Not left out in the cold

North Branch woman wins ‘Oldest Furnace Contest’

Submitted by 

C.M. Swanson

Aire Serv customer service representative

Carolyn Dewitt is the proud new owner of a Lennox SLP98 variable capacity, natural gas furnace, courtesy of Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning in North Branch. She entered a contest that prompted residents to contact Aire Serv if they thought they had the oldest furnace in North Branch. Employees from the business determined her furnace was manufactured in 1937.  Photo supplied

Carolyn Dewitt is the proud new owner of a Lennox SLP98 variable capacity, natural gas furnace, courtesy of Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning in North Branch. She entered a contest that prompted residents to contact Aire Serv if they thought they had the oldest furnace in North Branch. Employees from the business determined her furnace was manufactured in 1937.
Photo supplied

North Branch resident Carolyn Dewitt is a woman of faith. Still, she no

has to have faith in her old furnace after having won a new one for free in a local contest.

It all began the day she picked up a copy of the Post Review and saw an ad prompting residents of North Branch to contact Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning if they thought they owned the oldest furnace in town.

The winner of the contest would receive a new furnace from Aire Serv.

“I saw the contest in there and I thought, ‘Hmm. Well, what have I got to lose? My furnace is so old,’” Dewitt said.

Dewitt entered the contest online.

Then came the waiting. The contest ran for three weeks.

“Then I just tried to forget about it because I didn’t want to jinx it,” Dewitt said. “I tried to research (my furnace) online and couldn’t find the exact date (it was made).

Dewitt explained she knew the furnace was old when she found the serial number and it was only one numeral.

“I knew that indicated the age right there because nowadays serial numbers have a lot of numbers and letters,” she said.

Aire Serv showed up at her house and determined the age of the furnace.

Dewitt estimated it was built in 1957, but an Aire Serve employee told her it was decades older than that; the furnace was manufactured in 1937.

“I thought, ‘Wow!’” Dewitt said.

Before Aire Serv came to install her new furnace April 9 — a Lennox SLP98 variable capacity, natural gas model — she had some time to reflect on her good fortune.

“When I was trying to clean the cobwebs off the ceiling by the furnace, it started to hit me,” Dewitt said. “I just realized God’s got my back. He really does. Just when you think, ‘I can’t take it any more,’ then, ‘bam!’”

Though the 76-year-old furnace started up every year, Dewitt often wondered how many more years of service the furnace could possibly give. Even if it did continue to operate for several more years, the heating bills were a challenge.

“The bills were sky high,” she said.

Dewitt is enjoying her new furnace.

“I’m just very thankful,” she said. “It’s just another indication that God is watching out for us. Who knows how much longer that old furnace would have lasted?”

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