Over the past weekend, we had some of the coldest days of the year so far here in my neck of the woods. And of course, you had to know that this would be the weekend our furnace decided to act up.
I got the blame for it, too. I have this habit of turning the thermostat down at night before we go to bed. We have this amazing duvet which keeps us so warm, I swear some nights I kick the thing off. So why would I maintain the heat at a higher temperature if I’m going to spend the night under those marvellously warm feathers?
Unfortunately, the next morning – Saturday – when I awoke and turned the thermostat up from 50 degrees to 75, the furnace ignored me.
My beloved, who had the day off, noticed the failure of the furnace to heat the house. How did I know he had noticed? He pulled a blanket over himself to keep warm as he stretched out in his recliner and read.
Our initial thought was that the thermostat itself had died. We did have a new one, given to us when this furnace was installed 7 years ago, and which we had set aside.
On Sunday, my husband set about installing the new thermostat, an operation that didn’t take very long at all.
Alas, the problem was not solved, as the furnace still didn’t respond to our request for more heat.
I was all for calling the company that services our furnace right then and there. I knew the house call wouldn’t cost anything as I pay a fee each month hedging against just this eventuality.
My beloved insisted that since it wasn’t that cold (after all, we couldn’t see our breath in the air), that I wait until he set the basement to rights. I didn’t know, of course, that the basement was untidy. I’ve not been down there in quite some time. But Mr. Ashbury was adamant. It wouldn’t do to have a service man see our unkempt basement. Period.
Friends, that kind of thinking right there is why I am doomed to never, ever have even a one day a week housekeeper. Our home is in need of some cosmetic work, left over from more than five years ago when my husband and our late son were working on the renovations. The upstairs isn’t completely finished; the living room ceiling should be replaced, as should my kitchen floor. Hire a housekeeper? Oh, no, my house isn’t fancy enough for that.
My beloved finally set the basement to rights Monday night. By this time, I believed that, although it still wasn’t cold enough to see my breath in the air, my nose would be forever frozen. I was getting used to wearing several layers of clothes indoors and to holding my cup of hot coffee as opposed to drinking it, in order to warm my hands in between bouts of typing. Ah yes, I have been colder. But a part of me figured that by the time I had reached this age, those days would be behind me.
The furnace man came out—for the first time—at 8:30 Tuesday morning. I explained what the furnace was doing. He looked at the thermostat (likely to make sure we had indeed turned it up), then went down into the tidy basement to the furnace. Twenty minutes later he was emerged, explaining that an obscure air intake screen (inside a piece of black pipe) had been clogged. He affirmed the furnace was working normally, and left. I turned the thermostat up to 75.
An hour later when the house still had not warmed, I called the furnace people again. The second man came out at twelve-thirty, and promptly found the real culprit: a full condensation chamber. This time, when he left, the furnace really was fixed.
I celebrated the repair of the furnace by promptly going for a nap—a perfectly natural reaction to the end of being cold.
If I get to come back for another crack at this life thing, I think I’ll opt for something warm and furry that hibernates in the winter.
And I’m going to vote that Mr. Ashbury comes back as a woman married to a man just like him.