PITTSBURGH, PA — Fifty-five local homeowners recently received free furnace inspections through utilities Equitable Gas, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, and Dominion Peoples, and the western Pennsylvania chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

During the annual, one-day blitz, local contractors cleaned and checked the furnaces of pre-qualified, low-income homeowners identified by the gas utilities to ensure the safety, efficiency, and reliability of their heating systems prior to the heating season.

The western Pennsylvania chapter of ACCA consists of 46 local, independent heating and cooling contractors. Representatives of ACCA donate their services and some supplies, while each of the three local gas utilities provides funding for furnace repairs, if necessary.

The joint project has made a difference in the community for 14 years, with more than 200 homeowners benefiting from the program since its inception.

Last year, one homeowner received more help than he anticipated. While performing the inspection and cleaning, the contractor discovered that the furnace was inoperable and presented a safety hazard. The utility and ACCA provided the funding and labor to replace the furnace, in addition to referring the customer to a qualified contractor to remove asbestos that was detected. Circumstances vary in each home, but this is one example of the benefits that are extended to participants in the program.

Publication date: 09/30/2002