Wall Township HVAC company gives veteran free furnace after his heat went out
An Iraq War veteran and his family received a new furnace and air conditioning unit on Veteran’s Day, thanks to a donation from a local HVAC company in Wall Township.
Sergio Agudelo, 35, joined the Army as a teenager out of high school. He served in the infantry in Iraq for 14 months. He says that it is service that he is proud of, but that it took its toll in the form of PTSD.
"My family started noticing certain things with me, getting into fights, being different, angry, outbursts,” Agudelo says.
His recovery has been going very well. But in September, during five days of rain, the sump pump in the basement of the house broke down and the flood water took out the furnace.
“It was hectic. My wife and I were here with bins trying to get as much water out as possible,” he says.
The family of three was living without heat for two months, using space heaters on chilly nights.
“It got to the point where it got so cold that we needed to use both [heaters] in one room. We were all in one room,” Aqudelo says.
Sergio told a friend he needed help. That friend coincidentally knew that Tom Rostron Heating and Air had a campaign to help out veterans in need. As soon as the company heard about the family's situation, a tech was sent over.
"And he took a look at things down here and we needed to replace the whole system, get a furnace in here and start fresh,” says Jim Guiliano, of Tom Rostron Heating and Air.
That tech put in a new $20,000 furnace on Tuesday. An air condition unit will be added on.
"We slept great last night. Just to have some heat. We don’t have the portable heaters,” Aqudelo says.
Aqudelo says one of the hardest parts of this process was stepping up and asking for help. He says if he didn’t, he likely still wouldn't have heat in his house. He's hoping some other veteran will see this and ask for help themselves.
Tom Rostron Heating and Air is looking to help one more veteran before November ends. Anyone who might know a veteran in need should reach out to the company.