The Lifesaving Benefits of Weatherization and Energy Efficiency in Arizona

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Meet Sharon: A Testament to the Power of Weatherization

Sharon, a resilient retiree living in Phoenix, faced a daunting challenge that many Arizonans can relate to. After becoming the sole caregiver for her mother and aunt, she found herself living in a manufactured home she bought in 1999. Despite her efforts to keep her home pristine, her 20-year-old air conditioner couldn’t keep up with the blistering Arizona summers, leading to soaring energy bills over $300 a month.

With contractors quoting $20,000 for a replacement unit, Sharon’s limited retirement income left her feeling trapped and contemplating the unthinkable—moving out of her beloved home. This is where FSL (Foundation for Senior Living), the largest provider of weatherization services in Arizona, stepped in to help.

The Crisis of Heat-Related Deaths in Maricopa County

Sharon’s situation is not unique. In Maricopa County alone, a record 579 people died from heat-related causes last year, with nearly a third of them aged 65 or older. Tragically, four of Sharon’s neighbors died alone in their homes, suffering from a lack of working plumbing, heating, or air conditioning. The harsh Arizona climate can be deadly, especially for vulnerable populations, highlighting the critical need for weatherization services.

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Len with FSL Regional Property Manager, Scott VanSoest

How FSL’s Weatherization Services Make a Difference

FSL’s weatherization program, in partnership with Maricopa County and the City of Tucson, provides essential services to low-income households, significantly reducing energy costs and enhancing the health and safety of homes. In 2023 alone, FSL upgraded 577 homes, preventing many residents from facing severe health risks or emergency room visits due to inadequate living conditions.

When FSL’s team assessed Sharon’s home, they discovered several issues contributing to her high energy bills and uncomfortable living conditions. The home’s barriers to keeping the heat out and the cool air in were ineffective. Floor vents pushed air into the dirt below, creating an inefficient and unhealthy environment.

FSL’s skilled crew installed a new air conditioner, furnace, and water heater, and sealed all systems, ensuring Sharon’s home remained cool and her utility bills were drastically reduced. Sharon couldn’t be more grateful, describing the team as “the nicest, cleanest, and most considerate men.” Now, her home is not only comfortable but also safe from the extreme Arizona heat.

I didn't appreciate my home as much before they came. They made my home livable.
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Sharon
FSL Weatherization Client

Why Weatherization is Crucial for Arizona Residents

Weatherization is more than just an energy-saving measure; it’s a lifesaving service. By enhancing the energy efficiency of homes, weatherization reduces utility costs, making it more affordable for residents to maintain a comfortable and safe living environment. In a state like Arizona, where temperatures regularly exceed 100 degrees, this can be the difference between life and death.

FSL’s mission is to ensure that every Arizonan, regardless of income, has access to a safe, energy-efficient home. But we can’t do it alone. Your generous gift can help us reach more individuals like Sharon, providing them with the weatherization services they desperately need.

By donating to FSL, you are directly contributing to the health and well-being of your community. Your support ensures that vulnerable populations, particularly the elderly, can live in safe, energy-efficient homes, protected from the extreme weather conditions of Arizona.

With organizations like FSL at the forefront, communities are empowered to thrive against all odds, transforming housing from brick and mortar into vibrant centers of hope and belonging. Looking for weatherization services in your area? Learn more at www.fsl.org/weatherization.

About FSL

Established in 1974, the Foundation for Senior Living is dedicated to providing integrated, customized care for those who need it in the Phoenix area. We offer a wide range of home- and community-based services, including:

All of these are designed to enable Arizonans of all ages to live happier, healthier, more independent lives. If you or someone you know is struggling to have their needs met, don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you. And if you’re able, consider donating or volunteering your time to our mission. We can’t wait to work with you!

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