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Heat now flows efficiently into Hubbard County home

Thanks to some random acts of kindness, Rick and Mary Meier are toasty warm tonight in their home, just as winter sets in. The Hubbard County couple, both partially disabled, was the recipient of a new furnace Wednesday as part of the Heat Up Min...

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Homeowners Mary and Rick Meiers, from left, and furnace installers Todd Lorenz and Justin Isaacson. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

 Thanks to some random acts of kindness, Rick and Mary Meier are toasty warm tonight in their home, just as winter sets in.  The Hubbard County couple, both partially disabled, was the recipient of a new furnace Wednesday as part of the Heat Up Minnesota 2015 program.  They were selected from a group of nominees, said Justin Isaacson, owner of Ike’s Heating & Cooling/Ike’s Fireplace in Nevis.  Isaacson’s principal supplier, Lennox, initiated the program and donated the furnace – the second one Ike, as he goes by, has installed this fall. Earlier a couple from Hackensack got a free furnace.  

Ike furnishes the labor and installation free of charge, while removing the Meiers’ old gas furnace.   They’d stopped using the inefficient appliance because it sucked juice like there was no tomorrow, and began using their fireplace. The old furnace was a monster of a machine, and too big for the rural home. It cost a fortune to run, so they had turned to their old fireplace.  But Rick’s peripheral neuropathy interfered with him constantly hauling firewood into the home. Mary had her own health problems, with a bum leg encased around a metal piece, and a bad back, so she was in no position to assist.  Another agency had turned the couple down for help, maintaining the roof was too bad to place a new furnace under. They walked away from helping.  

The couple sold half their land and replaced the worst of the shingles. The remaining will wait until they’ve received enough money and help to proceed.  They were nominated by an anonymous person for the furnace program and are thankful about it.  Ike pored through applications and selected the Meiers.  “I like to do random acts of kindness,” he said modestly. “I’ve needed help in the past… It goes full circle. We practice the Golden Rule.”  Lennox, twice a year, donates a free furnace or two, encouraged in part by Ike and other distributors.  Minnesota Lennox dealers and Lennox International “are committed to the Heat Up Minnesota program,” the company indicated.  “From 2012 through 2015, over 150 deserving families have received a new high efficiency Lennox furnace completely free of charge. Lennox provides the furnace, and participating Lennox dealers provide the installation.”  Ike was worried after visiting the Meiers’ home that the couple was at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The damper wasn’t opening and black smoke was pouring out from every crack.  The new furnace is PVC vented and has pressure switches to indicate if there’s a problem.  If there is, Ike will be back. At 95 percent efficient, the new furnace won’t leak from every crevice.  The Meiers were overcome with gratefulness. Mary fought back tears as Ike and employee Todd Lorenz heaved the furnace from the delivery van.  “This should reduce your fuel consumption by half,” Ike explained to the couple.  “This is just wonderful,” Mary said. Rick stood there speechless and limped painfully into the house.    

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