No, this isn’t a post about someone giving me the cold shoulder, although my shoulders certainly were a bit on the chilly side for a while. The unfortunate things happen when the thermometer drops… After all, your car never fails to start during the warm, summer months. It’s always right in the middle of January, when you’ve got -50 degrees with the wind chill, that several cranks of the key will yield no response. And such is life, right? Last night, we had that same situation happen but with something that is ironically nestled snuggly within the arm confines of our home… Our furnace.
Furnaces are wonderful. They keep you warm during the winter and maintain the overall ambient temperature of one’s household. During the autumn of 2021, we had a brand new furnace and air conditioner installed as part of the overall renovation of our basement. It made sense at the time, since walls would be going up that would likely be damaged if we replaced it later on. Long story short, our furnace is less than a couple of years’ old, meaning that the expectation is that it’ll continue to chug along and function properly. What is it that I always say at moments like these? Something about life not caring about one’s plans, right?
I quietly sitting on my rocker in the basement while Nathan looked up his umpteenth video on YouTube on how to build some particular thing in Minecraft. Since I’ll be leaving town for the evening this morning for my eye injections, I was busy doing laundry, cleaning out the basement and ensuring everyone got their Sunday showers before heading back to school. That’s when my wife came downstairs and explained that she had the thermostat set at 72 degrees but that the house temperature was currently sitting at 66 degrees. 66 isn’t the be all, end all of cold temperature but for a household used to hovering at about 70 during the winter months, it doesn’t go unnoticed.
We did all the usual “due diligence” steps before considering calling someone; we checked the furnace breaker, took off the furnace panels and made sure nothing appeared broken or disconnected, checked the filter… Nothing. So, despite it being quite late into the evening and would costs significantly more, we contacted a local furnace company to come see what the problem was. To do otherwise would have meant that the house would have become dangerously cold for the family overnight so I would have had to put us up in a hotel or something, the cost of which I could simply contribute to having the furnace looked at and everyone stays home. I know, I know… first-world problems…
Anyway, this very skilled and capable gentleman comes in and discovers that we’re missing a particular drain on the furnace, which is causing humidity to come in from the outdoors. Although it had been reasonably humid lately, he felt it was strange that after almost two years’ of use, we had never encountered this issue before. He went outside and discovered small footprints around the vent pipes, suggesting that Nathan may have been walking around there. Considering we had basically forced Nathan out to play yesterday, we began contemplating that the little fucker may have stuffed a bunch of snow down the vent pipe, which the engineer made very clear could have caused all the water backup into the furnace.
Nathan was already in bed and asleep but the engineer got the furnace working and true to his word, it kept working all night. In fact, I hear it belching out warm air now. The engineer is slated to return today to install a replacement part for what was damaged due to the water and now I get the fun parenting task of trying to determine if my son is actually responsible and explaining why it was a bad thing. Getting the truth out of a child when they assume they may be in trouble is always a bit problematic. But there’s no denying that by the time today’s repair is completed, we’ll likely be looking at a cool grand in costs. Fun, right?
Life doesn’t care about one’s plans. It’s almost a guarantee that the furnace wouldn’t have given out during the summer months because we don’t use it (besides the fan for air circulation). But when the x-factor to all the damage is your own child, it adds a bit of vinegar into the paper cut. Que sera… We’re still very fortunate to live in a comfortable home with very few issues with food on our table and clothes on our back. Not everyone is so fortunate. Stay warm, everyone! ☯️
One thought on “Getting A Chilly Response…”
Interesting. I wouldn’t have thought a furnace would need a drain. A/C systems cause condensation and thus need drains. Wild situation. 🙂
Reading the first few lines, I was worried that you were going to say the furnace completely fell apart on you. Even major appliances and HVAC systems have insanely short lifespans nowadays. Nobody makes a water heater anymore that lasts beyond a few years. I’ve read blogs where they keep 2 extras stored in the basement just in case.
Glad it was repairable. Hope it didn’t break the bank either.