After Five Winters Without Heat, Oklahoma Man Receives Furnace Repair
Larry H. of Dewey, Oklahoma, had spent five years without a working furnace.
"It just quit, and I couldn't figure out why," he said.
The plains winters are cold, and Larry fended them off with the use of two small space heaters. Even with the space heaters, the temperature in his home usually hovered around a frigid mid- 40s during the winter.
“I don't think I've ever had anyone come out to the house and be as quick and as efficient and informative.”
He put one heater in the kitchen to keep the plumbing from freezing, and a second in his living room, where he spent most of his day. Because they were electric heaters, it waged a heavy toll on his electric bill.
Larry uses a wheelchair and spends most of his time at home, so he was spending a lot of time dealing with the cold. However, he had a fixed income and couldn't afford to pay more than $1,200 to have the furnace repaired, so he endured.
"I was getting by with the space heaters, but it was getting iffy," Larry said, noting that his home's electrical system was older and in poor shape, so couldn't handle more than the two heaters.
Then, a social worker learned that Larry's furnace needed repaired and recommended that he reach out to the HomeServe Cares Foundation, which provides free repairs that impact safety, sanitation and quality of life to qualifying homeowners. Within hours of applying for assistance, Larry heard from Tammy Gross, one of HomeServe's specialist team members dedicated to making sure that people in Larry's situation receive the help they need.
"I've never seen anyone respond so fast and they got help out to me so quickly," Larry said, "I've never seen anyone do that before."
Tammy was impressed with Larry's upbeat attitude despite the difficulties he was having in getting his furnace repaired.
"(Larry) was the happiest man I have talked to in a very long time," Tammy said, noting that Larry never brought up his personal obstacles. "He was always upbeat, and he had reason not to be. I think we could all be a little bit more like Larry."
Larry was equally impressed with Tammy.
"She was informative and easy to get along with," he said. "She listened to my concerns, really listened to me and didn't tell me what I wanted or needed. People who listen to you, today, they're kind of rare."
Nick from Lee Mechanical was dispatched to determine what was wrong with Larry's furnace. Nick and several of his crew are familiar with the HomeServe Cares Foundation and the Caring for People program which provides the free home repairs. He sang praises for the program.
"HomeServe Cares is super cool, the way it gives back," Nick said. "We try to do a lot of giving back as well, so it's cool to be able to work with a company that does the same thing."
Nick, just like Tammy, was impressed with Larry's positive outlook.
"He's a super great guy, and nothing gets him down," Nick said. "It was negative 10 last year, I don't know how he survived."
Larry praised Nick's work.
"I don't think I've ever had anyone come out to the house and be as quick and as efficient and informative," he said.
Once Nick looked at the furnace, he realized it needed several repairs, including installing a new thermostat in the home and an ignition control module in the furnace itself and made sure the wiring was right and tight.
"When I asked him, he said he was without a furnace for years," Nick said. "He had just two little space heaters. When we got it fixed, just the joy on his face."
Larry had this to say: "I'm happy. I couldn't be happier. I won't be cold anymore. At present, it's 79 degrees in my living room. I can't say enough good things about HomeServe. They were there when I needed them."
Published Feb 8, 2022