January 30, 2007

So that's how you get it fixed!

As I have been reporting for at least three of the past several years, our downstairs furnace has a mind of its own. Sometimes it will kick on and blow out some heat, but most of the time it just sits there and lets the downstairs get downright cold. Like yesterday evening, when it was 57 degrees. And that's real Fahrenheit degrees, not those silly made-up French Celcius numbers.

It's possible to turn the main switch off and back on and get the thing to light off and run for a bit, but really only for about five minutes, then it goes back off. You can keep hitting that switch, but in the end that's not a very efficient way of keeping the downstairs warm.

Now in years past, I have thought about changing the thermostat, and even bought a new one, until I had the epiphany that the air conditioning part of the unit works just fine in the summer. Which means the thermostat is probably just fine.

I've done some looking on the Internet to see if anyone else has this type of problem so I could possibly see if I could fix it myself. What I've found out is that it might be very simple, or not. And there's not a really good way of telling the difference simply by asking the furnace, "Does it hurt when I move this?"

And then there's the possibility, it being natural gas-fired and all, of recreating the famed January 15, 1978 explosion in lovely downtown Auburn that leveled the Kopper Kettle. An event which, according to one of my building science professors, sent the building's heavy iron boiler several hundred feet away after blowing it through the roof.

I guarantee you, I'd get in trouble if I did that.

SO, even though it gets chilly downstairs, eventually summer does come along making it less of a priority to get fixed. This year, I really had good intentions of calling someone, because it did get cold several weeks back while I was off for Christmas, and I thought since I was home that it would be a good time to have workmen traipsing around. I even called one place, and they never called back.

And then it got unseasonably global-warmed, and once more, the priority for getting it fixed immediately sorta slipped.

Then, last night as I said, it was downright uncomfortable, and I thought maybe I should try to remember to call someone this week. Maybe. That is, until after we'd all eaten supper and cleaned up and come upstairs for the rest of the evening that Reba said something to me that snapped me out of my lackadaisical attitude.

"Ashley was wondering...she was wanting to know if she could invite #6 [not his real name] over Saturday and maybe they could just hang around the house and watch videos and stuff."

Once again, the ol' good news/bad news thing. It's good 1) that she asked first, 2) that neither of them mind staying around the house, 3) that she has, of late, been very much more responsible, 4) that the boy seems to be genuinely nice, although somewhat lacking in social grace, 5) and that she even said she'd be willing to help get the house cleaned up.


That danged furnace is broke, and I'm not ABOUT to let them sit there on that couch and have an excuse for snuggling up! I've used that excuse before, and I KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT!!

That furnace is gonna get fixed--the guy's coming tomorrow at lunch.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at January 30, 2007 02:15 PM

Oh my - you just needed the right motivation!

Posted by: Diane at January 30, 2007 03:27 PM

As a very wise man once said, "Heh. Indeed."

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 30, 2007 03:58 PM