This house must really be feeling like home to me now, because the events of the past weekend didn’t make me want to pack my bags and head back to the condo. And also…no buyer’s remorse. That’s improvement.
Cold weather has hit central Texas, and as of Friday, we still hadn’t had our furnace serviced and turned on. My brother-in-law Bill had actually encouraged us to let him do it for us, because he’s fairly certain that our old furnace (which sat unused for the last four or five years while the house was vacant) isn’t exactly up to code, which could be a problem if we allow any licensed person in to service it.
And since he’s had quite a bit of experience with these furnaces, he felt certain that he could get it turned on for us and make sure everything was in good, safe, working condition for the winter. (I feel certain that we’ll be retiring the old furnace after this winter and having a new HVAC system installed before next summer.)
I had been procrastinating on this because, frankly, that furnace scares me a bit. Plus, while we’ve had a few cold nights here and there, we really hadn’t had any continuous cold weather yet. But we finally decided that we needed to get the thing turned on last Friday, when the temp inside the house stayed at about 53 degrees all day long. We were coooold. Plus, this next week, the temps are supposed to be in the 20s and 30s, so it was time for action.
So Friday night, Bill and my sister Cathy came over at around 10:00pm. He took apart every little gas pipe and connector valve thingy, blew them all out, made sure they were working. When they finally left at 1:00am, we still didn’t have any heat, but he had found the issue.
On Saturday, they came back to try to fix the problem, but it just wouldn’t work, so Bill removed the defective part and rigged up a way for me to at least turn the furnace on when the house gets cold.
The bad news? I have to turn it off and on manually. So basically, I have to keep an eye on the indoor thermometer, and determine when we want the furnace to come on, and when we want it shut off, and I have to do it myself.
The worse news? In order to turn the furnace on manually, I have to go out into the very cold garage, and into the storage area at the back of the garage, and into the very scary corner (the same very scary corner where the fuse boxes are), and light the pilot light and manually turn on the gas.
It’s definitely a pain in the rear, but it’s probably been a very good thing also. Since I spent quite a bit of time out there while they were working on it, I got to see the furnace with all of the panels off. And Bill also explained to me how everything works. Just being able to see the insides and learn about it has made me far less scared of the thing.
Although, I’ll admit that when I’m wedged into that dark corner, with my arm up inside the furnace holding a lighter, and I turn the gas on, and the pilot light lights up and then all of the burners come to a full flame and go ‘whhhooshhhhh’ out the side of the furnace towards my arm in that very tight space….yeah, that’s a bit scary.
And then when half the time, about 15 seconds after I light it, it makes a big ‘BOOOOOMMMM’ sound and I nearly jump out of my skin….yeah, that’s a bit scary.
But that’s okay. I’m conquering my fear of the furnace, and the scary dark corner with the fuse boxes…AND we have heat.
And this set up is just temporary. I’m hoping and praying that Bill can find the replacement part today so that we can have a normal working furnace soon that will come on and off all by itself.
For now, I’m incredibly thankful to have heat any way we can get it. And I’m incredibly thankful for a brother-in-law who knows all about this stuff, and a sister who is his awesome, fearless, hard working helper. Thanks to them, we’re no longer freezing cold in our house.