HomeServe Cares Foundation Gifts New Jersey Woman New Furnace

For many families living in the Northeast, late-October marks the time that they turn on the heat in their homes for the first time in the season. But when Leslie C. of Hamburg, New Jersey switched hers on, it started an unfortunate and potentially dangerous series of events.

Her furnace was located in the attic above her bedroom, and a minute or two after being switched on, it jolted what felt like the entire house. Leslie gave it a few more hours and was troubled to find that the ceiling was shaking every few minutes that the furnace was on.

“At that point, I decided I would try not to use the heat at all,” said Leslie. “It was cold, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford to repair the furnace and was hoping the problem would just go away.”

Leslie is disabled and on a fixed income, which she uses to care for her son and herself. As the weather got colder, she did have to turn the furnace on here and there, but did so sparingly. The jolting persisted, and Leslie’s fear of the ceiling caving in grew larger. Electric heaters helped some, but it wasn’t enough to combat the chilly temperatures. Eventually, she saved enough money to call somebody to come out and take a look. The news Leslie received was not what she had hoped.

“Basically, the technician told me that the furnace would likely not last the winter, and that it could soon be unsafe to turn on at all,” Leslie said. “It was devastating, but I knew I had to figure out a way to get it fixed for my son and I.”

Leslie’s next move was to place a phone call to her utility, Elizabethtown Gas. Her main request was for information on available programs to help residents with repairs that might not be able to pay the full cost up front. It was then that she was referred to the HomeServe Cares Foundation.

HomeServe received and reviewed Leslie’s request and decided to move forward in replacing her broken furnace as part of its HomeServe Cares Program.

“When I got the call that I was getting help, it brought me to tears,” Leslie recalled.

“I kept asking myself, ‘How will I ever afford this on my own?’” said Leslie. “But then, the utility employee told me about HomeServe Cares and the way you give back to people in situations like myself around the country.”

HomeServe got the repair started and sent out a local and reliable member of their contractor network, Liberty Heating and Cooling, out to Leslie’s property to begin the work. It wasn’t long before the technician came upon a troubling and dangerous discovery.

“He asked me if I had been getting any headaches recently, and I was surprised, because I had been,” Leslie said. “It turns out he was asking because there was a minor carbon monoxide leak coming from the furnace. Not enough to seriously injure anybody, but enough to cause some side effects like headaches and fatigue.”

Liberty Heating and Cooling finished up the furnace replacement, and the HomeServe Cares Foundation footed the bill totaling about $3,000. In addition to a brand-new furnace, Leslie also gained peace of mind when it came to the safety of living in her home.

“When I say I don’t know what I would have done without you, I mean it,” Leslie said. “I can’t thank HomeServe enough for helping me and doing it so quickly. My son and I are safer because of it.”

Published Jan 17, 2024

HomeServe USA