Young love is what brought Eric and Cherrie Schwartz to Central Oregon in 1971. A love of family, fresh air, and their charming log home is what kept them here. So when the couple’s heating system failed last spring, they were worried sick about how to afford a new one. Would they have to take out a second mortgage? Would they lose their home? Would the stress take a further toll on Eric’s health?
For years their primary source of heat was a wood stove and Eric chopped wood during the summer and fall. But after Eric’s stroke in 2013, the couple had to rely on their old furnace that, after thousands of dollars-worth of repairs, limped along until April of this year. That was right about the time when Eric and Cherrie discovered NeighborImpact’s Weatherization Program.
“We received energy assistance for a few years after Eric’s stroke so we knew about NeighborImpact,” says Cherrie. “Then, when we attended an Energy Education workshop at the NeighborImpact office, we found out about your furnace replacement and Weatherization programs and knew right away we needed to learn more.”
They inquired about the program and soon found that they qualified for home weatherization and a full heat system replacement. Over the period of a few months, NeighborImpact Weatherization and Energy Assistance crews collaborated to add generous amounts of fiberglass insulation, install weather stripping, and replace the furnace with a new system.
Now the Cherrie and Eric are prepared for a warm and comfortable winter in the home they love and will be celebrating 45 years of marriage in October.
“We can now sleep well at night knowing that we are safe and that we will have a warm place to be this winter,” says Eric. “This program has given us peace of mind, reduced our stress, and we now have a calmer existence.”
“We raised four children in this home and we never ever want to leave,” says Cherrie.
“And thanks to NeighborImpact, we don’t have to,” adds Eric.