“We were desperate for a long time.” – Sharon Mitchem
Cold, drafty air permeated Sharon Mitchem’s north Denver home for three years before she discovered the furnace was only operating at 20 percent. With limited financial resources, Sharon and her husband had to make do with what they had, even as the furnace’s performance gradually worsened every year.
“We were putting plastic – like saran wrap and tape – on the windows. We wore extra layers of clothing. And for a couple of winters, we sat around in overcoats with heavy blankets,” she explains. Sharon and her husband resorted to installing a ventless heater in the living room, but that was of little help, as the rest of the house still got chilly. In addition to blowing cold air through their 1951 home, the furnace was putting out lots of carbon monoxide.
“We were desperate for a long time,” Sharon says.
Despite their ongoing discomfort throughout the cold months, Sharon and her husband couldn’t afford to make improvements on the house. Sharon has been on disability for 10 years, and her husband is unemployed. “We can’t put out a lot of money for fixing the house up. It’s just not there. We’ve been broke.”
When Sharon received a letter from the Low-Income Energy Assistance program notifying her that she qualified for free energy efficiency services, she was skeptical at first. “Then I talked with my neighbor across the street and found out what a great job Veterans Green Jobs did on his house. We made an appointment.” Within a few days, Veterans Green Jobs replaced the furnace, insulated the attic, walls and crawlspace, and air-sealed the windows and doors.
Already, Sharon feels a difference in her home, even though the cold weather hasn’t yet arrived. “We’ve noticed how much quieter it is with the insulation in the walls. And the furnace was a lifesaver. We will be warmer this year, but we’ll also save money on the heating bills.”
Sharon says she has Veterans Green Jobs to thank for that. “They’re sweethearts, and very courteous and polite. They definitely did a great job.”
Veterans Green Jobs provides comprehensive home performance services to income-qualified homes, with funding from the Colorado Energy Office and the City and County of Denver’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, and through collaborative efforts of the Denver Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. These services make homes greener, healthier and safer while reducing the burden of high energy costs. Application for Free Home Performance Services /Solicitud de trabajos de climatización