you safely. Our cars are a very personal part of everyday life. We all know the hardship when the car is in the shop for any amount of time.

Now, I ask, when was the last time you serviced your furnace? Looked into the heat exchanger to be sure no harmful gases can be released?cracked-heat-exchanger-1 Inspected electrical components to ensure dust and lint aren’t going to cause a short or overheat a motor?dirty-blower-motor Changed an air filter, so you know the air you and your family breathes is as clean as possible?_dirty-filter-1-300x225

Our furnaces are a little less personal than a family car. We may not even see the furnace but once a year while digging out the Christmas decorations from the crawl space. Others may see it daily in the garage but it’s just another brown box that barely registers in the mind. How long can that thing go on being ignored? Well, about 3-4 years before the first hiccup, and every “small” problem thereafter. Maybe something simple like a flame probe, but how simple is that at two in the morning? 8-10 years before a major problem like a control board or blower motor, and depending on the furnace make and model, repair costs could look like $650-$1100. A full quarter to a third of a new basic furnace installation.

Yearly maintenance can cut those costs down by keeping components clean and in near factory condition. The lifespan we generally see out of an un-maintained furnace is 13 years, while with yearly maintenance we can help customers get upwards of 20 years of reliable home comfort. Winter is winding down now and soon we’ll be thinking about cooling our homes rather than heating, but the same principles apply to your air conditioner as well. If you take care of your home comfort appliances, they will return the favor. If you are interested in an affordable maintenance plan give us a call 970-434-5348 and ask Sam to send information with the technician the next time we are out.

The Team: George

George is a true Southern boy, born and raised in South Carolina. He spent his youth boating and fishing the rivers near his home on Busby Island, and along the Atlantic shores. His dad had a bait and tackle shop that could be accessed from the water, and he and George would often go crabbing. He moved to Colorado in 2014 to be near family and joined us here at Airstream shortly after.

George Busby

George loves to be outdoors, he’s looking forward to going hunting this year and he’s ready to pull out the fishing poles this summer. He may need a smaller fishing pole though, his ocean pole may get a few sideways looks around here. His dream is to get a Jeep to get out and go.

George has been plumbing for more than 15 years in both the new construction and service sides of the trade. He now specializes in plumbing remodels and Rinnai tankless water heaters. If any of us have a question about a Rinnai, or any other tankless, George is the go to guy. He is also working on his HVAC and EPA certificates to move into some heating and cooling. The next time you need any services for your home, ask for George by name.

Winter is coming…

It’s that time of year again, time to get the winter clothes out of storage and put the summer clothes in. When old man winter sneaks up on you and bites like a shark… (sorry for the bad analogy, I just wanted to use this GIF)


It won’t be long now. September is almost half over and, here in Western Colorado, that means our first freeze should happen within a month. Have you got everything ready? Here is a quick list of things you can do to make sure your home is ready for the cold.

1. Remove, drain and store your hoses, just remember where you put them in the spring.

2. Be sure the gutters are cleared out. This one might take a few tries as the leaves aren’t going to just fall all at once, but it is very important so you don’t get any ice dams that could damage the gutters themselves or the roof.

3. Make sure you don’t have any drafts through your house. Doors that are not level or the seams have torn can cause a draft and let out your heat. Sometimes windows that don’t shut entirely can be an issue too. If you have older windows it may be a good idea to “shrink wrap” them. You do this with kits sold at any hardware store with double sided tape and cellophane, install on the inside frame of your window and hit it with a blow dryer to tighten up the cellophane to add an air pocket for insulation.

4. Have your furnace or boiler cleaned, checked and inspected by a professional service provider and change filters on your furnace.

5. If you have a fireplace be sure to call out a chimney sweep to clean out the soot and inspect the fireplace mortar for any potential dangers.

6. Pull out your skis or snowboard and dream about the fun you will have this winter, oh and be sure you’ve pre ordered  your season pass to get the best possible price (optional step for winter readiness)


Neil B.

IAQ: How Important is the Air You Breathe?

If you’ve got asthma,emphysema or pneumonia, you know the importance of breathing clean air. Particulates, chemicals, mold or even stale poorly ventilated air can cause problems for people with breathing issues. And since most people spend close to 90% of their time indoors, the quality of air you breath becomes important for health reasons as well. If an area is poorly ventilated and moisture is present mold has the chance to grow and multiply.

When it comes to removing particulates filtration using your homes forced air furnace is most commonly used. Usually a 1″ filter is used near the furnace or in a return grill recirculating air back to the furnace or air handler. Other times a higher density filter or electronic air cleaner is used and is able to capture even smaller particulates out of the air, resulting in even cleaner and healthier air in the home.

Below are two types of 1″ standard filters. The blue is a woven fiberglass that has high air flow, but only catches large dust particulates. The white is a pleated filter which still allows for pretty good air flow, but must be changed often (30-45 days) as it will plug and restrict air flow.

air-filters-clean-1 pleated

When higher quality filtration is needed. Filters with a larger surface area tend to catch particulates better. Also, filters that have an electrical charge and attract particulates do a fairly good job, but do let through some contaminants due to low surface area.


Although, we have found one electronic air cleaner that we feel is the best filtration unit on the market, and if your heating system can handle it (it does restrict quite a bit of flow) the American Standard Accu-Clean filter is able to remove almost all dust, dander, pollen, fowl food smells and mold spores out of the air, up to 99.98%. It is also up to 8 times better than any HEPA appliance.  Source: American Standard.


If you find yourself being shocked when you touch metal objects in your house or get bloody noses due breathing dry air, a humidifier may be for you. Installed on the duct system, humidifiers help keep your skin hydrated, your sinuses flowing properly and no more bleeding due to a dry nose. Here is an example of a whole house humidifier.


The water is dripped down the honeycomb media as warm air is diverted past the media. A humidistat is installed to keep overall humidity controlled in the home and humidity is usually only added in the winter when conditions are the driest.

I hope that I helped you learn something today and I hope that you will consider this when making Indoor Air Quality decisions in the future. If you have any questions feel free to call our office and  ask away. 970-434-5348.

Neil B.


Spring: Evap. Cooling

When it comes to keeping your home comfortable during our warm summer months here in the valley you have some choices to make. Around here, swamp evaporative coolers are pretty popular. We have a dry climate (usually) and we can capitalize on that with evaporation to cool our homes.  Evap. coolers use water and air to cool your home. The process of air flowing over the water causes evaporation, during that process heat is removed from the air, resulting in fresh cooled out-side air.

aspen-pads Aspen Pad used with standard metal coolers.

frigikingLike this,  you can also use the Synthetic pads.

synthetic padSynthetic pads.

Different coolers offer different cooling abilities and it is important that you have the correct cooler for your home. The cooling capacity has to do with the size of the cooler, the size of the motor, size and number of duct runs, size of your home and the type of media used for evaporation. Some coolers offer aspen pads, while others  use a cardboard composite, like this:

breezir celdekCeldek, used in Breezair and Aerocool.


Aerocool-TrophyAerocool Trophy, single inlet.

Maintenance is a must, coolers must be started in the early summer and winterized to prevent damage before the first freeze. Most coolers require draining and disconnect from a water source when you shut it down, and many people opt to place a cover over the unit for the winter. Placing a cover over the unit helps keep the dust out while also helping to keep heat in your home in the winter.

While the unit is in operation windows must be opened to allow proper air flow. Evap. coolers do not (generally) have a return air duct like A/C, so when blowing air into your home it needs some place to go. Other options, such as Up-Ducts can be installed in your home so windows do not need to be open. For the freshest and coolest air, the air in you home must be circulated in 3 minutes or less, otherwise a humid “muggy” feeling can occur.

Yes, these evap. coolers do put humidity into your home, and many people enjoy this during our hot dry summer. In late July and August some humidity does come into our area, at this time the cooler will not work quite as well, but rest assured, it is still doing what it can to cool your home.


The Team: Part Caleb

We have a great team of professionals here at Airstream who work very hard and have the focus needed to get the job done. But, sometimes we just need to relax, unwind and goof around a little…

Caleb has a great sense of humor, he always has a smile on his face and a silly thing to say about any situation. He currently attends Colorado Mesa University and plays in the marching band there. His instrument of choice, the trumpet. And, I must say, he’s pretty good at it.

He likes to go hunting in the fall and snowboarding through the winter. Summertime means mountain biking, camping and Lake Powel. If he can’t make it down to Powel he’ll spend the weekend out on Highline wakeboarding.


He has worked with us here at Airstream for a little under a year right now and has learned a lot. It means a lot to a technician when he doesn’t have to constantly micro-manage an apprentice. Give them a task and know it will be done right. Caleb

As with all of our techs, you can trust him in your home as he has been drug tested and background checked to make sure he did fit the high standards we demand from our employees. Hopefully you will have the pleasure of having Caleb over the next time you are in need of our services.

Neil B.

The Team Part: Sam

I was thinking about what to write about next, I’m new to this whole blogging thing and coming up with new topics all the time (or in this case for a second time) is proving to be a challenge. But then I thought, “The Team”. So we will begin introducing the team here at Airstream so you can get to know them and understand why we think they are great. Let’s start with the voice you hear when you call. You may not hear him every time, but for the most part it is Sam who cheerfully schedules your call.IMG_0570

Sam was a middle school science teacher here in the valley for a number of years and I’m sure a lot of your children had him at Bookcliff Middle School or Grand Mesa Middle. In fact two of the technicians here had Sam as a teacher. Sam and his wife Becky love to fish, hunt and camp. See:

Sam “The smoke keeps the Mosi’s away.”

Also, Sam likes loves the Broncos, mostly when they win. And from what I’ve observed, he has a lot of Broncos shirts. See the picture above. After the super bowl this year though he wasn’t a real happy camper, we just left him alone for a few days and let him cool down a bit. But, I’m sure next year he’ll be rooting them on to the super bowl again!

If you are out on the river front trail in the evenings look for him on his bike, he’ll be there. There is a lot more to say about Sam, but I’ll let you find out if you have the good fortune of getting him on the other end of the line.

Neil B.

Yes, your plumber has a blog.

Let’s get started with some background:

Mike started Airstream way back in 1983, just himself and his truck out in Palisade. Back then a firm handshake and eye contact were a good business model, and a one man shop could handle the amount of work that was available. It was tough, he went into the service plumbing trade to help people. During his training as a plumber there were no lessons about running a company. At one point, Mike had to sell his Nikon camera in order to pay for licensing and insurance.

Things were tough, until one service job landed him a break. He worked for another local business owner, Maurie Loveridge, who owned a vehicle repair shop in Palisade. Each week Maurie took out a full page ad in the Palisade Tribune for his own company, but this week the readers opened to his normal ad page and saw something completely different. Maurie had used his full page ad to highlight Mike and Airstream to the community. Maurie also met with several of the orchard owners on a daily basis and recommended Mike’s work to them as well. We won’t say that the company exploded at that point or that Mike had more work than he could handle, but it helped get him through that first year.

That same year help came in another form as well, his neighbor Jane. Jane offered her time for free to answer his phone, which if he was out on a job he would have to listen to the message when he got back. She was able to answer, schedule, and, if there was an emergency, she would track him down however possible and get the message to him.

Today, Mike has taken his one man shop and grown it into a full service plumbing, heating and air conditioning business. We are able to employ around 15 people (several office and support personal and 8 techs or apprentices) and are looking to grow even more, and the only way we grow is by keeping you, our valued customers happy and comfortable. This blog will be a place where employees of Airstream will talk about items of interest to you as a homeowner and a place that we can just write and talk with you, our friends and clients. We would appreciate feedback, let us know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions that would help us serve you better. Again, we wouldn’t be here without you, our loyal customers.

Neil B.