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Question for the forum:

My wife has a friend who is undergoing some issues and is facing some big expenses with limited means. They are 4 generations of girls in the same house (great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and 11-yo daughter) with no men around to help out. I just learned their furnace went out, last winter, and it's been out ever since. Apparently repairing it isn't an option due to age, so a replacement is likely needed. With winter coming again, it's going to be a big issue for them. And with the furnace having been out as long as it has, likely the ducts are going to need some cleaning.

So here is my question: I know we have some HVAC guys on the forum, but I'm more interested in those that handle residential HVAC. I'm curious if there are any resources out there that anyone knows about to help out folks in need. We're going to look into seeing if we can help gather some funds for them to get the furnace back online, replaced, if possible, I need to get an idea of what costs are involved so I can start to quantify the costs. At this point, I don't have any details on the furnace type, fuel type, etc., I'm trying to find that out. I'm going to see if we can get more information on the type of furnace to help better try to quantify the costs involved.

I'm looking into Energy Trust of Oregon as I know they have some resources for weatherization and heating issues for folks struggling financially, but I don't yet know what they can offer.

Secondly, and a somewhat minor issue, their dishwasher has died too. I can put in a replacement, but thought I'd start reaching out to see if anyone has a used one out there at a reasonable price that we could help get to them. You never know what might be out there if you don't ask.

The family are legal immigrants from Poland who came here about 25 years ago. They really hesitate when it comes to asking for assistance as they want to care for themselves as much as they can. The string of bad luck lately has made that a daunting task that wiped out their savings.

Really just looking for resources/information because I'm not entirely sure the best places to start a search like this. Hopefully some folks out there may have dealt with something like this before and can help guide me where to look.

Anyway, thanks for any information you can offer. They are sweet people and we'd like to find a way to help if we can.
 

Joe13

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I know in Clark county that the PUD will install a new furnace (**If your dead furnace was electric) and set you up with small payments added to your regular bill.

Not sure if you have that in their area or not - you just have to ask them.

*Also, NW Natural Gas will not do that and is a horrible company in general and I'll never use their service again.
 
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We replaced our dishwasher this week. Last one was fine we just got appliances as a part of the loan so swapped it out. We were going to sell it but we’d be happy to let them have it.

You’d have to get it as we don’t have a truck. Be a chance to meet you as well. Is their stove working? Have one of those too.
 
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Hope the advice they were given on not being able to repair the furnace is legit, and not someone wanting to sell them something they may not need.

How old is the house? Age may give a clue as to whether it has insulation.
1 story? 2 story? Lot of glass? Single or double pane? Number of bedrooms up/down? Any idea of the square footage?

For now, until the furnace is working, they could use electric space heaters to keep it a little warmer, but they would not do a lot when it gets cold. Have to be careful not to burn the house down with them.

Search Results for portable electric heater at The Home Depot

Space Heaters

I have used the oil filled type, the quartz radiant type, the electric fan/resistance-wire coil type, and they all work. The radiant type will warm objects or people even if the air is cool, as long as it's pointed at them.

Someone asked if the stove works. They could do a lot of baking and that would add heat. Also, turn on lights, appliances. Will drive the electric bill up though. If windows are sunlit, open the blinds and let the sun in.

Rough cost to run one 1500 Watt electric space heater for 24 hours, assuming electricity costs 10 cents per KWh: 1.5 KW x 24 hours x $0.10/KWh = $3.60.
15 cents per hour - not too bad.
 
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FYI- The Colton area may mean a heat pump, electric furnace, propane fired, but most likely an oil-fired furnace as natural gas service is hit or miss out in the “rural” areas....

Got one piece of info last night - it's an electric furnace.
 
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I do rental management and throw away working dishwashers all the time. On turns if they are a older model or dented or stained I replace them. Pm me if you want.

We replaced our dishwasher this week. Last one was fine we just got appliances as a part of the loan so swapped it out. We were going to sell it but we’d be happy to let them have it.

You’d have to get it as we don’t have a truck. Be a chance to meet you as well. Is their stove working? Have one of those too.

We just replaced our dishwasher and still have the old one. There's nothing wrong with it and I can let it go for free.

Thank you to each of you, I will send each a PM to see what you have!

Really appreciate the folks on this forum, always willing to help out!
 
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Hope the advice they were given on not being able to repair the furnace is legit, and not someone wanting to sell them something they may not need.

How old is the house? Age may give a clue as to whether it has insulation.
1 story? 2 story? Lot of glass? Single or double pane? Number of bedrooms up/down? Any idea of the square footage?

For now, until the furnace is working, they could use electric space heaters to keep it a little warmer, but they would not do a lot when it gets cold. Have to be careful not to burn the house down with them.

Search Results for portable electric heater at The Home Depot

Space Heaters

I have used the oil filled type, the quartz radiant type, the electric fan/resistance-wire coil type, and they all work. The radiant type will warm objects or people even if the air is cool, as long as it's pointed at them.

Someone asked if the stove works. They could do a lot of baking and that would add heat. Also, turn on lights, appliances. Will drive the electric bill up though. If windows are sunlit, open the blinds and let the sun in.

Rough cost to run one 1500 Watt electric space heater for 24 hours, assuming electricity costs 10 cents per KWh: 1.5 KW x 24 hours x $0.10/KWh = $3.60.
15 cents per hour - not too bad.

I haven't been to the house, yet. I know it's a farm house, and probably older. I believe it's 2 story. I don't have any of those details yet, I haven't had a chance to speak to her and get that info, but I'm planning on it. For now, they have been managing with space heaters, but it's inconsistent, at least with whatever types they're currently using.

I'd like to get out to the house and see it for myself. Sounds like a dishwasher will be available, so maybe I can get that installed and look into the furnace issue at the same time. I'll report back here when I do get more information.
 

Stomper

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Got one piece of info last night - it's an electric furnace.


Unless it’s ancient, those are usually fairly repairable.... blower motor, some heat strips, sequencers, some relays...

If you feel it needs to be replaced, you’ll need to know the circuit ampacity, preferably the kw output of the heat-strips package inside the furnace, and how much CFM of airflow the blower will move.

A make, model, and serial number will go a LONG WAY in helping determine all of that.
 
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Unless it’s ancient, those are usually fairly repairable.... blower motor, some heat strips, sequencers, some relays...

If you feel it needs to be replaced, you’ll need to know the circuit ampacity, preferably the kw output of the heat-strips package inside the furnace, and how much CFM of airflow the blower will move.

A make, model, and serial number will go a LONG WAY in helping determine all of that.

Sounds good. I’m working to collect some more details including info on the furnace, the quotes they received and on the house itself.
 

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